To be able to publish quality content, publishers are often forced to find alternative income streams in addition to their advertising incomes.
The most common implementations are the site-centric subscription models or so-called paywalls (WSJ, NYT), but they have a huge negative effect on your search engine rankings. People just can’t find your site or quality content anymore and prospects stay away.
Let’s start with the basics. It is Important that people find your website and your quality content (we even made it our tagline: Instant access to quality content.) While search engines keep on improving the algorithms to facilitate this instant access, the list of optimization techniques and tips and tricks becomes longer and longer.
To avoid the need to discuss them all one by one, and to give some structure to this post I use these common categories of “SEO techniques”:
1. Organic set-up
Every time a web page is published, you have to perform in all three categories to ensure proper ranking. If done right you’ll appear quickly in the results of Google, Bing and Yahoo and soon you’ll drive traffic from the search engines to your quality story. For most publishers this traffic delivers a significant chunk of their ad revenues.
Now for the bad news: most solutions for “paid content” have huge impact on at least one of the above. And therefore until now “SEO” and “paid content” didn’t go hand-in-hand. At Cleeng we believe that you can finally enable paid content without losing your natural search traffic (and thus your income is not at risk). Yes, paid content and SEO fit together. Actually, due to our referral program we believe that with Cleeng your search engine ranking can even improve.
Let’s review the three SEO categories in a bit more detail.
1. Organic set-up
Your specific unique content is the reason why people arrive from a search engine to your site. This is how you differentiate yourself. By strategically defining your keywords you ensure maximum audience for your content. Therefore, many authors/bloggers define their strategic keywords before they start writing the article itself. They ensure the keywords end up in the URL, the browser title, the meta-tags, the headers, image descriptions and they maintain the right keyword density in the running text itself.
So, that’s interesting… the “running text” is only one of the many things to take care of when optimizing your content for SEO. Actually we know that the impact of your H1, browser title, etc. is way more important than your content in the “running text”. So by enabling Cleeng on part of your running text, we have to conclude that the impact is limited to the overall PageRank. And by repeating your strategic keywords in the description on the Cleeng layer (which is by default an H2-tag) and by ensuring you have important keywords also taken up in the “free” text, the impact on the page rank of your articles will be close to zero. Naturally ok. Without nasty, user-unfriendly tricks or workarounds like setup for the pay walls which are likely doomed to fail at the end. Paid content and SEO content: Check.
Where are you referenced? What authorities talks about you? And from how many different sources do you generate traffic? The more people talk about your article or website, the higher your page rank. Normally you get (free) links for two reasons: reference or word of mouth. To have people recommend your story, it needs to be instantly availably to them. With current “paid content” models unfortunately articles behind paid walls are hardly referred to. When you dig up facts or if you want to provide an opinion and share this on Facebook or Twitter, you will think twice before you share that link. However by enabling the “cleeng.it” referral program on the Cleeng layer, this behavior is likely to be turned around. When buyers refer articles to friends or followers they will receive a commission once their friends or followers purchase. This way they can earn free content. So if you build quality content, everybody will refer to you, trying to get a bit of commission too on your good story. This ultimately leads to a great link-building strategy! Paid content and SEO Link-building: Check.
So we believe that with a smart set-up of the Cleeng layer, you can charge for your content while positively influence your SEO!
Let me know what you think and share your thoughts on this exciting topic.