Sunday, January 11, 2015

Diverse Content & the Power of Pinterest

Last week we identified our top SEO trend for 2015: diverse content. This year, more than ever before, brands have the opportunity to express their vision with unique, inventive content. It is clear that search engines are prioritizing sites that share a variety of content: not simply writing, but photography, digital art, infographs, cartoons, emojis, and much more.

In 2015, to be optimized, we believe each new page should contain two or more types of content. At the very least, for example, you should strive to create companionable imagery for your writing.

This trend has implications for social media, too. In the past, we've reported how the most popular type of Facebook post is the simple text status update:

"If you run your own Facebook Page for your company, you might've even noticed that your text-only posts receive more views ("total reach") than your updates that include links or pictures. Facebook is evolving to favor photos, too, but for now, the best way to attract an audience is the text-only status update."

We wrote that post, "SEO for Facebook," in March 2014, at a time when, by its own admission, Facebook seemed to be shifting its algorithm. As Facebook wrote at the time:

“Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. … Because of this, we showed people more text status updates in their News Feed.”

Unfortunately, this emphasis on text had backfired: Facebook realized that pages were sharing too much text--and not too many pictures. News Feeds were not as dynamic as Facebook might've liked to see.

Since then, we've seen a shift in the type of posts Facebook prefers. Now, according to Reach Insights, brands are seeing exposure for all types of content: text-only status updates, yes, but also images and links.

This is the evolution of content as we see it: diversity is key.

Facebook's shift, too, inadvertently revealed a weakness of the News Feed. It also seemed to admit the evolving power of Facebook's biggest competitor: Pinterest.

Do you Pinterest? If not, you might be missing a huge opportunity to attract customers. As we reported in November, according to a Shareaholic report, Facebook drives the most traffic of any social media network, but Pinterest is a strong alternative.

We were surprised to see the relative dominance of Pinterest compared to, say, Twitter

Please read: "SEO News: Pinterest Refers 5X More Traffic than Twitter"

In 2015, we see Pinterest evolving into an even stronger platform. Pinterest has revealed big ambitions: the site hopes to compete not only against Facebook but the search giant, Google! Pinterest hopes to do so by offering a "personalized search engine."

As Search Engine Land reported last Fall:

 "Much more than a 'scrap-booking' site (its origins) or even a product discovery or shopping site, Pinterest sees itself now as a kind of personalized search site that can blend search and discovery in new and compelling ways...Pinterest thinks it can do a better job meeting certain kinds of needs and answering user questions than a traditional search engine (read: Google)."

Here's how Pinterest hopes to answer search queries: by inspiring users to seek new ideas

If Google is the search engine for those who know what they're looking for, Pinterest just might be the search engine for those seeking an adventure into the unknown.

Quite simply, Pinterest hopes to inspire users by revealing new content in surprising ways.

The reason we believe Pinterest can be successful is the beauty of the site, which is very appealing to women (who make up 80% of the Pinterest audience). Of all social media sites, Pinterest offers the most attractive view of content. This is not an arbitrary point at all: attractive content is the best content.

If you've avoided Pinterest in the past, 2015 just might be the year to give the platform a little bit of respect. If you're spending time on Twitter, Pinterest just might offer more bang for your buck. Unlike most other social media networks, too, Pinterest offers the opportunity to set up a specific "business account." Similar to a Facebook "Page", your business account will look more credible than a personal account.

In the next weeks, we will explore the inner-workings of Pinterest, which are decidedly different than Facebook and Twitter. For now, we mention the site simply to illustrate a simple point: diverse content rules the day!

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