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Using Substack Links for SEO
Substack is an online platform that allows writers to send newsletters directly to the audience. This direct link between a writer and the audience is great for business growth.
Unfortunately, while many publisher sites have access to a large audience, they don’t allow writers to create a connection with this audience.
That means they rely on the publishers to reach their target audience and make a living. This makes Substack an invaluable tool for writers who want to advance their writing career and make money.
Read along to learn how you can use Substack links for SEO.
How Does Substack Work?
Substack is an email newsletter platform that allows writers to publish and monetize their content. It offers a great opportunity for established creators to make money from their loyal following on social media.
But not just creators, Substack offers an opportunity for thought leaders to reach their target audience and is an excellent platform for writers to make a portfolio. The best thing is that writers on this platform don’t depend on editors or ad sales to reach their target audience.
While the platform has some publishing guidelines, for example, hate speech or porn content are not allowed, the platform lacks gatekeeping, making it a game-changer in the publishing sector.
As of 2021, Substack had more than 1 million paying subscribers. This presents an excellent opportunity for writers to make money and grow their audience. Writers can publish articles for free or on a paywall.
The posts can be as simple as Twitter conversations with subscribers or podcasts. As long as you have something to write or say, Substack presents a great growth opportunity.
Writers on Substack keep 90% of the subscription revenue, and the platform only takes 10% of the paid subscriptions.
How Can Substack Increase its Revenue
The platform has three options to increase revenue: Increase the take rate, increase the number of writers on the platform, or increase the number of paying subscribers.
All options are great, but some are more effective than others. For example, having a higher take rate can increase revenue drastically but would mean few subscribers and limit the ability for writers to make money. This will also put Substack in a disadvantageous position when competing with other publishing platforms.
Attracting more writers to the platform is ideal because that would attract more readers. And more readers would mean more paying subscribers and higher revenue.
But for you as a writer to make money from Substack, you need to learn how to rank your posts; otherwise, no one will see them.
You can connect with more writers through the platform’s aggregator play—more like a discovery page where Substack lists top newsletters in different categories like finance, marketing, crypto, science, etc.
Unfortunately, Substack seems not to be doing so well in SEO for its aggregator play. In the below section, we look at how you can improve the rankings for your Substack posts for better visibility and revenue.
How to Improve SEO for Your Substack Posts
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a common term in digital marketing, but it has many angles to handle. To improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to understand the SEO basics or work with a reputable SEO agency.
The best thing is that if you create high-quality content, you have covered over 50% of what it takes to improve your SEO.
Google, Bing, and other search engines consider the quality of the content before deciding whether to show it higher in SERPs. Without further ado, let’s look at how to improve Substack SEO.
Set Up a Google Search Console
Probably setting up a Google Search Console is the first thing you need to do to improve SEO for your Substack newsletter. Setting up Google Search Console is easy. After setting it up, send a sitemap to Google to ensure it indexes your posts.
Optimize H1, H2, H3 Headers
One way to improve SEO for your Substack posts is by optimizing post titles. H1, H2, and H3s are important in content optimization because they allow users and search engines to understand your content.
Take your time to create high-quality and relevant headlines. Understanding the value of H1 is crucial as it affects how search engines view your post and rank it.
H1 is the name of the publication. It is an HTML tag that represents the first heading of a page. When you post your content on Substack, your post title will assume the H1 tag.
Unlike other digital publishing platforms, Substack allows the option to create a second H1. H1 tells users and search engines what your page is all about and helps in its rankings.
Enrich Your Newsletter with Different Sections
To make your newsletter more beneficial to readers and make it more discoverable, add sections to it. The sections must be related to your main topic and add value to it.
For example, when writing about link building, you could include a section on how automation can help boost the outreach process.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are a crucial component of SEO ranking for your Substack posts. However, avoid adding more keywords to your posts than necessary.
Keyword stuffing used to work many years ago but not anymore. Today, adding many unnecessary keywords and their variations to your post can act against your SEO efforts. This black SEO technique can hurt your ranking in the long run.
