In the pre-digital days, ‘going viral’ could mean reaching 1,000 of your customers with an intelligent sales letter. Today, it could mean hundreds of millions of views within days – a feat that numerous overnight YouTube superstars can attest to.
Besides the obvious publicity benefits of content going viral, there are serious SEO benefits to viral content. From the hundreds of inbound links that a viral article is capable of generating to the huge increase in PageRank that often follows, having a viral article on your website is a valuable SEO asset.
If you’re struggling to generate content that goes viral, try applying one of these eight simple tactics to your content development strategy:
Tackle controversial issues
Thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, blog readers love discussing controversial issues that wouldn’t otherwise come up in everyday conversation. From politics to pop culture, covering controversial issues is a great way to create conversation.
Always encourage comments
There’s no value in writing a popular article if readers aren’t free to voice their own opinions. Remember to allow comments on your articles to encourage your readers to comment, share, and link back to your content.
Cover topics that people care about
It’s hard to generate links and comments from an article about accounting. If you’re developing content for the sole purpose of attracting links, try to relate your subject matter to something that readers care about.
Neutral articles, despite their academic importance, don’t attract links. If you want to inspire conversation and build organic inbound links to your content, make sure you voice an opinion in your articles.
Incorporate images and rich media
Web users love images, audio, and video. If you want to attract hundreds of inbound links to your content, try including an embedded video from YouTube, a high quality infographic, or another form of rich media.
Don’t worry about minor backlash
Any newsworthy blog post is going to attract both positive and negative reactions. If you worry too much about what readers think, you’ll never take the risks that create great content. Worry about your brand, not the opinions of your readers.
Respond to comments and tweets
Keep the conversation going by responding to blog comments, tweets, and bloggers that post responses to your content. Starting conversations with other bloggers is an excellent way to build connections that are helpful for your long-term SEO efforts.
Develop your title for optimum CTR
Viral articles don’t spread out of thin air. To truly become viral masterpieces, they need to spread through social bookmarking websites and online communities. One of the best ways to help your articles to spread far and wide is to use a title that’s designed from the ground up to encourage reading and sharing.
Use actions words to make your titles relevant and easy to click. For example, giving your article a personal title – ‘4 Marketing Tips to Help Your Business’ as opposed to ‘4 Business Marketing Tips’ is a great way to encourage clicks and social sharing.