Meme Power: How to Get Backlinks and Traffic to a Site Using Memes 2020

Meme Power: How to Get Backlinks and Traffic to a Site Using Memes 2020

Everyone loves memes. We share them daily with friends and family. They can influence our daily mood and often become a part of our everyday culture. But did you know that memes can also help you improve your marketing and SEO tactics?

In this article, we will talk about the serious component of this entertaining content and how to use its virality for our own promotion.

Let’s start with the basics: what is a meme?

A meme is a media object used to represent a specific idea or life situation with characteristic features of irony and comedy. It can also become a viral sensation among users on the Internet.

The term “meme” was mentioned by the scientist for the first time in “The Selfish Gene.” written by Richard Dawkins in 1976. The word was used to describe the basic units of all culturally significant information. The author drew a parallel with the gene as the basic unit of biological information.

Later, the writer Michael Flynn in his novel “In the Country of the Blind” described memes as phrases or ideas that had the potential to become meaningful to humanity.

Of course, not all memes are popular. For content to become viral, it must find a response in the heart of most users, be relevant, and include a sense of comedy. Below we will tell you how to use them correctly.

Memes for Marketing and SEO: How They Can Help Promote

A correct use of memes for marketing purposes can give good results. The first to draw attention to this and popularize memes was the LOLCATS company.

Here are a few reasons why memes are a good promotion tool:

Content Virality

It’s no secret that many people use the Internet for reasons other than business purposes. A lot of time is spent on entertainment, including watching funny videos and looking at humorous pictures. The ease and simplicity of perception, as well as the vitality of the situations described in the meme, prompts the user to share it with friends, which can subsequently cause virality.

Simplicity and Accessibility

To create a funny meme, you do not need to allocate an additional budget for it. A good sense of humor and basic Photoshop skills are enough. With this, you are already creating viral content! Photoshop skills are not always necessary. There are special sites for creating memes, which we will talk about a little later.

Difficult In Simple

Using a meme, you can convey some seemingly complicated ideas or thoughts to the user by using a comic form. This way, you will not cause difficulties in perception and fulfill your goal.

Social Media Focus

Visual content works well on social networks. Memes can help boost activity on your pages. Read more about this in the Social Signals in SEO article.

Traffic, Likes, Shares, and Backlinks

Memes occupy a top position among all other content that is shared on the Internet. This means that you can use them in your SEO and marketing strategies.

How Famous Brands Use Memes to Promote Their Campaigns

Famous brands have long adopted the use of memes. We suggest considering the most successful.


The ideology of the brand is built around sophistication and elegance. For most people, the company is associated with luxury and upper class.

However, in 2017, in support of their #TFWGucci 2017 campaign, they wanted to dispel prejudice by becoming closer and more understandable to a wide audience. Because of this, memes became a marketing tool.


The abbreviation of the campaign name was deciphered as “That Feeling When Gucci”, and the campaign itself was dedicated to promoting the line of watches.



Memes were created together with artists from different parts of the world. They were all completely different, ranging from absurd to funny. The company also took care of beginners in the field of memes. On the brand’s landing page, they posted a video explaining the concept and ideology of this occurrence.



That’s how Gucci refreshed the outlook of the brand and attracted new audience.


A popular food-ordering and delivery company in the United States often interacts with its audience in a comic form. In 2014, they managed to develop an unusual and creative marketing strategy using memes. It was a series of funny pictures based on Oscar nominations and even named after them. The campaign was called #OscarNomNoms.

The idea was a success and caused a great resonance on Twitter.



They rethought and developed movie posters with original puns that dealt with the favorite dishes of many. Needless to say, the campaign made a real explosion on the Internet and exceeded all the expectations placed on it.

Seamless made a bet that the launch of the advertising campaign coincided with the announcement of nominees for the Oscar, which also ensured its virality.


BarkBox is a New York-based monthly subscription dog service. In total, they have about half a million monthly subscribers. The only thing that such a huge audience has in common is the endless love of dogs.

The company decided to use pets in their memes to promote their products and services in order to unite the community of pet lovers.

The tactic played well as subscribers often tagged their friends under such posts.




Denny’s Diner

The well-known fast-food chain has always interacted with the audience on social networks. Their posts are actively liked and reposted. Therefore, it is not surprising that Denny’s began to use memes for marketing purposes in order to increase customer engagement.

