The Observation Deck

How to Do SEO for Blog Posts

SEO for MediumThere’s been an ongoing discussion about whether or not blogging on Medium can benefit SEO efforts. If your goal is to strengthen your online branding, then the benefits of blogging on Medium are definitely real.

As Google increasingly rewards long-form, quality content over short-term SEO tactics, there is no doubt posting on Medium can benefit a brand’s online reach, exposure and visibility to a broader audience. Medium is a great platform to distribute and promote your content and even drive traffic back to your site. Medium posts certainly get indexed by Google, but there are a few extra ways you can ensure your Medium content achieves maximum reach. Here’s how you can do SEO for Medium blog posts.

Syndicate Your Existing Content

SEO for Medium

Many brands are boosting their content’s reach by republishing it on Medium. There are two options for doing this. First, you can republish your content exactly as it appears on your original website or blog. Another option is to post excerpts from the piece and then encourage readers to check out the full post by including a link back to the original post.

Popular social media tool Buffer App does this by including a quick line at the end of each post encouraging referral traffic back to their blog.

SEO for Medium

Include a Call-to-Action or Link at the End of Your Posts

Medium is a content syndication site, and any links you can generate from Medium back to your website will have SEO benefits. If you plan to post duplicate content on Medium, always add a summary of the original website or blog you are linking back to at the end of the post. This way, your Medium readers know where your links are taking them and where they can find additional content.

SEO for Medium

Here’s a good example of how to include links at the end of each Medium post. Jon Westenberg created a template that includes his Medium blog page, personal website, and a large link to Twitter.

SEO for Medium

Here’s another example. The call-to-action at the end of your post can be anything – a link back to your website, your blog, or even a newsletter signup page. Try different calls-to-action on different posts and use UTM parameters to track which version converts best. Use Google’s UTM tool.

SEO for Medium

If your goal is to build up readership on Medium, you can also include links to your most popular posts to encourage readers to stick around.

Give Your Posts a Unique Twist

There is little evidence that Google will punish your website for sharing the same content on Medium. Many believe the algorithm is sophisticated enough to know which is the original source, so long as you post it first on your own domain. However, if you want to avoid posting duplicate content on Medium, try rewriting your articles with a twist.

One way to do this is to write an opposing version of the original article. For example, if your original post is “10 Best Ways to Promote Your Brand on Instagram”, you can easily write it from a different angle for Medium and make it “10 Mistakes Brands Make on Instagram”.

SEO for Medium

SEO for Medium

The research and information will remain pretty much the same, but the post will feel unique. The more time and effort you can put into repurposing your posts for Medium, the more effective this strategy is.

Comment on Posts

Medium comments (or “notes”) hang off to the side of paragraphs and are displayed when the note icon is clicked. However, many Medium bloggers have found the “notes” feature frustrating, especially on mobile, and have avoided it all together. Comments that are left as a “note” are often overlooked because readers have to click “Read more” to even see them. The good new is Medium also allows “responses” to be displayed at the end of posts.

Blog commenting may not be the most effective form of link building, but you can still use the response section on Medium posts to interact with others and increase your brand’s awareness.

SEO for Medium

Thoughtful post responses can get a boost by the author or editors and will remain at the top of the response section, with a link back to your Medium page.

SEO for Medium

Another interesting feature of Medium responses is that they don’t just live on the original post. Your responses are treated as pieces of content and are also featured on your main Medium page. This allows you to continue a conversation long after the day you publish a comment. The more you use responses as an opportunity to engage further conversations, the more places your comment, as well as your profile and link, will appear across the site.

Dig into Analytics

SEO for Medium

Like most blogging platforms, Medium provides detailed analytics to show how readers are interacting with your posts. But what makes Medium analytics unique is the calculated “read ratio”. The read ratio is the difference between the number of reads your post has and the number of views your post has. This is an excellent way to see whether or not your posts are read in full or have real value, and are not just receiving hits from a catchy title. You can then weed out weak posts and use this information to improve your future content.

SEO for Medium

Another useful feature of Medium analytics is “referrers”. These referrer analytics show you where your readers are coming from – email, direct traffic, social networks, etc. This data is useful for analyzing which platforms work best to share your blog posts as they are more likely to convert into readers and stay engaged with your content.

Sign up for a Custom Domain

SEO for Medium

Medium recently launched beta access to custom domains for a select few publications, which could mean you might be able to host all your content in one place (on Medium only) in the near future. Until then, there is ample opportunity to experiment different ways to optimize your Medium posts and engage on the platform, if you put in the effort.
Does your brand blog on Medium? Has it benefited your SEO efforts? Share your experience with us in the comments.   

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One Response to How to Do SEO for Blog Posts

  1. james lethem November 21, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    Great article thanks! I learnt a lot 🙂

    Medium has now released custom domains to everyone since this was posted.
    If Medium was attached to your domain, would you get a huge SEO advantage through posting articles through it instead of through a wordpress/squarespace blog?

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