Content marketing and blogging are two of the most important parts of any SEO program. When you make your content more shareable, you build your audience, get more backlinks and raise your profile on social media sites.
When you make the commitment to creating shareable content, some of your actions will get results in the short term, but other actions will continue to build traffic and increase the sense of community over time. The importance of building a strong network among your trade publication website's community cannot be overstated. Here are 5 things you can do starting right now to make content more shareable.
1. Write High-Quality Content
As obvious as this may seem, it bears repeating because high quality content gets attention both today and tomorrow. Give your content titles that make site visitors and those who find the content through searches want to continue. Your titles should be straightforward, not vague, and the content should deliver what the title promises. Make sure your content is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors, and make it easy to skim. Stay away from long, unbroken blocks of text and use headings, subheadings and lists to allow readers to find exactly what they're looking for easily.
2. Give Readers Tools They Need for Sharing
While there are some readers who will copy a link and forward it to friends or copy it to their Facebook page, you will prompt more sharing if you make social sharing buttons prominent. At the very least, you should provide social sharing buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Depending on your trade and audience, you may want to add sharing buttons for StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit as well.
3. Include Great Pictures
A great photograph or graphic not only delights readers, it can make the difference between content that is shared and content that is abandoned after reading. Pictures break up blocks of text, giving the eyes a brief respite, and can serve to reinforce the information in your text. If you don't purchase images for use on your site, be sure to credit all images properly. Pinterest is fast becoming a big source of referral traffic and high quality, properly credited images encourage ''pins'' and get your content in front of much more potential site traffic.
4. Teach, but also Entertain and Empower Readers
When you teach your readers how to do something (or how to do something they already do better), you add value to your content. Readers love feeling as if they've been empowered to do something to improve their work or personal lives, so the more relevant to reader interests you can make your content, the better. Whether it's instructing readers on helpful tricks with their calendar apps or showing them how to do something they haven't done before (''Here's how to check the pilot light on your water heater.''), content that affects readers personally is more shareable than content that does not.
5. Give Your Content Your Own Push
Don't wait around for readers to use social sharing buttons. Set up your content to auto-publish to Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Encourage readers to leave comments, and tend to your social networks regularly. If someone on Facebook has a question, answer it and provide a link back to relevant content on your site. There is nothing at all wrong with promoting your site's content. In fact, you have a lot to lose if you publish great content and just let it sit there.
Sharing content is a daily fact of life for millions of people around the world. Make your site's content shareable, and you have the potential to reach many new potential customers and site visitors. Have a plan for making your content as shareable as possible, follow through consistently, and you'll see both short term and long term gains. Do you have any tips for making content more shareable? Be sure to let us know in the comments.