With Google’s algorithmic zoo gradually stamping out the use of questionable link building tactics, SEO’s have been pushed towards more natural link earning techniques to drive relevant traffic to their websites. This is great news for the user, where top quality websites with accurate and interesting content rank high in their Google search. It also offers an interesting challenge to those in the SEO industry.
Content is King
So we all know content is king. However link earning is not just about creating amazing pieces of content with the hope of it going viral. It is much more about providing the best value content to your target audience. Content maybe king, but a king is nothing without his people.
How to generate good content ideas
A really good way to generate ideas for link earning is looking at the backlink profiles of higher ranking competitor’s sites or from leading industry niche news sites. This gives you a well-informed idea of what types of content are successful in gaining peoples interest and subsequently, more natural links. Another approach is to look at areas and questions which you know people are searching for. Try going onto Quora or industry forums and see what popular questions are being asked. For more light hearted content, you can make lists (5 SEO tools you should be using) or ego bait style content (10 SEO experts you should be following) which are quick and easy to write as well as great for earning links.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- Who is going to be interested in your content?
- What do they value?
- What are you offering them?
- How will you measure its success?
- How much time and money are you prepared to spend developing this piece?
So you think you have a content idea that your audience is going to love, what now?
Build a target list & organise – Make a list of the key websites, bloggers and forums in your niche. One way to do this is to simply search for your industry (e.g SEO) in Google and take the first 50-100 websites that show in the results. Organise by which ones are the most influential and think about the order in which you want to approach them.
Build online relationships – Approach key influencers for their input/opinion on your content. If they have a passion for your subject, they will gladly help you. This has two benefits, it can greatly improve your content piece and you already have a connection to a key influencer (who may wish to help promote or link to your content when it goes live).
Commenting – Rather than commenting with “Great Post! (LINK)”. Use your own amazing content to add an extra insight, opinion or information. If your comment isn’t going to add value then don’t post it.
Participate in forums – Forums are great! Find one that is relevant to your subject area and you already have an audience that is guaranteed to be interested in your content. The way you approach forum members is the key to your success here. Like commenting, you must add value to the forums yourself before you start dropping links to your own content. Why not ask forum members for their input on your content? Be transparent about what you are doing, forum members can see right through thinly veiled marketing efforts and they won’t appreciate it.
Social Bookmarking and Social Networking – Social media is your link earning Launchpad. Use as many of these platforms as possible to give your content the best chance of being seen:
Competitor Backlink Analysis – Remember those competitors’ backlinks we looked at when thinking of amazing content ideas? Well now they come in handy once again! You can see which sites have already linked to similar content and approach them with your newer and more improved version to earn links. Simples.
A Final Note
The future of SEO looks to set to be much more creative, with greater use of contemporary digital marketing techniques. You must offer your audience something of value for them to want to connect with your website. Earn your links through interesting, useful or entertaining content and traffic, rankings, conversions and revenue will all follow.