Instead, learn how to calculate keyword density to avoid keyword stuffing. Most SEOs prefer a keyword density of one percent.
Consider Long-Form Content
Improving SEO for content under a subdomain is more challenging than a custom domain. Unfortunately, this is the case with Substack.
You can improve SEO for your Substack posts by writing long-form content. This doesn’t, however, mean creating 3000+ posts. Anything from 1200 to 2500 words will do, depending on the topic.
According to Backlinko, long-form content gets more backlinks than shorter ones, and posts in the top three positions on SERPs are more than 2300 words.
Of course, proper keyword research is necessary before creating these posts to ensure quality and relevancy.
Add Featured Images
Imagery is a great way to add value to your Substack posts. In this digital era where apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook dominate the internet, having posts with plain text without images isn’t the best direction.
Before users read your post, they scroll through your images to get an idea of your content. But don’t just copy and paste any images you come across—choose the right feared images for your Substack posts.
Things to remember when looking for featured images for your posts include:
- Relevance. Use images relevant to the topic you write about
- Image placement. Your images should help improve the flow of your content. Avoid adding images in a way that breaks the flow of ideas and sections in your posts.
- Use high-resolution images. Using blurry or poor-quality images won’t help. Use clear, high-resolution images to ensure they remain high quality once uploaded.
Add Image Alt Text
Getting higher-quality images is great but not enough. To get the most from your images, add alt text (alternative text) to describe them.
The goal of using alt text is to make the images more accessible to people who rely on screen readers. It is a great way to let visually-impaired people know what the page they visit entails.
Alt images are also great for users who have turned off images in their browser application. Optimizing your images for your target keywords is a great way to describe your images and prevent them from being displayed as empty.
Besides, alt text helps Google understand what your images involve, which is vital if you want your photos to rank higher on Google.
Going niche is the easiest way to build a successful and marketable newsletter. Going niche means creating a newsletter around a specific topic. This can mean creating content around things you’re good at or writing about things you like doing.
Before you choose your niche, pick the market you want to operate in, for example, automotive digital marketing. Afterward, select the sub-market you will focus on, like SEO. Lastly, choose your niche, for example, automotive SEO.
Going niche will help concentrate your focus on a specific topic and make your newsletter more effective.
Build Your Link Profile
Besides being a great publishing platform, Substack can help build your link-building profile. When creating your content, include internal and external links to it.
Internal links will send users to your other articles in Substack, while external links send users to articles outside your Substack newsletter.
Internal links connect users and search engines to other content related to your current newsletter. In other words, it helps users identify other content they may want to read to increase time spent on the site.
External links tell search engines how important your content is. For example, by linking your content to high-authority sites in your niche, search engines will view it as more valuable, increasing the chances of showing it in related searches.
The best part is that Substack has a higher Domain Authority (DA), so getting links from high-authority sites should not be much challenging if you create high-quality content.
Take advantage of Substack’s higher DA to improve your company’s link-building profile to improve the ranking of your company website. This involves attaching key landing pages to your ranking Substack posts to pass the link juice to your company website.
Share Your Content to Get Backlinks
You gain more link-building opportunities by sharing your content on sites like Quora and Medium.
Create posts on similar topics and publish them on these sites to grow your audience and expand your reach. Like Substack, Quora and Medium have a higher DA. Publishing your content on these sites will help improve your link profile and increase your Substack audience. Plus, links from many higher DA sites will boost your SEO.
Get the Most from Your Substack Content Using SEO
Your goal as a writer is to get as many subscribers as possible. While you can use social platforms like Twitter to grow your audience, having a robust SEO strategy offers a unique way to get organic traffic for your Substack posts.
Improving Substack SEO is not easy, but with proper guidance, you can enjoy free traffic from Google and experience business growth. Do you need help improving SEO for your Substack post and link-building profile?
Alchemy Leads can help. We have a reputation for helping our clients create high-quality content and optimizing it for SEO to boost its visibility. Contact us today, and our highly-experienced SEO experts will help you out.