How to Make Your Content Contagious in 2016

According to Moz;
…without content, SEOs would have nothing to optimize for search engines.’

Every link earned by every marketer points to a piece of content, and the keywords that people type into search engines are an attempt to find—yep—content.’

By creating content, your audience has something to talk about. You create brand awareness, while putting your products or services at the forefront of your target audience’s mind.

Define your audience


Source: Flickr: Robert Scoble

Moz talk about how defining who your audience is, is important to ensure you’re reaching the right people in the industry – this is known as a ‘persona’ It includes understanding everything about your target audience;

  • Age and gender
  • What channels they use to communicate
  • Who their influencers are
  • What their pain points are – so that you can offer a solution with the content you’re providing.


BuzzSumo is an extremely helpful search tool that allows you to track content on all social networking sites, and ranks them in order of the most social shares on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and the number of shares in total.

Their top trending articles include everything from sports and music, to news pieces, but even the best sites can’t replicate their content successes every time. Take a look at our steps below to stand the best chance of getting your content noticed.


Innovative thinking could lead to views, brand awareness and… conversions!


This video on ‘How It’s Made – Alloy Wheels’ by the Discovery and Science Channel’s episode has had 1,834,172 views to date. This shows what a little innovative thinking and information on your products or services could achieve.

This video did well because not only does it show what alloy wheels look like, but the narrator is explaining everything in her video – why aluminium wheels are better than standard steel wheels and the advantages of them ; they’re lighter in weight, require less energy to rotate, contribute to greater fuel efficiency, better handling etc.

The video then goes on to show and explain exactly how aluminium wheels are made. The audience are people that are interested in buying alloy wheels and want to know the benefits of alloys, but also want to see how they are made – making this video perfect for them! The detailed information and demonstrations are what made this video so successful – people can see exactly what they are purchasing.

Alloys 2

There aren’t any defined rules to creating fast, shareable and likeable content. We still need to come up with a formula for creating content that goes viral. However, there are a few tactics that can be employed to give both your blog and social media content the best chance at going viral.

The perfect ways to keep ahead of your competitors

You might ask yourself; ‘Why do certain pieces of content get shared more and go viral than others?’ but it can be quite hit and miss when trying to create contagious content.

Your content must be:

  • Visual – Steer clear of boring posts with no images, no videos and just lots of content that people will get bored with. Your audience demands something aesthetically pleasing. Unless what your writing about is purely informational, some of the most successful content is long-form. This ‘Welcome to Our New Website‘ post for The Swimming Pool Store had 234 unique page views, £824.44 worth of conversions in the first three weeks of being published and was the most popular news post on the client’s site.
  • Informative and factual – Your content must be both informative and have relevant facts. Offer something new on an old subject – don’t just replicate existing work. We created a piece of content for Goodwin Pest Management on ‘When Do Wasps Die off and All You Need to Know about Nests‘, this piece did extremely well. It was Google’s number one search for months when you typed in ‘When do wasps die’, it’s now gone down to number two after 9 months of being live:

When do wasps die

It’s had 4,125 views since publication and 6 contact view forms.

  • See what’s trending – See what’s trending in your industry with regards to your products and services and try to do 10x better. We wrote a piece of content for another one of our client’s; VIP Electronic Store ‘Cocktail Mixology Beginner’s Guide: How to Make Your Own E-Liquid Flavours‘– making an E- Liquid cocktail recipe guide, although other people have written posts on the same subject nobody had created a post quite like ours! We used our Technical team who created fun and interesting illustrations of what each cocktail would look like, then linking each ingredient back to the client’s E-Liquids. The aim was to drive traffic to the site and click-throughs, we had 792 views in 4 months and 79 event clicks to products and categories on the client’s website.
  • Headlines – Your headlines need to be to the point and contain 10-15% of emotional words. They must also be the right length. Emotional words are words which evoke emotions in the reader, for example, ‘affective’, ‘deep’ and ‘exquisite’. Use a headline analyser tool to see how powerful your headline is.

Headline analyser

The impact that the right display of content can have

Look at this example, when you type ‘makeup’ into Buzzsumo the following content ‘Woman Demonstrates The Power Of Makeup’ has had 4,760 shares just on Facebook. This, not only created brand awareness (of herself), but also frequent visitors to her site, she’s now started a relationship with each of those customers, who in turn may want to buy the products or services that she’s supplying.

