How to Do Content Curation for SEO: Your Starter Guide

This article will teach you how to get started with content curation to maximize your SEO benefits.

But first, let’s find out what content curation entails.

What Is Content Curation?

Content curation is the process of finding and compiling existing content on topics that are relevant to your audience and industry or niche.

Put simply: you turn content that has already created (by you or others) into your own new piece of content.

To add to that, content curation is only really meaningful when you include your views on the curated content. Give your audience a reason to consume your curated content (and come back), instead of someone else’s.

And how does this help your SEO efforts?

A well-executed content curation strategy adds value for readers, resulting in social shares, links, and ultimately better rankings.

As an illustration of the results that just one curated article can bring in, check out this example: Top 16 Websites for Finding Perfect GIFs and Memes.

Naturally, that article lists the best websites to find GIFs and memes. This is a fun topic, and so it gets shared and linked to easily, as proven by these Ahrefs stats:

Factors for Content Curation Success

Now let’s get our hands dirty and discuss the factors that make content curation a success.

What does it take to be successful in content curation?

You need to:

  • Know your audience.
  • Add value.
  • Take inspiration from what’s worked in the past.
  • Test your curated content.

Know Your Audience

In order to hit the right chord with your audience, you first need to know who they are and what drives them.

Otherwise, it can prove hard to choose the best content for curation.

Add Value

The whole point of content curation is that you’re adding value by collecting content and organizing it.

The way that you do this needs to be truly valuable for your audience.

Take Inspiration from What’s Worked in the Past

Once you know your audience’s sweet spot, you can focus on crafting the right curated content for them.

Research what’s worked well in the past for others, using platforms such as:

  • Reddit.
  • HackerNews.
  • Slashdot.
  • GrowthHackers.
  • BuzzSumo.
  • Zest.
  • Twitter.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look both within your own niche and beyond it. Even cross-language —sometimes you can create a similar curated content piece in a different language.

Don’t blatantly copy, but it’s fine to get inspired by successfully curated content in other markets.

Test Your Curated Content

Test different curated content formats (like articles, visuals, podcasts, and videos) and apply different content curation tactics.

Measure what works well with your audience.

Fail fast, and then try something different!

Why so Serious?

Mind you, “valuable content” doesn’t have to mean serious content.

Take for example “The Ultimate Fails Compilation” by the FailArmy, which has nearly 213 million views, 413,000 thumbs up, 57,000 comments, and 1,570 links from 481 referring domains.

You know what’s really funny? Behind all the laughs, there’s some next-level content curation here!

Content Curation Tactics

Now on to the part that’s the most fun of all: zooming in on the most successful angles to content curation, which you can implement yourself after you’ve finished reading this article.

1. Aggregating: Events or Articles

Not everyone has time to keep a watchful eye on their Twitter stream, Facebook news feed, RSS feeds and newsletters coming in.

Aggregating content in an easy-to-digest format is a great example of curation.

This form of content curation applies for any niche, and I encourage you to keep an open mind for all mediums: blog articles, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, and video. It also often makes sense to combine these.

Some examples:

  • Merj’s Technical SEO roundup September 2018: Every month, Merj checks out what’s recently happened in the technical SEO scene so that you don’t have to.
  • Kevin Indig’s TECH BOUND newsletter: Kevin Indig’s weekly newsletter mentions noteworthy events and case studies from the digital marketing scene, which Kevin comments on.
  • Reforge Brief: It gives a brief summary of high-quality articles about tech and digital marketing.
  • There’s not just one format out there for curating content; take for example SEJ’s Search Engine Nerd podcast, which summarizes what’s recently happened in the search industry.

2. Synthesizing: Reducing Long, Complex Information to a Digestible Format

Not everyone has the time or energy to dig through long, complex articles.

Some people just want the takeaways without the hassle of reading it themselves.

Give them these, and you’ll create value.


