More traffic, more links, more conversions – the trifecta of search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you’re an SEO expert or a website owner looking to increase your presence online, you know that engaging, SEO-friendly content is the key to attracting high-quality links and organic traffic.
However, you may feel like you are fresh out of ideas or even that you are in a “boring” niche that makes it difficult to think up interesting content topics.
Fortunately, by staying tuned into current events and trending topics in your niche, you can easily and creatively develop content that’s clickable, shareable, and linkable.
Here are five ways to use trending topics to attract links and targeted traffic to your website.
1. Keep Up with the Times
The first step in creating content that’s bound to go viral is staying ahead of the trends as much as possible.
By the time you are seeing tons of articles on a given topic, it may be too late to ride the wave.
That’s why you should leverage several tools to stay on top of current events, news stories, pop culture, and more.
That way, as soon as a story breaks, you can start drafting up your own article, review, video, or opinion piece.
The Best Tools for Keeping Up with Trending Topics
Google Trends is a great trending topics tool, as it shows you the top rising searches related to your keyword.
You can also filter your searches by region and date.
Use Google Trends to see what topics are trending in your niche and keep track of any increases in traffic.
While most of us use Facebook to stay in touch with friends, share our thoughts, and even follow our favorite brands, it’s no surprise that Facebook is great for recognizing what topics are trending online.
You can check out popular hashtags related to your niche, pop into Facebook groups to see what your audience is talking about, or simply stay tuned into what events are showing up on your Timeline.
You may even want to survey your followers to find out what they are interested in at the moment.
Much like Facebook, Twitter is a hub for all that is happening online – from important social issues to celebrity news and everything else in between.
Check out the Trending section to see what’s hot online right now, or visit popular hashtags in your industry. You may also want to follow public figures and your favorite brands to see what is being shared and talked about most.
Reddit is underrated, but it can actually be a highly valuable tool, both for finding content and promoting your own.
You can explore “Subreddits” related to current events, technology, politics, and nearly any niche you can imagine.
You can also engage with posts to boost your “karma” so that you will have more opportunities for engagement on your own posts later on.
Reddit can be a great place to find out what’s happening in the world of SEO, business, and beyond.
2. Look Out for Opportunities
Once you are aware of what topics are currently trending in your space, then you can to look out for opportunities to create some truly amazing content.
Doing so goes far beyond simply writing a spinoff of an existing article or even an opinion piece on a current event. Now is the time to think outside the box.
Rather than scouring the web for ideas, the best approach is to start with what you know already – your brand.
If you are honed in on your brand message and what your audience is looking for, recognizing solid content opportunities should be much easier than starting “from scratch”.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for content opportunities:
Is there a “gap” in what’s currently being covered? Is there an angle that other news outlets and websites are missing? Can you offer a fresh take on a current issue?
What is my audience interested in at this moment? Is there a pressing issue that needs to be addressed? Sometimes it’s as simple as asking them what they are interested in, and creating content around that.
What are your competitors talking about? If your competition is covering a topic, that’s a good indication that you should be too. Just make sure that it is, in fact, relevant to your audience and that your content is original.
What has worked in the past? Regardless of what’s trending now, is there a style or format of content that has worked well in the past. Can you replicate your “evergreen” content with a modern twist?
What kind of content is most linkable in your niche? This takes a bit of digging, but by searching your key terms, you should be able to find some content pieces that have performed well online. If they have a high number of quality links, see if you can dissect their strategy and format.
I don’t recommend “starting cold” and covering a trending topic without doing a bit of research first.
If you truly understand your audience, you will get a sense of what is of interest to them and how to format your content in an effective way
3. Develop Shareable, Engaging Content
The beauty of creating content around trending topics is that it is relatively low risk with potentially high rewards.
While getting the hang of it may take some trial and error, it involves rather minimal investment.
That being said, there are some tricks for creating content that will attract links and boost traffic.
Choose the Best Format
While the go-to for content tends to be blog posts, sometimes it’s best to get a bit more creative.
Think long and hard about what format would be most engaging for the content you hope to put out.
Would a short video do the trick? A listicle? A funny cartoon?
The possibilities are nearly endless.
When it comes to trending topics, most times people are looking to get their information as fast as possible.
You want them to know instantly what the content is about, what your main points are, and what actions you want them to take.
The faster they can consume it, the more likely they are to share it.
Aim for a Wider Audience
Most of the time when you are crafting a content marketing piece, especially for links, you will want to tailor it to a unique audience.
However, what matters here is that your content is picked up by a wide range of platforms and is shared at hyperspeed.
By aiming for a wider audience, there’s more potential for it to be shared across the web.
It may not be the most conversion-friendly piece you have put together, but the point is that it:
Generates a lot of traffic.
With more shares, the odds are in your favor.
Add Images, Infographics & Videos
Adding images, videos, and more to your content will only up the engagement factor, making it more likely that people will share your content.
This also helps it appeal to people who prefer different kinds of information (video, written, etc.).
Also, by adding other features to your content, you make it easy to repurpose your content for other platforms.
For example, you can share your graphics on Instagram, your video on YouTube, promote an infographic via email, and more. This opens up even more traffic channels.
Optimize for Search
Obviously, if traffic and links are your main objectives, you will want to optimize your content for search engines.
If you aren’t well-versed in SEO yet, you can work with a content marketer or SEO copywriter to make sure that your content follows SEO best practices.
Don’t worry if your website isn’t fully optimized. Your goal here is to create content to market across platforms quickly and obtain links in a shorter period of time. You can always work to optimize your site later on.
Optimize for Sharing
This should be an obvious point but it is often overlooked.
It should be super easy for users to share your content as they wish. This means making the share buttons accessible on your website, including an engaging title and description, and setting a featured image for your post.
You will also want to optimize your content for mobile and even make it available in a variety of formats, if possible. This makes it easy for users to share your content to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
5. Repurpose Across Platforms
Once it’s time to share your content, it’s worth being strategic about what platforms you are going to circulate your content on and how.
Simply sharing a blog post on Facebook won’t do much to get you the traffic and links you are looking for.
If social media management isn’t your forte, again, it may be worth working with a content marketing expert to develop a strategy for your content.
If that’s not quite in the budget, here is a list of ideas to get you started:
Turn written content into a slide video with voiceover to share on YouTube.
Address the topic via Facebook Live on your business page.
Add images from your article on your Instagram Story.
Run a campaign to your email list that includes a link to your content.
Circulate your content in niche-related Facebook Groups.
Connect with influencers in your industry to promote your content for you.
Run a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign.
Use email outreach to attract links to your video, article, or infographic.
Run a competition or promotion with your audience for a prize in exchange for social shares.
Contact friends and contacts in your network to share your content.
Keep in mind what platforms you are already active on and which ones your audience is most likely to engage on.
Think creatively about how best to repurpose content into a variety of formats for optimal sharing.
Again, this may take some trial and error, but eventually, you will be able to see which platforms bring in the most traffics and links.
Make a note of this and you will be sure to fine-tune your approach the next time around.
Using trending topics in your content marketing can be a great way to go viral in your content and boost traffic and links to your website.
You must be able to stay on top of the trends, keep your eyes open to opportunities, and then craft content that’s made to engage.
Then, share it like crazy and watch the magic happen!
Featured Image: Shutterstock, modified by author, November 2018
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