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Erika Varagouli

What Is Content Syndication and How Does It Work?

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Erika Varagouli
What Is Content Syndication

Content production is the process of creating visual or written content. You’re likely familiar with content production, as it can be seen all around you in videos, blog posts, infographics, and more. Within the past decade, content marketing has been on the rise and will continue to grow. In fact, more than 75% of marketers say their company has a content marketing strategy, and over 40% consider the performance of their content marketing strategy to be good. 

To have your content read, you will need to optimize it using keywords to appear higher up on a Google search. However, even then, you might need a bit of help getting your content discovered. After all of the hard work that you put into developing quality content, promoting it is one step that you can take to market your content. 

Businesses that emphasize content production are 13 times more likely to generate a positive return on investment. Because there are so many businesses using content marketing to attract traffic to their websites, you need to develop standout content. Even with the most optimized SEO and authoritative content, neglecting to promote your content can hold your business back. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of content syndication, how it works, and how you can reap the benefits of this content marketing method. 

What Is Content Syndication?

Content syndication enables your content to reach a larger audience. By working with content distribution partners, digital publishers, or industry influencers, you can promote your brand’s awareness to a larger group of individuals. In some cases, third-party sites might syndicate the entirety of your content, while in other cases, they might publish a specific excerpt or an edited-down version. 

Although some are wary of getting their content published on other sites, it can be a great way to reach a larger audience. Some marketers worry that by publishing their content on another site, they miss out on people visiting the content directly on their page. However, content syndication generates brand awareness and drives traffic to your website through reciprocal linking. 

One of the many advantages of content syndication is that it helps build your website’s authority. Developing quality, relevant, and optimized content is one obvious step you can take to build your website’s authority, but it can be time-consuming. Content syndication is one way to syndicate your website’s blog content to expand your post’s reach, which may increase traffic to your website.

Sites with more authority will rank higher on Google than those without, as they are seen as more trustworthy. Determining a website’s authority score is a great way to decide which sites you want to target for content syndication because when you earn backlinks from the site, you can effectively get some of their high-authority score to go back to your site’s own score. SEMrush’s Authority Score measures the quality and SEO performance of websites so that you can identify high-quality content syndication sites. 

Buzzfeed SEMrush Domain Overview screenshot

Our authority score metric can fall between 0 and 100, and you should aim for as close to 100 as you can. However, few websites on the internet receive higher scores like 98, 99, or 100. For this reason, there isn’t one goal score to keep in mind. Instead, you should compare the site's authority score along with whether or not the audience at the site makes sense for your content.

Content syndication is a low-cost option to distribute content to new audiences and grow your website’s authority without requiring much additional effort. It's important to note that you shouldn’t use content syndication to promote all of your content. In fact, you should specifically focus your content syndication effort on your best content to republish on other platforms. When used correctly, content syndication can have many benefits: 

  • Improve your reach. Content syndication enables your content to reach a wider group of individuals. 

  • Get your brand on top sites. Your content will be more visible by allowing your content to be syndicated on larger more popular sites. Not only is this great for extending your reach but also for confirming your content’s authority. 

  • Increase backlinks. Once your content is published on a third-party website, it will link back to your website. 

  • Speed up content production by promoting repurposed content. Content syndication allows you to repurpose content for other platforms and adapt it to reach a larger audience. 

Create SEO-Optimized Content

with SEMrush tools

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Different Methods of Content Syndication

With only 14% of marketers trying new distribution channels, an investment in content syndication will give you a competitive advantage. Content syndication can be achieved in many ways. Below, we’ll discuss three content syndication methods and how they can improve the reach of your content. All of the options below are budget-friendly and simple steps that you can take. 

Work With Publishers, Especially Those With Large Syndication Networks

When producing your content, not only should you keep your target audience in mind but also publishers. The content that you produce should be relevant and interesting to industry journalists so that they will want to write about your content. Publisher syndication networks can help expand your content reach. 

To work with publishers, you will need to develop well-thought-out pitches. Content published at one point can then be republished. When the company’s website. From there, the initial content that you created can reach even more individuals. 

In one instance, a writer pitched and then received their first placement with USA Today. Once their story was published, they saw it on other websites. This writer came to find out that the Gannett Company owns USA Today. The Gannett Company owns over 100 daily newspapers and nearly 1,000 weekly newspapers. For this reason, the writer’s piece was published across 20 different domains. 

Because publisher syndication networks allow your content to be published on many different sites, it’s important to understand which networks can increase the chances of your content being published on multiple outlets. The SEMrush Marketing Toolkit can identify the most-trafficked online publishers in the U.S. and how content producers can leverage this to have more success with content syndication. 

