In a world where almost half of website traffic comes from search, developing content and link building strategies with the aim of improving organic visibility (whether solely or part of a bigger marketing campaign) just simply cannot be ignored.
Because links are still the biggest ranking factor of today and they are going to be around for a very long time to come. Will search engines ever be able to discount the complete value of links? Probably not.
So, bridging the gap between content marketing and link building should be a focus for most marketers who want to improve a websites organic search visibility.
Now here’s the harsh truth, the “build it and they will come” mentality just doesn’t exist and in most cases is just a long and painful route to failure.
Of course, content marketing and link building strategies all have varying goals with what I call by-product achievements but, put them together and that’s one powerful recipe for short and long term success. Particularly useful for SEO and Marketing Agencies who need to show their clients results and prove their worth when content alone is simply not enough.
So, how do you bridge the gap between content marketing and link building?
By creating content that has the potential of naturally attracting links and giving it some traction by building links manually.
Content is leveraged by our link builders everyday as it helps create a talking point and secure placements more easily.
Start by creating the content… Of course
Create content that you think people, bloggers and website owners will want to link to.
It could be infographics, blog posts, eBooks, guides or video content.
Make sure it’s related to your industry and not just created as link bait. That’ll ensure you benefit from brand awareness and referral traffic for months and years to come and not just the links.
Next – Build some links to it
To gain traction on your content campaign build links to the content manually in the short term.
Apply a blogger outreach methodology and speak to people who you think would be likely to publish or reference your content. Contact influencers who have shared similar content before and look for websites and resources where similar content has been referenced in the past.
Even if your campaign doesn’t take off, you’ll still have the links you acquired manually which will give you some added brand, traffic and search visibility benefit, as well as some kudos with your clients.
Suck these eggs
Actually, I’m not telling you how to suck eggs here (am I?) but this simple process is one that most SEO’s and Marketers today are missing.
Most just get confused and lose their way with updates and propaganda from Google and all these fancy marketing terms, titles and company rebrands don’t help. Content marketing, inbound marketing, search visibility director. What we’re doing is marketing to make websites perform better in organic search. Simple.
Anyway, the truth is, this simple content and link building methodology works. We generated over 400 tweets, dozens of links and a ton of referral traffic with just a couple of hours of following this same strategy.
Here’s the process in action with an example
Step 1 – Creating the Content
We created the infographic ‘Stats to Convince Your Boss To Invest in Content Marketing’. We gathered the basic stats that were available in the public domain and put them together in a more interesting graphical concept with a clear audience in mind.
Struggling to come up with infographic ideas? Don’t struggle.
We just apply a simple approach to coming up with blog post titles and then ask ourselves ‘Could this subject include bitesize statistics that would be attractive and easy to understand?’
This blog post may help you >>> Create Click-Sexy Blog Post Titles in 60 Seconds or Less (With Real Life Examples)
Step 2 – Building Links
It’s a bit of a laborious task but well worth it considering a bunch of these may well tweet a mention to your infographic on social networks. If you don’t have time to do this we can do it for you.
It’s also worth reaching out to a few bloggers to see if they were interested in publishing our infographic to their audience. Not only may you get a link but chances are they tweet it, Facebook it and G+ it.
And the results…
We created a viral frenzy in which as a byproduct helped us get over 400 tweets and counting, dozens of links / brand mentions from other websites and a ton of referral traffic.
Still to this day, (almost 12 months on) we’re getting tweets, mentions, links and referral website traffic. And what about the huge organic visibility improvement we received over a short period of time? Priceless.
The trick to this successful campaign for us was to gain momentum quickly, which in essence is just making sure you do all the leg work (the link building and the infographic submissions) in a very short space of time. Also the information and how well the infographic engages with the audience plays a huge part. Stats and figures work best!
The more people you can get to link to, mention and even tweet or share on social networks, the quicker your campaign will take off which will result in the long term successes this piece of content continually gives us.
It’s important to mention; this is not a secret formula and it will not work every time.
We’ve seen this huge success happen a handful of times from agencies ordering our services and to be fair we’re talking about a pretty successful campaign considering we’re still getting tweets, links, referral traffic and mentions almost 12 months on with minimal effort in the early days!
Repeating this process over and over with different content pieces across multiple clients will help you find out what works and what doesn’t. In time, you’ll be able to refine a process that guarantees more success more of the time.
So, to conclude…
You’ve got yourself a pretty scalable model if you get out of the “build it and they will come” mindset.
Creating quality content alone won’t help you get the brand awareness, traffic and links you so desperately need however, if you build it and proactively get your content linked to then you will achieve much faster results.
This is a much better approach for agencies to scale their efforts and provide deliverables for their clients. After all even if the content campaign doesn’t generate the viral traction you think it deserves, at least you’ll have some links and placements to show your clients.