The Ultimate Link-Building Guide for SEO
It’s no secret that the most crucial aspect of SEO is link building. It’s the culmination of different skills involving the need to master sales, content, psychology, programming, and marketing in an attempt to have others link back to your website. If you want to increase inbound traffic, link building is a must.
To ensure that users are easily able to land on trustworthy pages, search engines constantly evolve their algorithm. As far as they’re concerned, positioning high-quality content that correlates to user’s queries is a matter of top priority.
But that isn’t the only thing that makes investing in lead generation and creating quality content so valuable these days. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C organizations already invest in content marketing; and failure to follow the same strategy is sure to place you behind the competition.
This blog will act as the ultimate guide for link-building with content and it’s sure to up your SEO game, pushing you that much closer to achieving your business goals.
When is Content Considered “High-Quality”?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of things, it’s important to understand what high-quality content actually means. If you do a bit of research, you’ll discover that most SEO and link-building guides focus primarily on creating top-notch content. Why is that? Well, that’s because link-building gets much easier with quality content because that’s what readers generally end up sharing.
Both individuals and businesses are constantly on the lookout for quality material that they can link back to, to increase their content’s credibility which is found on their website. That’s why very few people place links to a homepage, shopping cart, or product page.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a clear difference between content marketing and link building. Content marketing refers to the process of creating and sharing content (blogs, articles, videos, infographics) with the intent of driving traffic to a website and turning leads into customers.
Link building, on the other hand, is the use of various strategies that focus on getting blogs or websites to link back to your web page to boost your search engine rankings. Engine crawlers scour content in search of links, which they then use to determine your webpage’s ranking.
In short, linkable and well-crafted content is what ultimately amounts to quality material. To summarize, high-quality content must possess the following features.
- Provide accurate information and is well-researched
- Is free from any grammatical errors
- Contains complete and up-to-date information
- Contains the use of supplemental graphs, infographics, videos, and images where necessary
- Contains information that’s relevant to the target audience
Taking Help from the Skyscraper Technique
When it comes to understanding what sort of content is appropriate for your industry, there’s no better tool than the ‘Skyscraper Technique’, developed by the dean of Backlinko. The technique comprises of three main steps. The first step involves finding link-worthy content, the second is improving it and making it even better, and the third and last step is reaching out to the right people.
According to a study published by the same people after they analyzed nearly 912 million blogs, It was revealed that long-form content attracts more social media shares and backlinks.
The study goes on to mention how the ideal content length for shares hovers around 1,000-1,200 words, however, content that exceeds 3,000 words manages to get around 77.2% more referral links than content that’s shorter than 1,000 words. The research also goes on to state that after the 2,000-word mark, content begins to experience diminishing returns.
Selecting the Right Topic
Keeping the aforementioned technique in mind, you can select the best topic by carrying out simple word searches on Google to discover what people within your industry are searching for. Pay close attention to the drop-down suggestions that appear while you’re typing a common query. This will reveal important phrases and keywords people are using to access information regarding a certain topic.
Note down the top suggestions and use them as potential topics you can explore in your future content. Websites such as Quora also assist in uncovering current trends within your industry. For example, by typing “SEO strategies,” you’ll come across questions such as “How to improve SEO” and “How will SEO benefit my business”.
This process will help you discover new ways and angles of taking on existing topics. If everyone is talking about new SEO trends, then you can create an article title somewhere along the lines of “Top SEO trends of 2019”. Try to come up with at least 10 title suggestions based on your research, what your target audience is most interested in, and your personal understanding of how your customers can benefit from the content.
Strategies to Create High-Quality Content
Now that you’ve finally decided on your topic, it’s time to start creating expert-level content. However, there’s a possibility that you still aren’t sure of what to put in your blogs and articles. The following are five strategies that’ll help your content support both future link-building efforts as well as visitors that land on your website.
Cite As Many Pieces of Research as Possible
It’s pretty easy to make assumptions in your blogs and articles. Remember to always back your statements with research to strengthen the content and make it more likely to be used as a reference by others within the industry. For example, claiming that Facebook is the largest social media platform on the planet can come off as an opinion.
However, once you state the same claim and follow it up stating and hyperlinking that Facebook currently has around 2.38 billion monthly users, is no longer an opinion; but a researched-based fact. This is what differentiates between credible content from your average, run-of-the-mill blog. Citing credible sources also establishes your authority as a trustworthy source of information. With time, people will begin to link to your other blogs and articles as well.
Finding credible sources isn’t difficult either. For example, if you’re writing a medical blog, sources such as Mayo Clinic and Healthline have tons of research-backed articles on almost every health-related issue out there.
Do Your Own Bit of Custom Research
Given how interactive we’ve become online over the past decade, it’s entirely possible to conduct surveys of webmasters to uncover the latest trends. Using tools such as Google Surveys, you can take various trends and conclusions and include them in your content as an infographic or chart, for example.
Content creators are always on the lookout for sources to cite in their blogs and articles. If your content is the information they need, you’ll automatically earn backlinks when they cite your work.
Turn to Industry Experts
Another easy way of building credibility is by using quotes and statements from industry experts or anyone that’s known to wield authority in a particular niche. For example, if we state that using accurate and unique page titles will help boost your page rankings, that’ll just be an opinion of ours which you can choose to follow or not.
But if we also mention that the same claim was made by Google themselves, then the readers will immediately accept it as expert advice. If you can use quote word-for-word and hyperlink it to the original source, that’s all the better.