Makeup 1


The writer used before and after images to portray the huge impact makeup has on the woman, alongside information about why this video is different to the other hundreds and thousands of videos about makeup out there. This is the sort of content that is trending in the industry currently, and an eye-catching headline was utilised to tell us exactly what this piece was about before we even watched the video. Nikkie is a hair and makeup artist and must get lots of enquiries due to creating brand awareness and showing how extraordinary she is at what she does.

Not only this, but the success of the video has led to Google trusting the resource – something all business should be aiming for. When you type ‘power of makeup’ onto Google, this is the first result in the search engine:

Power of makeup

Choose the correct format

Ensuring you have used the correct format for your content is vital, whether that be a list post, quiz, infographic, long-form post or anything else. This needs to be researched correctly before creating your article. You will get to this conclusion by asking yourself the following questions:

1. What is the main aim of your content? Is it for brand awareness, increase time on page, social or to get people to enquire?
2. Who are you speaking to?
3. What message are you trying to get across?

The perfect ways to make your content better than your competitors include; to ensure your content is visual (depending on the aim and message you’re trying to get across), informative, factual, has an emotional headline and is in the correct format. All of these factors will help your content to stand out from the rest.


Audience image source: Flickr: Robert Scoble

Duplicate Content

Does Duplicate Content Matter?

SEOs and business owners have always had to be wary about duplicate content when trying to rank well in search results, but with the latest Panda update having been released a couple of months ago, a lot of us are focussing more than ever on it. In this article, we will try to uncover what Google determines to be duplicate content and what impact this might have on your website and your rankings.


Google’s Definition

First, let’s look at what Google defines as duplicate content. Google’s guidelines define duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar”. So basically, something can be considered duplicate content if it is partially, or completely the same across multiple pages on your own website, or on another website.

If a Competitor Takes Your Content

The most simple solution to this problem would be to ensure that the same information isn’t used twice, but this isn’t always within your control. In some instances your competitors, or scraper websites may take your content and use it elsewhere. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that you can do to stop this, unless someone has taken your work and claimed it as their own, in which case you can take legal action, as they have plagiarised your work.

The good news is that Google is unlikely to punish you in this scenario. Google is often clever enough to know which is the original, by comparing the dates that the copy was first seen. It will then assume that the oldest version of the content is the original. That being said, if a page on your website isn’t ranking and it’s been duplicated elsewhere, it is a good idea to change it, or to report it (which you can do here). But if your rankings aren’t being affected, then there’s no need to panic.

14813000931_fc7e71d5cd_k Image source: Flickr – Daniel Foster

Duplicate Content in Boiler Plates

There is also the issue of duplicate content in boiler plates that you need to display for legal reasons e.g. your privacy policy. Google understands this is something that you are not trying to pass off as your own content and sees that almost every other website on the internet contains something similar. In this instance you can let Google index your content and they will make up their mind whether to include it in search results, but it is unlikely to affect your wider rankings.

Internal Duplicate Content

So far we have focused exclusively on cross domain duplicate content, however internal duplicate content can also be a major issue and can be easy to miss as most of the causes are technical. A few of the ways that duplicate content can be caused are listed below:

  • Your website can sometimes allow the same article to be displayed through multiple URLs e.g. /keyword-x/ and /article-category/keyword-x/. This is easy to miss because you may only have one instance of the article in the database, but when a search engine looks at the site, it will see these as two different articles.
  • Your website contains printer friendly pages. Search engines will often see your printer friendly version of the page and your normal version as two separate pieces of content.
  • www. and non www. versions of your website exist.
  • Multiple versions of the same product, with just a minor change on an e-commerce website e.g. the same top, but in different colours.

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 09.24.03

These are just some of the most common ways that you can end up with internal duplicate content on your website. In pretty much every case of internal duplicate content, Google is clever enough to differentiate and understand that it isn’t being done maliciously and are therefore unlikely to penalise you for it. It is more likely to be the case that one of the pages rank and one of them doesn’t. In a recent Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller actually said that if you are selling the same product in a variety of sizes and colours, then Google understands that you are going to have a lot of mentions of the product.

