If you own a business, chances are you understand the benefits of having a blog. A blog adds value to the user experience and makes it easier for your business to be discovered on search engines. The majority of today’s brands rely on search engine marketing to help them connect with potential customers, and content is a great foundation to build your website upon. However, managing a blog on your own can be tough. Early readership levels and site visits can be discouraging as you struggle to write quality content that doesn’t get the eyes it deserves. That’s where content syndication comes in.
Understanding Content Syndication
Content syndication gets you in front of people quicker, capitalizing on audiences that exist on bigger platforms. With this type of marketing, your content can be published on third-party sites, and other types of content that isn’t yours can be published on your own website.
For example, many news sites re-publish content from the Associated Press. You’ll notice this when you’re browsing new sites in particular. An article on your business website might be re-published on another website, but you’re still credited as the author. To the reader, this looks like a standard guest post, but in most cases, you’ll find a small footer at the bottom of the article with a link to the original post.
Pros & Cons of Content Syndication
Like any strategy, there are pros and cons to content syndication, and understanding them will help you make smarter decisions about how to move forward. For starters, one of the biggest pros of content syndication is that it increases brand awareness. Essentially, your content is spotlighted to give it maximum exposure.
Another important pro is that it builds backlinks to your site. According to Exults Marketing, link building is an important SEO factor—in fact, Google considers linking to be one of its top three ranking factors. When a site links back to your own, Google search crawlers read this as a digital vote. The more links you have pointed to your site, the more authoritative your site becomes. As previously mentioned, when your content is syndicated on another site, it also includes a link back to the original post. Ultimately, it boosts your search engine ranking.
There are some cons of content syndication to note as well. For example, your re-published article might appear higher in search engine rankings than your original article, generating traffic for that website rather than your own. This is especially true if the syndicated content has higher authority.
Duplicate content issues another major concern. Google doesn’t like when the same content appears across multiple sites, and could flag your website and hurt long-term ranking strategies. However, there are ways around this. This is what Google says about the situation and how you can avoid penalization:
“If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.”
Is Content Syndication Right for You?
After sorting through the pros and cons of content syndication, it’s time to decide whether it’s a good strategy for you. First and foremost, it’s important to look at your current goals. If your goal is to spread the word about your business and build brand awareness, then content syndication might be a good option for you. For new businesses, securing traffic from third-party sources could be an ideal growth opportunity. However, if your goal is to acquire leads through your homepage, you might not want a bigger republishing platform like Medium or LinkedIn taking a major chunk of that traffic and pushing your page to the bottom of results pages.
Think about your goals and the direction you want to go in before you take any steps. If you’re still undeciding, consider conducting your own test. For example, syndicate your content easily with a site like Medium and pay attention to your before and after traffic. Did your Medium article help your site visits and engagement? Where do both articles fall in search engines? Analyzing these metrics will provide you with a real-world view of where syndicated content could take you.