So, your post went viral, what now?

Every now and then you might find that pot of gold, that magic moment when one of your pages goes viral. That amazing moment when you are the top of the Google listings for SERP and for some reason everyone thinks it’s the thing to share.

The perfect scenario that everyone is hoping for, success. Yet despite all this success in getting ranked well and getting lots of visitors, what is it really worth if nobody is going to your other pages?

Sometimes going viral can just be costly due to the infrastructure costs that you incur. Your hosting company wants more cash as you overload your server, or worse your server cannot handle the load and you need to seek new and better hosting facilities.

Fear not though, there are some thing that you can do that will turn this around and put your popularity back in your favor.

The SEO route – Funneling your link juice

When a page is popular it is mainly due to people linking to it, be that as a share from a social network or from their site. This is after all the basis of how Google works out search engine results, the more links into a page the more popular it is.

In the SEO community this is referred to as “link juice”. Link juice is on a per page basis, so it is possible that your viral page has a greater link juice that any other page on your site.

Let’s imagine for a moment that your site sells things, lets imagine that you have 2 major things that you want to push. 1) Your most popular product 2) Your product with the highest profit margin.

With that in mind why not set all other links on that page, internal and external links to be rel=”nofollow” just leaving links to those two products as being normal, without the “nofollow”.

The advantage of doing this is that your link juice will get transferred to your two most important pages on the site, they will in turn get a boost in the search engine rankings. You should see an almost instant increase in sales of both products, if not then you need to look at the ways you are selling as the visitor numbers should be high.

The Social Networking route – Getting repeat visits

With this single page your getting half a million hits a month, why not use this as an opportunity to increase your daily reach on your other posts, products and articles?

Instead of hoping that someone will click your Facebook like button to like your page, or your Twitter follow button that you have in the sidebar, why not force it into their face?

By putting a modal popup with your social networking follow information that shows up after a time period, on load or when half way down the page, your making sure that the visitor knows what you want from them. You want them to follow you and get more great posts in future.

Some will argue that this aggressive push of social networking will not make the consumer happy, well if you only get a 2% signup per month that’s an extra 10k liker’s or followers every month. Pay Per View sporting events work on the same principle, charge for an event and expect between 2 to 5% of viewers to pay for it. We are not expecting money from them, just a like or a follow.

The Advertsing Route – Making some money

With our viral page and 500k visitors per month, we have a great resource for getting some advertising income. Depending on how aggressive you want to be with your advertising it could earn you a McDonalds meal every month or earn you enough to pay for a full time content writer.

Some will say “I don’t want adverts to get in the way of the post”, well to be honest I say “the post is already popular I want some repayment”. It’s not like we’re on the upward climb, we’re on top of the mountain looking down on all that come to us. A lofty sense of self worth I know, but why not? Why not milk your 15 minutes of fame for all it is worth?

The only issue with this route is your existing advertising choices, if you have signed a deal with someone who cannot provide you with more advertising for the page and will not allow you to have a secondary advertising partner, your screwed.

The Direct Sales Route – Internal advertising

Maybe you cannot have external advertising for external products, there is nothing to stop you advertising internal products with lots of calls to action on the page for your stuff. It does not matter what it is you sell. You could have lots of adverts for the products littered throughout the page. They could interleave the paragraphs, in the sidebar, header or footer, in fact anywhere you choose. Let’s not forget that you own the page and can treat it as you like.

This is of special advantage to those that cannot have additional external advertising as hopefully they can claw back some of the money that they would have received in advertising revenue.

Summing this up

  • You own the page and what is seen, make more use of it
  • Many routes could be taken at once, for example a social networking modal popup, funneled link juice and internal advertising
  • If the page is that popular, people will jump through hoops to read it, why not do what you like?
  • Make sure you review your website analytics at least once a month, there may be pot of gold waiting for you there

I hope you’ve found this an interesting viewpoint on fame and things of a viral nature. If you have any other suggestions please share them in the comments below. If they are popular with others I will add them into the list.

Author: (13 Posts)

Andy Killen has been working exclusively with the web since 1994 when he was Intel's internet engineer for Europe. Today he runs his own company phat-reaction.com as well as is the CTO of Speckyboy and was also part of the Adobe Fireworks CS6 beta test team. When Andy is not busy making websites, themes and plugins or giving training on website performance, wordpress or node.js, he can be found enjoying life in Amsterdam.

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