Promote Your Content With Noncompetitors

Another content syndication method is by working with other blogs and websites with the same or similar audience. It’s important to note that you will have to seek other websites that do not compete with your business. Working with noncompetitor organizations to syndicate content is a symbiotic relationship. Essentially, you would agree to post their content on your website or blog, and they would agree to do the same. 

This method takes a bit of networking but can be very successful. For example, if two companies meet at a conference, and they are both in the defense industry, they can use this method. One company might develop software for the defense industry, while the other company develops military defense equipment. Both companies have a similar audience, but neither competes with the other. 

If another website publishes your content, it will link back to your website and promote your work. Backlinking is one of the most important factors in SEO ranking. In short, backlinks are links on one page that link to another on different websites. This means that a third-party source would need to link to your website to backlink. Google uses backlinking to measure your website's popularity and trustworthiness, which helps increase your SEO ranking. 

Use Social Media Platforms

Using social media platforms is a great way to share your content to a large audience. It’s also a simple and free way for organizations to share their content. Without even realizing it, you have probably come across syndicated content on popular social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Pinterest. 

LinkedIn enables members to publish articles to their contacts. From there, followers can like, comment, and share your content with their contacts. This simple way to syndicate content requires that you publish content that is engaging and attractive to a reader for it to do well. 

LinkedIn Posting screenshot

Source: LinkedIn

Also, Pinterest can be a great tool to expand your audience reach. Content syndication with Pinterest works a bit differently and is best for non-text content. Although this might be the case, you can attach a link to any pin to direct readers to your written content. This method is particularly impactful for organizations with infographics, as Pinterest is a visual content distribution platform; however, it can be used to share any content. You will need to develop graphic content. Visually appealing graphics can be quickly developed using free online tools like Canva

Tips to Maximize Your Content Syndication Efforts

Content syndication can greatly increase your content’s reach and increase your website’s traffic. Aside from the potential increase in website traffic, it also helps businesses develop their brand image. Since syndicated content will be distributed on other platforms or websites, you must ensure your content is written in a way that encourages readers to click links that go back to your website. 

Keep in mind that Google can block duplicated content, so content producers syndicate content carefully, as they will only show the version that they believe is the most appropriate. This means that if your content was originally published on your website, but you choose to syndicate it with a website that typically has more traffic, Google will show that content. For this reason, they recommend that whatever content you are distributing links back to your website. 

Below are a few ways in which you can maximize your content syndication efforts:

  • Share syndicated content on social. After your content is published on a third-party platform, sharing a link to social media content is a great way to attract readers. 

  • Add modifications when appropriate. Ensure that your syndicated content is relevant to the audience that it will be published for by subtly modifying your content. Quick modifications may include adding new images or an additional section. 

  • Include a CTA. Since your content will be published on another website, you will want to make sure that their audience can find your website. Call-to-action links can be sprinkled throughout the piece to encourage readers to click on interesting content and view your website. 

  • Be intentional with pitches. Creating pitches can be a tedious process if you pitch to every publisher. Instead, you should be intentional about which publishers you choose to reach out to. Not only should you attempt to syndicate content with larger publishers but also publishers that have an audience in your industry. 

  • Research targets for syndication. Before choosing to partner with another website or pitch to a publishing network, consider the amount of traffic they receive. Discovering these helpful insights can be made simple by using the SEMrush Organic Research Toolkit. Enter the domain name of the website you are researching to discover their keyword rankings and how much traffic they bring in organically. 

Make Content Syndication a Key Component of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Once your content has been distributed on a third-party platform, you should measure the results. This way, you can identify possible shortcomings of the effort and the success of content syndication. Using a traffic analytics tool makes it easy to measure the extent of referral traffic to your website, as third-party platforms are considered referrals. 

Developing quality content is one of the most valuable steps you can take to increase website traffic, but it can sometimes fall short. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re using all of the tools available to you. The SEMrush SEO Content Template allows you to analyze competitor content. You can see what kind of content competitors are creating within the space and where you should earn backlinks from, which is very helpful in creating target publishers for your content syndication list. 

SEO Content Template screenshot

Making content syndication a key component of your digital marketing strategy is a simple way to build your brand image, network with industry peers, and increase backlinks. Regardless of your company's size, using the right marketing tools and methods can greatly improve your reach. With access to actionable data, you can pinpoint any shortcomings on your website and make incremental improvements.

Create SEO-Optimized Content

with SEMrush tools

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Erika Varagouli
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

I create local and global content marketing strategies here at SEMrush. I started my career as a journalist, but gradually the world of SEO and content marketing won me over. I am obsessed with creating content people love, Nick Cave, and Italian films. Fueled by caffeine.
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