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March 27, 2020 (Updated: February 9, 2023)
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It is essential to stay up-to-date on new methods for marketing online traffic to your site. Content syndication is a method that has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it can offer multiple benefits to your business and its online success.
Here is everything you need to know about content syndication, its relation to search engine optimization (SEO), and how to create a content syndication strategy that will help you foster strong business relationships.
Content syndication, also known as link building or web syndication, is the process by which already published content gets republished on third-party sites. Republishing allows companies to recycle old content while also gaining additional organic traffic to their website. Here is some more information about content syndication which outlines its history and its future role in lead generation:
Business owners and media outlets have used content syndication since the rise of print media, radio, and television. In fact, in 1924, the United States Federal Government encouraged syndication across radio programming so that authoritative figures like the President could communicate with the public on a national level.
In 1996, Ramanathan V. Guha created the predecessor to web syndication: The Meta Content Framework (MCF). The purpose of this framework is to generate metadata for websites and their components.
The use of syndication as a means to spread information to a broader audience has expanded to include forms of web media from commercial websites, online publishing companies, newspapers, and blogging sites whose goals are to spread their content across these other mediums.
Hajnen Payson, an expert SEO consultant, believes that content syndication will continue to be a significant contributor to businesses’ organic marketing strategies. The biggest worry is that syndicated content will diminish in quality due to strict algorithm changes that won’t allow instances of duplicated content. Despite potential changes to web algorithms, the cost-saving marketing tactic will still be considered a valuable method for reaching a larger online audience.
Content syndication can take on multiple forms depending on the type of content, republishing rules, and methods for displaying the republished content. Here is a list of different types of content syndication that are common among businesses:
You can further define content syndication by classifying it as paid or unpaid. Here is how you can differentiate between the two:
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Another way to classify content syndication is by labeling it as inbound or outbound. These content methods encourage link-building and lead generation back to your site by using different types of content and marketing tactics:
Several types of content can be repurposed on third party sites as long as the proprietor has a valid use for them. These are the following types of content that other sites can republish:
Now that you understand what types of syndicated content are available, you might wonder where you should begin republishing your content. Here are a few common places where you can potentially get republished:
The main difference between content syndication and guest blogging is the type of content that gets published on a third-party webpage. Content syndication is when you take a piece of content from your website and have it republished on a third-party website, whereas guest blogging is when you write a piece of content specifically for a third-party to publish on their website. Therefore, with guest blogging, there is no republishing taking place.
Despite this difference, content syndication and guest blogging work toward the same goal: link building and organic traffic back to your company page.
The main difference that distinguishes content syndication from content curation is how your content is used by a third-party. As mentioned, content syndication is the process by which you republish your content on another website. You could shorten or alter your content to fit the requirements of the third-party, but regardless, this is your finished piece that is contributing to the site.
In contrast, content curation is the process by which a business collects multiple sources or pieces of content to create a collective and informational piece about a relevant topic. You will receive credit for the information your original content contributed to the third-party site, but your entire piece will not be used. Still, the third-party uses your piece to gather quotes or factual anecdotes to support a larger piece of content written by editorial staff.
Another way to differentiate between content syndication and curation is to identify the way someone uses your content. For example, in content syndication, the republishing site uses your original piece of content on their website. In contrast, in content curation, your content acts as a source of information to support a much larger piece of content. So the republishing site might include quotes or statistics from your original piece, but they will not republish your entire piece on their website.
Content syndication can be beneficial to a diverse number of businesses and individuals operating in several different industries. Content syndication helps companies who want free content to publish on their site, as well as companies who wish to expand their organic traffic by spreading their content to third-party websites. Here are a few types of businesses that can benefit from incorporating content syndication into their marketing strategies:
There are multiple ways that content syndication can benefit you and your business. Here are a few of the most common yet effective reasons why companies turn to content syndication for organic marketing:
You might be wondering how SEO and content syndication relate to one another, as content syndication creates an organic method to drive traffic back to your site. In contrast, SEO is a strategic placement of keywords to increase the visibility of your content.
To put it simply, you should not use content syndication as a method to replace SEO tactics. Rather, content syndication, if used correctly, can work in tandem with SEO to generate additional traffic to your content and build awareness of your company and its services.
