The Top 50 Most Socially Shared Articles About Twitter Marketing

The Top 50 Most Socially Shared Articles About Twitter Marketing is a post by SEO expert Melissa McGibbon. For information about our SEO services or more great SEO tips and tricks, visit the blog.

50 Most Socially Shared Articles

Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal. With so many people claiming to be experts on the subject it can be hard to decipher who really knows what they are talking about. How do you know who the real players are and what advice to follow for your company’s Twitter marketing campaign? Easy answer: we’ll tell you. We were curious as to which articles about Twitter marketing have been shared the most during the past six months so we did some digging. We used some of our advanced pro tools and figured out whose articles are the most popular.

Below is a list of the top 50 most socially shared Twitter marketing articles. Common themes are numbered lists, zinger wording in the headlines, and appropriately structured URLs.
Take a look at who showed up on the list more than once and what sites are generating the most buzz.

  1. 20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros by Cindy King for – Total Shares: 17,473
  2. 75 Powerful Ways to Get More Twitter Followers by Garin Kilpatrick for – Total Shares: 10,218
  3. Twitter Marketing Tips: 7 Ways You’re Wasting Time by Michael Grubbs for – Total Shares: 5,590
  4. Our 33 Best Tips to Improve Your Marketing by Kevan Lee for – Total Shares: 4,282
  5. 7 Tips for Getting Started With Twitter Marketing by Ishitia Ganguly for – Total Shares: 4,278
  6. Get More Followers And Increase Engagement With These 7 Counterintuitive Twitter Tips by Roy Povarchik for – Total Shares: 4,083
  7. 20 Digital Marketing Experts to Follow on Twitter by Larry Kim for – Total Shares: 3,767
  8. How to Create Shareworthy Twitter Images: 10 Ways to Maximize Engagement on Your Tweets by Kevan Lee for – Total Shares: 3,211
  9. 6 Tips On Social Media Marketing For Small Business by Kristina Cisnero for Hootsuite – Total Shares: 2,909
  10. Best Facebook and Twitter Tips for SMO & SMM in 2015 by Gulshan Sirohi for – Total Shares: 2,606
  11. This Content Marketing Tip Is Worth Gold by Jeff Bullas for – Total Shares: 2,413
  12. 8 Hidden Facebook and Twitter Tricks You Never Knew (or Forgot Long Ago) by Sarah Matista for – Total Shares: 2,002
  13. 18 Must-Have Social Media Tips For Business by Kristina Cisnero for – Total Shares: 1,865
  14. 10 Twitter Tips For Creating Better Social Media Content by Peg Fitzpatrick for – Total Shares: 1,733
  15. 60 Powerful Tips To Master The 5 Big Social Media Platforms by Reginald Chan for – Total Shares: 1,545
  16. How To Use Twitter To Build Your Business by Vahagn Aris for – Total Shares: 1,385
  17. How to Use Twitter Marketing For Your Small Business – 10 Tips to Creating Better Tweets by Scott McClure for – Total Shares: 1,132
  18. 13 Twitter Experts’ Advice for Your Small Business by Mickie Kennedy for – Total Shares: 1,033
  19. 20 Twitter Business Tips For Successful Social Marketing by Stuart J. Davidson for – Total Shares: 1,030
  20. Twitter Launches Small Business Planner Mobile App by Martin Beck for – Total Shares: 909
  21. 5 Advanced Twitter Search Tips To Increase Customer Engagement For Your Business by Andrea Johb for – Total Shares: 897
  22. SHHH! 12 Twitter Marketing Secrets For Ambitious Social Media Marketers by Andy Vale for – Total Shares: 868
  23. 4 Visual Marketing Ideas To Boost Twitter Engagement by Rebekah Radice for – Total Shares: 733
  24. Twitter Tips to Turn into a Twitter Pro by Ghergich for – Total Shares: 712
  25. 4 Easy-As-HELL Twitter Marketing Tactics for Advanced Users by Aaron Lee for – Total Shares: 642
  26. The Small Business Twitter List by Tiffany Monhollon for – Total Shares: 641
  27. 64 Quick and Simple Twitter Marketing Tips for Beginners by Mark Ford for – Total Shares: 611
  28. 41 Social Media Marketing Tips For Every Small Business Owner by Marya Jan for – Total Shares: 604
  29. 5 Tips to Get Active on Twitter and Reach Your Brand’s Audience by Deborah Mitchell for – Total Shares: 588
  30. 7 Tips To Turn You Into A Twitter Pro by Irfan Ahmad for – Total Shares: 536
  31. Three Tips for Improving Twitter Ad Campaigns by Eric Wittlake for – Total Shares: 517
  32. Twitter Turn Up: 5 Easy Tips for Entrepreneurs to Upgrade Your Presence by Teri Harrison for – Total Shares: 481
  33. 10 Things Katy Perry Can Teach You About Social Media by Brittney Helmrich for Business Daily News – Total Shares: 460
  34. Zoom Your Personal and Business Brand on Twitter with These 8 Tips by Pam Moore for – Total Shares: 403
  35. Twitter Reveals 10 Tips for Attracting Followers by Michael Rovner for – Total Shares: 386
  36. 2015 Tips for the Social Marketer Cheat Sheet: Twitter by – Total Shares: 384
  37. Five Tips for Using Twitter to Improve B-to-B Sales by Christine Birkner for – Total Shares: 368
  38. 11 Secret Twitter Tricks (that you probably don’t know) by Vee Popat for – Total Shares: 347
  39. 7 Awesome Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom by Mohammad Shadab for – Total Shares: 333
  40. Twitter Marketing Tips: 7 Ways You’re Wasting Your Time by Nicole Brown for – Total Shares: 301
  41. How to Get More Clients with Twitter Ads by Dan Virgillito for – Total Shares: 298
  42. 30 Things You Must Do On Twitter For Outrageous Success In 2015 by Marya Jan for – Total Shares: 295
  43. Top 10 Tips For Creating A Perfect Twitter Profile by Germany Kent for – Total Shares: 289
  44. Twitter Tips For Today’s Authors by Frances Caballo for – Total Shares: 282
  45. Enhance Your Business Marketing with Twitter Trends by Susan Gilbert for – Total Shares: 269
  46. 4 Time-Saving Tricks for Facebook and Twitter by Tony Howell for – Total Shares: 247
  47. How to be Twitterific – 39 Expert Twitter Guides and Tips for – Total Shares: 216
  48. Advertising on Twitter: 5 Tips for Better Keyword Targeting by Brittney Helmrich for Business News Daily – Total Shares: 202
  49. 3 Big Impact Advanced Twitter Tips that Take Seconds to Implement by Bill Flitter for – Total Shares: 174
  50. How To Host a Twitter Chat like a Pro | To-do’s Before, During and After a Chat by Ruby Rusine for – Total Shares: 162