Considering that the audience is accustomed to interaction, it perceives memes much more easily than seriously submitted information that plays into the hands of the company.



Netflix has also always tried to be as interactive as possible with its users. The company also prefers informal communication with the audience which is why they enjoy meme marketing.

Netflix has a dedicated meme marketing affiliate account called “Netflix is a Joke.” They make memes here based on their own shows and thus increase their views.




Where to Start Your Acquaintance with Memes?

Inspired by the successful cases of well-known companies, it’s time to learn from their experience. If you are not already too deeply immersed in youth meme culture, where do you start?

There are two ways to get to know memes better. The first is spending a lot of time on meme websites, or the platforms on which they are generated and distributed. These are resources such as:

  • Reddit
    A social news site on which registered users can post links to any information they like on the Internet. Reddit absorbed Digg, which was one of the largest news sites in the world with over 35 million unique visitors per month. Reddit now ranks 19th in traffic according to Alexa Internet and SimilarWeb and has 430 million active users (Reddit, 2020). Related article – Reddit For SEO.
  • 4Chan
    An English-language imageboard and anonymous web forum created under the influence of the Japanese Futaba channel. At the moment, it has surpassed the Futaba channel in traffic and popularity and is the largest imageboard in the world. It has 22 million active visitors per month (4chan, 2018).
  • SomethingAwful
    A comedy website with a variety of humorous content: a forum, articles, pictures, and more. The platform has existed since 1999.
  • Imgur
    Online service for uploading, storing, and sharing photo images. The company was founded by Ohio University student Alan Schaaf in 2009 and began as a unique photo-hosting service. Imgur is especially popular on Reddit. 300 million active users.
  • Tumblr
    This is a microblogging service, which includes a huge number of pictures, articles, videos, and gif-images in different directions. It allows users to publish posts in their Tumblr blog. 327.5 million unique visitors from around the world (Statista, 2020).

All of the above are large different communities with their own culture. Do not suddenly rush in there with the business Start with observation and study them. Your first impression will never be forgotten, so you should try to make it good.

The second way is a more scientific approach to the situation, a site called Know Your Meme. This is a cross between Wikipedia and the modern dictionary, you can study the trends and get acquainted with other popular areas of meme culture. This site should not be taken too seriously, just treat it as a good resource for a superficial acquaintance.

Another simple and reliable way is to study the trends and tendencies of the social network in which you plan to publish your memes. Each site has its own audience and sense of humor, which is silly to ignore.

Choosing Memes for Your Target Audience

In any strategy, be it SMM or SEO, it is very important to determine who it is aimed at. The same goes for using memes. If your target is millennials, focus on topics and jokes relevant to them. Remember that boomers and zoomers are unlikely to laugh at a meme created for millennials because they may simply not understand it.

You will also have to balance between promotion and entertainment because the ultimate goal is not only to bring positive emotions to the audience but also to sell the product/service.

How to Find and Identify a Trending Meme

If you want to create memes with viral potential, you need to follow the trends. Like any other media, memes live on the Internet for a short time and very quickly lose their relevance However, there are exceptions.

We already mentioned several sites from which we recommended starting your acquaintance with memes. They can also be used to search for trends.

Let’s look at a few resources that can compete among themselves for the title of the best meme website.

    This is one of the best sites that contains fresh memes from around the world. Additional usability of the site is provided by the availability of categories for searches such as jokes, cute, politics, sports, etc.

You can sign up on the site. Having an account will allow you to save and download your favorite memes. Most of the jokes are original but some are from third-party resources and Tumblr pages.

  • Top Fifty Memes
    Going back to Reddit, here, the memes are used most often, creating emerging trends. Top Fifty Memes scans subsections to identifies trending memes. The algorithm calculates them based on popularity and upvotes. They generate the top 50 trending memes from Reddit every day. This is a great way that does not require spending a day on the platform.

  • Giphy
    The site appeared in 2013 and has become very popular. This is a kind of “Google for gifs”, where you can find absolutely any gif image to illustrate experiences, intentions, conditions, and other things that you would like to share with your friends. Yes, a gif may also be a meme.

Do not forget that memes are not only funny pictures and funny videos but can also be a phrase.

Use Google Trends to find out what your potential customers want and how their needs are changing. Based on this, you can create trending memes and predict what may become popular in the near future. Read more in How to use Google Trends for SEO.

