Taking advantage of trending topics is a tremendous opportunity to net more links and more traffic for your site while using a relatively small amount of resources. The beauty of promoting trending content is that you can ride the wave to additional free links beyond your initial promotional push. Who can argue with letting the masses do some of the work for you?
So, what’s involved?
Watching Your Space
Below this post, I’ve listed lots of trending tools I use to keep on top of things – fresh from my own bookmarks. Do your homework, watch the ebb and flow of news, and look for a story or issue that’s suddenly spiking and is generally topically relevant to your space. If you’re in the business-to-business (b2b) space, you’ll have to be a little forgiving here and think more in terms of topic instead of specific industry.
Choosing the Topic
Be a critical thinker when choosing your topic to build links with this trending method. You want to spot matter that’s already trending or that’s just starting to build a buzz. Keep your eyes peeled for subjects that people will be blogging about and have opinions on. Often times, there’s some trial and error involved, but the principle is simple: what is generating talk? If you’re a bean counter, you can create all kinds of metrics to gauge the ‘trendability’ of potential topics. Monitor tweet numbers, look for spikes in Google trends, see if traditional media is picking up on it, or you can use a combination of many factors.
Writing the Copy That People Will Link To
For this method, use only high quality content – seriously don’t skimp here. Low quality content on even the most wildly viral topic will not get links. I have one guiding tip for people looking to create with super trending content: what would a comprehensive guide to your chosen issue look like? Some traditional copywriting models you can refer to is a timeline of the issue, background to how the issue started, and creating an issue profile outlining different perspectives on the topic at hand. These are just suggestions; the key is to create the best possible piece of content to fit the issue that people will link to.
Adding an SEO Layer to Your Content
People will link to this type of content in one of two ways: they’ll either link with the page title of the content or with your domain name. Leverage this by sneaking in a couple of words you’re targeting in the title of the content. As a hypothetical example, say you’re in the real estate industry and you’re looking at house fires as a prospect for trending content development. Include the word “real estate” in the <title> tag, try to sneak the word “estate” somewhere in the article title, and also sneak the words “real estate” somewhere in the body of your article.
Promote, Promote, Promote
There are many ways to promote high quality content on the web. Do everything you can to reach out to people discussing your trending topic, and try to get a link on their existing content. This is seemingly the hard part of reaping the benefits of trending links, but you don’t need to do too much. You just need to get a couple of good links, enough so that your page is found by Google and starts to rank. If the page is actually good, once it gets the initial rankings it’ll start to pick up links on its own, without prolonged effort by you.
Rinse and Repeat
Some of your efforts may be more successful than others, but you should yield at least a couple of good high quality links from the lion’s share of your attempts. A bonus to this method is that it’s completely within Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Sharing My Trending Tool Stash
There are so many great trending tools out there that I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.
- Google Trends
Google Trends only shows numbers across the years, but it’s a decent visual tool. I wouldn’t call it the root of all trending truth in the world, but it’s good as a secondary tool. I recommend using Google Trends when you want to examine spikes in popularity.
- SEOMoz Popular Pages
This has a super huge list of popular keywords, it’s downloadable and good place to get inspired. It’s also just plain fun to explore for popular keywords.
- News Timeline
This is the cooooolest thing ever! This is great if you’re doing social media engagement and content writing for link development. News Timeline is a must have tool in your arsenal if you’re looking for news related items. It organizes information into a nice, neat, beautiful calendar, and it’s even searchable, showing you the whole week of the issue you’re researching. You can sort by the day, year, month or decade…..soooo cool! Please, PLEASE go to the url and type something in! How I use it: I type in some of my favorite keywords and go to town. I want to tell you exactly how to build links with this, but you gotta buy me a drink first ;)
- Google Insights
I like this tool better than Google Trends because it shows you the top rising searches for whatever keyword you input, which Trends doesn’t. You can also see rising searches per keyword, and you can filter your results by region and timeline. Even though Google Insights won’t give you numbers, you can compare timelines to see if there’s that sudden increase in traffic.
- Google Hot Trends
How convenient – Hot Trends even has an igoogle gadget when you click on a hot search, which is kind of cool. This is too rarified for my tastes, but it’s fun to click around on. You can find a couple of trending content idea jewels using Hot Trends.
Trendistic is one of those awesome Twitter trending tools. Pop in a keyword and Trendistic shows you trending data for 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days.
- Blog Pulse Trend Search
With this tool, you can compare multiple phrases and specify date ranges of 2 months, 3 months, and 6 months. You can also drill down into the graphed data and see numbers, which is novel as far as trending tools are concerned, believe it or not.
- wikipedia trends
This tool shows you what is trending on wikipedia. Great for trusted content ideas.
Really cool Twitter cloud of what people are talking about most.
- Ebay Pulse
I included this just for fun. This tool shows you what’s the most popular stuff on ebay.
Do You Blog On Trending Topics? Do it Right to Get Noticed and Ranked, By Ann Smarty
Ann explains the importance of blogging on trending topics to maintain readers and attract new ones and provides great tips for content creating for trending topics.
How a 3 Month Old Website Received 958,373 Visits from Google, By Glenn Allsopp
Glenn shares his success with taking advantage of trending traffic.
SEO and Trending Topics: How You Can Use Trending Topics to Get More Visitors, By Bjorn Uhss
Bjorn shares a cool Slide Share with great suggestions for identifying good trending topics.