Starter Guide to Buzzsumo

By January 13, 2017Tools and Tips

buzzsumo analytics seo social mediaIf you’re just starting to market your business, a site you might not have heard of yet it Buzzsumo. Unlike the others we’ve featured, most of Buzzsumo’s services are paid (starting at $99/month), but it does come with a 14-day free trial, which should be plenty of time to decide if it will work for you.

What is Buzzsumo?

Buzzsumo is a marketing tool that will show you the most popular online articles about a given subject, and also show you the movers and shakers within that field.

Here’s a screenshot for a search using “fishing” as the topic. You can filter the results by articles, infographics, guest posts, giveaways, interviews, and videos using the checklist on the left, as well as tailor results by time, language, and location. Most topics run to hundreds or even thousands of posts, with the most popular showing at the top. Checking the social media performance shows where each link’s main audience came from—for example the top result got 210k Facebook engagements, but only 9 shares on Twitter.

This is a great tool for finding articles to share on your social media account that already have proven success, but there’s even more valuable information lurking behind those results: the backlinks and sharers. To access those, you’ll need a paid account, or free trial.

Movers and shakers

Not all social media accounts are created equal. Just as some brands have more influence than others, so do individual users. You can have the most dedicated Twitter follower in the world, but you won’t gain much from them retweeting everything you post if they only have four followers. Finding the key influencers in your audience base and getting them to engage with your brand is critical to social media success.

Here are the backlinks from the top article in the Buzzsumo results for “fishing.” A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. Generally speaking, the more backlinks a site has, the more popular it’s likely to be (think about every time you share a link to Amazon, for example. Each of those is a backlink—including the one we just posted).

Understanding the data

What the data shows us is that site has only a handful of backlinks. This bucks the trend for what marketing gurus will tell you is the right way to grow your site. More significantly, those backlinks had very little social media attention. Out of 210,800 Facebook interactions, only seven came through the backlink. What that means is that link performed phenomenally on Facebook, and Facebook alone.

Facebook posts can be hard to track, because Facebook keeps much of its user data to itself. Twitter, on the other hand, is much more transparent.

Here’s the top post filtered by Twitter shares—notice it’s for a shopping site, i.e. direct marketing, not a viral video. It had a much more modest 388 Facebook interaction, but 3,600 tweets. By clicking on the “View Sharers” button, we can see where those shares came from.

Here are the top three sharers. Note Buzzsumo sorts them into categories—we have a company, a blogger, and an influencer. We can also see their followers, and their retweet and reply stats. Bloggers and influencers are especially useful to know if you’re trying to grow your online presence. It also pays to see how unexpected people can produce great results in your field—such as the owner of an Etsy crafting store being the biggest influencer for a fishing platform. Is it because they have a dedicated following? If so, how did they get it? Watching how influencers act can give you insight into how to grow your company’s web presence.


Buzzsumo results can be interpreted in multiple ways, and used to help your business in just as many. Find users who can generate excitement about your business, as well as the right places to feature your product. If all you want is a list of links to post on social media, Buzzsumo is a good place to start.

If you’re not sure how to start, pick a plan and let’s friendly experts help.

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