A Quick-Start Guide to Link Building for SEO Content
When it comes to the internet, links are the equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. In fact, they are so important that they are considered a top-3 ranking factor by search engines like Google. It’s no wonder then that they are highly prized by content marketers.
However, this means that bloggers, influencers, and even the public can be picky about who they give their links to. If you want to boost your SEO rankings, grow your traffic, and improve your DA, you need to build high-quality links through high-quality content for SEO.
With that in mind, where breaking this guide into two parts. The first will discuss how to actually create highly linkable content. In the second, we’ll discuss techniques to help you market that content in order to build high-quality backlinks.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
Step #1: How to Craft Linkable Content for SEO
No matter what you do, no one will risk their own reputation by linking to sub-standard content. So, before anything else, you need to make sure that you create content that’s click worthy.
Research, Research, and More Research
Before you can create linkable content, you need to know what the content landscape for your niche looks like. This initial period of research will form the foundation for every following step, so it’s important that you take your time and do your due diligence.
When conducting your research, there are a number of things you want to look at:
- What are your competitors doing?
- What are the most valuable keywords related to the topic?
- What topics are ranking high when searching using relevant keywords?
Your competitors have the same incentive as you to create relevant and highly linkable content. Seeing what types of topics they are paying attention to and the type of content they are publishing should give you a broad spectrum of topics to pay attention to.
As part of your keyword research, you’ll want to find keywords that attract high search volume without being too competitive to rank for.
On top of a primary keyword, you should also identify related secondary keywords, longtail keywords, and LSIs that you can spread throughout your content.
Some content marketers even create linkable content purely based on their research. This is called using the skyscraper technique whereby you try to create the most valuable and information-rich piece of content by covering all the information from your various competitors in a single piece.
You can also trawl community forums, social media, or Q&A sites like Quora to see what your audience is discussing.
Choose the Right Topic
Now, you should have a solid idea of what kind of content is out there, what your audience is looking for, and how you can establish relevancy, it’s time to pick your topic.
This can be the trickiest part of the entire process and is definitely more of an art than a science.
You need to consider a few important questions before settling on the ideal topic:
- What is the angle of the content you want to create?
- What was the problem you are trying to solve, what was your hypothesis, and how did the data support or contradict it?
- How can you put a unique spin to differentiate your content from the competition?
- What is a topic that will really capture the attention of the public?
Also, keep in mind that certain content formats are considered more “linkable,” including:
- Top X lists
- How-to guides
- What and Why posts
Get Your On-page SEO Right
On-page SEO involves all the techniques you can apply to optimize the visible content on your page for search engine rankings. This is crucial, not only for attracting search engines but also for visitor engagement and building links.
While this is a comprehensive topic that deserves its own guide, here are the main things you should focus on:
- Crafting a click-worthy main title
- Creating a clickable SERP listing
- Properly organizing the content into sections with logical headings
- Keyword density
- Optimizing your images, videos, and other media for SEO
- Pay attention to the design and user experience
Our recommendation is to start with a shortlist of around 5 topics. You can then whittle them down as you start creating your content or as you get a clearer picture of what you want to achieve with the content.
Source Valuable and Unique Information
Sure, the skyscraper technique is a completely viable way to source information for your content. However, why not go the extra mile and provide information to your readers that can’t be found anywhere else?
Not only will providing original or firsthand knowledge give your content something unique, but it will make you appear more trustworthy and authoritative – two crucial characteristics for securing links.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Create your own information: Depending on your resources, you can conduct user testing, run online surveys, or base your content on an in-house case study.
- Find reputable research: Quality, firsthand research can be found online from sites like Google Scholar, The Pew Research Center, Google Books, Science.gov, and more.
- Collect data: You can use tools like Google Trends, Moz, and other research tools to generate your own reports based on existing data.
- Be the source: Depending on the scale of your operation, you can be the source of the information. One example is Shutterstock that releases an annual Creative Trends report based on customer trends on their image marketplace.