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The Top 50 Most Socially Shared Articles About Twitter Marketing is a post by SEO expert Melissa McGibbon. For information about our SEO services or more great SEO tips and tricks, visit the blog. » Blog

May 22, 2015  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Facebook Introduces Instant Articles

Facebook Introduces Instant Articles is a post by SEO expert Melissa McGibbon. For information about our SEO services or more great SEO tips and tricks, visit the blog.

Sam Hodgon Image

On Wednesday, Facebook announced the launch of its new Instant Articles feature, which allows nine partnering media companies to publish articles directly to the Facebook platform. Instant Arrticles allows news organizations to reach Facebook users directly, but enables Facebook to maintain control over revenue, content, and layout. The long awaited service launched Wednesday morning in partnership with five American outlets and two European outlets including, National Geographic, NBC, BBC News, Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Bild, and Spiegel Online. Content from these news media outlets will now be globally available on the iPhone app as well.

Not surprisingly, publishers have expressed concerns about Facebook hoarding the data it collects, but Facebook has promised to share analytics with its new partners. Ads can appear inside Instant Articles, with publishers keeping 100% of revenue if they sell them and Facebook keeping the 30% if they sell the ads.

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook” Facebook Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox said in a statement. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”

Though Instant Articles won’t get any preferential treatment from Facebook’s news feed algorithm, if users engage with the content, it could show up more frequently in their feeds. Facebook says the articles will load up to ten times faster than they normally would to appease the impatient readers visiting from their iPhones to entice them to stay on the site rather than link to another site.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that 39 out of 50 new sites now have more mobile traffic than desktop traffic and some outlets are optimistic that this launch will help them tap into the mobile advertising market. Facebook’s Instant Article venture is still in its testing phase, but will be fully rolled out over the next few months.

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Facebook Introduces Instant Articles is a post by SEO expert Melissa McGibbon. For information about our SEO services or more great SEO tips and tricks, visit the blog. » Blog

May 16, 2015  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

The MozCon 2015 Agenda Has Arrived!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

We’re super-thrilled to say that it’s finally here: the MozCon 2015 Agenda. MozCon is July 13-15 in Seattle. We have an outstanding lineup this year featuring topics ranging from technical SEO and email marketing to content strategy and digging into your creative side. All of our speakers are already gearing up to deliver top-notch and actionable tips. And if you still need your ticket:

Buy your ticket now!

