Viral content is the white whale of all SEOs who are trying to make it big at one shot. We are not saying, “Viral content" does not exist.
We are saying; there is no apparent logic as to why something becomes viral all of a sudden. First, it was the ice bucket challenge, and now it is pompoms on faces. There is no saying what the internet will fall in love with next.
When something as simple as pouring a bucket of ice-cold water goes viral, most SEOs think, “Why can’t it be me?” These seem like easiest ways to boost your rank and at the same time make some good money from possible advertisers. That sounds like a goldmine of foolproof SEO, right?
Going viral is something you cannot control or predict. It is completely random, and it depends on the whimsies of your audience. In fact, according to the leading Brisbane SEO Agency, going viral is the doom of many websites. Here’s why:
1. It is unpredictable
About 25% of all viral content in the world makes people gasp in awe, and about 17% makes people guffaw with laughter. The rest if just hotchpotch. Some viral content makes people gag with disgust while others can inspire. There is no saying what the collective intelligence will like next. There is little link between SEO and viral content. Not all viral content have great SEO. Therefore, there is no way you can guide your investment towards a particular direction and feel confident about it too.
Think about it; there are over a billion websites today. How many of them are going viral right now? Most of the times, it is not even sites that go viral. It is the content, the people or the kittens! You can make real money if you tap onto a new trend and repost it on your platform. On the other hand, you can give up on going viral and focus on quality content for a stable and rewarding audience.
2. Maintain the high
Viral content has the power to skyrocket your SERP suddenly. When things go viral, your rankings will see a steroid boost. This is exactly how viral content works, each time, every time.
The trick is to hold that high and keep working on it to maintain the same level of reach. Once your post or repost a viral content within the effective period, you will see a massive influx of users. The challenge is to maintain that audience. Unless you do, you will not actually be reaping any benefits.
3. Find your audience
Viral content attracts all kinds of audience. Adults, youngsters, and felons, everyone likes looking at cute kittens falling asleep or random people pouring freezing buckets of water while yelling hilarious profanities. The challenge is to find a parity between these watchers even after the craze is over.
Instead of going viral, you need to focus on creating quality content that caters to YOUR audience.
Your audience is a standard age group, gender, or profession who visits your website most frequently. Finding a loyal, long-term readership or viewership is the ultimate goal you should focus on.
You cannot create content that keeps everyone happy. While 20-somethings might love a reference to the Simpsons, teenagers might like content that speaks about why One Direction is not one anymore!
Almost 62% of the millennials like a brand engaging them on social media. This is a great opportunity for you to interact with them and find out what your potential followership wants. Reach out via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit to find what your readers what to see on your blog or website. Each point of interaction on social media acts as SEO booster for your site.
4. Meaningful content
Viral content rarely has much meaning. Remember that awful song by Rebecca Black? Well, she is doing good work now. However, she is sadly still the Friday-girl from YouTube. If you get this reference, you know what we are talking about here.
You need to create meaningful content that will keep your readers and viewers coming back for more. We are aware, it can be challenging to churn out new stuff for your audience time and again. If you want to produce engaging, meaningful content that boosts SEO, you should try user-generated content.
This can be in the form of competition, discussion or debate. If you can moderate this well, it can turn viral before you know it. Using traditional forums like Reddit or Tumblr is an excellent way to find new topics and create new discussions around your brand.
5. Heading headlines
Keep it simple, short and exciting. No matter where you are writing right now and which CMS you are using, any search engine will cut your headlines short at 70 characters. Hiding a part of a headline is not a very good idea unless you are writing a spin-off of a bad mystery novel.
Use strong words to make a statement. If you think a word is in the neighborhood of controversial or offensive, use it! You need to create a buzz. However, please don’t create click-bait headlines in the domain of "You will not guess what happened next…" your readers deserve some quality content that click baits always fail to provide. Aligning your content with click bait automatically means saying goodbye to some audience groups who were there for good quality reading or watching material.
You can use words like, "Fail," "Funny Fail," "hoax," "danger," "Scary" etc. since they carry a broad sense of awe, fear, and curiosity and give your target audience what the video or article may be about.
You need to forget the small rewards and focus on the larger picture. You should not need to go viral if you need a bigger and more dedicated audience. You need to strengthen your content SEO game to keep the website traffic steady and the revenues generous.
Iris Blue is a digital marketer who has worked with the Brisbane SEO Agency for the last four years. She has contributed towards decoding the SEO secrets of viral posts.