And, as we mentioned earlier, pay attention to the trends in the social networks that you use for business.

Creating a Meme: How to Make It Viral and Funny

This is the most practical and most crucial part of this article: the creation of memes. If you have studied in detail the needs of your audience, figured out the trends, and got acquainted with the resources, it’s time to get to work.

f you want to build memes, it will not take you much time. However, if this is your first time, you will have to make some effort.

Before you start, save up to the 50 most successful memes in your opinion in the niche in which you plan to create your own.

Next, use Photoshop to implement the idea. If you do not have knowledge of Photoshop, use the meme making website. We recommend the two most popular and easy to use:

  • Memegenerator
    There are ready-made templates for the most popular memes in which you need to insert your text. After that, you can download the finished picture.

You can also create a meme with your own image. 

This is another popular make a meme website with a similar interface.

Do not stop at one version of the meme. We recommend making several drafts at once so that you can choose the best one later.

Try to add your own zest even to the trending meme so that it matches the concept and ideology of your brand.

If the result seems ingenious, do not rush. For an objective and fresh look, you should show it to people you trust. Ask them to give an honest assessment of the meme and gather different points of view. Keep the information about who it is intended for in mind and remember that all people have a different sense of humor. Do not be discouraged if someone criticizes your work.

Do not take this process too seriously, and remember that memes are not all the same humor.

Finish Line: Share Your Meme with the Audience

So, the meme is created. What will be your next steps? You need to share it with a large audience. Virality is provided by social networks:

  • Facebook
    This social network should not be ignored as it is the largest one in terms of the number of users. In the first three months of 2020, the number of active Facebook users grew by 100 million and reached 2.6 billion. If you want a large reach, it would help if the meme was published on Facebook. The downside is that most users do not have their own sites, so you can forget about link building with memes here.  However, you can still attract attention to your business, increase the number of subscribers to your Facebook page, and get additional traffic.
  • Twitter
    As of the first quarter of 2019, Twitter totaled about 330 million active users. This is a significantly smaller number compared to Facebook, but it is still just as effective when it comes to the distribution of visual content. If you do not have a large number of subscribers, there is practically no chance that your meme will be noticed. Publishing a meme as an opinion leader with an impressive audience will definitely bring good results.
  • Pinterest
    This platform is still rapidly gaining popularity. The number of active users has grown by 26% over the past year and amounts to about 335 million. Users here love beautiful pictures and memes. Most of the audience is women. The downside is that all the links leading from Pinterest are enclosed in the nofollow tag. Related article – Power of Nofollow Links.

The listed resources can give you the traffic you are counting on but do not meet the expectations for the number of links to your meme. Pay attention to other sites with where you can get backlinks (more information in the article Build High-Quality Backlinks):

  • Reddit. We have already mentioned Reddit several times in this article, but we will do it again because it is a really important platform for distributing memes. For your meme to appear in Reddit, you must publish it in one of the appropriate subsections (subreddits). If the post gets to the main page of this subsection, you will get huge traffic and dofollow backlinks. You can place different memes in several subcategories, and there are no restrictions. This will increase the chances of success. Keep in mind that the Reddit audience is not good at advertising and spam, so don’t overdo it.
  • Tumblr. We also mentioned Tumblr because this platform has a huge potential for spreading viral content. This is a cross between a blog and a social network and is somewhat reminiscent of Pinterest. Users can publish content in their Tumblr, while other members of the community can like it and quote it. All reblogs here are dofollow which is a big benefit. Imagine that with each repost you get a backlink. In other social networks, this is not possible, so in Tumblr, this is a tangible advantage. A separate role is assigned to the use of tags. This means that even with a small audience, there is a chance of success because other users can find you by the tag.

To summarize: to achieve your goals for receiving traffic and backlinks, post a pic meme on all of the mentioned platforms. The more social networks you use, the more likely you are to make your meme viral. You can also use other resources. For example, video memes can be accessed on video platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Make your meme funny and understandable, do not overdo the information. If you do it right, many will definitely share it.

About author
Anna is a creative writer, copywriter and radio presenter. Nine years of experience in marketing, advertising, promotion. Five years in the media sphere. Now she is studying and writing about SEO. Anna hopes she can offer you something interesting and useful.