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The Key to Creating Viral SEO Content

What’s the best way to optimize your SEO content for maximum rankings in 2013?

Two words…

Go viral.

A blog that goes viral and amasses hundreds of social signals (Facebook shares, likes, Tweets, Google + votes) will add tremendous value to the credibility of your site. In fact, if you’ve been focusing all your energy and attention on link building, you should already be making a shift into collecting social signals.

Links are still important, but don’t forget why they were once the most important thing in SEO. It was because they were considered to be “votes.” As far as the search engines were concerned, a link meant that someone thought your content was valuable enough to link to.

But today, social signals are quickly taking the place of back links. So let’s look at some strategies for creating blog posts that can go viral and lift your rankings in 2013...

The Facts on How People Share Content

Going viral starts with creating great content, but assuming you have that taken care of, your next step is to make it easy for people to share your content. This is where you need knowledge of your target market. For example, did you know that B2B buyers are most likely to share content using email as opposed to using social media sites?

That’s right, email is number one for B2B. So you need an email option at the bottom and top of your blogs, not just the Facebook and Twitter shares. In fact, nearly 80% of B2B buyers prefer to share content via email, 53% of them prefer LinkedIn, while only 39% are likely to use Twitter and a measly 18% will use Facebook. (source: Earnest Agency)

So your target market is important to consider when deciding how you’ll encourage content sharing. By making a simple shift in where you share your content and how you invite people to share it, you could increase your response rate dramatically. If you’re interested in applying what works for YOUR target market, you’ll need to know how they share content.

You’ll want to find out which social media sites they use most often and start targeting your approach accordingly.

Going Viral is All About “Showing Up”

Going viral isn’t just about creating great content and getting your readers to share it. It’s about showing up consistently in places where your target market is likely to be found. This means Social Media marketing needs to be a part of your SEO strategy. Don’t think social media will help your business?

Think again. Nearly 90% of small businesses say that social media has helped them either a little or a lot over the past year (source: Marketing

Yet, only a quarter of the U.S. small businesses use social media to engage with customers while 20% of them have an ad hoc approach to social media (source: eMarketer). If you show up where your customers are “hanging out,” they’ll be more likely to see your content. But if you’re not using social media, you have to rely only on search to get your content visible.

This means people will only find your content if it’s ranking well. But for it to rank well, you have to be visible, and to be visible without using social media, you have to rank well. Are you seeing the problem with this?

Marketing reported that 56% of marketers claim their “customers expect them to be on social media.” What about your customers? Are they expecting to see you on social media sites? If so, and if you’re not showing up, it’s time to start getting out there.

Remember the purpose of social media isn’t to get new leads and sales. Less than 15% of marketers even consider social media to be effective for getting new leads (source: MarketingSherpa). But social media is the key to building brand awareness, adding tremendous value to your content, and getting it to go viral.

Not everything you do in marketing is about making a direct sale. Sometimes, it’s about getting the public talking about you. Sometimes, it’s about getting visible. The more visible you are, the easier it will be for your target customers to find you.

So if you want to go viral, learn how your customers are sharing content, keep showing up in places where you know they are and stop obsessing over sales. Get visible, go viral and the rest will take care of itself.

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