I’m a social media machine. I love to share things I find valuable, funny, important or controversial. I do it to help my friends, to ensure they are in the know, up to date, entertained and uplifted. And I do it because I get instant feedback from my connections, which makes me feel important – much more important than I really am.
Those are the reasons I share things. They are also quite likely some of the reasons you and others share things. But none of those reasons addresses the importance of creating shareable content from a publisher’s perspective. Why would a business bother to create content that is shared or shareable?
I’m so glad you asked.
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?
One of the often cited aspects of digital publishing in this web 2.0 world is that we have access to hundreds of millions of people. I do. You do. We all do. Every one of us has the ability to reach the entirety of the connected web. In this way, there is no difference between my personal blog and the New York Times.
Of course, that’s a ridiculous statement, but it is technically true.
Just because we have the POTENTIAL to reach a few billion people doesn’t mean our blog posts or other content ACTUALLY reach them…or anyone for that matter. And that’s where shareable content comes in. Creating shareable content increases the likelihood of reaching an audience. It brings people to your site or social media account.
Shared content generates links to your website.
Shared content is typically viewed by more people than content that is not shared. That’s a direct and obvious benefit of creating shared content (see #1 above). However, there is a second benefit – one that may actually outweigh the benefit of more direct visitors and that is search engine rankings.
Search engines like Google and Bing have the ability to generate MASSIVE traffic to any website. Google alone is searched over 100 billion times a month in the US. That’s a lot of search engine traffic.
Google looks at over 200 different factors when it determines what web pages to return in its top 10 rankings for every one of those 100 billion searches. The most important of those 200+ search ranking factors is the number of times other websites link to your content. The relative importance of those linking websites is also very important.
As you can see, shareable content is an important part of the content strategy for any website since it brings more visitors and influences the number of search engine visitors to your website.
Join me on Friday June 7 at 10:50 A.M. at @Midwest for an in-depth discussion of how to create shareable content for your business (even if you’re in a B to B environment).
Sean McGinnis is a digital strategist and consultant and founder of 312 Digital. Sean lives in the Chicago area and has been involved in Internet Marketing since 1998. He consults, speaks and provides training to companies across the US on SEO, content strategy and other digital marketing disciplines. You can find Sean on Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.