With this in mind, you have to be methodical about applying content syndication to your web material. Search engines such as Google only acknowledge one link to be indexed in their algorithm. What this means is that search engines only give credit to one of two websites that share the same content, making one website appear higher up in the search engine results than the other.
Duplicated content could confuse search engine technology and assign credibility to the republishing site, rather than the original website. For this reason, it is essential that you understand how to index your syndicated content.
The first thing you should do before attempting to syndicate your content is to make sure you correctly index the content that you want to republish on another site. These are the three ways you can override or workaround a search engine’s indexing rules:
The republishing site should apply a meta noindex tag to your content’s feature page. This action makes the search engine remove the index from the page and in doing so, relieves any issues with duplicate content. This is important because it will keep Google from assigning the republishing site as the indexed site, and the original site will remain as the indexed result for SEO.
Another way to help avoid duplicate content and make sure that Google indexes your original webpage for SEO is by applying a rel=canonical tag to the original webpage. This tells a search engine that the page is the master copy of a piece of content. This tag is important as the additional webpages that hold your piece of content will not be mistaken as duplicated content or marked as the indexed page, allowing your website to receive maximum traffic from additional publications.
If the site that is republishing your content does not want to apply a tag option to the page, there is another way to keep from creating duplicated content. They can do this by inserting a clean link to the original content piece within the text of the republished content. If you have a canonical link attached to the original webpage, then search engines will recognize the republished content as belonging to the master copy, and this will remove any confusion with proper indexing or duplicate content.
You can also discourage duplicate content by restructuring the piece of content before sending it to the republishing site. Here are a few tips that help you limit duplicate content while reworking your original piece:
The first way you can restructure your original piece to avoid duplicate content is by revising it to only include the most useful points or information. For example, you could take blog or article content and restructure it to become a listicle, infographic, or white paper. This changes the format and structure of your content while still providing the most valuable points for readers. You can include a link back to your site for those who want to read the full piece.
Another way you can restructure your original piece is by only including a heading and caption with a link back to the full article on your site. Including a heading and caption ensures that there will not be duplicate content issues, and both you and the republishing site benefit from the extra traffic and content.
If you want to use some of the same keywords and statements mentioned in your original piece, consider flipping your article to address an opposing topic. For example, instead of saying “5 Inbound Marketing Strategies to Use”, restructure the article to be “5 Inbound Marketing Strategies to Avoid”. You can link this altered version back to the original article, saying, “Now that you have seen what strategies to avoid, take a look at some strategies that are useful to inbound marketing.”
If you are keen on using much of the same content in the republished piece from the original, you can avoid duplicated content by restructuring the article to highlight another top-ranking keyword for the article topic. You can also modify your content by combining some of the other strategies mentioned above, such as only including the most valuable points.
A syndication network is a group of partners with whom you can disperse your content. You need a network because the traffic your syndicated content brings in initially might start to dissipate with time. This is due to the fact that content syndication is a form of organic marketing. That is why it’s so crucial that you build a network of contacts willing to collaborate with you and continue to incorporate your content on their site more than once.
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Before you can create your own syndication network, you have to understand how to build one that enables you to continuously share your content on multiple platforms. Here is a list of steps for building your own syndication network:
Before you start contacting website owners about republishing your company’s material on their site, you first need to establish a list of credible syndication partners whose audience would respond well to your content. Researching potential syndication partners will help you identify brands that align with your company’s purpose and values. Here are some tips on how to find syndication partners:
Example: Say that you are an event planning company that writes blog posts promoting your venue spaces and event packages. You cater to three distinct areas, weddings, corporate events, and private parties.
You have blog posts describing each of these events and what your venue and planning staff can offer. You want to try to generate more traffic back to your website to hopefully increase awareness about your company and increase the number of bookings your receive.
To cater to each area of your business, you come up with a list of wedding websites, magazines, meeting venue sites, and event planning websites and magazines whose audience and business purpose reflect your own. Once you have done this, you can start contacting these companies.
After you have created a list of potential syndication partners to add to your network, you need to contact them. You can do this in the form of an email or written letter. Explain the purpose of your company, the audience you are trying to reach, and the content you have to offer.
