The effort you put into crafting your content should be met with equal energy to get it seen. While organic search is a powerful channel to distribute SEO-optimized content, a well-balanced distribution plan will include repurposing content on platforms that are popular with your target audience.
Strategically sharing your content with their network can help you grow your readership and increase site visitors, subscribers, and eventually, customers.
But what’s the SEO impact of publishing on Medium?
That’s a great question, so let’s dive right in!
What is Medium?
Medium is an open, online publishing platform founded by Evan Williams in 2012. With its inception, the Twitter co-founder and former CEO hoped to create a new digital publication model for people to easily share their thoughts without character limitations.
Unlike other popular content distribution platforms, Medium is free of landing pages, ads, and pop-up distractions. This self-described “living network of curious minds” is where people go to find and share information — making it an ideal place for building a readership and increasing brand awareness.
Different Ways Content Marketers Use Medium
The two main ways content marketers use this platform are as a primary blog or a channel to repurpose and distribute existing content.
If you can’t create a blog on your primary domain, Medium is a free option to quickly and easily start a company blog. By leveraging the network’s built-in audience, marketers can start building a following and increase brand awareness straight out of the gate.
Creating high-quality content is a resource-heavy endeavor requiring lots of time and talent.
Experience has taught me that no matter how amazing your content is, it’s simply not true that if you build it, they will come.
Building SEO content aligned with search intent is a great start, but it’s not enough. Make the most of the assets you create with a distribution plan that includes repurposing existing content and putting it in front of as many people as possible.
Pros & Cons of Blogging on Medium Only
There are pros and cons to publishing your content through a Medium account.
With an average of 182 million monthly visitors, you could accumulate a robust audience on this platform if you can generate search traffic from just a sliver of those visitors. Including compelling CTAs in each blog post could pull those readers over to your site and into your marketing and sales funnel.
Reaching out to build an audience on an existing platform expands brand awareness. Establish familiarity and trust with prospective customers by showing up where they are with helpful information. Remember, though, the simple interface will limit how your content visually aligns with your brand.
If you’re using this as your primary blog, understand that you’re sharing content in a borrowed space. The platform owns all the content published there. In a worst-case scenario, you could lose access to the content you worked so hard to create.
When you publish to this platform, your content fuels visitors for them. If you’re not conscientious about building email subscriptions and converting customers, you won’t benefit from your efforts as much as Medium does.
“Your” Audience Doesn’t Belong to You
Just like the platform owns your content, the readership you’ve worked hard to build also doesn’t belong to you. If you blog exclusively on borrowed land, it’ll take a lot of effort to bring your audience over to your own site in the future. Readers might normalize engaging with you in this specific ecosystem, and they might not follow you over to your company’s domain.
Diluted Link Equity
Once you’ve demonstrated that a page on your domain has value, links from it can share that value and help ranking power flow from one page on your site to another. When you blog off-site, you might miss the opportunity to transfer equity from blog content to your web pages.
There are limitations to the organic search visibility of Medium posts, so if you’re hoping to generate organic search traffic to your content hosted there, consider these factors:
A noindex tag tells Google not to return the tagged page in search results. Because of a spam problem, Medium established a policy limiting the availability of content on its site for search engine indexing. In other words, the platform reserves the right to add noindex tags to your content, effectively rendering it invisible to search traffic.
It may take a little bit of time for you as a creator to become a trusted part of the Medium network and meet the threshold for being indexed, but if your stories meet our basic quality threshold, they will end up in external and native search indexes. We encourage you to continue publishing your best writing on Medium, engaging with other users by clapping, following, and responding, and becoming a part of the Medium community.”Medium Help Center
The Pros & Cons of Repurposing Content on Medium
If you’re looking for a broader audience for your content and want to repurpose existing articles on Medium, these are some of the potential gains and pitfalls to be aware of.
Yes, you can build a following from this network by sharing repurposed content from your company blog. To make the most of a bigger audience, give some thought to how you’ll create a frictionless path to convert their readers to visitors on your own domain.
