This is the sixth in a nine-part series covering some of the most overlooked – yet very effective – SEO boosters you can make use of in 2021 to take your website – and your business – to the next level.
Although Google often claims social media does not directly impact SEO, they have long admitted that ‘social signals’ are something they take into account. Social media can also be a great traffic driver in itself and when done right, an efficient way to build both your general business brand and your authority as a trusted source of information in your field.
While most people concentrate their social media efforts on the ‘big sites’ – Facebook, Instagram and to a lesser degree Twitter – you can gain some big SEO boosts by learning the art of using Reddit for SEO.
Keep the last part of that sentence in mind, though—the art of using Reddit for SEO. Reddit is unlike any other social media site, and the ‘rules’ for using it as an SEO booster are quite different. It is not for every business either, as the ‘front page of the Internet’ is not a place to spam users with irrelevant links or a huge amount of self-promotion.
If Reddit is right for your business – and this guide will help you figure that out – the unique SEO benefits can be worth their weight in (Reddit) gold. So. without further ado, let’s get started with this deeper dive into the world of subreddits, serious discussions, not so serious discussions, AMA’s and more.
What is Reddit Anyway?
If you don’t know what Reddit is you’ve been missing out on some great content for the past 15 years or so. Although he is now perhaps better known as Mr Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian was once a college student who, along with his friends Aaron Swartz and Steve Huffman, founded Reddit as a news aggregation site in 2005.
Reddit is now the US’s sixth most popular website (20th worldwide) and has over 430 million active users. That is as many users as Twitter, but what is important is that there is a higher interaction and engagement rate among its regular users. Redditors are, generally, serious about Reddit.
With some of the most popular being /r/funny (Reddit’s largest humor depository), /r/AskReddit (the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions) and /r/gaming (a subreddit for (almost) everything related to games – video games, board games, card games, etc., but not sports), Reddit is home to over a million different groups, known as subreddits.
Within those groups, you’ll find almost every niche covered. Which means that it is almost certain that multiple subreddits will be aligned with your goods or services, whatever they may be.
Reddit has some unique terms and mechanisms you need to understand before you even get started on the platform. This brief Reddit glossary offers a look at them:
Subreddit: Subreddits are either private or public groups on Reddit, generally referred to as /r/[name].
Upvotes & Downvotes: Reddit has a voting system where users can upvote or downvote a post or article, and the posts that rank highest for are those with the largest number of upvotes minus downvotes. Upvote material that you like, downvote stuff that you don’t like. Pretty simple.
Karma: The number of upvotes minus downvotes translates into Reddit Karma. But on Reddit, there are two distinct kinds of Karma; comment karma (when users upvote or downvote comments) and link karma (when links are clicked).
OP (Original Poster): This is the author who began a post or a thread, just as it says on the tin.
Rules: Each subreddit has its own rules that are explicitly expected to be adhered to by users. Posts and even users are removed if they break the rules.
Self-Promotion: This is when, for the sole purpose of promotion, you blatantly post your own material or links. To add value, you can use Reddit to share information and contribute to discussions, not to self-promote.
Redditors: Contributors on Reddit.
Is Reddit a Place You Should Be?
As mentioned earlier, Reddit will not suit every digital marketing or SEO campaign. It’s not for everyone. Keep these facts in mind as you decide if it is right for you:
According to research, the average Redditor is:
- More likely to be male (15% of US males use Reddit compared to 8% of females).
- More likely to fall into the 18 and 34 demographic
- More likely to be from the US (59.7% of Reddit users are).
- Enjoys the sense of community and intelligence that Reddit offers and are not open to blatant self-promotion.
- Often do not use mainstream social media channels like Facebook or Instagram.
These are just the average user demographics, though. If you can find an active subreddit in your niche, you may be able to use it to boost your SEO and build your brand.
There is one big caveat here, though. Reddit is a place to offer and add value and share genuine insights. If you just want to be self-promotional, it is not the right social channel for you. For starters, the mods will make sure you don’t last long!