If you have any questions about the schedule, we’d love to hear ‘em. Feel free to ask in the comments.

MozCon 2015 Agenda



Rand Fishkin

Welcome to MozCon 2015! with Rand Fishkin

MozCon 2015 is here. Rand brings in the fun, recaps where our industry’s been, and talks a bit about the future.

Husband of Geraldine. Founder of Moz. Presenter of Whiteboard Friday. Writer of blog posts. Sender of tweets.

Dana DiTomaso9:20-10:05am
How to Make Your Marketing Match Your Reality with Dana DiTomaso

Too often, the tone and promises of marketing don’t match those of the business itself. Dana will help you bring your brand identity together, both in-store and online, whether at a conference, on the radio, or in a meeting.

Dana DiTomaso likes to impart wisdom to help you turn a lot of marketing bullshit into real strategies to grow your business. After 10+ years, she’s (almost) seen it all. It’s true, Dana will meet with you and teach you the ways of the digital world, but she is also a fan of the random fact. Kick Point often celebrates “Watershed Wednesday” because of Dana’s diverse work and education background. In her spare time, Dana drinks tea and yells at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

AM Break

Kristina Halvorson

How To Do Content Strategy (Probably) with Kristina Halvorson

Put 10 people in a room and ask them to define “content strategy,” and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Kristina will share her own tried-and-true approach!

Kristina Halvorson is widely recognized as one of the most important voices in content strategy. She is the founder of Brain Traffic, the coauthor of Content Strategy for the Web, and the founder of the Confab content strategy conferences.

Matthew Brown11:25-12:10pm
An SEO’s Guide to the Insane World of Content with Matthew Brown

Find yourself arguing whether or not SEO is just great content? Matthew will talk through a strategic and tactical journey of content strategy from an SEO’s viewpoint and leave you with new tools and tactics.

Matthew Brown is on the Product Strategy and Design team at Moz, where he spends equal time on new products and staying out of the way. He enjoys bourbon and working on his upcoming novel, “Fifty Shades of Ginger” (look for it in 2019). Follow him at @MatthewJBrown for his special brand of hot takes.


Duane Brown1:40-2:00pm
Delightful Remarketing: How You Can Do It with Duane Brown

By focusing on the differences between remarketing and creating delightful remarketing, Duane will help you grow the revenue and profit for your brand.

Duane Brown is a digital marketer with 10 years’ experience having lived and worked in five cities across three continents. He’s currently at Unbounce. When not working, you can find Duane traveling to some far-flung location around the world to eat food and soak up the culture.

Stephanie Wallace2:00-2:20pm
The Perfect Pair: Using PPC Data to Influence SEO with Stephanie Wallace

PPC is an easy testing ground for your SEO. Stephanie will explain how to better integrate them and leverage campaign data to influence SEO strategies.

Stephanie Wallace is Director of SEO at Nebo, a digital agency in Atlanta. She helps clients navigate the ever-changing world of SEO by understanding their audience and creating a digital experience that both the user and Google can appreciate.

Adrian Vender2:20-2:40pm
Tracking Beyond the Pageview with Adrian Vender

Typical engagement analytics don’t tell the full story of how people interact with your website. Adrian will show you how to use Google Tag Manager to turbocharge your content tracking and custom reports.

Adrian Vender is the Director of Analytics at IMI and a general enthusiast of coding and digital marketing. He’s also a life-long drummer and lover of music.

PM Break

Marta Turek3:00-3:35pm
Too Busy to Do Good Work with Marta Turek

Don’t let your work suffer from being busy. Instead, let Marta show you the tactics to clean up your PPC processes to finally get more strategic.

Marta Turek holds seven years of experience in digital advertising, specializing in lead generation, and paid search marketing. Developing digital strategies and telling stories through data is what rocks her boat. She’s currently at ROI·DNA.

Cara Harshman3:35-4:10pm
Online Personalization that Actually Works with Cara Harshman

Personalizing your marketing may be a daunting idea right now, but after Cara breaks it down, you’ll realize why embracing it early will be transformative, highly lucrative, addicting, and not creepy.

Cara Harshman tells stories at Optimizely. She was the second marketer to join and is now a Content Marketing Manager+Blog Editor. In 2012, she (openly) ghost-wrote A/B Testing the book, on behalf of the co-founders.

Marty Weintraub4:10-4:55pm
Ultimate Search and Social Mashup: Expertly Curate Owned Audience Cookie Pools with Marty Weintraub

Stay relevant, marketers! Learn to mine merged search and social data to build audience-based cookie pools for performance marketers to exploit.

