For both B2C and B2B companies, exposure and driving relevant traffic is critical to finding new leads and improving the brand’s reach. Content syndication offers brands an opportunity to leverage the audience of other popular sites to increase the visibility of their original site.
Content syndication can be controversial in the minds of some marketers, because like many other SEO methods, there is both a right way and a wrong way to use it. If you do not use this system correctly, you can end up penalized because of duplicate content, hurting your marketing efforts. If you are considering using this method as a part of your lead generation tactics, here is what you should know about using it successfully.
Understanding how content syndication can boost lead generation
Content syndication means publishing a copy of your existing content from your website on another site. You might choose to do a copy of an entire article, a snippet or just a headline. The goal behind this type of tactic is to attract the interest of the audience on the more popular site and send them back to your original site and grow your own brand reach. By publishing on a more established website, you can also give your content greater authority because you will be associated with the site and brand the audience already trusts.
Generating greater traffic and improving your brand authority are both valuable aspects to finding new leads, and content syndication can be a successful method for both B2B and B2C companies. The key to using this method appropriately is selecting the right content and posting it on the right website while also avoiding any potential Google penalties that could end up hurting your original website.
Choosing your website
Using content syndication successfully requires sites that can help you attract the traffic you need. That means finding a website that targets your own ideal audience and has a higher authority than your site. This can help bolster your own reputation and encourage the people who visit your brand site after reading your content to trust what you have to say.
Choosing your content
Generally, it is best to syndicate some of your highest quality content. You have to remember that the site publishing the content is considered an authoritative website. If you publish only mediocre work, then the article will not attract the desired attention.
At the same time, the entire purpose of the syndication process is to send the traffic from the publishing site back to your original site. That means you do not want to publish all of your best work on other sites. There should be enough left that is unique to your site so people who visit your page will find something valuable which encourages them to stay and explore.
You also need to consider the type of content you want to publish. If you are interested primarily in growing traffic, for instance, it might make more sense to syndicate just headlines or smaller portions of your pieces. This will offer the audience enough to interest them and encourage them to click through and learn more. If you are taking more of a brand awareness approach to building leads, you might find success by syndicating entire articles or longer excerpts, which will increase the number of people who read your ideas in full on the original site.
Avoiding Google’s duplicate content penalties is always a chief concern for those interested in syndicating some of their content. After all, recent Google updates, including the famed Panda update, have played a large role in trying to eliminate duplicate content from SERPs. Fortunately, when content syndication is done well, you do not have to worry about incurring any problems. Here are a few tips you can use to let Google ‘understand’ your content.
Whenever possible, this solution is the best choice for avoiding Google penalties. You place this tag on the page with the syndicated content and have the tag list the original address of the article. This tells Google that the second version is just a copy and where the original lives. Not only does this allow you to avoid potential problems, but any links that go to the copy of the article will be ‘counted’ for the original version.
The canonical tag for an article about green dresses would look like this according to Google:
If you cannot place a canonical tag on the copy of the article, see if you can place a NoIndex in the copy of the article. This tells Google not to ‘read’ this version of the article, so there is only one copy in the Search Engine Index. While this will solve your duplicate content problem, any links that the copy accrues will not point back to your original piece, which can limit the benefits of the syndication process.
According to Google, using this meta tag should look like this:
Including an attribution link
Sometimes you might be publishing a syndicated copy on a website that does not want to include a canonical tag or a NoIndex. In that case, the best solution may be a direct attribution link. This link should go directly to the original version of the article. This will generally be enough to let the search engines know that this is a copy of the original article. Like the NoIndex solution, however, any links that reference the copy will not acknowledge your original site.
If the site that will be hosting your content will not agree to any of these conditions, you will have to carefully evaluate whether the syndication is worth the effort. It is possible that the copy of the article will end up ranking higher than your original, since it is a more authoritative site. If the site is a fantastic match for your marketing efforts, however, and has the potential to generate some traffic and leads for you, then the risk may be worth it.
In addition to syndicating your content through other industry websites, you also have the option of using one of the many paid options. For this system you will select vendors who will reprint your content on popular websites to help you get your material in front of the ideal audience. Some of the more popular vendors are:
– Ziff Davis
These sites work on a Cost Per Lead (CPL) system. It is generally best for you to start with tight filters that allow you to focus on cultivating the most appropriate leads. You can always loosen your filters as you gauge your success with the system. Tighter filters will increase your CPL, but the higher quality of the leads should offset the higher investment.
Working with paid syndication requires some experimenting to find the system that will work best for you. Begin by confirming with the vendor exactly what they will be doing to generate leads. You will then want to begin with about 2-3 assets in rotation. It is best to use pieces that have helped you bring in leads in the past.
If at all possible, supply your own marketing content as well. If you do not have any available, most vendors will supply it and you can then make modifications to better suite your brand. Beginning with a small budget and a short rotation time will allow you accurately gauge the success of the system based upon your current parameters without spending unnecessarily. You can then modify your filters or content and try again as you better understood your path to success.
Content syndication can be a wonderful means of growing traffic and establishing authority through already-popular sites. To use this system correctly, however, you need to be careful with your selections and employ best practices to minimize risk and maximize yield.