Reasons to Use Reddit for SEO
The sheer size and popularity of Reddit makes it a real attraction for marketers who want to broaden their brand and traffic. Interest in Reddit continues to rise year-on-year as a look at Google Trends demonstrates.
Reddit is not going anywhere, and you could be losing out on major opportunities if you don’t use it as part of your SEO and digital marketing strategy.
But if you’re not already doing that, why should you do it?
You May Earn Some Authoritative Followed Links
Maybe you have found that by using your chosen backlink analytics tool, some of your competitors have followed Reddit links.
Most SEOs expect links to be no follow on Reddit, but that is not always the case. If you are fortunate enough to get a follow link, your SEO strategy could get a serious boost.
All links on Reddit start out as no follow, but these become followed links once your content begins to gain positive engagement and earns a score of 2 or more (score= upvotes-downvotes).
It is an efficient way to establish authoritative links from within a topically specific community. But only if you can create content that generates upvotes and engages the audience.
Popular Content Can Drive Serious Organic Traffic
You can expect links to receive substantial amounts of traffic if your content becomes popular, even if they don’t appear on the front page of Reddit.
Many subreddits are highly active, and contributors are quick to engage with non-self-promotional content that adds value to the community.
The potential for increased organic traffic to your site, which you can then look to drive into your retargeting list or persuade your visitors to sign up for something is huge and one of Reddit’s key advantages for digital marketers.
You Can Score a Serious EAT Boost
EAT – expertise, authority, and trust – continues to be increasingly important to Google when placing content in the SERPs. In fact, it has played a large part in the last two core updates the search engine has implemented.
So, any site owner serious about SEO needs to work on their EAT rating. The perfect place to do just that is Reddit.
Reddit allows you to become a respected voice in your field and demonstrate your experience and express your opinions. The right posts will help you be seen as one of the individuals who give the community real meaning, and this will contribute significantly to brand recognition and engagement. And your EAT rating.
In addition, we should also note that they tend to rank prominently on Google if you create good, informative text posts, suggesting that there is even more opportunity to drive traffic from the audience you are trying to engage with.
What You Should Not Do on Reddit
Reddit does not offer easy SEO wins because it calls for intelligent, well-thought-out, and relevant information to be shared. Your number one priority on Reddit should be to generate useful, enjoyable, or engaging content for others. Get to know and build content for your audience that they will benefit from, and you’ll do well.
You should never use Reddit purely as an SEO link building strategy, but you should understand that you can generate helpful links from the site if you primarily focus on adding value.
TLDR: Reddit for SEO takes real work, but the rewards can be well worth the effort.
A Simple Guide to Using Reddit for SEO
Ready to learn how to market your company using Reddit and drive growth?
If you have not already got one, sign up for an account; to start having value, you need to be logged in.
Try to use an account name that is as genuine as possible. It is not, for example, a good idea to use a variant of your business name. Your name’s variant is fine however and will help Google connect posts with you – and by extension, your business – further down the line.
Finding Relevant Subreddits
Your audience needs to be identified early on, and that comes from searching the Subreddits.
While promoting your company on Reddit, the best way to start is to find communities you feel your content would add value to. And that begins with the options you’ll find in the search bar and the filter options that follow.
For this example, we will imagine that a vegan meal company will create the posts.
So, we need to find those vegan Subreddits. A quick, basic search for ‘vegan’ brings up all these, and more.
Then, as is the case for keyword research, in general, you can refine your search to potentially drill down and find the Subreddits that will be worth the majority of your time. Join these Subreddits but DO NOT start posting yet.
Subreddit Content Analysis
Do not forget that good Reddit marketing comes from adding value to the community, but you need to know what works and what creates the most interest and upvotes in order to be able to do that.
It’s difficult to produce original content that people really want to engage with unless you do your research first.
It is worth spending some time studying what other people are posting that is becoming popular, and the best way to do this is to review content within the ‘hot’ tab.
