Let’s set the scene: you’ve taken our advice and written loads of lovely content for your website. You’ve even installed Google Analytics to find out who’s reading it. But - shut-the-front-door - your visitor numbers are tiny. In fact, other than your mum and a bot in Russia, it doesn’t look like anyone’s reading it! What can you do to find an audience for your content?
Now, we’ve banged on about the importance of a good SEO strategy before but, if you need a refresher, here’s a pretty huge reason: more than half of all website traffic comes from organic search (that is, not paid for). What’s more, visitors who find your website and its products and services through search engines (whether it’s paid or organic) are more likely to convert as they have more intent than those who find you through social media or email.
So, if you’re looking for ways to find more readers for your content, you first need to look at your SEO strategy. Need help? Get in touch with our team.
How can you be found with SEO?
Sitting comfortably? Let’s begin. There are two key things that will decide your rankings (or the likelihood you'll be found on search engines like Google): your content and the links to it. Content is something we've spoken about before – you already know it’s important. However, how to encourage other websites to link to it is something that we’re all a bit more reticent about.
According to Buzzsumo, 75% of online articles aren’t linked to at all – not even on social media. Feel better now? As eye-opening as this statistic may be, it sort of makes sense. For lots of companies, much of their effort goes into creating content, with very little devoted to marketing your piece after it goes live. At FINALLY, we usually recommend that 30% of your time should be spent on creating content, and 70% on marketing it – that is, sharing it on social media and in emails, and persuading others to share links to it.
So, how do you persuade websites to link to your content? Well, by following any one (or all) of these great ideas.
4 ways to find an audience for your content
Idea #1: Create some great content
Finding a website to big up your content is far simpler when you’ve some awesome content to link to. Your first step then is to get writing, filming, or recording – or get an agency to do this for you. Stuck on what to create? Check out our guide on where to find content ideas.
Typically, content, where original research is featured, stands a much better chance of being linked to, especially in journals or the mainstream media. By featuring original research which you have carried out, your business is positioned as a thought leader who others will want to refer to as a credible source. This brings us to...
Idea #2: Do some original research
Conducting original research sounds a lot scarier than it is. It’s actually very easy, providing you devote enough time to gathering, and then analysing the results. So, how do you get started? First, you need to gather the resources that you have. This could be analytics data from your website, or the opinions of the people who work for you, your contacts, social media followers or website visitors, or your actual customers.
Of course, you can interview these people as the basis of this research, but a far quicker way to acquire some cutting-edge stats is to survey them, either through email tools like Survey Monkey, or website plug-ins that ask your users for feedback while they’re on your website. Once you’ve reached a respectable sample size in order to make some conclusions, publish your research. The Office of National Statistics has a great style guide with some pointers on how to display your findings.
Idea #3: Build relationships with other content creators
No, that doesn't mean take them out for coffee or lunch (although that'd be nice). Relationships are made from even something as simple as liking or sharing the content from writers in your industry or who share similar outlooks to you. Let us explain: when you produce content, in whatever format, you're a content creator. This elite group accounts for just 1% of all internet users. It's an intimate gang of millions of other content creators, BUT it's a community nonetheless where you can forge relationships to better improve the visibility of your content.
But, how do you find them and who should you pick?
Just as you get good content and bad content, there’s such a thing as a good link and a bad one. First of all, you should consider how well-known and respected the content creator is. A quick way of checking this would be to look at the domain authority of their website. Moz has a plug-in that will show you this in your browser bar when you visit a new website. The higher the domain authority, the higher Google values a link from their website.
Another way you can do this is to use websites like Followerwonk which allows you to find the Twitter profiles of content creators in your industry. Simply "@" their account in the social post featuring a piece of your content which you think would interest them. As an extra incentive, positively namecheck and link to them in your content. Vanity is everything.
Idea #4: Collaborate with other content creators
Along with original research, offers to collaborate are a great way to get websites to link to your content. Once you’ve found the content creators with whom you’d like to build relationships, there are two great ways to set the ball rolling on your collaboration:
Use quotes from other content creators in your blog
You could start small by asking other content creators, experts, and influencers to contribute a quote to your blog in return for a link to their website. You could ask them for their opinion about a recent (non-contentious) news story in your industry, or a new innovation that’s about to be released. Do this with lots of content creators and you can devise a kind of "expert roundtable" piece where everyone delivers their thoughts on your topic. It stands to reason that these individuals will be more likely to link to your article when it’s published since they’re featured in it.
Write guest posts for other websites
You can also offer to write guest posts for other websites. Here’s how: google your topic followed by the term "write for us" in inverted commas and you'll find a host of websites looking for guest writers to submit content on this topic. You won't be paid but you'll get something more precious – a link to your website using the keywords you’d most like to rank for.
At a glance: how to find an audience for your content
- Create some killer content: think blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts, and more. Check out our A-Z guide to content formats here.
- Provide original research: use analytics, surveys, or polls for data to create unique, research-based content that websites love to share.
- Build relationships with content creators - and use them.
- Quote other influencers and content creators, linking to their website or social media pages.
- Write guest posts for other websites and include links back to your own website.