  • When the new Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines came out in the summer of 2018, Jennifer Slegg dug in and wrote a summary of what had changed, and her thoughts on these changes.
  • Bill Slawski has been known to read through Google patents, giving him insights into possible directions that Google will go in. Do you want to read through this complex and hard-to-read patent, or just read this easily digestible version, where Slawski includes his theories on these patents?
  • The author of Lululemon Athletica’s Growth Study pulled out all the stops and put in a ton of research to figure out what it was that made Lululemon so successful. This study isn’t just packed with useful insights, it’s also visually pleasing because of all the screenshots and photos. It’s still a lot of information, but the way it’s structured makes it very digestible.

3. Curating Survey Results

Another great example of content curation is running surveys and aggregating their results.

You’re taking the survey responses and framing them into valuable content for your audience.


4. Visual: Images

Visual curated content deserves its own section, as it appeals to your audience in a different way.

It’s easily digestible and very linkable and shareable.


5. Statistics: Curating Large Datasets

Curating large datasets into usable statistics provides a tremendous amount of value.

It often takes a big investment, but that also makes it hard to copy.


  • Glassdoor: Read about what it’s like to work for different companies, and the salaries that people make there.
  • Numbeo: Learn the cost of living in other countries, and how they compare to each other.

6. Expert Roundups

You’ve probably seen these before: expert roundups. Now, some people have grown tired of them, but I’m still finding well-executed expert roundups out there.

The trick is to really focus them around a certain topic, and to not include too many experts.

After all, once you’ve read 12 opinions on an issue, you’ve probably read enough.

Examples of well-executed expert roundups:

  • 9 Local SEO Experts Share One Secret to their Success
    • Why I Like It:
      • It’s not a massive list of expert opinions that nobody is going to read. Quality over quantity!
      • The roundup is very focused: each expert shares one secret for local SEO.
      • Each expert’s opinion is accompanied by a photo, name, and company name. The experts’ Twitter profiles are linked as well. This puts the experts in the spotlight, giving them a reason to co-promote the post.
    • What Would Make Me Like It Even More: Include an index of the experts at the top of the article.
  • The Future of SEO
    • Why I Like It:
      • The caricatures make it visually pleasing and funny. Not only has this made this expert roundup resonate with the experts, but some of them have also even started using their caricature on their social media profiles.
      • The format is refreshing, as it’s all custom designed instead of just an article.
    • What Would Make Me Like It Even More: Implementing the text from the visuals as text, rather than in the visuals. Right now, there’s very little text on the page — which means you’re probably losing out on some SEO opportunities.

7. Distilling: Turning Large Amounts of Information into a Digestible List

You’re familiar with this one too. One typical format here is “$randomAmount Digital Marketing tools you can’t live without in $year”.

These “listicles” are practically as old as the internet, so it’s hard to be successful with a list-type curated content piece — it requires more creativity and effort. But it’s definitely still possible.


  • The best places to visit in 2019
    • Why I Like It:
      • It’s very visual and easy to read.
      • It clearly explains why each place made it onto the list and why you should put it on your traveling wishlist, and it even includes very specific recommendations that show that the author knows really what he’s talking about.
  • The best electric cars 2018 UK: our pick of the best EVs
    • Why I Like It:
      • This one too is very visual and easy to read. And that really matters here. In car articles, you obviously want to see high-quality pictures.
      • It’s easy to navigate and also guides you to a review for each car.
      • It includes information about specific subsidies when you buy cars, showing the authors’ expertise.

Content Curation Tools

The biggest resource for content curation is you. But still, there are tools that can make this job easier.

RSS Feed Managers

Tools to Keep Track of Textual Content

Tools to Keep Track of Visual Content

Tools to Easily & Quickly Put Together a Newsletter

Tools to find popular content

Now Go & Promote Your Curated Content

Curated content pieces also need promotion for them to reach their audience.

You can assemble the best content around, but if no one hears about it, it won’t be seen. Time is money, so you’ll be flushing money down the toilet.

Make sure you have a promotion plan in place to launch your content pieces into the world so that they can reach their full potential. If you need some inspiration, check out:


Content curation is a great way to advance your SEO.

Make sure you:

  • Create value.
  • Know your audience.
  • Get inspired from what’s worked for others when you’re stuck.
  • Test your curated content.
  • Experiment with different content curation tactics.

There’s not just one formula that works for everyone. Execute, fail fast, and always try something different.

More Content Marketing Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image:
Screenshot taken by author, October 2018