Search Engine Optimization that isn’t as scary as it sounds
How often have you found a great article that you read and said to yourself, “This would be perfect to share on Facebook for my clients”? You copy that URL, paste it into your status, and click that share button with a sense of pride. What you didn’t realize is that you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
When you send out links on your socials to these articles and documents on someone else’s site, you accomplish the following:
- You provide valuable information to your clients that is also relevant to your business
- You gain benefit and attention to your post if people actually click, like/follow/share, and comment (This is what we lovingly refer to as social engagement, which search engines just gobble up)
- But, you are sending your client to someone else’s site, while they get organic SEO credit for the site traffic, the content of the link, and the content of the destination.
I bet you are shaking your fist in the air right now, and raising your voice at this horrible injustice with a resounding, “That’s not fair!”, and I’m with you. However, there is a way that you can get all that juicy SEO credit too, and did I mention how easy this is? Not only is it easy and safe to do, it’s fun to say.
NEWS JACK SOMEONE ELSE’S ARTICLE WITH YOUR BLOG!
News Jacking 101
News Jacking is writing a blog about a blog (or an article, webpage, or online document), and then you link to it. That’s it.
Write in your own words, in your blog, what an article or document contains that you intend to link out for your clients. Be certain to include a link to the article and disseminate it to your socials with a relevant title, description, and image. So when you send it to your socials, a click leads to YOUR site for someone to see your take on this exciting, engaging, helpful, or perhaps even amusing bit of information. Once your audience reads your overview of the article, they have the chance to click out and read the article you wrote about for more detail.
Rather than just sending a link to someone else’s page where the article resides, you get the credit you deserve for your site, as well as your social post. We like to call this having your cake, and deciding you want more cake, so you have more cake, and you eat as much as you want.
The fun just begins there. If you want to get clever, link key words of relevance to an internal page on your site. That gives you even more juice, especially when people click. (Be careful about doing this part too much, and overusing exact phrase match links. This is when you might want to call in the pros to completely maximize the organic ranking benefits.)
There is an excellent article posted on the Triple SEO website titled “News Jacking – Real Time Linkbaiting”, by Chris Dyson. It provides an additional spin on the benefits and good practice of News Jacking. Oh wait… BAM, did I just do it? Actually, no, I am doing one step better.
The content of this blog I am writing is entirely unique and was actually written before reading this article. Including that link does provide you with additional insight though on how to do this the right way. So actually, I am not technically News Jacking that article but simply providing more credibility to what I am writing. This is also general good practice to provide additional resources for your audience relevant to your content.
So what is News Jacking then? It is an editorial sort of spin on someone else’s content. For example, in that article, it states that it is important to be careful about choosing what stories you want to cover that exist on a strong media outlet and aligning yourself to a source that is compatible to your own. Good resources to use may include sites like Huffington Post or industry association articles. This is great advice, and in this one paragraph, I just news jacked them… a little bit.
Again, be certain to use compelling and/or descriptive titles of relevance (It can be valuable even if it is boring). Also find a compelling featured image that people will see on the social posts that will help them quickly identify with the content of the article. Adding unique and quality content to your site is always beneficial, but it is exponential when you make people want to click in and read it.
Avoid Duplicate Content Penalty With Google
Do not copy and paste in large amounts of someone else’s article or page (that exists somewhere else on the web) into your blog. This also goes for your own pages. Google looks at every page on your site and is smart enough to know if the majority of the content of a blog exists somewhere else verbatim or is “spun” to be just a little different. They will ding you if they see that. What kind of a ding? Small infractions devalue key words focused on the page. Big no-no’s will de-index keywords entirely, or even worse, entire pages within your domain.
However, bear in mind that it is fine to quote content that exists elsewhere in sections. Just do it sparingly and when it adds to the quality or your blog. A general baseline to start with is if you have more of someone else’s words on your blog than your own, you should write a lot more, and I mean a lot more. When quoting another article, use quote marks and get fancy with italics so your reader knows you are quoting the target story. If you are concerned about how much is too much, just don’t quote it at all.
Also, you are establishing yourself as a thought leader for your industry, so start typing your thoughts, convey your expertise, and become a thought leader for your clients and audience.
So why should you do this?
It is fine to link to other sites of interest on your socials, and it is excellent/standard practice. But when you are talking about someone else’s industry publication/article that has so many yummy industry related keywords to your business, you miss out on a HUGE opportunity by just sending links.
So here is a quick benefit rundown:
- You still get engagement credit for your social for the click through.
- It sends people to your site from your social = traffic = keyword relevance on the social post. (Traffic is King)
- It is EASY to write a summary or thoughts about something that someone already wrote.
- It gives your clients your expertise on summarizing the benefits and content of the article to quickly determine if they want to read it to further establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Those summaries that you write on these publications and articles add a LOAD of new content to your site, creating greater keyword indexing and reinforcement with search engines.
There are many pieces of the SEO puzzle and this is just one powerful tool. Bear in mind, that this should be a periphery benefit and should not replace all efforts to create your own unique quality content. It is also important to reinforce that it is still beneficial to link directly to an external site with your socials. So mix this in as a measure of good practice at least a few times every month to help your other efforts to create unique site content and get indexed for hundreds of new industry relevant terms while gaining ground on your primary target phrases over time.
Just always use good practice. Provide valuable insight and content, and see? I told you it isn’t as scary as it sounds!