Getting traffic from Reddit to your site is considered to be one of the holy grails in marketing and SEO circles. Why? Redditors are so passionate about the topics they read on the site, Reddit link building tends to drive up traffic up like crazy when they become popular. It’s also considered to be “the front page of the internet” and posts users make there can even appear on Google news.
This is a small guide to optimizing your link building strategy around Reddit and getting the most out of your efforts. We’ll present the basics of Reddit, how to choose the right communities (or “subreddits” to target your SEO and end with link building ideas to help bolster your strategies.
A Quick Tutorial on How Reddit Link Building Works
Reddit started in 2005 as a social news aggregation site and pioneered the whole voting system for comment threads. People join reddit and become “redditors” and follow their favorite topics, centered around “subreddits” found on the site, usually stylized as /r/subreddit-name.
While some subreddits are more popular than others, when the community is active, it draws in millions of viewers each day as people submit posts and article links and those submissions get upvoted (similar to a “like” on Facebook or a “+1” on Google Plus), or downvoted. Naturally, like in capitalism, the best ideas tend to rise to the top, while the best ones turn viral and get shared around on other social networks.
The passionate nature of Reddit users tends to make subreddits hostile to self-promotion. In other words, if your SEO strategy for Reddit to plan on posting a link to your product and say, “Hey, buy my awesome product!” you will likely get downvoted or even “shadowbanned” (banned from using the platform but not being alerting that you were).
Though links you post on Reddit won’t help your Google PageRank because they always include a “nofollow” in the URL, they will help with RankBrain’s algorithms, improving how Google views your content.
Here’s another guide on the basics of using Reddit from Mashable.
Now, let’s get in to how to get started with using Reddit the right way in building your SEO content marketing strategy and getting that passionate Reddit crowd generating traffic to your website.
Step 1: Become a Redditor (the Right Way)
First, in order to submit to Reddit, you’ll need an account. It’s free and easy to sign up. There’s a huge consideration when doing so, however. What will your username be? Generally, the worst name you could use is your business name. That’s because Reddit is a community of users, not businesses.
When people post to Reddit, they expect to see individuals do so. So if your company is Acme Corp, we recommend against “acmecorp” or “acme” as your username. Instead, a marketing idea is to use your real name, or a combination of your name and your company name, such as “tony-acme” or “tony-acmecorp.” The transparency in your username will go a long ways on Reddit in the steps to come.
Step 2: Identify the Right Subreddits to Target for Reddit Link Building
There’s a ton of subreddits out there. Many of them are low-quality, low-traffic ones that people create (because anyone can start a subreddit!). The best way to find popular subreddits for your topic is just to search on Reddit itself. For example, if Acme Corp makes fireworks, they could search “rockets” in the Reddit sidebar and see which subreddits come up. In this case, “Firecrackers, Cakes, Mortars and More!” seems to be a popular subreddit with 1,123 subscribers and a history of 6 years.
Step 3: Read Content for a While Before Contributing
This is known as “lurking,” although marketing researchers would call it “listening.” Go in to your subreddits you chose to follow and see what kinds of posts and topics rise to the top. Are they posted by vendors asking for customers? Probably not. The best content is organic, interesting, and applicable to the subreddit. After a week or two of checking in on your subreddits each day, you’ll get a great idea of what you can post.
Step 4: Submit Your Post for Reddit Link Building
On Reddit you can only submit one of two types of content:
- A text post, such as a rant, a question, or a story
- A link
You can use both or a combination of both in your link building strategy. You can start by posting a link to your blog post, asking people for feedback on your blog post, or following up on someone’s comment that your blog post helps to answer.
Step 5: Help with Upvoting (and How it Helps Your Reddit Link Building)
Make sure to submit your link to Reddit with the UTM code from your Google Analytics account so you can then track the traffic coming to your site from your Reddit post. You want a unique code each time you post a different link so you can differentiate between the links as you view your Google Analytics metrics. You can generate UTM codes on the fly using Google’s free tool here.
The better your post or submission ranks on Google, the more likely it is to get more upvotes on Reddit, and vice versa. As you share your Reddit post on other social networks, such as Twitter or Google Plus, and as those get retweeted and +1’ed, you will eventually drive more and more traffic to your Reddit post.
One last piece of advice here for your Reddit link building strategy: Don’t ask for upvotes! This is known as the “cardinal rule” of Reddit. The more you ask for upvotes, the more you get downvoted.
Reddit Link Building & Content Marketing Ideas
Here’s a short list of ideas to get started on your link building using Reddit:
- Submit links to your blog posts as you post them
- Use Google Analytics tracking codes to monitor your traffic coming to your site from Reddit
- Submit posts to relevant subreddits asking for feedback on your blog posts
- Answer other Redditor’s comments and include a link to your post (if it’s applicable)
That’s it! We hope this SEO guide for using Reddit will result in plenty of upvotes, traffic, and customers for you. Let us know in the comments below how your Reddit marketing campaigns work out after following this guide. Please feel free to ask us questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Utah SEO Class blog.