One of our KPA SEO clients asked about a particular piece of content we posted. It was a combination of an infographic, a story, and images that were only loosely-related to the purpose of the website as a Dodge/Jeep dealer. The article itself was about the Willys Jeep and offered some historical data and cool facts.
We explained that this particular piece wasn't designed necessarily to help them sell more cars but to help expose a sharable piece of content that could go viral through social media. We link to the homepage with an appropriate anchor text for clear SEO reason, but otherwise the entire piece is meant specifically to add value to the overall community by giving them some cool facts and figures that can be of interest.
The results are relatively predictable. On Reddit, it will do very well because it has a very nice TIL (Today I Learned) in the form of this quote: "TIL the US Army asked 135 automakers for bids to build a WWII recon vehicle. The criteria were so strict that only 2 replied. The result: the Willys Jeep." As a result, it should get 2,000-10,000 unique visitors in the next 24 hours. These visitors will be coming for the content, so there won't be any leads that come from them, but there will be plenty of sharing and linking associated with the post.
This is where the value is. It's also the hardest concept to show to both clients and other vendors I talk to about the subject.
Google and Bing both look very closely at social signals when determining the importance of a website. Those that are able to create content that is shared virally have a much better chance of ranking for their target keywords than those who do not (which in the automotive industry is nearly everyone).
There's a reason that many KPA SEO clients are able to rank outside of their own backyards for high-value terms. It has been hammered into our brains here at Driving Sales that SEO is really about content marketing and that has helped the community tremendously when it comes to knowing the proper ways to build and maintain their websites. However, content alone is often not enough. It's a competitive industry. Super competitive. Thankfully, social media allows the truly-savvy to take their SEO to the next level.
My SEO team could never produce the quantity nor quality of links that are necessary to maintain a high level of search dominance without understanding this simple principle, that having content that can attract people is as important (maybe more important) than content that we promote. I would be shocked if this particular piece received fewer than 100 retweets, 50 Facebook shares, and 30 Google Plus shares. We'll Tweet it out there, put it up on Pinterest, but it's through attracting the masses that the real magic will happen.
I'll post the results here once they're in. Stay tuned.