Today’s Internet is highly social. Content is shared by individuals through their social media profiles in addition to their emails, instant messaging programs and forums. This means that many people are not discovering their websites through search engines today. Instead, they’re finding them through links left by other Internet users. Therefore, as a webmaster, it’s your duty to ensure that your site is optimized not just for search engines but also for sharing among users.
Basically, your goal with any piece of content that you create should be to make something people will want to share. To do this, you’ll need content that’s high-quality, trustworthy and authoritative. It will also need to offer something that cannot be found elsewhere.
Some types of content are more readily shared than others:
- List-format articles that deliver information in bite-size chunks. Lists of facts and trivia are particularly valuable as people find them interesting and are more likely to remember them than if the information were delivered in another format.
- Quizzes and other types of interactive content. Users like to share their results with friends and compare notes. Use this to your advantage when thinking of ways to design your content.
- Tools that are useful to visitors. These might include guides and how-to content or tools that can be used in daily life.
- Images, videos, sound files and other multimedia methods for conveying information quickly and in an entertaining manner.
- Content that is controversial and thought-provoking will do better than content that takes a more neutral stance.
When you’re looking for content ideas for your website, look around at the social media profiles of your friends and family. This should give you a very good idea of what people are most likely to share or be interested in. You can also view the social media presence of your competitors within a niche. The most successful sites will have content that invites sharing and virality.