SlideShare is more than just a document sharing site, and thus it deserves a whole post dedicated to it. Other document sharing sites on the web, such as DocStoc, Scribd, Ziddu and Google Drive are great for sharing online documents and even earning links, but there are several things that set SlideShare apart:

  • Largest PowerPoint Sharing Community: It is the first and largest community for sharing PowerPoint presentations.

  • As popular as YouTube is for Videos: Slideshare is the YouTube of document sharing sites. In fact 18 million pieces of content of have been shared across the platform.

  • Most Popular Document Sharing Site: It has a PageRank of 8, 130 million page views, 60 million monthly visitors and an Alexa Global Rank of 144 with visitors from India, US, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, the UK, Colombia, Russia, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa and more.

  • Mobile Compatible: SlideShare content is optimized for easy viewing on iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

  • The Home Page Features Popular Content: SlideShare features content that is popular on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Moreover, when you link your SlideShare content with a Tweet button, recognition is given to you in every tweet about your content with a ‘by @Yourusername’ byline.

Popular content from Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In is featured on SlideShare's Homepage.

  • Wide Variety of Content: SlideShare is not limited to word documents and PDFs but can host presentations and videos as well.

  • Featured in Google’s Organic Search Results: SlideShare content is frequently featured in Google search results. The following image is a screenshot of a random Google search for the keyword email marketing guidelines best practices. It is a very practical example that has not been manipulated to prove the point.

Slideshare content seen on the first page of google search results.

SlideShare lets you hit multiple targets at once, encompassing SEO, brand building, social media, content marketing and link building. Most importantly, you can gain web traffic from the SlideShare audience when your content is compelling enough to make it to the home page of the platform. In order to feature on the home page you need a popular slide deck, PDF or document that is shared virally on Twitter, Facebook or other famous social networking platforms. Most of the SlideShare audience is made up of people looking for a webinar presentation or a conference presentation; these things are often uploaded on the website. Some people just prefer the visual display of information rather than reading long, monotonous-looking blogs. There are unlimited benefits to having your content shared on this platform but, unfortunately, it is not magical.

Just uploading content and leaving it is not enough; a lot of planning, preparation and promotion need to go hand-in-hand with your uploaded content. Rest assured that SlideShare offers the most potential and is the least-exploited document sharing platform, which gives you increased chances of gaining brand exposure. Keep reading for tips on how to benefit from SlideShare in terms of SEO, content marketing, brand awareness and link building.

How to Optimize Your SlideShare Content for SEO

If a piece of SlideShare content features on the first page of Google search results (as shown in the screenshot above), there are definitely some strong keywords in play. Where should you feature these keywords? How do you ensure that search engines understand and are able to determine which keywords represent your SlideShare content? Here are the answers:

  • Title: First and foremost, you must optimize the title of your content for SEO. Include keywords in the title. It has been observed that SlideShare posts return in search results for long-tail keywords. So make sure you have a prominent long-tail keyword in the title of the document, PDF, presentation or video that you upload on SlideShare.

  • Tags: You can add more than 10 tags. These will help people use the internal search function to find your content. It is not known if this information is also indexed by search engines but it is important nevertheless.

  • Description: Keywords should be included in the description of your SlideShare content.

  • Anchor Texts/Hyperlinked URLs: You can include links within your content, for example, a link on every slide of your presentation. A SlideShare SEO test shows that hyperlinked URLs are better for search engine indexing as compared to anchor text. So, include URLs that start with an http:// and hyperlink them to the desired landing page rather than hyperlinking text content.

As an additional tip, you could benefit by naming the file (PDF, Word, PowerPoint or Video) with the title containing the keywords.

How to Use SlideShare for Content Marketing and Brand Building

SlideShare allows you to share different types of content. You can aggregate your blogs into a word document and share it as a PDF, or share your webinar, conference or other presentations. Note: Before you share material used for conferences you must make sure it is self-explanatory. The slides should speak for themselves, so take care not to use slides that require in-person explanation or add audio slides to compensate.

