Not satisfied with the inbound links to your marketing content? Not even sure what inbound links are but know you are supposed to have some?
An inbound link is a hyperlink back to your site from another website. The one constant and reliable strategy in search engine optimization (SEO) is that sites with a variety of high-quality backlinks (inbound links) rank higher in the search engine results pages than sites lacking in this type of link. Ranking on the first page of a Google search helps ensure that your message will be seen. So it’s not too hard to figure out that creating content that attracts those inbound links should be on your A list for getting your product or services in front of your target audience.
Wanting to know how to make your content totally linkable? You need your target audience to see your content as genuinely valuable and worth referencing, and thus worthy of a link! People typically link to content because they find the content:
Here are the 4 key steps to take to making your content totally linkable:
Step #1: Research what has already been successful in your field.
An effective tool for this purpose is the Google Keyword tool. Search for a few keywords that you’d like to rank for. Then look at each of the top 10 results and write something that's not only better, but something that is produced in a way that generates natural links and social shares.
Step #2: Create something even better.
Take the great content you’ve turned up and take it to another level. Find the gaps or weakness in the content and use this knowledge to boost its quality.
A great tool to utilize to punch up your example content is the Search Engine Analysis. Make sure that your version of the content is optimized by:
- Setting the permalink that includes the target keyword (URL)
- Include your keyword in title and description
- Add keyword-rich alt text to an image
Now it's time to see where you can improve on the content that's already out there. Here's a checklist that can be used:
Timeliness – Can you update the existing content? Could more have been written? For example, instead of top 10 tips, could you come up with 25 top tips on your chosen topic?
Wow Factor – Can you add some sizzle to the content? Can you make the content more compelling?
Design – People tend to evaluate the trustworthiness of a site’s content based on design. So, how can you increase design appeal? How about adding screenshots, images, or infographics, video and other types of media? Be sure to add arrows and other highlights for your graphics to make following along even easier.
Thoroughness – Can you make something more detailed or more expansive than what has already been put out there? Can you add more value by providing more detailed steps for some of the tips and strategies?
By now, you should have somewhat of an outline of your content. Now the hard work begins!
Step #3 Write the Content
Create the winning piece of content that people naturally want to share with others. There are a number of ways to build link-worthiness into content. Here are a few:
Research is inherently linkable because it’s backed by data rather than opinion, making it a natural source of citation (links) from others. As you plan your content strategy, you should consider a new study or test.
The research should serve a greater purpose: revealing insightful information for your company, providing value across your entire industry and/or answering questions vital to your audience. Be prepared to invest the time and effort to collect accurate data, if this is your chosen content format.
Expert perspectives add legitimacy to your content and tap into the audiences of those experts. This makes your content more authoritative and broadens your audience, both of which improve your ability to secure links. Not to mention, the experts can’t help but link to your content!
You might also do a roundup on lessons learned, funny stories, or tips on how to do X better. For this type of content, you may have to reach out to the experts directly, asking for their participation, providing the stories and tips.
Imagery can add value. Memes and GIFs help you connect with your audience on a human level, making your content more relatable. Breathtaking photography will often earn links itself, if the imagery is powerful enough. Charts/graphs can help people better understand the information in your content. Real screen shots lend validity to your content, often making abstract concepts more tangible. Videos draw people to your content and use visual and audio means to explain and illustrate your content.
Producing the bar-none ultimate guide to something is a timeless link building strategy. By having the most thorough information on the internet, people will naturally link to it when they mention the subject. What you’re trying to do is curate the best content from other places, and create the go-to resource for that topic, and that really makes that page a linkable asset.
Quizzes tend to attract links because they're unique and interactive. Quizzes can be just for fun, can reveal something about themselves to the quiz takers, or can be just general knowledge quizzes.
Creating a resource page in your industry will always be helpful to your audience. By giving a free resource, you’ll be able to increase new and returning visitors to your website. Other than that, you can also develop your website trust factor with your audience, which can lead to the overflowing of links.
Tell a Story and Share the Results
Sharing the results of a recent activity you implemented is definitely a good idea. Your readers won’t only know how you think and how you work, but they’ll likely see something new.
Step #4: Get Your Links
You've spied on your competitors and produced a piece of content that blows their stuff out of the water. Now what? Your goal is simple: get your content exposed to the most amount of people possible.
Here’s a site for your inspiration, highlighting great examples of high-ranking websites with linkable assets. To secure the links you deserve, increasing the lifetime value and visibility of some of your content, what type of link magnets will you create?