Building a Wikipedia page is all about getting the basics right so that you can then use it to drive your SEO campaign. Many people think of Wikipedia as nothing more than an online encyclopedia, but when you factor in that its pages rank in half of all searches, it’s clear this is a resource you simply cannot afford to ignore. To show you how you can leverage it to your advantage, we’re going to talk you through how to successfully use Wikipedia in your SEO strategy.
It ranks better than just about any other site out there. It’s a great resource for finding and generating new content ideas. It’s written by the experts in your specific niche. The list just goes on and on.
That’s why it’s a mystery to us that so many businesses put great stock in Facebook and Twitter, but are largely unaware of the benefits of Wikipedia. The great thing about this for you is that a large number of your competitors won’t be using it as part of their strategy. That means with a little effort on your part you can take a giant leap forward when it comes to outperforming them in search. Just what you need if you want to take your business in an exciting new direction, virtually overnight.
Use citation needed links to promote your business
One of the best ways to use Wikipedia to enhance your SEO is to pay close attention to citation needed links. They need to be on articles and topics that are actually relevant to your business otherwise they’ll be taken down before you know it and treated as spam. The key thing to remember here is that Wikipedia is a reference resource, not a messaging board. That means you’re going to need to look for ways in which your brand can actually add value to a given page. Here’re 3 questions you might ask yourself:
- Does my brand actually relate closely to the content on this page?
- Would I like to do business with the person who’s reading this page?
- By adding a link am I just being promotional, or am I helping the reader learn more about the topic?
Work through each of them before you decide to add anything and you’ll be on the right path from day one. If you ignore this advice then the chances are you’ll soon be blacklisted as a spammer.
Grabbing broken links offers you a way to enhance your SEO
Lots of people have views on Wikipedia backlinks, but that doesn’t mean you should get lost in the crowd of opinions at the expense of your SEO. We’ve always seen broken links as a great way to enhance your SEO, again provided that what you do is actually relevant to the topic of the page.
No one is ever going to get in touch with you and tell you that a link on a relevant article has gone down, as nice as that would be. The best way to approach this problem is to appoint a member of your team to spend a set amount of time on a weekly basis creating a database of relevant pages and links. This will allow you to home in on content that you want to be a part of, and it will ensure you take a proactive approach in searching out new opportunities. One link by itself isn’t going to make all that much difference to your SEO, but a diligent, consistent effort certainly will.
Use existing content to learn about your niche
Ask any of the best writing services and they’ll tell you all about the importance of subject-specific knowledge. Just because you have a brand that’s doing well doesn’t mean you can’t have one that’s doing even better. So, where does Wikipedia come into it?
It’s a brilliant resource if you want to be able to learn about a large number of things in a relatively short space of time. This means that if you want to get a broad overview of your industry, or find new offshoots and creative avenues it really does pay to have a look around. You can also search for the existing content within your niche and take inspiration from it when you come to create your own content calendar. There’s a lot more to SEO than the technical side of things — sometimes what you really need is inspiration and direction.
Link to topic pages that are relevant to your business
Topic pages are really useful when it comes to SEO, but you need to get the balance right. If you find one that your business would be able to add something to, then, by all means, look for a way to link to it. The key is to do it in a natural and helpful way that will ensure you never get a black mark against your name as a spammer. Businesses that link to every page they can think of, or that link to relevant pages over and over again, really aren’t adding anything useful to the overall experience. If you want to really understand the psychology of SEO, ask yourself this:
Will the reader actually want to read this?
That’s all it takes sometimes to get up and running, and it’s a lesson that too many brands and businesses never seem to take onboard.
Can you backlink to relevant reference pages?
If you can find a useful reference at the bottom of an article, why not backlink to it? These are the resources that an entire community of experts has deemed to be informative, reliable, and useful, so it makes sense to link to them when you can. Not only will this show up in your SEO as a link to a popular page, but it will also show up as a link to a highly relevant page. Something which is really important if you want Google’s crawlers to look kindly on your SEO efforts.
Here’re 3 questions you should ask yourself before backlinking to a Wikipedia reference:
- Have you read and understood the reference, and if not, why not?
- Does it clearly support the argument or point of view that you’re putting forward in your own content?
- Do you think the person reading your content would actually benefit from reading the backlink content?
Build a Wikipedia page for your brand
This is quite an obvious one to do, but it’s easier said than done. You’ll have noticed that the average person in the street doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. This is to stop it turning into another version of Facebook in which anything and everything that pops into someone’s mind finds its way into the digital world.
If your business is big enough, innovative enough, and well known enough to warrant having its own Wikipedia page, then get out there and make it happen. It will help you rank better in search virtually overnight, and it’s a great extension of your About Us page.
Use Wikipedia’s public traffic stats before generating content
This is a really clever trick if you want to get more ideas for new content than you’ll know what to do with. Because all of Wikipedia’s traffic stats are public, anyone can use them to get an instant picture of the kinds of things the world is reading. This means that you can spot sudden spikes of interest in your particular field simply by analyzing someone else’s data. Ideal if you want to come up with fresh ideas for content that will help you rank even higher.
Keyword Planner turns existing Wikipedia pages into keyword recommendations
Wikipedia ranks about as well as any site out there, that much we do know. This means that irrespective of your knowledge of the intricacies of Google’s constantly evolving algorithms, you can get a great insight by exploring what Wikipedia has done. By simply copying a relevant section of text into Keyword Planner you can get dozens of targeted keyword recommendations for a specific niche. Great news for those of you looking to build your SEO on a solid foundation of highly desirable, relevant keywords.
If you see a citation needed or stub page, start making content
Stub pages and citation needed links are great places for you to get involved, provided they’re relevant to what your business does. They’re areas that Wikipedia has identified as of interest to the wider community, but ones which are yet to be filled adequately. The key here is to be hyper-focused on the opportunities you find, and then invest significant time and effort into creating unique content.
Search reference pages to generate new content ideas
You could also search the reference pages at the bottom of each article to try and come up with new content ideas. It may prove to be a slightly laborious process, but it will give you the clarity and direction your content generation efforts have been lacking up till now. Once you know which way you’re going to take things, you can then invest time and effort in optimizing your content for keywords and backlinks.
Common mistakes you need to avoid
Top of the list of any article on SEO mistakes should be failing to leverage the power of Wikipedia, and no article focused on Wikipedia would be complete without sharing these common mistakes with you:
- Spamming pages by constantly linking your site in the references
- Diluting Wikipedia’s quality by linking to your content in ways that are irrelevant, confusing, or misleading
- Overusing backlinks simply to try and get attention from the crawlers, as opposed to adding value for the benefit of the readers
Now that you’ve heard all about how to use Wikipedia as part of your SEO strategy, it’s over to you to start getting things moving. It doesn’t matter how alien it feels to you, or how little you know about it, if you connect with a team of experts you’ll be able to start moving forward before you know it. Exactly what you need when you want to take your business in an exciting new direction.
Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with many websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their name in the online world.