I still enjoy watching John Oliver’s rant regarding the Journalism industry, and the great spoof at the end about the value of racoon cats. There is a mountain of clickbait and listicles to grab our attention, but not providing any real value!
However, it does appear that there is distinct value around Top 10 lists. In a recent blog post about the impact or reviews, there is an interesting section that states:
It strikes me that Google is doing a similar thing in the review space these days by placing numeric callouts from top review platforms front and center in Local Knowledge Panels.
Later in the article, they make another interesting claim:
One way this works at Yelp is that the Top Ten pages pick up significant internal page strength that is then passed on to the local business page. Also I think that Google takes special note of those Top 10 pages and assigns value to the listings in and of themselves.
This got me thinking about how Top 10 lists can be helpful for a hyperlocal publisher. Without further ado, the clickbait worthy Top 10 reasons that a local publisher needs Top 10 Lists:
- SEO benefits – a Top 10 list is a good way to build up page strength that can then be passed on to individual business pages. It’s yet another example of cornerstone content that we’ve repeatedly stressed as extremely important for publishers to create.
- Google now giving Top 10 lists more local authority – the post goes on to say that it appears that Google is giving Top 10 lists more authority for “near me” searches given the density of search result terms in them. This may wind up being a short term win, but the point here is that businesses that get more reviews tend to wind up in these lists, so actually another reason to consider a solid review policy.
- Helps with Reviews – Similar to #2, the more places a business shows up on your site, the more opportunities for readers to interact with them. And the more reviews a business has, the more visible they are. Synergy!
Gives you links into Business Pages, which make them more visible with search engines – search engines will follow links on high quality pages, which makes businesses on Top 10 lists more visible.
A way to engage your readers – People love to interact with lists. They will complain about their favorite place that was left off a list, or explain in gory detail why a business that made the list is undeserving. In any case, getting readers engaged is the name of the game.
- Create regular content people look forward to – Mixing up a little entertainment to go along with local news can be a welcome distraction for readers. Especially since the lists will be content they easily relate to.
- Gamify – While the viral success of Pokemon Go has seemed to subside, there’s no dismissing the power of gamifying the local experience. We’ve seen very creative contests and promotions that focus on Top 10 style content.
- Flexibility – Top 10 lists don’t have to be limited to local businesses. You could do a “Top 10 read stories this month”, a “Top 10 shared stories” and more. You can focus your efforts on whatever topic you want people to talk about or find good answers for.
- Great Search Results – not only do Top 10 lists help with your SEO on popular search engines, but it helps with search within your own site. The more content you have to describe specific businesses, the easier they can be found. Combine the great, targeted local content with curation from the publisher, and there’s no reason the search experience on a local publisher can’t be superior to a search engine.
Backlinks – If your Top 10 content is high quality, a lot of people will link to it. Backlinks are still viewed as one of the top attributes for search engines, and getting more backlinks needs to be a priority of local publishers.
Top 10 lists are relatively easy to generate, tend to be longer content (which has been shown to help with SEO), and provide a great opportunity to generate links. This should be a regular part of every publisher’s editorial regimen.