Ask An Expert: How Can I Optimize My Online Content to Increase Shares and Exposure?

No matter what type of content you are producing – video, audio, images, a blog, or content on your site about your products and services – it’s important to make sure it’s optimized for maximum appeal to your readers and the search engines. However, you must ensure that your optimization does not reduce the quality of your content for your targeted audience.

Increasing Exposure to Search Engines

Assuming you’ve already identified your competitive keywords it’s essential that you keep your primary focus on providing value and making your content readable, while secondly focusing on keyword density.

Google’s algorithm (especially after the update released this week) is focused more and more in favor of quality vs. quantity, so the more difficult it is for your audience to recognize the use of keywords the better.

In the case of YouTube videos, for example, you would place keywords in the title and description of the video, as well as in the tags. The basic rule to keep in mind is that whenever a website allows you to post content, make sure your targeted keywords appear anywhere you are allowed to insert text, but be sure not to overuse them.

Steps to Increase Reader Shares

In addition to inserting keywords in your content’s title, description, headings, and body text, there are some additional steps you can take to maximize the number of shares your content receives.

1. Use calls to action. This seems rather obvious, as you would expect people to share internet content without thought – that’s the point of the internet after all isn’t it? But, your number of shares can increase dramatically when you use a call to action and tell people exactly how you want them to share your content.

2. Write an article opposite to the typical way of thinking. You’ve probably noticed many articles that begin with, “How to,” or, “7 Tips for…,” or,“Top 10 Reasons to…” There’s a reason people write this way – this type of writing often attracts people’s attention.

However, if you want to garner some significant attention, use a catchier title that goes against the grain, such as, “Learn How to Ruin Your Website in 7 Simple Steps,” or,“Terrify Your Site’s Visitors by Following This Simple Guide.”

Doing something different like this peaks people’s curiosity, making it more likely your content will be shared.

3. Know the best time to publish your content. Avoid publishing your content on Sunday mornings and holidays. Friday afternoons are also not a good time to publish because people are getting geared up for the weekend. Also be sure to be aware of differences in time zones.

In general, time your content to be published slightly before work breaks, lunch, and the early evening, when people arrive home from work. What’s the first thing they do in their free time? Jump on the internet and read the latest updates from their favorite websites.

If you take the time to follow these steps, the next time you create web content you would like shared, you will have a much higher chance for success.