Marty is Founder of aimClear®. He was honored three years straight as a “Top 25 Most Influential PPC Expert”; was 2013 “US Search Personality of the Year”; is an acclaimed author; and fixture on the international digital marketing conference speaking circuit.

Monday Night #MozCrawl

We’re having a pub crawl on Monday, official stops coming soon. You’ll be able to explore some of our favorite haunts and make some new friends. Go at your own pace, and visit the stops in any order. Spread across seven bars, each stop is sponsored by a trusted partner and one by us. You must bring your MozCon badge—for free drinks and light appetizers—and your US ID or passport. See you there!



Pete Meyers9:00-9:45am
Surviving Google: SEO in 2020 with Pete Meyers

Organic results are disappearing, replaced by Knowledge Graph, direct answers, new ad hybrids, and more. How can SEOs be ready for Google in five years?

Dr. Pete Meyers is Marketing Scientist for Moz, where he works on product research and data-driven content. He has spent the past three years building research tools to monitor Google, including the MozCast project, and he curates the Google Algorithm History.

Cindy Krum9:45-10:30am
Become a Mobile SEO Superhero with Cindy Krum

With Google’s algorithm mobile change, Cindy will walk you through the changes, what they mean for your site and its rankings, and what you should be focusing on going forward.

Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, and author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, and regularly speaks at US and international digital marketing events.

AM Break

Adam Singer10:50-11:25am
Digital Analytics: People, Process, Platform with Adam Singer

In a data-driven world, Adam will pull you back to think again about your analytics, best practices, and how you report.

Adam Singer is Analytics Advocate at Google, startup adviser, investor, and blogger. He previously was director for a global consulting team and has provided digital strategy for brands in a variety of industries including marketing, technology, healthcare, and more.

Purna Virji11:25-12:00pm
How to Better Sell SEO to the C-Suite with Purna Virji

Whether you need more resources, trust, or buy-in, Purna will share practical tips for focusing on Profit & Loss and better communicating SEO planning, forecasting, and strategizing.

Purna Virji is the founder and CEO of Purview Marketing, a boutique consulting firm helping companies of all sizes grow via search and content marketing. Purna is an avid traveler and speaks six languages (and can swear in 17!).

Tamara Gielen12:00-12:35pm
Drive More Conversions with Lifecycle Email Campaigns with Tamara Gielen

Triggered emails can be powerful marketing. Tamara will lead you through data-driven decision making to improve your campaigns and connect with customers.

Based near Brussels, Belgium, Tamara Gielen is one of the world’s leading experts in email marketing with over 14 years of experience managing email marketing programs for international corporations.


Rich Millington2:05-2:40pm
Reaching Critical Mass: 150 Active Members with Rich Millington

Imagine you could create and rejuvenate a successful community whenever you like? Richard Millington will take you through a step by step action plan to reach critical mass.

Richard Millington is the Founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy, and the author of Buzzing Communities.

Marshall Simmonds2:40-3:25pm
Dark Search and Social—Run Rabbit Run! with Marshall Simmonds

With data from 112 publishers with 164+ billion page views, Marshall will dive into the challenges of tracking social and search campaigns. He’ll focus on history’s lessons and what’s happening with direct and mobile traffic in an app-heavy world.

Marshall Simmonds is the Founder of Define Media Group, the enterprise audience development company specializing in strategic search and social marketing. Define works with many of the most influential brands and networks in the world.

PM Break

Mary Bowling3:45-4:20pm
Back to the Future with Local Search with Mary Bowling

Google’s model of our world now mirrors the physical world better than it ever has before. Learn how to meld the online and offline actions of your business for optimal Local Search success.

Mary Bowling’s been concentrating on helping businesses succeed with Local SEO since she got into this crazy biz in 2003. She’s a consultant at Optimized!, a partner at Ignitor Digital, a partner in LocalU, and a trainer and blogger for Search Engine News.

Wil Reynolds4:20-5:05pm
The Time to Do the Web Right Is Incredibly Short with Wil Reynolds

In “web time,” competitive advantage can be lost in an instant, speed matters. Wil shares how keep on the pulse of competitor agility and how to get things done to stay ahead of them.

Wil Reynolds – Director of Strategy, Seer Interactive – founded Seer with a focus on doing great things for its clients, team, and the community. His passion for driving and analyzing the impact that a site’s traffic has on the company’s bottom line has shaped SEO and digital marketing industries. Wil also actively supports the Covenant House.

MozCon Ignite at Benaroya Hall

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of a networking and Ignite-style event for attendees on Tuesday night. Join us to meet—and—greet your fellow community members and hear them talk about their passion projects. Leave that notebook in your hotel and settle into some fun. Enjoy light appetizers and a couple of drinks on us.

