By now, it’s no mystery that getting quality links to your content is a big part of a successful SEO strategy. When others link to your site, not only does the likelihood of getting traffic from that source increase, but you also help build your authority and credibility with the search engines, and in turn earn a higher ranking in the search results. In fact, by some estimates, as much as 70 percent of your search ranking is determined by links, so it’s important to consider link building potential as you develop content.
The question then becomes, how you can build links. While there are plenty of ways to do so, all with varying degrees of usefulness and adherence to best practices, the number one, best way, to get backlinks is to create content that is worth linking to. That’s it. No special formulas or hocus pocus required, just great content.
That being said, useful and relevant content won’t always attract others looking for content to link to by itself. There will be that super specialized content that is developed strictly for your audience that isn’t going to work for those who aren’t already familiar with you and your business. However, when you are developing your other content, the content intended to attract new traffic to your site, you want to focus on what makes it irresistible to others.
Linking to Other Content
In general, there are a few different reasons for linking to other content. One of the most common, for instance, is attribution; in other words, another blogger or site owner has created content and quoted either your content or made a point based on your content and wants to provide a link to the original source. The more authoritative your content, the more likely you are to get this type of link.
There are other reasons for linking to content, though. Some bloggers include links for entertainment or sharing purposes (such as in roundups) or for marketing, as when they make a deal for a sponsored post. In some cases, the link is just to give the post more relevance; for example, when the blogger links to a piece to support claims of a trend, or to provide a differing point of view. Regardless of the reason those, these links all have one thing in common: they have a purpose, and they aren’t just tacked on for fun.
What does that mean for you? While creating useful, quality content should always be your first priority, you need to consider the reasons that people link to content and use that insight to guide your posts.
Knowing why other sites link to your content is only the beginning. There are some commonalities among content that is regularly linked to and shared, and the better you can incorporate some of these characteristics into your content, the more successful you will be.
Long form content is king. According to research, longer, more in-depth content is more likely to get backlinks than shorter pieces. Content that’s longer than 1,800 words tends to be ideal, especially when trying to establish authority and support claims. Case studies and whitepapers also tend to be very linkable.
Think visually. Visually appealing content tends to perform best. Visual pieces, such as infographics, cartoons, or even GIFs tend to be highly engaging and shareable, two qualities for linkable content. Consider turning some of your more popular posts into infographics, or collecting some useful facts that others can use to support their own posts. Simply adding a few visuals can increase the number of links significantly.
Video works. In addition to static visuals, videos are also highly linkable. Given that Cisco predicts that the majority of content (as much as 90 percent) will be video within a few years, it makes sense to start getting ahead of that demand now. Animated explainer videos, interviews, how-to’s, or other video content often attract links.
Combine tactics. While it might seem a bit excessive, posts that are longer and contain visual elements and video tend to perform the best of all.
Again, while getting links shouldn’t be the primary focus of your content creation efforts, you should pay at least some attention to what helps attract links. When you do, your search ranking will go up, and your traffic will increase.