How to Get More Visibility for Your Existing Content

1434391915_006_133_juicer_squeezer_citrus_juiceLet’s talk juicing, squeezing every drop of goodness out of your content to ensure it propels your business forward.

One of the first things we do when working with a new client is to identify any assets they already have that could support any campaign we have planned.

For me that just makes sense; it is about making the most of what is already there versus creating content for the sake of it. That’s always been my sentiment on the subject –  in fact I laid this out in the “6 month link building plan for an established website” guide that I put together for Moz back in 2012.

You are likely aware of just how vital it is to have a content promotion plan for every important asset on your site. I am constantly surprised however by how much content comes across our desks that has either been created in-house or by a 3rd party without a single thought or attempt at promoting it. This means there is an awful lot of content out there; most of which is likely good or useful to someone that hasn’t reached its full potential.

Today I want to look at some specific techniques that you can apply to your website to identify those unloved or underloved assets and maximize their potential. I firmly agree with Derek Halpern at Social Triggers that “It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more.

In essence, I want to walk you through how you can get some more links without creating a single piece of new content and how this connects with achieving your website’s goals.

Identify pages with potential

There are two types of assets you need to look for; underloved and unloved. The former being easier to spot and the latter requiring a little more diligence.

To find the underloved assets on your website, you can quite simply plug your domain into and go to the “top pages” tab and browse through the top entries. Their Top Pages tab reveals the pages on your website which get the most links. For the purposes of this exercise, you will likely wish to discount your homepage and other money pages since you need to be looking for content and other digital assets that have more mileage in them. You can also use their “top content” feature to explore the URLs on your website with the greatest number of social shares. This may also point you towards pages that have potential.

You can start building a list of these assets and making notes in relation to each. We find it useful to make a note of some sample pages that already link to that URL and some insights into why they might have linked and anything we can learn from that i.e. this is a certain type of page on a certain type of website, might there be more pages of this kind around the web?

To find the unloved assets you will need to do a bit more digging. We’ve not found a quick/automated way of doing this that doesn’t generate false positives because even looking for the pages that have zero links will result in a huge number of URLs to sift through – many will simply be irrelevant to what you are trying to achieve. Our usual starting point is to discuss with the site owner or agency we are working with and to see if we can get our hands on any old content calendars, lists of content assets produced in the past and so on. These often act as a map that points you in the right direction of potentially rich vaults of content. Tools like Screaming Frog will help you if you are working completely in the dark since casual browsing of a website (particularly large and/or established websites) will mean you miss a page that might have some potential.

Content Optimization

I know I said that you don’t need to create any new content for this exercise and whilst that is the case, there may be some on-site style housekeeping that you will need to do. Very often the assets that you turn up when you are hunting for them are “diamonds in the rough”. Sure they might not have reached their potential because they never got promoted in the first place, but the other reason is that the potentially weren’t in the right format, didn’t target the right audience and so on.

Here are a number of things to consider;

Consolidation – in many cases we look to consolidate a series of pieces into one more comprehensive asset. This means we can funnel all efforts towards one URL and very often consolidation can be the difference between getting a link and not. We’ve taken a series of blog posts that individually wouldn’t have garnered any interest from potential linkers, then did nothing more than combine them into one “ultimate” guide and suddenly we had a linkable asset without typing any more words.

-Topic keywords – another common problem we see is that a piece of content doesn’t reach the right audience because the keyword optimization is all wrong. It is a curious thing that people carefully optimize all aspects of their money pages and yet forget all about resource, education or blog sections of their websites. Topic/informational keywords can be massive traffic drivers and are excellent to target with a top-of-funnel piece that will bring in visitors at the start of their path to purchase. Win for the link building team and a win for the sales team!

-Updating/Improving the content itself – so this does require some extra content creation but very often we come across pieces that are either barebones or perhaps redundant altogether but there is still the potential if the piece is updated or improved somehow. Take a look at our blog post on the 4 elements of successful content.

Content Promotion

The two main ways to get more eyeballs on your content is through earning coverage and through paying for it.

Let’s cover paying for coverage to start with, there are several platforms that we utilize:

  • Outbrain – one of our preferred content recommendation engines. They power the “around the web” links you will often see on major publishers. Their traffic is pretty cheap but targeting can be a little fruity. We find that this provides a nice starting point for a campaign that can cost-effectively highlight potential audiences (as you can see publishers that generate clicks) as well as testing headlines.
  • StumbleUpon – this platform doesn’t seem to get much love these days but StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery service can still offer significant traffic and the targeting has got much better. Granted it isn’t the granular level offered by Facebook but it is affordable and we’ve found can amplify social sharing – generating signals on other platforms like Facebook.
  • Facebook – you will likely be aware that Facebook allows advertising and the targeting is astounding. There really is a home for everyone on the internet so as to say no matter your interest there is probably a community, group or Facebook page about it. Facebook makes reaching the right people incredibly easy but it has certainly become expensive so we often advise clients to only use FB ads with content that sits very close to a real conversion i.e. a guide that leads on to a sale rather than a top-of-funnel guide that attracts someone 6 months away from purchasing.

And finally, earning coverage. This involves manually reaching out to 3rd parties that you think may be interested in the piece of content you are promoting. This is a relatively straightforward process, but as with all forms of relationship development online there is a subtle skill to it and it can be a time consuming process (that’s why we developed our targeted outreach service).

Here’s a quick and dirty guide on reaching people who may be interested in covering/linking to your content.

  1. Fire up Google in your country.
  2. Search for the topic of your content & related content. Try both specific and more broad keyword terms.
  3. Make a note of the pages that come up.
  4. Plug those pages into Ahrefs or your favorite backlink explorer and download the links.
  5. Combine the various CSV files and you have a list of prospects who A) Know how to add a link B) Have linked before so may link again and C) Are interested in your topic.
  6. Put together a nice email highlighting why you are getting in touch and you’ll be reaching influencers who may choose to award a link based on editorial merit (solid in the eyes of Google) and you could be unlocking a significant amount of referral traffic because if that person is interested then chances are so will their visitors/readers.

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