Want to speak at (or just learn more about) this event? We are accepting pitches through Sunday, May 17, at 5pm PST!



Lexi Mills9:30-10:15am
Marketing Innovations: Creative PR, Content, and SEO Strategies with Lexi Mills

Lexi shows you how to apply strategies used in emerging markets to grow the success of your PR, SEO, and content work from bathrooms to rock bands.

Lexi Mills is a PR SEO specialist, with over eight years experience working with both small firms and big brands. She has designed and implemented integrated PR, SEO, content, and social campaigns in the UK, Europe, and USA for B2B and B2C clients. She’s currently at DynamoPR.

Mig Reyes10:15-10:50am
Upside Down and Inside Out with Mig Reyes

Mig shares how to shake up your marketing projects by looking at your work through a lens of experiments and creativity.

Mig Reyes is a traditionally trained graphic designer who escaped advertising agency life, cut his teeth at the T-shirt powerhouse known as Threadless, and now helps lead branding, marketing and even a bit of product work at Basecamp.

AM Break

Ruth Burr Reedy11:10-11:30am
Get Hired to Do SEO with Ruth Burr Reedy

You dream in SEO—but all the SEO job descriptions require something you don’t have! Ruth Burr Reedy will teach you how to show employers you know your stuff, by building your personal brand with real-life examples of your SEO prowess.

Ruth Burr Reedy is the head of on-site SEO for BigWing Interactive, a full-service digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City, OK. At BigWing she manages a team doing on-site, technical and local SEO. Ruth has been working in SEO since 2006.

Chris Dayley11:30-11:50am
Rocking Your CRO Efforts with Radical Redesigns with Chris Dayley

Too often we have design blinders on when running A/B tests, focusing only on things like button text. Chris will help you break through to find dramatic gains in your CRO efforts.

Chris Dayley is a digital marketing expert and owner of Dayley Conversion. His company provides full-service A/B testing for businesses, including design, development, and test execution.

Gianluca Fiorelli11:50-12:10pm
Parole, Parole, Parole: Practical, Modern Keyword and Topical Research with Gianluca Fiorelli

Just using Keyword Planner and Google Suggest is a waste time. Gianluca will show you how keyword and topical research is more about culture, not guessing, and explore unusual sources and seldom used tool features to make your research more effective.

Moz Associate, official blogger for and well-known International SEO and Inbound Strategist, Gianluca Fiorelli works in the Digital Marketing industry, but he still believes that he that he knows nothing.


Courtney Seiter1:40-2:15pm
The Psychology of Social Media with Courtney Seiter

Courtney dives into the science of why people post, share, and build relationships on social media and how to create an even more irresistible social media experience for your audience.

Courtney Seiter examines social media and workplace culture at Buffer, and her writing has been published at TIME, Fast Company, Lifehacker, Inc., and more. She lives in Nashville, where she is a founder of Girls to the Moon, a leadership camp for girls.

David Mihm2:15-2:50pm
Astoundingly Useful Applications of Facebook Search for Marketers with David Mihm

Facebook has long neglected its potential as a local search giant, and as a result, its Graph Search product is an afterthought for too many marketers. David showcases Graph-powered insights for small-business marketers—with utility well beyond Facebook.

David Mihm has created and promoted search-friendly websites for clients of all sizes since the early 2000’s. David co-founded, which he sold to Moz in November 2012. He now serves as Moz’s Director of Local Search Strategy.

PM Break

(Check back soon; we’re still finalizing the details of this session!)

Rand Fishkin3:45-4:30pm
Onsite SEO in 2015: An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Marketer with Rand Fishkin

SEO has come full circle as on-page SEO has returned to the forefront. Rand will share how and why on-site SEO is so important and show off uncommon tactics with powerful potential.

Husband of Geraldine. Founder of Moz. Presenter of Whiteboard Friday. Writer of blog posts. Sender of tweets.

7:00pm-12:00am Wednesday Night Bash at the Garage

Do you love singing “I Love Rock n’ Roll”? How about bowling in some fancy shoes? Or are you a pool shark? Our after-party has a little something for everyone.

Chill with the new friends you’ve made, catch up with your old friends, and get to know the people you’ve only ever met online. We’ll provide heavy appetizers and plenty of beverages. This year’s assortment includes the MozCow Mule Mocktail, as well as well liquor, beer, house wine, soft drinks, and of course, plenty of our friend H2O.

Make sure to bring your MozCon badge and an ID (driver’s license or non-US passport). See you there!

Ready for MozCon?

