It’s no secret that leveraging social networks can have a massive impact on your business’s bottom line. In 2020, social ad spending is forecasted to surpass $43 billion. Clearly, advertising on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat isn’t cheap.
But what if there was a social platform where you could advertise your business’s content for free? Fortunately, Reddit, a social community with over 1.3 billion monthly visits, is a cost-free medium for promoting your content and improving your SEO.
As the founder of two full-service digital marketing agencies, I’ve used Reddit to improve SEO performance for nearly a decade. In this article, I’ll show you how to leverage Reddit to enhance your social media marketing game and take your SEO ranking up a notch without spending a dime on social ads.
Reddit Marketing 101: What You Need To Know
Reddit is a social news and discussion aggregator with dedicated forums, or “subreddits,” for virtually every niche imaginable — including everything from bodyweight fitness and personal finance to the latest memes or video games. As such, Reddit is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs or content creators looking to capitalize on a hyper-focused niche fanbase.
On Reddit, user-generated content is posted to subreddits where users belonging to each subreddit can “upvote” or “downvote” content to affect its ranking on the page. Users can also comment on each post. Therefore, a highly upvoted post is likely to spur significant discussion and will likely expose the content to countless interested viewers.
The downside, however, is that Reddit is heavily moderated and most subreddits prohibit self-promotion. So remaining compliant with Reddit’s content policies will require you to exercise a little subtlety when sharing your content.
Creating Reddit-Friendly Content
Fortunately, you can share your business’s content to Reddit without breaking the rules. According to Reddit’s guidelines on self-promotion, users should be active members of the community who actively participate in subreddit discussions unrelated to their own content, and no more than 10% of their posts should link to their own content or properties.
In other words, if you’re going to use Reddit to improve your SEO and brand recognition, you should do so responsibly by a engaging in posts that aren’t self-promotional. Also, it’s important to be transparent in your posts by being honest about your identity and ownership of the content.
Step 1: Finding Your Subreddit
Your first step to promoting your web properties on Reddit is to find the appropriate subreddit community for your content. To prevent your content from coming across as spam, refrain from posting more than two subreddits at a time. Ideally, pinpoint one active and well-moderated subreddit, and concentrate your efforts there.
A simple Google search of “Reddit + [relevant niche subject or industry]” should provide you with at least one subreddit of interest. Don’t merely look at how many followers are listed on the right-hand sidebar. Instead, find a balance between dedicated followers, currently online followers and moderators.
For instance, the subreddit /r/SEO, at the time of writing, has over 131,000 members, of which 192 are currently online. However, it only has one moderator. On the other hand, /r/BigSEO has only 57,000 users and 43 currently online, but a moderator team of nine.
In my experience, a more dedicated moderator team is usually a better signal of an active subreddit than the number of members. If you’re still on the fence about the subreddit on which to post, sort posts by “new,” and see how many comments each post has garnered. The more comments on posts within a 24-hour period, the more active the subreddit.
Step 2: Offering Your Assistance
As an expert within your niche, it’s your responsibility to offer assistance to your community. Once you’ve made a Reddit account, provide expert commentary on other posts, and offer your advice. Be friendly and personable, and do not engage in arguments or trolling — remember, you’re an ambassador for your company.
Before posting any of your own self-promotional content, ensure that you’ve made at least 10 posts or comments providing nonpromotional guidance or assistance to other users’ questions. This will help you build trust and establish authority among other community members.
Step 3: Creating (Reddit-Friendly) Linkbait
The most important step is to create well-thought-out (think of them as short blog posts) text posts to your subreddit that help solve a commonly cited problem or provide value to readers within your niche. At the bottom of your post, include a line disclosing who you are and that you offer products or services that can help the reader solve a relevant problem or further develop their skills. Be sure to include a link as well.
If the post truly provides value to readers, it will garner significant discussion and will be linked to by readers who want to share your insights. These posts are “linkbait” and serve an important role in your digital marketing funnel.
Step 4: Sharing Keyword-Optimized, Value-Added Content
Last, it’s crucial that you use an SEO keyword research tool — such as SEMrush or Ahrefs — to find relevant content topics with high-traffic key search phrases. Make sure you optimize your Reddit posts for search engines by including a main keyword in the title of the post, as well as the body at least twice. This way, if the post proves popular, you might rank on the first Google search engine results page.
Putting It All Together
Reddit is a platform designed to let experts and nonexperts alike take part in the conversation around a shared interest. By contributing to the discussion, you can establish yourself as a thought leader within your niche and create rankable Reddit posts that funnel readers to your website.
As I mentioned earlier, however, it’s crucial that you keep your promotional-to-nonpromotional posting ratio to about 1-to-10. If you rack up a mostly self-promotional posting history, you may find yourself in hot water with the moderator team and may even have your account banned.
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