Tired of Waiting for SEO to Drive Traffic? Focus on Distribution
There are lots of things you could do in six months.
Learn a basic level of Spanish. Read the Lord of the Rings trilogy twice. Go from couch to triathlon (not sure if the timeline is right for this one, I’ve never tried it).
But, waiting for SEO to pick up your content so you can start to get traffic? Six months is too long!
First of all, it is possible to achieve SEO in less than six months. I’ve seen results in as little as a week. That resulted from strong promotion, internal linking, epically good content, and collaborating with other experts.
Most of the time, SEO takes far longer than a week to rank. But that doesn’t mean you need to sit around and wait for the Google Gods to decide when people see your content.
Certainly, using SEO to drive traffic to your content will always be one of the best and long-lasting methods. But this is not an excuse for you to sit idle while you wait!
You can absolutely start distributing your content in other ways and drive more SEO juice in the process. Let’s dive into what that looks like.
Distributing your content systematically drives benefits beyond just eyeballs.
We love to talk about how vital content distribution is for its own merit. The more you distribute, the more people see it. That’s the biggest plus indeed, but it actually has even more benefits than that.
1. Content distribution drives more SEO juice.
Typical SEO best practices will tell you that SEO “juice” comes from backlinks, on-page optimization, and meta tags. While those things are a part of it, traffic from other sources also helps SEO.
The rate at which SEO grows your traffic is not fixed. The more content distribution tactics you use, the more your content becomes an authority, and the faster you’ll see SEO results. I’ve seen an article hit page 1 within a week from content distribution alone!
2. You learn quicker.
Exploring different content marketing channels helps you learn about how you can reach your target audience. Relying on SEO alone means that you’re missing out on so many opportunities to connect to people who are seeking what you have to offer. Think of SEO as one tool in your toolbox. If you only have a hammer, then you’ll be able to do some jobs, but only very few. The more tools you have, the more jobs you can take on, and the more customers you can help.
3. Less guessing and more understanding of where your content works best.
There is no specific platform where all content performs best. Depending on your niche and where your target audience hangs out, you can have varying success on different platforms. There are tons of various distribution options, but to be successful, you need to choose those that will actually reach your audience. Instead of just selecting random platforms to share your content on, a systematic content distribution strategy allows you to target platforms that you know will be successful.
Where to distribute your content for more SEO juice (content distribution checklist)
When you’re choosing where to distribute your content, use this content distribution checklist as a guide. You will likely see some channels you never even considered before!
a. Paid Channels
Paid channels include types of distribution that you pay for. This could be pay per click (PPC), cost per thousand (CPM), and retargeting ads. Here are some of the best-paid content distribution channels that you can allocate your content marketing budget.
i. Quora ads
Quora is an online question and answer community and the hub for high-quality user-generated content (UGC). Users can follow topics they are interested in, ask questions, and share information and opinions. You can also run ads here, based on topics people look for (or have looked for in the last X days), or even run your ad on a specific question.
ii. Facebook ads
Facebook ads aren’t just for lead gen; they are also an excellent option for distributing content. Before SEO kicks in, distribute your content via Facebook ads. The intent will be different, which is something to bear in mind—people on Facebook aren’t looking to book a demo, while on Google, they might. But we still regularly use Facebook paid as a distribution channel, and it works.
iii. Reddit ads
Founder of GrowthMachine, Nat Eliason, had 45,000 unique hits on his blog in one day from Reddit traffic. It’s an excellent place to be. While organic Reddit is tricky—Redditors are very protective of their space and can downvote you quickly, sharing your blog via paid is an alternative distribution method. Reddit enables brands to locate their target audience through subreddits, so your ads go directly to the people who are interested in your niche. They offer multiple ad types to choose from, including promoted posts, promoted videos, front page takeover, category takeover, trending takeover, and more.
iv. Niche forum ads
Running ads in forums dedicated to your niche allows you to become a primary resource for your target audience. Not all forums have ad capabilities, but many do. You’ll need to do some research to find industry-specific forums and can use Google Keyword Tool to locate terms related to your niche. Once you have some, search for the keywords plus “forum” to find online forums where your audience is hanging out. Make sure that the forum is active, with lots of engagement, and supports ads.
v. Quuu Promote
Quuu Promote is a platform to promote your content to other users, enabling them to share it on their social platforms. They have two services: one for content curators. They curate content for you. For content promoters, on the other hand, they give your content to the curators. For $75 per month, Quuu Promote will automatically promote your content for you. They will include hashtags, create variations of the snippet for each social network, and promote new articles directly from your RSS feed. Each post is promoted in a specific interest category based on your niche, which improves traction to your content.
vi. Sponsored newsletters
Sponsored newsletters are all the rage. Successful newsletters have their own trusted audience, high-engagement, and you can use them multiple times as you publish new content. Like podcasts, newsletters are still an untapped source of real estate for your content, and the people who run them are easy to reach.
b. Earned Channels
Earned content distribution includes using any channels not owned by you, but you didn’t have to pay for. Here are some of the main earned media channels.
I talked about collaboration in another post on RevGenius, but this is one of the best ways to get great content, distribute it further, and network. Companies like Databox use this technique systematically to create content. If you’re on HARO (Help a Reporter Out), you’ll see they’re asking for expert quotes almost daily. I also like doing a collaborative or interview piece with an expert and featuring them.
ii. Share in slack groups or online communities where relevant
You use them for networking, but do you ever use them to distribute content? There’s one caveat: you have to be active on them. A real member. The same goes for Facebook groups, and most communities you plan to share content on for free. Be part of the greater conversation, engage with others, and link to your content when relevant.
c. Owned Channels
The last category of content distribution is owned. Owned channels include any content channels that you control and that you don’t pay for. These channels provide many opportunities to distribute your content to your loyal community and attract new people to your channels.
i. Email signature
Your email signature is a great place to link to your content. Have everyone in your organization include the link in their email signatures as well. There are even apps available, such as BlogSigs and Wisestamp, which will automatically link your most recent blog post to your email signature.
ii. Email list
Sending a campaign out to your email list is one of the easiest ways to distribute your content to a hyper-relevant audience. Your email list has subscribed to see your content, so you know they are already interested in what you have to say. Sending out an email blast updating your list on new content will drive instant traffic to it.
I like to live a low-waste lifestyle, and that includes in my content. Instead of just writing a blog post, you can also use it to create an infographic, a YouTube video, a podcast, or a slide deck. People like to consume content in different ways, and offering multiple options will help you cater to a broader audience. When distributing content on social media, you should also repurpose it based on the channel. The caption you use to create interest on LinkedIn might not work so well on Instagram, etc. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.
iv. Employee social media
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees to help you distribute your content. Employees can serve as brand advocates and share your content with their personal channels to help drive brand awareness. Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels, so tapping into this is extremely valuable.
SEO is only one channel.
SEO is powerful and high-converting. But don’t leave it up to one channel to distribute your content for you.