Think Content Linking...
Digital Marketing has changed the marketing landscape forever and therefore our techniques to acquire the eyes of readers and visitors must also evolve. This Digital Marketing Company I work with - EIM Solutions talks every day with people about how important digital marketing is to their mix and how important getting a finely tuned strategy in place is to increase and maximize the effectiveness of this channel.
One of the areas of digital marketing I want to focus on today is how important building out your links are for your website, not in the old-school way of linking to others sites but the new school way of building great content with links in it. Please understand however that in using this technique, good links only come from good content; good content is far more important than straight-up links if created with care and enthusiasm – we're witnessing more and more that Content Linking will out-link any linkbuilding schemes by a wide margin and bring about far more visitors to your site than though possible.
The challenge becomes then how we can actually get more people to link to our content and create a pseudo autopilot linkbuilding platform that is utilizes REAL people, with REAL names and that the search engines will recognize as REAL… it’s not as hard as people actually think, rather quite simple, and gets easier with practice, but far too many people complicate it with things like “8 ways to jibber jabber” and “91 unbeatable linkbuilding levels to conquer”… seriously, who comes up with this stuff?
What’s really cool about this way of doing business as usual is REAL people will link to your content without much effort as long as it can follow a few simple, ahem…guidelines.
Why do I say good and not great? Well actually I do mean great, but greatness in content elicits out of an individual only once in a while (let’s be honest with this point so we can get to a better content solution for you), so focus on creating good content and your greatness will shine through.
Focus on what matters to your clients – I know this is easy to say but it’s so true! What matters to most people reading this article is some level of education that will enable them to perform better at their jobs – with this in mind I try to produce engaging content that is easily read. More to the point, most of what I put in here is actionable and implementable almost immediately.
So you might be tempted to ask me if “creating good content consistently” is a better strategy? Well yes and no… Search engines may pick up on the fact that you are producing content quickly (consistently) but if it is indeed just “pumped out” search engines will soon realize that your content has no reach and may not be well shared by the social signals it receives from various sources (DON”T FORGET TO SHARE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU’RE FINDING IT USEFUL). In fact, by just pumping out content you’re not doing the world any favours and if that’s the case, please stop producing tripe right now! PLEASE!!! If, on the other hand you do write good material consistently, give yourself a pat on the back and move on to the next section.
You’re going to want to get your content out there somewhere and somehow. There are lots of strategies to get your content out to the masses and move your position forward, including this one and this one.
The reality is that you’re better off not writing anything if you don’t plan on promoting it.
We can talk about the standards like making sure your content has substance, offers value to your visitors and communities thus making it easier to promote it to them – but what are you really after??? Is it links? In-kind tchotchkes? SWAG? Testimonials?... Whatever you’re after, make sure it’s clear to your readers (blatantly clear) – in my case I’m looking for awesome clients to work with and links back to my site (in that order).
Social Media is one of those weird areas that have a 1000 different ways to do the same thing, but whatever you do with your content, make sure it’s sharable!
Making it sharable is by far one of the most misguided areas of content creation because there is usually little strategy around how to get your readers back to your site and ultimately become your clients (or readers, or whatever your heart/blog/shareholders desire).
This article in particular will be spread across many networks and do several things insofar as social media is concerned… I will direct them to my Twitter account, my Google+ account, my Facebook account and my LinkedIn account. I could add more but to have a tight Social Media leverage point, you need consistency and focus – what’s your focus?
Once you get traffic to your social media profile, make them an offer they can’t refuse… we used to offer a 20 minute no obligation sit down at our offices or theirs, to go over a high level strategy of where they are now and where they could be with our help and what it will cost them to get them there – very effective actually but we did eventually phase it out as we started to go after bigger fish.
To help get that ball rolling you should:
Last month I wrote a super article about Content Marketing for SEO which brought our site more than 60K in unique visitors (thanks if you were one of them). I highly recommend this article if you are in any way serious about ensuring your giving your content the best opportunity to thrive. As smart as the search engines are becoming there are many things that it’s can’t suss out , therefore think of the article itself as a crazy primer about how to spoon feed the search engines.
The crux of it all is that you don’t really have to change your writing style or the types of information you deliver, rather it’s a way to give you a fair chance in an unfair game.
One of my favorite topics, and so crucial too… There is a certain amount of poise and discretion you must assume when taking traffic away from those that feed you, it’s a symbiotic relationship actually – you need to give to get. To be quite frank, I think this is an ideal system and shows a lot of character building aspects behind it.
I actually talk a lot about the concept of a givers society (give to get), because it entails the sharing of ideas in an open and trustworthy way. In fact studies have shown that the simple act of giving has a very strong correlation to success (if you doubt me Google giving and success).
I’m not advocating stealing someone else’s traffic by subterfuge or misleading their visitors but creating a value based proposition to make sure you earn their time they are investing in your material/concept/tchotchke/link bait/etc.
What exactly do you mean by trust signals? Well… There are a lot of different ways to show trust to your visitors and the search engines, creating good content is just the entry door into this trust. The reality is that by having a clean or professional image, excellent layout, contact info at the ready, and using social sharing functionality will make your offering much more delightful and readily trusted by others, therefore shared more often.
Basically do everything you can to PROVE that you deserve your visitors time and energy.
Lastly, don’t forget to place links into your content! So I might have misled you a bit… you still do have to place links in your content with appropriate anchor text but you don’t have to go out into the world any longer and create manual links!!!
For example I like to embed Toronto SEO and Digital Marketing Company and my company's name EIM Solutions into my articles; I recommend that you insert your keyword strategies into your articles as well.
As an aside, I once released an article that went mega viral (for this industry) and forgot to place links in it because I was under a time crunch to get the article out… guess what??? For the 500K+ readers I could identify, I received only about 1200 attributed visits to my site, so whatever you do, don’t forget the links.
Now I'm not saying Old School linkbuilding is dead but by following these guidelines in this digital marketing day and age you’ll find that your linkbuilding efforts can be content driven rather than the Old School linking techniques of the past... what I will say about old school linkbuilding is that it is in extreme competition right now with Content Linking!... not to mention the fact that Content Linking offers an added component that traditional linkbuilding doesn't normally offer - GOOD CONTENT!
One last thought... why have I not used the words Content Marketing a lot in this article? Well in traditional content marketing you create great content that is shareable and cool but not necessarily linked. In my version of content marketing - Content Linking - it offers you an added focused benefit that has links 'build right in'. So content linking is a more appropriate term for great content marketing.
Hope this helps you gain a client or two!