When you’re searching the internet for help on how to boost SEO for your business, what’s the most frequent bit of advice? Let us guess: does it involve content? When it comes to improving your website’s rankings, content has a big part to play alongside high quality link building. And there’s a reason for that.
Google and other search engines have taken repeated steps to encourage people to produce relevant and high-quality content. They want the creators whose work they rank to be thought leaders in their fields — after all, they’re implicitly vouching for them.
It all sounds logical on paper, and it’s why producing great content is one of the most recommended steps for improving a site’s SEO. But producing relevant and high-quality content takes time. If you’re helming a startup or working on an ecommerce site full-time, finding some time to sit down and write a thought-leading article must be one of the last things you’re interested in doing. So what can you do?
Well, we have something that might help. It’s called content curation.
What is content curation?
As Curata describes, content curation is when an individual or organization finds and shares high-quality content that is relevant for their market.
In other words, it doesn’t actually require any writing.
Image credit: ContentEqualsMoney
By compiling the best advice, information and expertise from your industry and using all those resources to build comprehensive articles, you can achieve a number of benefits:
- Building your brand awareness.
- Tying into external ideas and opinions.
- Establishing credibility with your audience.
- Improving your SEO.
- Encouraging backlinks.
- Boosting your social media presence.
And, most importantly, you can save time and money.
So how do you do it? What are the dos and don’ts? Don’t worry, we’ve got it all here.
Pick your content wisely
Chances are you’re already reading articles relevant to your industry, whether it’s for news or for new ideas. You’re likely visiting these sites because their articles are high-quality and provide you with valuable information for your business. These are a great starting point for curating content.
Make sure the articles you select are relevant for your audience — it’s the only group that really matters. What else do you think your readers might want to know? What are the gaps in their knowledge? What questions are you always asked? If the sites you already read have the answers, use them for an article and credit the sites with links.
Consider creating an ‘Expert predictions for 2019’ type article. You can then bring in content from multiple sites and authors, which leads us to…
Add your value
Yes, content curation is all about making the most of content that’s already out there and putting it one place for the benefit of your visitors. But they also want your input. What do you think about the content you’re sharing?
It doesn’t have to be much — a couple of paragraphs at the most — but it positions you alongside the experts. Take our earlier example: if you added your own thoughts to an ‘Expert predictions for 2019’ article, you’d implicitly become one of the experts. Your visitors would start to view you as a thought leader, as would the people whose content you used.
Look for trends
Being regarded as a thought leader online isn’t an easy feat. It takes significant effort and the dedication to create excellent content and build relationships over a long period of time. But the expert part is already sorted, because you are an expert.
You make money doing what you do, right? Whether you’re selling double glazing or art, you’re professional, which means you’re likely to know which products are in, which products are fading, and what the next big thing is. You probably tell your friends and family all the time. And luckily for you, there are people out there who will already have written about it.
That’s what you need to curate. Show people the trends already being written about, add some expert context, and they’ll keep coming back to find out what’s next on the horizon.
Hopefully you’re on social media. The benefits for startups and SMEs are well documented, so if you’re not, seriously consider it. But when you’re busy all the time, it’s hard to find time to post — or a reason to. Are your customers really interested that you sold your first bespoke lamp today?
Content curation gives you an excellent reason to post. You’ll not only be pointing to the article you’ve published, but also be tagging the people you featured. Make a big deal out of it. If you go about things the right way, there’s an excellent chance the featured people will share your posts with their followers and massively extend the reach of your content — opening your brand up to a whole new audience in the process.
Do it again
An easy trap to fall into is to do a brilliant piece of curated content once and then expect the traffic to roll in. A one-off isn’t going to achieve much. You need to keep doing it, over and over again, on as regular a basis as you can handle. If you can do it once a month, that’s fine — twice would be even better, three times better still, and so on (to a point). The more consistently you can curate great content, the more effective the strategy will be.
Save time and money
Content curation really can save you time and money. Through utilizing content from the sites you visit anyway (or those that you hold in high regard), you can dramatically increase the worth of your site’s content — it isn’t dissimilar from how website flippers buy and sell existing businesses in the sense that you take what’s already there, spend a little time adding to it, and end up with something hugely more valuable.
You give it a weight of authority from the experts you’ve cited. You expand your brand’s reach to their followers (should they share your posts). You may even earn free backlinks from people referring to your article down the line. But perhaps more importantly, by including your thoughts in your curated posts, you can establish yourself as an expert — and learn how to present yourself as such.
And it might sound tricky to manage this, but remember that it requires considerably less time than researching and writing articles yourself. If you’re keeping up to date with your industry, you’re doing half the content curation battle already.
Of course, while it’s certainly a time saver, you must take care not to rush curation. Sloppy articles pieced together from sources that are insufficiently relevant or authoritative will provide no benefit. As such, try to stick to the following process:
- Find high-quality content written by experts from your industry.
- Make sure the content you curate is relevant for your audience.
- Bring your selection of content into a single article.
- Add your commentary — even if it’s just a paragraph.
- Credit the experts you’ve cited and mention them on social media.
- Repeat with a new topic or trend.
Follow these steps every time, and you’ll soon reap the benefits.
Patrick Foster writes about everything ecommerce for Ecommerce Tips, a top industry blog about the world of online retail. For some hyper-relevant tips and commentary, give it a look, and be sure to visit us on Twitter @myecommercetips.