Link building and content marketing are practically synonymous. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the masters of marketing over at MOZ, more than a third of respondents said that “content marketing” was actually the best name for link building strategies. Maybe this is because content without backlinks simply isn’t going to do much of anything for your search engine optimization.
This is the reality of SEO today, and it’s left many content creators frustrated. After doing everything in their power to create amazing content, their ability to attract backlinks never takes off from the starting line. Content without backlinks still serves a purpose for those who happen to stumble upon it, however your ability to rank in search engine results and reach a larger audience are practically nil without a backlink building strategy.
So, if exceptionally crafted content isn’t enough to earn quality backlinks, then what is? It’s time to debunk the myth that quality alone is enough and discover why dedicated strategies for content marketing and link building are crucial for search engine marketing today.
Why a Content Strategy Is Important
If you’re ready to address why your content isn’t getting the links it deserves, the first step is getting back to the basics of the importance of a strong content marketing strategy. The focus on quality content being crucial to SEO is strong right now. This, and the recent shifts in Google’s algorithm, have created the idea that earning quality backlinks isn’t as relevant as it once was.
Maybe the dynamics have changed, but a content strategy that earns backlinks is still important for ranking online. To illustrate, go ahead and do a Google search for any topic. Out of the results you see, it’s estimated that more than 99% of the top 50 have earned at least one external link pointing back to their website, with the top ranking entries having even more.
Backlinks still matter, and you need a content strategy for earning them.
The fact is, when someone out there links back to your content, they’re putting a ton of trust in you. It’s their image that’s on the line and linking to content or web pages that don’t hold value is a sure way to turn off their own readers. This means your content strategy needs to contain two basic components – a discriminating eye for quality and relevancy, and a way to connect with other authoritative sites and content creators.
Secrets of Backlink Earning Content
Even though you have multiple options for earning high quality links, the majority of the content that manages to do it easily share some things in common. Let’s take a quick look at the top performing components of content strategies that make link building look like a walk in the park.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, know who you’re writing for – and this includes realizing that you’re writing for a human audience and not just to please search engines. The foundation of your content strategy should be to understand your target audience, their nuances and what types of content fuel their behaviors. It’s understandable why this is important from a SEM perspective, but why does it matter for backlinks? Because authority sites aren’t going to want anything to do with wishy-washy content that doesn’t hit the mark.
The challenge for any content creator is coming up with an idea that hasn’t already been covered to death. But, let’s say you do a little research and discover that certain topics in your industry are getting a tremendous number of backlinks. Is it effective to take a copycat approach and include those topics in your own blogging efforts?
Yes and no. Nobody likes a copycat and producing completely unauthentic content is going to kill your backlink potential and earn a thumbs down from Google. This doesn’t mean that you need to shy away from high performing topics, but you do need to add your own unique spin and go a little deeper with them.
For example, if a real estate agent is noticing lots of articles about 5 or 10 things to do in their town on a weekend, they could take it a step further and create a list of 20 or 25 things to do on a rainy Saturday. Longer, unique content not only gives you the chance to express your authority, but also provides more incentive for someone to throw you a link.
Content that contains visuals, more specifically infographics, earns more links than straight text based pieces. This makes sense considering how visually oriented we are. Just think about the visual nature of the majority of posts shared on social media. We process visual information faster and are naturally drawn to it.
Incorporating high quality, reliable infographics into your content strategy will instantly make you more appealing to everyone you reach out to and earn more links and shares with minimal effort on your part.
A Solid Link Building Strategy
Unfortunately, no matter how well you’ve optimized your content for earning links, it probably isn’t going to walk out there and do all the work for you. Earning backlinks still requires some elbow grease, no matter who you are.
It’s essential that you have a link building strategy in place that includes both outreach and collaboration. A solid link building strategy might look something like reaching out to sites that have a shared audience base but produce slightly different content. It might also look like collaborating on content with someone that’s built up a niche audience in your industry or is a prominent player in related industry. Yes, this takes time, but it’s always worth the investment
For example, a community business who has already invested heavily in local SEO might collaborate on a series of content with another business that has a significant local following. This simple form of outreach can guarantee backlinks from a site with established authority and help them build their visibility within the community.
A strategic approach to content creation and link earning is essential for your success. We’re the digital marketing agency that can help you achieve quality backlinks and break through your goals. Learn more below about how Knowmad's SEO and content marketing services can fuel your growth in the digital world.
Diona is a managing partner at Knowmad. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing strategy, project management, brand management, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and website design.