Syndicated content isn’t new, but it has been getting more attention lately.
The concept of “cross-publishing” dates back to printed newspapers and magazines. Today’s rapidly changing digital marketing scene takes this strategy to a whole new level.
What is Syndicated Content?
Simply put, syndicated content is the act of republishing digital content, in any format, such as blogs, videos, how-to instruction, educational articles, or even product reviews.
The person or agency that created the original content needs to give permission for its use, and the website that is publishing that content should be crediting the original owner.
In most cases, this is a give-and-take agreement between both parties, enabling each of them to generate new traffic and/or increase their exposure by using backlinks.
What Are the Benefits of Syndicated Content?
Syndicated content can provide a range of benefits that have long been coveted as the online landscape continues to grow.
Syndication can extend the lifespan of your shared media:
New users will begin to engage with the original content long after it is published.
You can reach a wider audience:
By republishing your content on various platforms, you will start generating new traffic to your website.
New website visitors can find you!
Using backlinks in your syndicated content, you will tap into the readership of the channel hosting your content.
You can increase your reputation:
When syndicated content is hosted properly, Google will consider outside platforms as an entity that supports you.
Think of it as a “vote of confidence”, boosting your credibility as a resource on the world wide web.
Your search engine rankings can improve:
Having your content out there in a broader sense will naturally help drive your search engine rankings up simply by having more traffic to your content.
However, it’s crucial to incorporate canonical tags in your content. This helps Google populate your website in searches without labelling it as duplicate content and minimizing its appearance.
7 SEO Best Practices for Syndicated Content
The benefits of syndicated content seem obvious, but achieving those results isn’t as easy as copy and paste.
Take time to complete these steps before engaging in syndication:
1. Modify or Enhance Your Content
- Change the original media slightly to avoid duplicate search results.
- Add new value to your content, or update it with insights.
- Utilize a unique URL for your media.
2. Credit the Person or Agency
- Include a clear declaration of the original author. This is called a byline.
- Add clear backlinks to encourage your new viewers to find you.
3. Optimize the Title
- Choose something unique and compelling.
- Consider metadata and keywords when you name your media.
4. Use Strong Keywords and Metadata
- It helps search engines understand your content.
- Improves click-through rates.
5. Choose Quality Platforms
- Who republishes your content is important!
- Make sure the site is reputable.
- Ensure their target audience aligns with yours.
- Maintain brand consistency.
6. Create a Syndication Agreement
- Define the scope of syndication. Clearly outline your expectations.
- Retain ownership of your media. Include copyrights, if valid.
- Grant usage rights. Is it exclusive to that publisher?
- Make backlinking mandatory. Own your content.
- Specify how long the content will remain published.
- Any other terms of the contract.
7. Promote Social Sharing
- Increase visibility by announcing your content.
- Encourage your new audience to share, comment, and engage with your content.
With a hands-on approach, you can easily implement these strategies to minimize any negative impacts on SEO, such as allowing search engines to redirect results away from you.
How To Evaluate Syndicate Partners
Half the battle of successful syndication is ensuring your original content is republished to a reputable site.
You can determine if someone is a reputable partner by assessing their platform and asking yourself some important questions.
Follow the steps below and answer the questions included to determine if a partner you’re considering is a good fit.
Research Your Potential Collaboration
When searching for a reliable partner site or platform, the first thing you should look for is the industry they represent.
For example, a daycare blogger would want to consider parenting sites, versus an unrelated topic like fast food menus.
Compare their branding to yours. Is it compatible?
Review Their Current Content
As you review their existing content, you’ll want to consider a few crucial aspects.
Do they often represent a strong opinion? If so, do you agree with it?
Is their content high quality? Are there obvious spelling or grammatical errors? Is it factual and accurate?
Do they have any original content? If so, would you consider publishing their original media?
If, however, they don’t have any original content, that’s okay too. In this case, your best course of action would be to look at their content history.
Do they represent multiple industries? When you follow the backlinks, is the content an exact copy?
