The Swiftype Blog / Month: November 2015

Four Secrets to Extending the Shelf Life of Viral Content

Congratulations! You’ve got an article that is gaining lots of attention online and going viral. As you start wondering how to keep your article top of mind for as long as possible, consider taking advantage of these four web optimization secrets that take no time to implement.

1. Use your site search analytics to see which queries are generating the most engagement for your viral content.

It is now easy to find out what search queries your users are typing into your search box before they click on your viral article. Because this data is readily available today, you can now click into those queries and understand where your viral article is ranked in that search query’s results. Because this data is changing in real time, you can change your data range to get a better sense of which search queries are generating the most engagement with your article over time.

2. Placement of sharing buttons is important.

The only way a piece of content goes viral is if it’s shared. If your shared buttons are only in the header and footer, then you’re missing out on an opportunity for the reader to share your content WHILE they’re engaging with it. Make sure that this is done tastefully as users will quickly discount your content if you push it in front of their face too much.

3. Add top performing site search queries to your SEO strategy.

Even though this tactic is more acquisition than optimization, it’s important for you to consider taking your site search analytics data and conducting research to see where you rank for your top performing site search queries in Google.

4. Meaningful content evokes a willingness to share.

Readers only share content when they experience an emotion so strong that they just have to let someone know how they feel. For example, the ice bucket challenge went viral not only because it was so simple to do, but because it made everyone feel good because it was for a meaningful cause. But tapping into your audience’s emotions with meaningful content will get you well on your way to a long shelf life for viral content.