Even if someone uses your links instead of your webpage address, chances are others will eventually end up sharing your content or linking it to their blogs and articles. For this reason, well-researched and popular blogs are often identified as credible sources for gathering well-researched material. For example, if you’re operating in the marketing space, sites such as Search Engine Journal, Moz, and Hubspot are excellent places to cite data from.
By backing up statements with such big names – even if you’ve just copied them from different sources – readers will begin to mentally associate your brand name with those experts. Another smart move is to write an email to the original sources informing them that you’ve linked back to their articles and blogs, requesting them to return the favor.
Get Custom Quotes by Conducting Interviews
Another way of earning backlinks from industry experts is by interviewing them. Instead of simply linking to their content, interviewing has a number of advantages and is a superior way of backlinking. There are two main reasons for this.
The first reason is, as an expert in the field, the interviewee will have an emotional attachment to your content since they’re spending time and energy interacting with you. As a result, they might also do you a favor in the future. Secondly, there’s added value for the expert. Interviews enable them to promote their products or services, reach out to more people, interact with newer audiences, connect on a more personal level, and build their brand.
Usually, experts only agree to do interviews with people or organizations that already have a sizeable audience (which is also relative to the interviewee’s following). So if you’re just starting out and don’t have a considerable following, there’s another option: interview them while using the name of a major publication.
Approach big names such as Huffington Post, Forbes, or Business Insider, and inquire whether they’re interested in having a certain individual or expert interviewed for their website. If they agree, you can interview the said individual, write a blog about it, and have your name mentioned in between.
Now that you’re done with creating high-quality linkable content, the next step is to start building links to it. If you recall the “Skyscraper Technique” we mentioned earlier, the third and final step was to focus on sharing your content with the world.
There are several ways to accomplish this such as playing the numbers game, getting the maximum exposure for your content, reaching out to those people that are likely to link your content, answering queries, and syndicating content. Each of these steps has a vital role to play, in getting your content linked to other people’s websites.
The Numbers Game
If we’re talking about turning the public perception in your favor, then you’ll have to play the numbers game. The number of votes, social media shares, and comments your content manages to receive is what will end up convincing people that your piece is popular, valuable, and most of all, link-worthy.
This is why it’s highly recommended to start building up the numbers immediately after you’ve posted the content. Remember to repost it across all social media networks because according to CoSchedule, sharing the same piece over and over results in new engagements and it’s almost certain that most people who follow your page won’t see the post the first time it appears.
Also, it helps to understand how social media posts influence the level of engagement your content will receive. For example, posts that also have photos get around 53% more likes, 84% more clicks, and 104% more comments than simple text-based posts, as stated by KISSmetrics. Even if the blog or article that you’re posting is entirely text-based, sharing it via an image update is bound to increase its social shares.
There are a number of popular voting networks out there which you can leverage to gain online traction. But beware, communities such as these do not approve of self-promotion, you’ll gain the maximum benefit if you engage with them on a regular basis.
Lastly, get comments. One of the best places to start is the email list. Send out reminders about your post and provide a clear CTA at the end asking readers to share their opinion on the article and blog posts.
Earn Social Traction
The next step on your link-building journey is to get the maximum exposure possible. The greater the number of people reading your content, the more links you’ll manage to build upon external websites. The quickest way of getting exposure other than posting on social media platforms is via social media advertising.
Create ads for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and do some research by finding people who’ve shared similar content. The strategy here is to find pages with loads of followers and message, DM, email, or tweet them stating that you enjoy their posts and have similar, high-quality content that’s worth sharing on their page. Send the same message to the top 10-20 most followed pages.
Reach Out to Influencers
Now it’s time to take a more direct approach and reach out to those people who have the highest chance of sharing your content on their pages. If you’ve already interviewed or quoted people, use that. Otherwise, search for bloggers who are linking back to similar pieces.
Solve Problems and Answer Questions through Your Content
As mentioned earlier, one characteristic of high-quality content is that it answers questions or queries readers may have. Leverage that by linking back to your blogs or articles on popular Q&A platforms like Quora, Yahoo Answers, social media groups, and forums.
Perfecting this strategy requires time and effort because each day, more and more marketers post on Q&A forums to promote their content, which has made getting noticed much harder than before. However, if your aim is just to get a link on these pages then the number of views or feedback shouldn’t be a concern. But if you’re already spending time posting, why not leverage the benefit of building credibility and authority by answering oft-repeated questions?
Once you’re done with creating your content, get it syndicated by searching for other sources. Not only will this result in greater exposure, but will also create links leading back to your website.
Aim for websites where your target audience spends most of their time. For instance, if you’re target audience comprises primarily of business owners, you’ll want to visit LinkedIn’s Pulse platform. Websites such as Alltop are also helpful for getting the word out while simultaneously upping your link-building potential as well.
These platforms won’t create SEO links, but what they will do is increase the exposure in a good way and the higher the exposure, the more the likelihood of getting more links.
If you manage to follow all the steps listed in this guide and produce high-quality content, over time, you’ll manage to create an entire library of linkable content that drives up your authority in the industry while increasing incoming traffic. However, before any of these steps can be implemented, it’s crucial to develop and maintain an optimized website – a necessary search ranking factor for search engines such as Google and Bing.
EX² Outcoding is a nearshore software development company that also offers quality web development services. They create and develop SEO-friendly websites that act as a strong foundation for quality content and compliments link-building efforts. Contact us today for more information.