Creating compelling content, and marketing it properly, is the key to ranking any website. But not for the reasons you may think. Google, as well as many professional SEO’s, constantly stress the importance of quality content. The theory behind this advice is that if you publish quality content two things will happen:

1. Google will find and rank your content

2. People will subsequently find your content, creating valuable traffic

Both of these are myths.

As you have learned throughout this course, Google requires a display of trust and authority from external websites in the form of links and social shares before it typically awards top rankings. Great content alone is not enough to rank well. And the people who will value your content won’t be able to find it without top rankings.

But this is the advice so many internet marketers are given; publish great content and Google will reward you with rankings and people will reward you with traffic, links, shares, leads, sales, etc. This is where so many people get stuck and give up on SEO.

The Truth

Google won’t trust your website on the quality of your content alone and most people won’t care about your content.

Google crawls an estimated 20 billion websites every day. And millions of hired writers are publishing new quality content every day. When taking this monumental volume into consideration it puts your individual contribution into perspective.

This perspective shouldn’t discourage you, however. It should simply illustrate that publishing quality content is not enough. You need to publish viral content and you need to market the content properly.

Viral Content

Viral content is content that is shared at a rate that grows exponentially. Viral content is popular content and Google loves ranking popular content. Google actually has to rank viral content – users expect it. So if you can create viral content then top rankings are sure to follow.

Some people create content that goes viral on its own. When this happens it’s like winning the Internet lottery since, statistically, it’s extremely unlikely to happen to any one individual internet marketer. But despite the odds this is the strategy most marketers adopt.

The problem with this strategy is it relies on the right people stumbling across your content and subsequently sharing with more right people. The right people being those who are truly interested in your content, who trust you as a publisher, who have a large readership and social following and who have friends who share the same passion and popularity. This is simply unlikely to happen on its own.

To create viral content you need to first identify who these ideal people are and write your content specifically for them. And once your content is published you need to personally reach out and share your content with them. This puts the right content in front of the right people from day one. No more waiting for Google, no more hoping the right person finds your content.

The rest of this lecture will discuss how to create viral content and the following three lectures will discuss how to reach out to the right people.

Power Pages

A Power Page is basically a web page with intriguing, entertaining or otherwise valuable content. It’s a page that is designed to rank well and is created specifically to appeal to the people you want to share it. Power Pages are typically long-format comprehensive articles, often exceeding 4,000 words and containing media such as photos, videos or charts. Power Pages are designed to be a definitive resource on a specific topic.

Imagine you’re searching for a list of the best comedy movies of all time. If you Google the phrase right now you’ll see all of the top ranking pages are named ‘100 Best Comedy Movies’, ‘Top 50 funniest movies of all time’ and ‘Top 25 Comedies of All-Time’. And many of these pages are simply lists such as this:

Creating Viral Content Craig Murray Digital

To create a Power Page for this topic you could create a page called ‘The 125 Very Best Top Comedy Movies, Ever’. This page already offers more movies than the others and the title is more intriguing. And rather than displaying a simple list you could add a photo of the movie poster, an embedded trailer of each film, photos of the featured actors, an entertaining summary and even links to other similar movies. A page like this would not only rank well but would have a better chance of being linked to and shared.

But the strength of a Power Page isn’t only in the content quality, it’s also in its topic and intended audience. You want to create a Power Page to appeal to specific sites that you need links from. The best way to find your topic is to start doing research on the sites you need links from. Find the biggest sites in your niche, sites that like to write quality content and that frequently link out to valuable resources. Find sites with a large readership and with a large social following. Look through these sites to look for trends, look for their favorite topics to write about and create your Power Page around that topic. Then, once your page is live, you can contact these sites directly to share a Power Page with them that you already know they will be interested in.

Power Pages created and shared in this way are the absolute best and fastest way to get links, and these links are likely to be quality links. And as we discussed earlier, the more quality links you get the better you rank in search engines.

How to use Power Pages to improve overall website rankings

Ranking a Power Page is great, but how does that help to rank the really important pages of a website such as category pages, product pages or sales pages, which are typically harder to rank? Power Pages can help every important page of your website rank by taking advantage of internal linking methods. Simply link to your important pages from within the content of your Power Page and inbound link value to your Power Page will pass through to your important pages.