You can either click (and pick a timeframe) on the ‘hot’ posts or add /top/ to the end of the URL of a subreddit.
We suggest selecting a ‘this year’ timeline to clearly indicate what has been working lately when looking at a sufficiently broad sample size.
Taking the hot posts, you can then begin to see what content people seem to be most interested in and plan your own. This Subreddit, for example, is all about eating vegan on the cheap. If you can create content that suits that theme, it is likely to get the upvotes you need.
If you can’t, because your vegan food is a little pricey, then move onto another Subreddit where your content may perform better. In this case, the r/veganrecipes/ Subreddit may be better, especially, as you can see, active calls for expertise are featured right within the Subreddit that could be easily leveraged.
Once you have spent some time analysing what content works well, you can cautiously begin posting your own.
Engage with Content from Others and Build Karma
The truth is that the Reddit community does not trust new accounts the same way that existing ones are trusted and respected.
And it makes sense here. It may not be shocking to you to learn that Reddit is not immune to opportunistic link builders who do not wish to add value and just want to earn quick link wins.
But that’s not how it works on Reddit. These people don’t last on the platform long. And they are often seriously shamed on their way out.
You need to build Karma to become a trusted voice on Reddit. You can build up this score by commenting on the other people’s posts and offering your own.
You are giving them good or bad Karma when you upvote someone’s post (or downvote it) Positive Karma raises your ranking, as you might have guessed, and bad Karma reduces it. It’s the Reddit way of ensuring that users get exposed to only the very best comments, and if you want to really make it work for you as a source, it is something you can’t ignore.
Tip: On their profile page, you can see each Redditor’s Karma ranking. That is where people will check you out.
You need to realize that it does not really offer a direct benefit to building up Karma, but it shows that you are an involved member of the community and generate content that other Redditors enjoy. In addition, to be allowed to post or comment, some subreddits mandate a minimum Karma score.
A higher Karma score means you are a voice that is trusted. Which is exactly how you want to be seen.
How to Build Your Reddit Karma
So how can you build enough Redditt Karma to gain the respect you need? Here is a look at some of the basics:
- Make intelligent, fair comments on other people’s content.
- Upvote, even downvote, content on a regular basis to demonstrate that you are an active part of the community.
- Add content slowly and thoughtfully, and you can earn Karma for that.
- Your Karma is tied to your profile as a whole, so it may be a good idea, to create a more rounded one, to get involved in Subreddits that relate to your personal hobbies, as well as your work and business interests.
Creating a Personalised Subreddit
Once you have plenty of good Karma and have become a trusted voice, you may want to consider creating your own, personalised Subreddit.
You will be offered the option to do that in the sidebar on the site once you have been an established member for a while. You will need to have been an active member for at least 30 days and amassed a minimum Karma score. Just what that is, has never been officially published, but it is believed to be around 50, which is not too high.
Other Ways to Use Reddit in your SEO and Digital Marketing Plan
If this all sounds like a little too much for you, there are other, less time and resource-intensive ways to add Reddit – and its very engaged audience – to your SEO and marketing plans.
If you are paying for ads right now, for example, consider adding Reddit ads into the mix. According to Reddit themselves, their ads are a way to “reach influential communities made up of millions of people engaging with today’s most relevant content.” And that’s pretty accurate.
There is another advantage too. Reddit ads appear right alongside the organic, user-generated content, and they blend in well with it, so the people you are trying to reach are more likely to pay attention to it. Ad blindness is lower here than it is with Facebook or Google ads, which is a big plus.
You can also make use of Reddit as a marketing channel by hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Lots of people – including some very famous ones – do.
Research these carefully before you do though (this is a great guide) as they can be very unpredictable. The unprepared can get themselves into trouble very quickly, and even damage the brand they are trying to promote. Done right though, they can be a fantastic source of free publicity – it costs nothing to host a Reddit AMA – and an excellent way to reach an engaged, interested, and maybe even ready to buy audience.
Need help with Reddit SEO? The Pearl Lemon team can help. Contact us today to learn more.