There’s an aspect of social proof that goes hand-in-hand with Medium’s community features — which can provide a significant boost to your brand awareness on the platform. From “claps” to comments and trending article features, the attention your content gets can be amplified through community engagement.
Your Content, Your Distribution Plan
By housing the master version of your content on your own domain, you retain ownership and control of everything you write.
Duplicate Content Penalties
Medium disallows content creators from posting duplicate content on the platform. If you’re repurposing existing content, you’ll want to adapt it to the platform. (More on that below.)
In addition to respecting their guidelines, you’ll want to take the following steps to protect the search ranking of your existing content. Make sure your repurposed articles are:
- “Appreciably different” from your original posts, and;
- Feature Medium canonicals that point back to your original content.
Audience-Building Tips for Medium
Whether you’re using the platform to host your blog or to repurpose the content on your website, keep the following tips in mind the following tips for building a readership on Medium:
- Add strong CTAs that lead readers to your site.
- Expand your reach by submitting your articles to other Medium publications.
- Tag your content so the platform can serve it to your target market.
- Interact with other creators by “clapping” or commenting on their articles.
3 Tips to Get the Most from Republishing on Medium
Before you repurpose your content there, follow these guidelines to make it uniquely suited for success on Medium.
1. Tweak Your Headlines
Head over to the homepage to see the trending articles.
Take note of how they’re formatted. While the headlines of your site content should be optimized for search engines, the headline of your Medium article should be optimized for that platform.
2. Convert Medium Readers into Email Subscribers
Always include a way for your network to directly connect with your business. When you add a call-to-action to subscribe to your email newsletter, you provide a direct conversion point to build your “owned” audience.
3. Don’t Republish Everything You Write
If you republish everything you write, your audience could become habituated to finding all your content on a platform you don’t own. Ultimately, your goal is to get visitors to go back to your website to learn more about your business. Be selective about what you share, and always link visitors back to your original content for the full scoop.
How to Import WordPress Articles
Medium has an easy import tool for previously published blogs, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of copying and pasting from one platform to another.
How to Use the Import Tool
- Once you’re logged in, click Stories.
2. Click Import a story in the top right corner.
3. Paste the URL of the story you’d like to import into the field and click Import.
4. Click See your story.
5. Edit your post as recommended below and Publish.
Before You Publish Your Repurposed Blog Post
Here are some quick steps to check off before publishing on your Medium article:
- Adjust formatting
Medium only allows for very simple formatting. Preview your content to make sure it looks the way you want it to.
- Check for context
Have you referenced your products or other content that would need more context for a reader that’s not on your site?
- Add tags
Medium has its own tagging system to find and serve content to its users. Make sure you’re adding appropriate tags to your article.
- Double-check your title
Make sure your title is appropriate for the audience.
- Add a subtitle
If your content management system doesn’t allow for a subtitle, make sure you write one for Medium.
- Change the images if necessary
Don’t assume that your images will translate well to a different platform. Preview everything to make sure it looks like you want it to.
- Consider SEO
1. Check the canonical link
According to Medium, “Imported stories will automatically apply a canonical URL referencing the original source material.”
2. Insert link tracking codes
You’ll want to generate data to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your distribution strategy. Add UTM codes to links back to your posts so you can track the source of the traffic they generate.
In a Nutshell: Is Medium Good or Bad for SEO?
The answer is neither. Whether you host your blog entirely on Medium or use it as a distribution tool, the platform itself is neither good nor bad for SEO. Just use care to follow best practices and always keep your SEO goals in mind.
SEO FAQs for Medium
Can I track organic search traffic to Medium in Google Analytics?
Medium does not support Google Analytics, and there’s no way to add any code to your page, but Medium has its own metrics system. You can view your metrics by clicking your profile photo, then click Stats. From there, you can access metrics that’ll provide engagement insights. If you generate your own tracking codes and place them in your links, you’ll be able to measure traffic back to your site from your Medium article.
Where should I publish first, Medium or my own site?
If you’re repurposing content on Medium, you should always publish articles to your own domain first. Doing so signals to Google that your site is the primary source of the content. (Don’t forget to add canonical tags to your repurposed articles.)
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