Buy your ticket now!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

May 14, 2015  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Inverse Document Frequency and the Importance of Uniqueness

Posted by EricEnge

IDF content uniqueness

In my last column, I wrote about how to use term frequency analysis in evaluating your content vs. the competition’s. Term frequency (TF) is only one part of the TF-IDF approach to information retrieval. The other part is inverse document frequency (IDF), which is what I plan to discuss today.

Today’s post will use an explanation of how IDF works to show you the importance of creating content that has true uniqueness. There are reputation and visibility reasons for doing this, and it’s great for users, but there are also SEO benefits.

If you wonder why I am focusing on TF-IDF, consider these words from a Google article from August 2014: “This is the idea of the famous TF-IDF, long used to index web pages.” While the way that Google may apply these concepts is far more than the simple TF-IDF models I am discussing, we can still learn a lot from understanding the basics of how they work.

What is inverse document frequency?

In simple terms, it’s a measure of the rareness of a term. Conceptually, we start by measuring document frequency. It’s easiest to illustrate with an example, as follows:

IDF table

In this example, we see that the word “a” appears in every document in the document set. What this tells us is that it provides no value in telling the documents apart. It’s in everything.

Now look at the word “mobilegeddon.” It appears in 1,000 of the documents, or one thousandth of one percent of them. Clearly, this phrase provides a great deal more differentiation for the documents that contain them.

Document frequency measures commonness, and we prefer to measure rareness. The classic way that this is done is with a formula that looks like this:

idf equation

For each term we are looking at, we take the total number of documents in the document set and divide it by the number of documents containing our term. This gives us more of a measure of rareness. However, we don’t want the resulting calculation to say that the word “mobilegeddon” is 1,000 times more important in distinguishing a document than the word “boat,” as that is too big of a scaling factor.

This is the reason we take the Log Base 10 of the result, to dampen that calculation. For those of you who are not mathematicians, you can loosely think of the Log Base 10 of a number as being a count of the number of zeros – i.e., the Log Base 10 of 1,000,000 is 6, and the log base 10 of 1,000 is 3. So instead of saying that the word “mobilegeddon” is 1,000 times more important, this type of calculation suggests it’s three times more important, which is more in line with what makes sense from a search engine perspective.

With this in mind, here are the IDF values for the terms we looked at before:

idf table logarithm values

Now you can see that we are providing the highest score to the term that is the rarest.

What does the concept of IDF teach us?

Think about IDF as a measure of uniqueness. It helps search engines identify what it is that makes a given document special. This needs to be much more sophisticated than how often you use a given search term (e.g. keyword density).

Think of it this way: If you are one of 6.78 million web sites that comes up for the search query “super bowl 2015,” you are dealing with a crowded playing field. Your chances of ranking for this term based on the quality of your content are pretty much zero.

massive number of results for broad keyword

Overall link authority and other signals will be the only way you can rank for a term that competitive. If you are a new site on the landscape, well, perhaps you should chase something else.

That leaves us with the question of what you should target. How about something unique? Even the addition of a simple word like “predictions”—changing our phrase to “super bowl 2015 predictions”—reduces this playing field to 17,800 results.

Clearly, this is dramatically less competitive already. Slicing into this further, the phrase “super bowl 2015 predictions and odds” returns only 26 pages in Google. See where this is going?

What IDF teaches us is the importance of uniqueness in the content we create. Yes, it will not pay nearly as much money to you as it would if you rank for the big head term, but if your business is a new entrant into a very crowded space, you are not going to rank for the big head term anyway

If you can pick out a smaller number of terms with much less competition and create content around those needs, you can start to rank for these terms and get money flowing into your business. This is because you are making your content more unique by using rarer combinations of terms (leveraging what IDF teaches us).


People who do keyword analysis are often wired to pursue the major head terms directly, simply based on the available keyword search volume. The result from this approach can, in fact, be pretty dismal.

Understanding how inverse document frequency works helps us understand the importance of standing out. Creating content that brings unique angles to the table is often a very potent way to get your SEO strategy kick-started.

Of course, the reasons for creating content that is highly differentiated and unique go far beyond SEO. This is good for your users, and it’s good for your reputation, visibility, AND also your SEO.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

May 13, 2015  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

You Finally Achieved Content Virality! Now What?

Posted by Isla_McKetta

If you’ve ever achieved the holy grail of content marketing success—true virality—you know the rush of endorphins as you watch the share count climb. You’ve smiled the enormous grin when one of your friends shares that piece on Facebook without any idea that you helped create it. Maybe you’ve even felt the skin-chilling prickle when Buzzfeed picks up your content.

Then you’ve undoubtedly experienced the heart-stopping numbness when the traffic finally stalls. Where did all the people go? Was it real? Can you do it again?