This also brings us to another important point. Many are scared to link to external sources in fear that it will divert eyes away from their content. However, linking to external sources can be invaluable for your readers for further reading on a particular point.
As long as it’s not to your direct competitors, linking to high-quality external sources is recommended and can even help your Google rankings. Furthermore, it will show readers and others that might want to link to your content that you have thoroughly researched your facts from reputable sources.
Include Media in Your Posts
A picture is worth a thousand words. Turns out, the same can hold true when trying to craft linkable content.
Humans are visual beings and the fastest way to engage with them is to give them something more interesting and eye-catching than just walls of text. Including media in the form of images, videos, animations, infographics, or data visualizations show your willingness to go the extra mile and immediately raises the prestige of your content.
Furthermore, this visual media instantly makes your content more linkable and shareable.
Step #2: How to Build Links to Your SEO Content
Unfortunately, you can’t simply publish high-quality content and expect the links to come by themselves.
The math is simple. The more time and effort you put into your content the higher the quality will be. The more you invest in the quality of content, the more you should do to promote it in order to get the maximum value out of your investment.
Share Your Content With the World and Leverage Social Media
The first step is to generate all the free impressions for your content that you possibly can by spreading it far and wide.
This includes posting it to all of your official social media accounts as well as asking your partners, friends, family, and employees to share it as well. Send out a newsletter blast via email to make sure it’s not missed by your regulars.
Twitter, Facebook (especially Facebook Groups), Instagram, Pinterest, and even YouTube will do. You can also post on community sites you have a following, such as Growth Hackers, BizSugar, or the relevant subreddit. Just be careful of overly self-promoting on communities where this practice is discouraged.
Spend (Wisely) on PPC Advertising
You can get plenty of exposure and impressions without paying a cent. However, there are times where a little marketing spend may be entirely worth it.
Clicks cost the same, regardless of the content. So, if there is ever a time to indulge in PPC advertising it’s when you invested a significant amount of resources into a single piece of high-quality content.
Facebook and Google AdWords are two of the most popular platforms for this, while there are many other niche options as well.
Run Targeted Outreach Campaigns
Outreach campaigns are the bread and butter of link building. In simple terms, it involves identifying popular bloggers, content creators, industry authorities, or influencers in your niche and asking them to link to your content.
Typically, you do this through personalized email campaigns. It’s up to you to balance volume with a higher level of personalization and effort to find the right balance for your niche and according to the amount of time you can spend on it.
You can find these figures by running social media searches for people who have posted similar content, looking for prominent voices on community platforms, or by simply conducting some search engine research.
Share Your Content on Q&A and Community Forums
In most cases, you create content to answer a specific question, address a concern, or provide more information on a topic of interest. If you want to get more eyes on your content and build more links, this makes posting your content to Q&A sites and forums ideal.
You can start by searching for the exact question you expect interested readers to ask before clicking on your content. Then, find relevant threads on said topic and post your content as an answer. You can even comment links to your content on related topics if it comes up in the comment section.
Syndicate Your Content
Syndication is great because it’s typically a low-effort/high-return way to get more value from your content and generate incoming links. In most cases, you can publish copies of your content verbatim on sites like Medium, Slideshare, Syndication.org, Inbound, and more.
Work With the Link-Building Experts
As you can see, promoting your content and building links is hard work. It involves multiple different disciplines, each with its own tricks to learn. In some cases, trying to secure link-building opportunities can take more time and resources than actually creating high-quality content for SEO.
You might do all the research to find linkable and high-value opportunities, run email outreach campaigns, nurture leads, and still get nothing for all your time and effort.
If the prospect seems daunting, you should consider approaching a professional link-building service. Link-building services like Uprankly focus specifically on helping content creators successfully build links to their content. Typically, you only pay a flat rate for a guaranteed number of links from domains with the appropriate domain authority score. This means guaranteed results.
If you follow all these tips, you’ll be well on your way to earning high-value linking opportunities for your high-value content. While it may seem like a lot of effort, it’s impossible to overestimate the benefits building backlinks will bring to your brand.