How to Promote Your Content to Speed Up SEO Rankings
Why wait 2–4 months for organic traffic when you can have traffic this week?
Now you have all the tools you need to build a blog full of SEO-optimized content that readers will love.
If you execute this process consistently, you’ll have a high-quality site in just a few weeks. With a little luck, you should start to see some of your content ranking in 2–4 months.
But why wait 2–4 months for organic traffic when you can have traffic this week?
Promoting your content as soon as you publish it not only helps get more people to your site, that extra traffic also helps your content rank higher and faster.
And even if it had no impact on ranking, who ever complained about getting too much traffic to their site?
Today you’re going to learn some simple promotion strategies to get your content shared across social media and other websites. While there are tons of ways to promote your content, we prefer to focus on strategies that give you the most bang for your buck and can be applied to almost any site.
But first you need to understand why promotion is so important.
Why Promotion Matters
There is a pretty strong consensus in the SEO community that driving traffic to a post in the first few weeks after it’s published helps it rank higher and faster. In fact, SEMRush found that direct website visits is the signal most highly correlated with top search results.
The influx of traffic tells Google that a post is hot and interesting. It signals interest and demand, so Google is more likely to return it as a search result.
This impact can carry over across your entire site, too. Sites with more overall traffic are generally considered more reputable and their new content tends to rank faster. That’s why many new sites will see no traffic for a few months and then suddenly start growing rapidly once the first few articles rank.
An added benefit of content promotion is that it exposes your articles to a wider audience than relying on search alone.
That’s because search engines can only show people the things they are looking for. If you rely only on search, most people who find your site will be looking for answers to specific questions like, “How can green tea make me healthier?”
But that requires that they heard about green tea and its potential benefits somewhere else. What about less common teas like rooibos? Compared to green tea, fewer people know about rooibos tea and its potential benefits.
That’s why “green tea health benefits” has nearly 630% more searches than “rooibos tea health benefits.”
But just because they aren’t actively searching for it doesn’t mean that the same people interested in the benefits of green tea wouldn’t love to learn about how this caffeine-free alternative can improve their lives too.
So we’re going to cover the basic strategies anyone can use on their site today, regardless of their niche. And all without spending a single dollar.
Building an Automated Promotion System
If your brand has social media channels, you’ll want to share all of the new content with your followers. There are few things better than a pre-validated audience interested in your brand.
Since you’ll probably want to share nearly every post as it comes out, it makes sense to automate the process. Since you own the channels, this is actually pretty simple.
We use a service called Zapier for all kinds of marketing automation. This video will explain how you can use it to automate your social media promotion.
Promoting Your Evergreen Content on Autopilot
Some of your content will be so good you need to share it more than once.
This is especially important because only a small fraction of your followers will see each post as it comes out. And that fraction seems to be getting smaller every year.
So whenever you have a great piece of content you want to share it over and over to reach as many people as possible.
But don’t worry. You won’t have to keep reposting it manually for months on end. You can automate the entire process.
You used to have to hack together a complicated system of code scripts, .csv files, and online tools to automate this process. But now there are tools like Recurpost that make the job sooo much easier.
You only have to create a post once in Recurpost, and then it will automatically share it as long as you want to. It will randomly select a post from your archive and share it following a schedule you can set or change anytime. Even better, they will do up to 10 posts a day for free.
This tool is pretty awesome. But you don’t want to just dump every article or brand update in there.
First you need to make sure the content is “evergreen.” That means that it will still be relevant for weeks to come and will provide value to the reader.
If you wouldn’t want to read this article 3–6 months from now, don’t waste your time putting it in Recurpost.
But for those worthy articles, here’s how it works.
1. Create an account at recurpost.com
2. Add your social media account under Social Accounts (here)
Note: You’ll need to download the Recurpost app to share on Instagram.
3. Create at least one library
These will be your “content buckets.”
You’ll be able to tell Recurpost which bucket you want to share from at each time slot on your calendar. Common examples would be blog posts, infographics, products, and influencer quotes.
To do this, go to the Content Library tab and hit “Add new library.”
Then you need to name your library with a label you’ll recognize and hit “Add library”
You only need one library. But if you already know that you’ll be producing a variety of content styles, you can go ahead and create a library for each.
Grouping your content this way will make sure that Recurpost is always sharing a good mix of content on your profile by selecting posts from different buckets at different times.
4. Add your posts to the library
Back on the main Content Library page, click the menu icon under the bucket you created and click “Add Content.”
Then create the post just like you would on Facebook or Twitter:
You can check the preview, upload media, and use a URL shortener at the bottom.
You’ll also get a chance to set a start and end time for the post. This can be helpful for seasonal content you only want to run for a few months. But for most post, you should just leave them unchecked and hit “Add to library.”
5. Create your schedule
Once you have at least one post in your library, you can set up your posting schedule.
Head over to the the Schedule tab and select a library, frequency, and time to post. Then select which channels you’d like to share that post on.
Keep in mind that it’s better to post on Twitter pretty frequently (5–10 times per day). But you probably want to go a little slower on other channels (2–4 times per day).
Once you’ve selected your settings, click “Add timeslot.”
Add a few slots and you’ll end up with a calendar like this:
Within the next 24 hours, you should see content loading up in the Editorial Calendar page.
The best part? This queue will keep automatically filling itself forever.
Promoting Your Content in Existing Communities
One problem with these strategies is that building a social media following takes time. If you don’t already have an audience, you’ll want to find something faster to supplement your social promotion.
And even if you already have a good following...again I ask, who doesn’t want more traffic?