What happens next depends on which camp you fall into. Most people either

  1. Squander that success in a haze of denial, or
  2. Rush back to their desks to copy the thing that just went viral so they can replicate the success (only to find that the Internet is already over it).

But there is a third, better way—you can learn everything possible from this moment of greatness and turn it around to create something even more shareable next time. This third path is not easy, but it is the surest way to get you back on the road to virality. Here’s how.

Celebrate your success

Duh. You were going to do this anyway, but take a moment (or a day) to fully enjoy all the tweets, traffic, and accolades. This will give you energy for the next step and you’ll be all the more focused for the long road ahead.

Analyze what went right

Sometimes content marketing feels like throwing Velcro darts at the wall—you just don’t know what’s going to stick. But when something finally does stick, there are a lot of lessons to be learned about your audience and what might work in the future.

For example, take this post from Organic Gardening, “7 Secrets for a High-Yield Vegetable Garden.” According to BuzzSumo, it has six times as many shares as the next most successful article from the same site.

In fact, when looking at content that contained the word “garden,” the post had more than twice as many shares as the top post from Country Living, a magazine with about five times the circulation.

I think we can safely call this piece a runaway success. Now let’s look at what made this article so much more viral than its top three friends.


It’s not too much of a stretch to say that “7 Secrets for a High-Yield Vegetable Garden” is a lot sexier title than “Gardener’s April To-Do List,” “Going with the Flow,” and “Cauliflower with Peas.”

Not only does the highly successful article contain one of those emotion words that get us all excited to click, the title actually fully describes what the article is about—passing what Ian Lurie calls the “blank sheet of paper” test.
You’ll note that the titles listed in BuzzSumo are actually more descriptive than those on the page—next time they might want to use the more descriptive titles on the page.


The format of these four articles is pretty basic: text with at least one related image. In fact, the to-do list article could have gone a bit farther if someone had turned it into a downloadable checklist (or at least a checklist).

Sometimes, like when you’ve invested heavily in a flashy parallax scrolling piece, it’s easy to surmise that form contributed heavily to the success of the content. But in this case, it’s unlikely that the form of this article gave it a viral advantage.


These four articles vary widely in length, but they conform to what you might expect from the types of articles that they are. “Go with the Flow” is more of an essay and should be longer, whereas to-do lists and recipes get less useful the longer they are.

7 Secrets April To-Do Going w/Flow Cauliflower
1100+ words 800+ words 1700+ words 200+ words

I’d argue that “7 Secrets” is an exception here, in that it’s more in-depth than it needs to be—in a good way. This could be one contributor to its success.


Not only is the “7 Secrets” title much more clickable, the viral article also hits on high-yield gardening—a high-interest topic. Having not seen the personas for this site, I’m not sure if Organic Gardening has identified gardeners with limited space or gardeners who are trying to sustain themselves entirely from their yards as targets, but this article would be interesting to both groups (which means more excited readers to share the content).

The to-do list article is practical and “Going with the Flow” (about water conservation) is newsworthy (although it would do a lot better if it mentioned the California drought in the intro). If you love cauliflower, perhaps you can tell me why that recipe is popular. But it’s easy to see why none of these other three articles broke through the viral barrier.


From what I can tell, the original article is actually a couple of years old. It’s just been hanging out waiting for the right moment. So goes content marketing. But the week that it went nuts on BuzzSumo was in late March—the very week I was mapping my own garden.

That said, it isn’t the most timely of these four articles. The April to-do list is very timely (and this kind of evergreen content has the chance to get picked up again year after year) and, as mentioned, the article about water (despite being written in 2011) is on-trend with current events in California.

Again, you’ll have to tell me if cauliflower is timeless, because I’m still not understanding the success of that recipe.

One caveat: There’s some weirdness around the dating on this site (especially since the site re-branded in the middle of me writing this draft). If you dig into the publication date, it’s April 1, 2015, a few days after March 29, 2015 (the date BuzzSumo called its publication date). And when I first started writing this article I think I found that the page was created about two years ago (though I can no longer verify that information).

Your lesson here is that if you do a site rebrand in the middle of assessing your content, your data will likely contain weirdness too.

Overall quality

This is where your spidey sense comes in, because overall quality is in many ways a combination of all the factors we just looked at along with the strength of the writing. But there’s also that je ne sais quoi factor where you have to trust your gut (don’t worry, spotting great content is easier than you think).

“7 Secrets” really is a better article for the Internet than the other three. It’s easy to share, seems high-impact, and is a fast read. “Going with the Flow” is also a good article, especially with the storytelling angle, but the anecdotal lead-in followed by the intercontinental comparison of water management styles smacks of classic print journalism (requiring thoughtful rumination), which means it might be more appropriate or successful offline.

