If you are looking to start generating additional traffic through search, you need to start thinking about backlinks. The algorithm behind Google is constantly changing but backlinks are becoming more and more important every week. If you’re in a business where people look for your product or services, you should consider spending 10 hours a month solely focused on backlinks.
With some of my clients we spend hours creating, strategizing and planning ways to increase the number of high quality backlinks to their sites. Some of our ideas fail but some of them are home runs and lead to significant boosts in conversion and traffic.
One of the biggest contributions to my ongoing success with backlinking is my commitment to studying others on a daily basis. I watch competitors, industry experts, industry leaders and some of the best marketers in the country to better gauge what does and doesn’t work.
Here are 4 obvious but often overlooked back linking strategies that you should consider:
Create Content Worth Linking
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? What if I told you that some content is more linkable than others? What if I told you that not all content is created equal? That’s exactly what I’m about to tell you. You see, over the last few years of planning and executing a wide range of marketing strategies for my clients, I’ve learned the hard way that some content sticks and others don’t. I’ve learned what type of content goes viral and what type of content falls flat. Here are some of the types of content that tend to consistently drive back links to your site:
- Compelling Infographics: Rumors of the Infographics Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (tweet this). While they’re more common than ever and might not pack the same punch that they did 3 years ago, infographics that are done well are still able to cut through the noise and drive a significant amount of backlinks.
- Resource & Guide Content: Curation is simply another form of creation. Curating the best content, insights and links is a job that takes time and skill to do it correctly. Bloggers who create Ultimate Resources to things like Guest blogging are likely to generate a handful of backlinks because people see the value in their content. Furthermore, when people create marketing guides on instagram or marketing guides on slideshare, people are more likely to link back if it’s truly valuable content.
- Lists of Stats, Quotes & Facts: People love lists. The only thing they like more than short lists with paragraphs are long lists with little tidbits of information that they can use to share on their Facebook page or twitter profile. Lists of audience relevant quotes, facts and stats are great pieces of content to are frequently able to generate a significant amount of back links.
- Ebooks & White Papers: Value rules everything. Hubspot, Forrester, TechRepublic, Marketo, iAcquire and almost every major player in content marketing recognize the value of ebooks and white papers. Don’t underestimate the value of delivering quality content in a more formal medium.
Build Meaningful Blogger Relationships
It’s not going to happen over night but it’s a tactic that can work wonders if you do it authentically and truly add value to someone else’s circle. Too many people reach out to bloggers and influencers looking for a handout or advice instead of looking for ways that they can truly add value to their network. What’s the value that you bring to this bloggers already growing rolodex? Have you developed a following already? Have you shared lots of their content? Are you going to write about them? What’s the value?
From there, focus on becoming their friend. Now, don’t go into this thinking that every influencer online is going to want to be your new bestie. It’s going to take time for you to even get on their radar and then build that relationship past the creepy factor. You see, most people have a bubble of trust and for you to get into that bubble you need to demonstrate that (1) you’re not a stalker and (2) that you’re someone who can add value and quality to their life. It’s kind of like dating. Get over the creepy phase and then get placed into the friend zone.
Once you’ve established that relationship, the blogger will ideally begin to come across your content organically. A few ways to force them to see your content is to link back to their site and their blog posts (all bloggers watch this) or simply send over an email letting them know you wrote about them.
Establish a Reputation for Quality
Quality always trumps quantity. You can write 100 blog posts about SEO, Marketing and Social media but generate nothing more than a few pity likes and comments. People can see through your tricks when you’re simply putting out content to get it out there. It’s important to maintain a standard of quality for your content and ensure that you never get away from your own benchmark.
When you’re creating content, you need to hold yourself to a quality code like Dexter. Quality over Quantity. (Tweet This). If you’re not familiar with the TV show Dexter, Dexter is a serial killer who only murders people who have done horrible things in the past. It’s his code. As a professional creating content, you are more likely to generate back links when people start to see you as a professional and appreciate your ability to consistently develop and deliver good content. It’s important to write everyday but one does not have to publish every day. Quality is the difference between those who thrive due to their content marketing efforts and those who simply blend in with the pack.
Ask And You Shall Receive.
Sometimes your brand will generate some buzz or media attention due to a recent announcement or story. During these moments of earned media, it’s not rare to find media outlets quoting you or writing about your brand without linking back to your homepage or announcement. Instead of looking at this coverage solely as media opportunities, look at them as opportunities for you to also generate back links to your content.
Take the time to set up a Google Alert for your brands name, founders names and any trademarks associated with your business. You’re likely to find new opportunities on a regular basis where people mention you in their content but don’t link back.
The process of generating back links for SEO has changed forever. We can continue to focus on headlines, metadata and stuffing our content with keywords or we can start embracing the idea of SEO taking on a whole new meaning. Small tweaks such as adjusting text in your tags and keywords can definitely impact search but back-links are still the king of the jungle.
Before you start implementing any of these tactics, you need to first take a deep look at your own digital marketing strategy. Understand where backlinks fit in the grand scheme of things and how it can be integrated into your content marketing plan. A content marketing plan should be a part of every digital strategy and backlinks should be a part of every content marketing plan. Simply put, it’s all connected.
What strategies have you been using to generate backlinks on your content?