There’s a lot of controversy surrounding content syndication but it can be a valuable technique for those who get it right. Take a look at this guide on how to get started, avoid the common errors and make new traffic gains with syndicated content.
What is it?
It’s not uncommon to hear people using the terms ‘guest posting’ and ‘syndication’ in the same sentence. They’re actually completely different and both bring their own individual benefits. As you’ll know, guest posting is simply creating readable and engaging content for a third party website. As the name would suggest, you’re creating a guest post for only one site.
Syndication of content involves taking already published articles on your own site and giving permission to several other parties to publish said content. This can either be a full copy of the content on your site, or simply a small part of it.
Benefits of content syndication
Don’t you look at some sites and wish you had their vast reach to promote your products and services? Content syndication goes someway to fulfilling that urge. It bridges the gap between your current audience and the audience of other, more high profile sites.
By levering the untapped audiences of other websites, you’ll gain exposure that would have otherwise been impossible. Be sure to choose other websites which are relevant to your niche or industry while offering a sense of higher authority over your site. This should not only ensure an impressive reach but it will reflect highly on your brand image. You’ll gain the sound reputation of being credited on an industry leading site.
What content to syndicate
You mustn’t syndicate all of the content on your site as your own audience won’t have anything ‘fresh’ or ‘exclusive’ to enjoy. Instead, choose several of your best posts per month and syndicate each piece that is most relevant to the host website.
By limiting the number of posts each month, you’ll gain the maximum rewards from content syndication. It’s important to save some of your best stuff for your site only. After all, what incentive would users have to click through to your site if all your top content is found on the host site?
For those starting out with a small business, it could be worth syndicating more extensively to generate a wider reach during the initial stages. Once you’re more established, you can be more selective, only choosing to syndicate on websites known as industry leaders.
Content syndication does involve duplicating content which may sound like a potential catastrophe, ruining all your SEO efforts. But you can relax as there are ways to ensure that search engines won’t get confused with this duplication.
The most effective way is to ensure that the site which is syndicating your content inserts a rel+canonical tag on the page of your article which points back to the original content on your site. The search engine bots will now recognise the syndicated copy as just that and understand the original copy is on your site.
Otherwise, you could ask the host site to NoIndex the copy to ensure that search engines bypass the copy entirely. That said, any links from the syndicated article back to your site should still classify as a positive ranking factor. This option isn’t quite as good for SEO as the rel=canonical tag but it should still do the trick.
If all else fails and the host website refuses to do either of the above, you should ask that the post includes a direct attribution link back to exact same page where the content is found on your site. In most cases, this should be enough of a signal for the search engines to recognise the original post.
Follow any of the above and you’ll be able to syndicate content without any adverse effect to SEO. Give it a go and you may be surprised at the sudden uptake in traffic.