If you want to be ranked higher on search engines, then you need to build up authority. Google needs to see that people are talking about you, recommending you, and linking back to you. A dozen high-quality backlinks are worth a whole lot more than one hundred spammy ones. After the Penguin update back in 2012, it was clear that if you wanted to be a top ranking site on search engines, you needed to create content that people naturally wanted to link back to. Therefore almost automating your backlinking strategy, while also avoiding those dreaded Google penalties. But, how do you create the kind of content? Let’s take a look at how it’s done, along with some real life examples.
First Impressions Count with Content
People will make a very quick decision as to whether or not they want to read your content. It doesn’t matter where they find your article if the title doesn’t draw them in they’re unlikely to click. With millions of articles being published every day, it’s imperative that yours stands out from the crowd. This doesn’t mean going down the route of clickbait titles, such as “You won’t believe these SEO fails.” Instead, try to entice people in with a question, a solution or a thinking point. Give just enough away that your target audience cannot scroll past your content, without the urge to find out what it’s about. You’ll also want to build a strong meta title and description, which will be used on previews of your content. Again, focus on engaging from the get go. Here are some titles we think sell:
- From Editorial Calendars to SEO: Setting Yourself Up to Create Fabulous Content
- 3 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Mobile Conversions By Tomorrow
- What Makes A Good SEO Program “Good”?
Create Media Rich Content Users Love
Content that is filled with media is far more shareable than a huge chunk of text. However, it isn’t necessarily going to entice people to link back to your website. A hilarious cat meme may get a few thousand shares on Twitter, but it isn’t going to be included as a reference in an expert article. It’s an excellent idea to create media rich content, but think about the kind of media you want to share. A prime example is infographics. Create a well-researched infographic and it could be referenced in dozens of high-quality articles from here on out. Industry leaders in the digital marketing world are no stranger to this technique. And it’s becoming more and more popular with website owners and marketers from a broad range of industries. Take a look at some of these examples:
- How You’re Killing Your Own Creativity
- Living Costs Around the World
- Design Trends 2015
Become An Expert In Your Industry
Look at some of the top ranking websites in your industry. Who are they? In our case, it would be people like Moz and Search Engine Journal. What is it that sets them apart from everyone else in the same niche? They’ve established themselves as experts. They have spent years crafting content that informs and provides solutions. Everything they write is thoroughly researched and backed up by sources. They bring in experts from around the globe, to help craft their content. As soon as any kind of SEO news is released, these guys are writing about it. Digital marketers everywhere source them in their posts. It just comes naturally. In fact, we’ve already included them further up in this post. When you become an expert in your field, the backlinks will come naturally. You’ll be quoted and used as source material, within dozens of blogs and publications in your industry. Not only are these backlinks natural, they’re also relevant. A true win-win situation if you’re trying to build up a strong portfolio of links. Take time to create each piece of content, don’t rush it. Do your research and answer the questions people are constantly asking. By becoming an expert in your niche, you’ll almost certainly see a rise in natural backlinks. Who does it well?
- Neil Patel from KISSMetrics, Crazy Egg and QuickSprout
- Kim Garst from Boom Social
- Sean Ellis from Startup Marketing
Be Slightly Controversial With Your Content
It’s important to note the word slightly here, as there’s a fine line between getting this spot on and getting it so very wrong. You want to challenge people’s’ perceptions on the things they care about or the things they too see themselves as experts in. You will then be referenced in a different way. As an opposing viewpoint. This is extremely difficult to get right and is best left well alone if you’re unsure what you’re doing. However, if you do manage to pull it off, it can create a surge in natural backlinks. The key is to avoid anything offensive or unprofessional. Instead, put forward a suggestion. Spark conversation and get those tongues wagging. Even if those tongues aren’t necessarily agreeing with what you have to say. Here are some interesting pieces which prove that controversial can work.
- Will Twitter be Dead in Three Years?
- 99% of Facebook Fans Are Useless
- Copywriting is Dead? Don’t Tell the Journalists
The general message is this; get people talking and you’ll easily create natural backlinks. Whether they’re talking about your incredible infographic or opposing viewpoint, at least they’re passing your message on. And when that happens, you’ll soon see your piece being referenced in other pieces. Online publications and blogs will be showing off your infographic or using your article as a source. Now, what could be better than that?
Featured image courtesy of Linked Media Group