We started Cup & Leaf as an SEO experiment. So we didn’t want to invest tons of resources into building a social media following for the brand.
So instead, we leveraged existing social media communities on platforms like Facebook:
There weren’t too many large groups specifically dedicated to tea. What we did find were groups talking about the benefits of herbal medicine and natural health.
Tea is a pretty popular natural supplement, so a lot of our content was relevant in these groups. All we had to do is join them and start participating in the community. We automatically had access to an audience of over 25,000 people.
These groups tend to be pretty cluttered and members won’t see most posts. So don’t expect wild results from most things you share. Just keep engaging and sharing consistently. You should be able to drive at least 50 views a week this way and occasionally a post will do really well and bring a few hundred.
In the beginning, every view counts and brings you closer to ranking on the first page.
Of course, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds of driving more traffic.
First, read the rules. Some groups strictly prohibit sharing links to other blogs. Just skip these, it’s not worth having your account flagged for spam. Other groups limit self-promotion to certain days of the week. Make note of this and follow respectfully or you might get banned from the group.
Second, participate in the community. Don’t just post links to content and hope people will care. If someone asks a question you can answer, help them out. And don’t plug an article every time you do it. (But don’t be afraid to link to content when it really can help them.)
Once you’ve participated in the community you can start to share some content. Don’t share more than 1–2 articles a week in the same group, though. Especially before your account has lost the “new member” badge next to your name.
Third, encourage engagement. Ask questions, respond to comments, and generate discussion. Everytime someone interacts with your post, it gets bumped back to the top. This gives more people a chance to see it. If enough people engage it, Facebook is more likely to show it directly in the members’ news feeds.
Facebook isn’t the only place you’ll find these communities either. If your business is B2B or career focused, you might have success on LinkedIn.
Or maybe your industry has popular online forums. Try googling queries like:
- [niche] forum
- [niche] community
- [niche] message board
- [niche] discussion
Playing Reddit Roulette
Social media is great because it’s quick and easy, but in most cases it won’t bring you tons of traffic to any single post.
If you really want to drive traffic to an article, you need a big win. Hundreds, even thousands of visitors in a single day.
Reddit is a fantastic place to do exactly that. It’s full of communities of engaged followers that are sharing and consuming content all day long.
It works by a simple voting system. Anyone can add a post to Reddit and then the community votes it up or down. Content getting a lot of upvotes and few downvotes moves to the top and stays there as long as it remains popular.
If your content does well there, it can bring tons of targeted traffic.
The post had been stuck on the 4th page for weeks. But just days after it was successful on Reddit, it shot up 26 spots to #15. Now it floats between #1 and #3.
But Reddit is also a tricky channel to crack and it doesn’t always work out. If you aren’t careful, you can even get your entire domain banned from ever being shared on the site again. If you come across like you’re trying to sell or market to the community, you’ll quickly get shut down.
There’s no secret formula to cracking Reddit. You’ll have to experiment a bit with your niche. But we have learned a few helpful tips to increase your chances.
1. Identify good subreddits or “subs.”
These are the individual channels within Reddit.
You should only consider subs that allow direct link posting. Some only let you share text posts called self-posts. Self-posts are much more difficult to get working and don’t give you a backlink to boost SEO. So unless you’re a Reddit expert, avoid them.
You also want to make sure the Reddit has a decent number of subscribers. They’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers. But you should look for the biggest ones you can find.
2. Follow the subreddit’s rules.
You can usually find a list of rules on the right hand side below Community Details. Some subs will prohibit sharing certain kinds of content or require you to tag it a certain way.
Ignoring these rules is a good way to get yourself banned from the sub. (And usually a waste of your time, too.)
3. Engage in the community.
This isn’t necessary to post, but it can help improve your success and reduce the chance your link gets removed.
It helps if you regularly participate in discussions on the sub and share content from other sites. If you aren’t active there, at least try to be active elsewhere on Reddit.
Your entire posting and comment history is public on Reddit, so people can quickly tell if you’re just there to promote yourself or if you genuinely care about the community.
4. Ask friends for help.
Technically, this is against the rules on Reddit. But it can help a lot if you aren’t excessive. We’ve never had any trouble.
If you have friends or employees on Reddit, ask them to upvote content. You only need a few to get it initial traction. After that, you leave it to the hands of the community.
To avoid getting flagged for this, try to mix up who you ask for help.
5. Don’t try to compete with awesome posts.
Remember that Reddit is a giant popularity contest. If something truly awesome is ranked #1 in your subreddit, you’ll have a much harder time grabbing the top spots and see way less traffic as a result.
Check back every few hours or days to see if there is a break in popular content.
This timing trick can be one of the biggest factors in your success, so don’t be lazy about it.
6. Don’t post too frequently.
Don’t post in the same subreddit more than once a week. And don’t post your links more than twice a week anywhere on Reddit.
Anything more will get you flagged as a spammer pretty quick, which is one of the worst things that can happen.
7. Never post the same link twice.
You should never post the same link twice on Reddit — even months later. That gets flagged quickly and can get your account or domain banned for spam.
You get one shot per article, so make it count by following the tips above.
Don’t Waste Great Content
There are an endless amount of promotion channels and tools at your disposal. And promotion is one of the areas that varies most between different industries.
We covered our favorites here because they’re effective, free (or cheap), and accessible to everyone. But don’t stop here. If you have access to an audience anywhere, it’s worth trying to promote your content there.
You’ve invested so much time and effort into creating great content for your site. Now you should do everything you can to help people find it.
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