Check Their Audience Engagement
You’ll also want to asses how people are engaging with their content. This can give you a good sense of their reach, and how the public perceives them.
As yourself the following questions:
- Does the platform allow genuine feedback from readers?
- How many people take the time to post a comment on their articles?
- Do they have social media accounts?
- Do they have a lot of followers?
- Do their posts actively encourage likes and comments?
- Do they have a lot of shares?
Investigate Their Website
Lastly, you’ll want to look at their website as a whole. Consider aspects like:
- The age of the domain
- When it was last updated
- How much daily traffic they experience
Pro Tip: A domain that is at least ten years old will generally carry a strong backlink profile, and will usually generate strong search engine results.
Follow Up After You Syndicate Your Media
Once you have established one or more syndication relationships, you should take the time to track your progress.
You can do this in a few different ways.
Website Analytics and Referral Traffic
There are many tools available to measure your success; the most prominent being Google Analytics.
If you’re not already, take the time to analyze your website using this helpful tool. You will be able to gain valuable insights on several different metrics, including:
- Traffic and engagement generated by syndicated content: This includes the number of page views, how long your audience spends time with your content, and scroll depth.
- Referrals: You will be able to identify source leads, including which websites or platforms are driving traffic to your site.
- Track your backlinks: Quantify the number of backlinks that your syndicated media has, and measure the quality of them.
- Search engine visibility: Monitoring your rank for keywords and titles.
- Brand Awareness: Discover how many people are directly entering your URL.
- Audience Exposure: Evaluate who your content is reaching. Demographics are an important factor to take into consideration.
- Lead Generation: If you offer a newsletter subscription, downloads, form submissions, or a free trial program, Google Analytics will clearly display which methods are working best.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Syndicated Content
Evaluate the performance and impact of your syndicated content by setting realistic goals. What do you plan to achieve with syndication?
Achievable goals not only help you track your progress, but will also identify opportunities for improvement. Here’s what to look for:
It may be wise to include a request for data analysis from your syndication partner.
They can provide valuable insights regarding the number of impressions and/or engagements your syndicated media is generating on their website.
Social Media Metrics
Requesting specific social media reports from your partner will allow you to track click-through rates, but if that isn’t possible, you can still monitor shares, likes, and comments on your own.
Pay special attention to the quality of the comments, and make sure your partner’s followers are actively engaged.
Track your reputation in your industry! Encourage social media followers to tag you on their shares.
Deliver an exceptional customer experience, and ask for reviews and/or referrals. When an active follower brags about you, your brand visibility increases through positive, organic social media content.
Partners and affiliates are an excellent resource for cross-promotion. Creating joint campaigns with complimentary brands extends your public reach even further!
Consider running a contest or incorporating other ways to motivate users to mention your brand.
Collaborate with influencers, especially those who align with your goals. You can do this by hosting an event online and giving your influencers something to engage their audience with.
Acknowledge your readers!
By implementing surveys or feedback forms at the end of your syndicated content, you will learn more about their interests and priorities, as well as gain a clear understanding of their satisfaction with your media.
Alternatively, you can host live discussions where you share your expertise and invite your people to contribute to the conversation.
Another option is to create polls on your social media, allowing your followers to guide you through the content that is most relevant to their interests.
To Syndicate or Not to Syndicate?
When executed properly, syndicated content is a fantastic way to increase visibility, expand reach, and establish yourself as a trusted source of information in your industry.
Be sure to follow best practices to maximize the effectiveness of your syndicated content. Doing so can save time and resources by minimizing errors while discouraging duplicate search engine results.
By aligning your syndication processes within industry standards, you can:
- Ensure compliance with online regulations
- Stay relevant in a dynamic and competitive environment
- Remain adaptable, and ensure long-term success and sustainability
- Build trust and credibility with verified syndicate partners
- Establish a reliable presence across their sites
- Optimize your strategies
- Reap the benefits of an expanded social media presence as you increase engagement with your new followers
- Maintain consistency in your strategy to build a strong brand identity and retain readership
Ultimately, syndicated content positions you for growth by establishing a further reach as you engage with new target audiences.
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