You should attach links to your website and specific pieces of content for your recipient to review, and most importantly, you should express your wish to start a partnership with their company. It might be helpful to mention benefits for them, such as mentions on your website or the opportunity for their content to find its way onto your website.
To properly execute content syndication as an organic marketing tactic, timing is everything. You need to set a timeline to republish your content and how to distribute the same content across multiple platforms to maximize the amount of traffic your site will receive over a specific timeframe. Here are a few things to keep in mind, to help you establish some scheduling metrics for your content syndication partners:
Finding it challenging to come up with credible and reliable content syndication partners to add to your network? Consider paying a syndication service like Bing partner network to help you find the right partners for your specific business and its syndication needs. Many of these sites offer you the ability to republish content on their platforms immediately, and it can be a useful way to establish more syndication partners as a result of your republished content on a syndication networking site.
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Using the tactics and advice mentioned in the previous sections, follow these steps to implement content syndication into your routine business practices for the best lead generation results:
The first step to creating your business’s content syndication strategy is to identify the goals you want to achieve by getting your content republished on third-party websites. For example, if you identify your goals as those of lead generation, you might consider syndicating portions of your content, or the title of one of your blog posts.
This can encourage viewers to go to your site to view the full piece. In contrast, if you want to increase your company’s brand awareness or credibility, you might consider including a full blog post as syndicated content that you allow to go on a third-party site.
Now that you have identified your goals, you need to create a sound marketing pitch that you will use when contacting third-party sites about publishing your content with them. You should research their site, their background, values, topics, and writing style to craft your message.
Your marketing pitch must highlight your business’s qualifications while also paying particular attention to what your business’s content can do for the third party. You can include links to your content for them to review.
Once you have received acceptance offers from websites who want to republish your content, you need to continue to develop those offers beyond a singular post. If you maintain professional relationships with these third-parties, you could potentially become a routine contributor to their site.
Depending on the preferences of the third-party site where you are republishing your content, you may or may not be able to publish the same version of an article or blog post that is on your website.
You might have to work with the guidelines of the third-party publisher to rework your content piece to fit their requirements. You might also be subjected to a full-rewrite so that the third-party site has ‘original’ content, but it will have links to your company page.
If multiple sites accept your marketing pitch and you have officially had your content republished on their site, this is not the stopping point for content syndication. You now need to identify a continued method of approach so that you can continue to benefit from your syndicated content.
Review the traffic generated as a result of your republished pieces. Which ones generated the most traffic? And which third-party sites were the most helpful in bringing in new traffic to your site? Restructure your focus toward the content and websites that generated the most traffic to your site.
You can create a schedule and coordinate with the third-party to determine what kinds of content they need, and when you could get your repurposed content published. You can plan it so that your content gets republished at the same time your business releases a new product or service so that the traffic directed back to your site will immediately see your latest offerings.
Content Syndication is an organic way to make the most of your content. Once you understand how to navigate Google Analytics and prevent instances of duplicated content, you can use its principles to republish old and new content to your syndication partners. Amplifying your traffic and potentially bringing new customers into your marketing funnel. Consider giving content syndication a try. It could expand your business in more ways than one.
What is Content Syndication
Content syndication is the process of having your published content shared and republished on other websites and publishing platforms. Creating a targeted content syndication campaign can help your site gain traction, gain backlinks over multiple channels, and gain trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
This infographic can help you understand the process of content syndication through link building and walk you through the process of deciding what content URLs you should share with which publisher sites. You’ll learn the process of how to find new publisher websites for syndication as well as tips to create successful link building campaigns.
Free vs. Paid Syndication Sites
You can republish your content on a variety of different websites. You can choose a free site or opt for a site that charges a fee. Both options have their pros and cons. Choose a publisher with quality site metrics that fits with your strategy and make sure they follow SEO best practices for content syndication.
Content Syndication Benefits
The overall goal of shared content on multiple platforms is that you may reach a new audience that may not have gone to your website otherwise. Thoughtful content syndication can have your content working overtime across multiple sites so it’s important to explore syndication and expand the reach of your pieces. Content syndication is also beneficial to your website’s overall backlink portfolio.
Not sure what content to share and where you want to share it? Should your campaign strategy be sharing the content on a bigger website, on a similar website to yours, or as a guest post? Our infographic below will help guide you in setting up your content syndication campaign.