Does Duplicate Content Matter?

So, does duplicate content matter? Well we have determined that in most cases Google understands the difference between malicious duplicate content and that which comes about unintentionally. It is also pretty good at determining which version of duplicated content is the original. It is however best practice to ensure that your duplicate content is minimised, as you don’t want to just rely on Google to get it right, as they aren’t perfect.


If you have a website and aren’t sure if you have duplicate content either internally, or across different websites then there are a couple of tools you can use to help. Siteliner is a free tool that will crawl your website and highlight pages with duplicate content issues, as well as providing you with useful information on other aspects of your website. Copyscape is also a useful tool for identifying duplicate content, across external sources. The free version only allows you to check one URL at a time, however if you have a larger website and want to complete the task quickly you can sign up for an account and buy credits.

How to Encourage Comments on Your WordPress Blog

Writing, managing and maintaining a well-read blog could be one of your biggest and best business assets. But how do you get that engagement? How do you create a conversation with your audience and woo them into giving you their thoughts, opinions and experiences?

We’ve put together 5 simple steps that you can easily put into action in order to get those comments flowing on your posts. Take a look and see what you think. I’d love to hear your views…

5 Ways Content Could Be Killing Your Website

5 Ways Content Could Be Killing Your Website

“Marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing – the same percentage as last year. The most effective allocate 42, and the most sophisticated/mature allocate 46%” says the Content Marketing Institute. If we didn’t before, now we know that a strong content strategy is key to success. So, let’s look at the five ways in which your current content could be killing your website and your brand. Continue reading

Top writing tips to engage your audience

Learn how to create content that compels your audience to keep reading with these simple tips.

Not all of us are gifted wordsmiths, or naturally know how to weave together paragraph after paragraph of perfectly crafted copy. However, filling your website with writing that encapsulates your brand’s USP while making grammatical sense is essential for standing out in the digital world.

Professional copywriting is a constantly evolving art, but you can master the basics by following these simple rules.

Keep it relevant

One of the most common misconceptions about writing for business is that you need to spend hours crafting hundreds or even thousands of words about your brand. Complex, jargon-packed white papers have their place among the experts of particular subjects, but when you’re writing to engage an audience, your first consideration should be ‘how do I keep this relevant and on topic?’

If what you’re saying takes up 5 pages, so be it, but if what you’re saying can be discussed within only a few paragraphs don’t stretch it out. Throw any word count out of the window and stick to what you need to say.

Keep it simple

You don’t have to use flowery language to convince your audience that you’re worth listening to. If a reader comes across a word that they don’t understand, they’re far more likely to switch off from what you’re saying and seek out someone else who’s willing to talk to them in their own language.

Imagine you’re speaking to your reader – would you really use long and elaborate words if you were face to face? Replace any verbose synonyms with more common, everyday language to increase your chances of engagement.

Keep it topical

Articles that are seasonal or focussed on a specific event aren’t just more interesting to read – they can also boost your page analytics due to users searching for a particular topic. In turn, you should also get more of a response from users commenting and tweeting about the subject.

Analyse high performing content

By using a tool such as BuzzSumo, you can determine which websites and bloggers are gaining the most hits for their take on a particular subject. This information can then be used to reach out to key influencers and link them to your article on the same subject – a simple retweet from the author of a viral post could send thousands more viewers to your website.

Know your reader

The secret to producing any engagement is knowing your reader. Once you understand their motivations, their desires and the reason why they should be interested in what you have to say, you’ll be able to craft all of your writing with the ideal customer in mind.

You may have to undertake separate demographic research in order to learn exactly who the ideal customer for your product or service is. Once you know, work hard to make every piece of writing consistent with the needs of your target audience.

Bonus tip! Spelling and grammar matters

Whether or not you struggle with spelling and grammar, it’s always worth ensuring that every sentence you publish as part of your marketing is free from errors, as simple mistakes are a key sign of an amateur brand.

Get an experienced proof-reader to check your work, or at the very least ensure that the spelling and grammar checker on your word processor is set to your local language (British audiences don’t always appreciate being addressed with American spellings, and vice versa).

These are just some of our key points to engaging an audience but feel free to do further research to make sure there is nothing else you’re missing when it comes to attracting and retaining readership.