Influencer name dropping

Ego bait is a tried and true content marketing tactic. It’s not used in this article, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good tool to keep on hand. If I wanted this article to go even more viral, I would have put names to the two experts they cite (and then reached out to tell those experts that I was quoting them).

The social angle

Looking at “7 Secrets” against the April to-do list, we can immediately spot a few reasons it was roughly three times more popular on the social network. It has an active and enticing image, the accompanying text is both inspirational and asks for engagement, and the article description is, well, descriptive.

Now, I don’t have access to the internal Facebook analytics of this site, but if I did, I’d be looking hard at trends in what times of day and days of week they find the most engagement as well as whether there was any paid promotion to see what else can be learned.

High-profile sharers

As you can see, except for the magazine itself, very few people who shared this article on Twitter even have more than 1,000 followers. That might not be bad for you and me, but it’s not going to cause a viral stampede.

If you find that more recognizable folks (or even those with a lot more followers) were part of your success, it might be time to build some relationships there. You can do that either by involving them in your content creation process in the future or by reaching out when you have something new to promote.

You don’t have to wait until something goes viral to analyze what content is succeeding and why. Get some practice now (and help yourself on the road to virality):

Download this checklist as a template

Now that you understand what contributes to content virality, you’re ready to try to capture that magic all over again.

Resist the urge to imitate

This sounds counter-intuitive, but the last thing you want to do after achieving content success is to run out and do exactly what you did last time. Why? Because the Internet craves novelty, and just like it’s completely adorable when your friend’s toddler sticks his tongue out at you for the first time, the second, third, and thirty-seventh times are increasingly less adorable (and notable).

Instead, use all that analysis you just did of what made the piece successful to remix those elements and try something new. In the case of the garden efficiency article we’ve been looking at, I’d follow up with a profile of three influential organic gardeners who have different ways of achieving efficiency in their gardens.

Enough about gardening already, what about some other topics like windows, water, and dessert.

  • If “DIY Craft Projects using Old Vintage Windows Doors” earned you 428k shares, avoid writing “DIY Craft Projects Using Old Vintage Bannisters” and instead think more broadly with something like “10 Best Stores in the US to Find Vintage Windows for Your Project” or “Last Minute Summer Patio Projects for Upscale Freecyclers.” The first plays with influencer marketing and the second explores a niche readership that has the potential to be very passionate about sharing your content.
  • If you’ve recently had success with “Gray Whale Dies Bringing Us a Message – With Stomach Full of Plastic Trash” (226k+ shares), skip starting a series on dead animals that are portending the end of the earth. Instead try something like an infographic that shows how much the average American contributes to the gyre of plastic in the ocean that includes tips on how we can reduce our impact. That type of content would capitalize a little on the scare tactics of the first post plus the spirit that we’re all responsible for the fate of the planet. It would also be a chance to test if posts that end with positive impacts are as shareable.
  • Or if everyone loved your recipe for a ginormous Reese’s Cup (21k+ shares), don’t be tempted to write about chocolate peanut butter pie. Rather, consider creating a series on revamped recipes for childhood favorites like an upscale Nanaimo Bar or incorporating Jello into a trifle.

The exception

There are times when a piece of content you’ve created goes viral even though you feel like you only took the idea halfway. Playbuzz got some really good traction (1.6 million shares) with this post:

About a month later they followed up with this one which garnered 3.3 million shares:

They could have taken the idea even farther with “What Sci-Fi Novel…” and “What Horror Novel…” but those get weird fast and it’s safe to say they found their peak audience the second time around by getting more general. So they stopped while they were ahead.

Build relationships

Viral success means that a whole lot of people just shared your content. It also means that you have a huge opportunity to connect with people who might remember who you are for the next five seconds.

Help them remember you for the foreseeable future by reaching out now and thanking them for sharing your stuff or engaging them in conversation. Ask what they’d like to see next time or respond to their questions. Be playful and friendly (if it suits your corporate voice) and get the writer to help you with the follow-up.

Use your success as brand leverage

There’s no better time for PR outreach than immediately following a big viral content win. Who doesn’t want to drop a line in an outreach email like “Our latest infographic has earned 452,000 shares on Pinterest (so far).” That number might feel like a fluke, but if you can get someone from a major media outlet interested in your next piece, your future looks bright.

Keep trying

Capturing the zeitgeist well enough to give a post viral success is not an easy thing. But have confidence that if you’ve done it before, you have what it takes to do it again. Keep making awesome stuff. And when you’re tempted to get bummed because something doesn’t quite find its audience, instead milk that learning experience for all it’s worth.

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May 12, 2015  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

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