There may come a time when something on your website goes viral (starts spreading rapidly on the Internet). This could happen to a picture, video, or blog post, or even to an idea or topic. Sometimes a website in general goes viral. While this is great for gathering views and increasing your rankings in search engines, it could be a disaster if your website or hosting is not set up properly and ready to handle such a large amount of traffic. Your website could get overloaded and crash, leaving you scrambling to get it back up and running. Meanwhile, visitors are flocking to an error page to see what all the fuss is about. Here, Virtual Market Advantage will go over some steps you can take to make sure that your website and business is ready should it ever contain viral content.
When You’re Not Ready for Viral Content
Before we get into how to prepare yourself for potentially viral content, lets take a closer look at what can happen if you’re not ready for it. It can be a bigger problem than you may realize.
- Your site can crash. This is bad enough, especially if it goes down for a long period of time, since you’ll lost visitors for the duration of the crash. Instead of reaping the benefits of the viral content, you’ll be getting a bad reputation from frustrated viewers.
- You can get into a bit of trouble with your hosting company, which will need to help you get your site back up and running.
- If you have blog posts or other posts scheduled for your website, they can get backed up and create chaos for you once your site is back up.
- If you’re running ads on your site for a fee, a crash can cause issues with the company that paid you to post their ad, costing you money and creating headaches for you and that company.
Your Control Over Your Website and Viral Content
A lot can happen (and happen quickly) when you have viral content. Fortunately, there are aspects that you can control. In order to protect your website, you need to make sure you have control over them now, before any content goes viral. Here are some factors to consider:
- Analytics. You can check and monitor your traffic daily. This is recommended for any business website in general.
- Hosting packing. Get onto a dedicated server as soon as you see your post or site getting more traffic. Doing this early as your post goes viral can save you a lot of time, headache, and money.
- SEO. Use strong SEO tactics for your posts. Most of your traffic comes from people doing searches on a related topic. Having the right SEO in place will help you gain that viral traffic and keep it coming long after the initial volley of visitors has come and gone. Don’t be afraid to start your SEO - it can be very simple!
- Advertisements. You don’t need to have an ad on every single post, but if you go ahead and apply to ad networks before your post goes viral, it will be easier to add them on as you need them without the wait time for approval. This will save you time and money as your post goes viral. Learn more about improving your company’s advertising and marketing here!
- The right tech person. Make sure you have a person you can depend on to call for help with technical issues. This person can be a lifesaver in a crunch and help ease your stress while handling viral content.
What to Do Once Your Post Goes Viral
If some part of your website has gone viral, what’s the next step?
- In most cases, the first thing you need to do is turn off the comments on your post. This will make it easier for you to manage your site while avoiding spam comments. It might seem counter-productive to cut off this communication with your audience, but unfortunately, when the eyes of the Internet turn to a certain location, the conversation tends to become toxic, not helpful.
- Introduce yourself on the viral post. Do this at the bottom of the page. This allows readers to learn about you, your site, and what to expect if they become regular visitors after they find the viral post.
- After the introduction, add an opt-in. Ask for them to subscribe to your email list or other type of direct call to action.
- Syndicate your post on larger sites to draw in more visitors. This step is not something that needs to be done immediately, since the page has already gone viral, but it’s something you should do to keep the visitors coming after the initial interest has died down.
Making sure you have control over every aspect of your website that you can will help ensure that you’re ready if and when your content goes viral. This situation can either be stressful or exciting, depending on how much you’ve prepared. Be ready for viral content before it occurs, so you can take advantage of the increased attention and enjoy the ride!