It takes a lot of time and effort to create a single piece of well written, informative content. In fact, it’s estimated that it takes most marketers between one to two hours to write a 500-word blog post. Because this is such a time-consuming process, it’s important to maximize the exposure of each piece of content so your hard work pays off. But, is syndicating your content across different platforms the right way to achieve this goal?
WHAT IS CONTENT SYNDICATION?
Content syndication is a marketing term that is used to describe the practice of publishing the same piece of content on multiple third party websites. For example, let’s say you’ve written a blog post on choosing the right keywords for SEO and posted it on your website. The reach on this post is limited since it’s only visible to people who visit your website. But, the reach of this content has the potential to multiply if it is syndicated.
Syndicating this blog involves sending it to third party outlets that may be interested in publishing this type of content. Since this example involves a blog on SEO tips, websites such as Search Engine Land or Search Engine Journal should be targeted. If these third party sites agree to publish your content, your blog will now appear on multiple platforms.
This may sound similar to guest blogging, but the two tactics are actually quite different. Both involve posting content on third party websites. However, guest blogs are typically unique pieces of content that are not posted anywhere else, whereas syndicated content is content that is posted across multiple platforms. Although they are different, both guest blogging and syndicated content can play important roles in your content marketing strategy.
COMMON ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH CONTENT SYNDICATION
Syndicating your content can create a number of issues that could affect your ranking within search results. The biggest issue is the duplication of content. Google discourages the use of duplicate content, especially when the content is coming from multiple domains. Because of this, many marketers worry that Google will penalize them for syndicating their content across multiple platforms.
Another concern among marketers is that they will outrank their own content. For example, let’s say Forbes decides to push one of your syndicated articles. Since Forbes is an authoritative website with millions of visitors, the Forbes link to your article will most likely rank higher than the link to your article on your website. So, if someone tries to find your blog article, they will probably be directed to Forbes instead of your website and you will miss out on this potential visitor.
Marketers are also hesitant to try content syndication because they cannot use this tactic to collect contact information from people who read the content. Most third party websites will not allow you to include contact forms so you can ask readers for their information. Furthermore, third party websites rarely allow authors to include calls to action to encourage readers to visit their website. Marketers see this as a missed opportunity to connect with people who are clearly interested in what you have to say.
Content syndication is far from perfect, but that does not mean that it should be brushed aside as a useless marketing strategy. A well-thought-out content syndication strategy can drive traffic to your website, increase your exposure, and grow your business.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT AN EFFECTIVE CONTENT SYNDICATION STRATEGY
The obvious first step in implementing a content syndication strategy is to create the content. Before moving on to the next step, review your content to ensure it contains a link back to your website. The third party website may remove the link before publishing it, depending on their guidelines, but it doesn’t hurt to include it for now. Then, it’s time to build a list of third party websites that may publish your content. Start by picking out relevant websites from this comprehensive list.
The next step is pitching your content to these websites to see if they’re interested in publishing it. The pitch should be clear and concise, so don’t beat around the bush. If you’ve been published on well-known websites before, mention this in your opening sentence to grab their attention. Summarize the article you want to publish in a few sentences, and close out the pitch by asking whether or not they are interested in publishing it.
If a website agrees to publish your work, it’s important to ask them to add the “rel=canonical tag” to the page. This tag will tell Google that the post is not an original, and it will direct the search engine to the link on your website where the article was initially posted. Adding this tag completely solves the duplicate content problem that was previously mentioned. It also helps Google decide which of the content’s links should be shown in search results–the link to your website or the link to the third party’s website. This will not eliminate the risk of outranking your own content altogether, but it will give you a better chance of outranking third party syndicators.
Pat yourself on the back once your content has been syndicated across multiple platforms. But, there’s not much time for you to celebrate your accomplishments. The best way to achieve the results you desire with this strategy is to be consistent. Continue to create and pitch content to third party websites so you can grow your audience and ultimately, your business.
Syndicating your content should only be a small part of your larger content marketing strategy. Are you interested in learning more about how you can improve your content marketing and SEO strategies? If so, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.