Follow the best practices listed below to make the best use of your SlideShare content for content marketing and brand building:

  • First Slide: Make your first slide attractive by using a compelling picture as the background and titles that can be seen by the SlideShare audience in the thumbnails. Your first slide is what makes a great impression - or not.

  • Content: There are a few points to remember when it comes to the content of your slides:

    1. Keep words to a minimum.
    2. Share unfamiliar information and entice the audience to visit your site to learn more.
    3. Build your slides as if you are narrating a story. Take a look at this sample slide explaining story-telling through your slides.
    4. Use stunning images and fonts. FontSquirrel is a great resource for beautiful fonts and you can use sites such as Compfight.com, Flickr.com and many other image sharing sites for high resolution images.
    5. Keep the colors and images of the first slide consistent with your brand. Brand each slide with a logo or your brand name. Create your SlideShare account with your brand name.

How to Use SlideShare to Build Links and Bring Traffic to your Site

Your SlideShare content can build inbound links and bring quality traffic to your site in the following ways:

  • Add Links: Add links to the last slide, the first slide or throughout all the slides, keeping consistency between them. Add hyperlinked URLs, as shown in the screenshot below. Here is a tutorial on how to add links to your PowerPoint presentation, if you do not already know how.

Example of a slide with a hyperlinked URL.

  • Add a Call-to-Action: You have put slides on SlideShare for a reason. You need to encourage your SlideShare audience to take an action after going through the slides. Your call-to-action could direct them to a dedicated landing page or a blog page on your site to acquire more information, or even to a free offer of a download, e-book or tutorial on the topic of your slides. Take a look at the concluding slide of the same presentation shown above. Make sure you direct your user’s attention to your call-to-action with prominent wording or arrows pointing toward it.

Example of a slide with a prominent call to action.

  • Increase your Following on your Social Media Brand Pages: Link your slides to your social media brand pages. The sample screenshot above uses a twitter bird to ask people to follow their page.

  • Embed on your Blog: Embed slides on your blog and share the blog links with your users rather than the SlideShare link. This will bring direct traffic to your blog.

  • Share on Social Media Sites: Share slides on your company’s social media brand pages. Reach out to as many customers or potential customers in your niche as you can.

  • Create Sharable Slides: It makes perfect sense to create slides that are unique, intelligent or filled with witty humor so that people feel the need to show off their SlideShare discoveries to friends on social networking sites. Perfect design, flawless content and eye-opening facts, plus a little humor, together make a great concoction for a sharable slide presentation.

  • Interconnect with Other Online Marketing Channels: If you have a YouTube video for your brand, link your SlideShare content to your YouTube channel or video. If you have used original images on your slides, send your audience to your Pinterest account to acquire these images for free. If you want more subscribers for your email newsletter, use a sign up as your call-to-action on your SlideShare content.

  • Socialize with Fellow SlideShare Users: Link to fellow SlideShare users who have great content to share. Like or Favorite their slides and comment on some. Build a community of SlideShare users in your niche.

  • Share your Slides on Other Online Communities: If you are a frequent visitor of forums or online communities in your niche, or if you often comment on blogs, share a link to your SlideShare presentation along with the gist of what to expect from it.

  • Promote Offline: If you are in a seminar presenting your slides, mention a shortened custom URL that can be easily remembered. This lets conference attendees access your slides on SlideShare to hopefully see your slides go viral.

You must remember to give a quick summary of what to expect in the slides when you promote your SlideShare presentation externally, as users can only see the content by clicking on the ‘next’ button. This will increase your likelihood of clicks.

NOTE: With SlideShare, you do not have control over the transcription that is generated below every piece of content you share. The transcription is better when the upload is in PDF format rather than as a Word Document.

If you are not already a SlideShare user, start utilizing this powerful social media and SEO platform now. SlideShare has free and paid account options, both of which give you analytics on the number of views and social shares of your slides and more. Let us know in the comments if you have experienced increased web traffic on account of SlideShare.