Guest post contributed by Kelly O’Hara
To earn links, you need content that is worth linking to. It’s no secret.
SEO experts believe that creating certain types of viral content is one of the most efficient ways to earn links. That’s why linkable assets are so valuable. They are your power pages, created with link building in mind.
The trouble is, everybody knows about, say, the Skyscraper Technique. Infographics are another super effective way to earn links, and so on. Unfortunately, others also use these strategies making it hard to stand out.
Your users want to see the content that is unique. You can’t keep rehashing the same old topics and ideas. In this saturated market, there’s already way too much content out there.
You’re going to need to find a sweet spot – content that is unique but also is a strong linkable asset that encourages others to link to it and share it. So, let’s take a look at some lesser-known types of content that you can use to earn links:
1. Example Roundups
Expert roundups are a widely-used link building technique. If you have ever produced one, you will also know that they can take weeks to complete…
You get your quotes or answers coming in from the experts slowly over time. You wind up checking your email like a fiend and wanting to type angry messages all in caps to the experts you so greatly admire, telling them to HURRY UP, DAMN IT.
You know you should create something to do with influencers, though. The power of influencer marketing is, of course, not to be underestimated. It drives 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.
With example roundup, you can harness the power of influencers in your industry without having to interview them or badger them for quotes. It involves simply compiling a list of examples on your topic in the form of influencers/experts or their work. For example, take a look at this post which profiles badass women entrepreneurs:
When you have published your post you can reach out to the experts you featured. The idea is, you have shown them in a flattering light and have given them free publicity. Therefore, they may wish to link back to your content in one of their own articles.
Top Tips for Example Roundups
- Find as many examples as you possibly can. – The more influencers you reach out to in the second step, the more chances you have to acquire links.
- It has to appeal to your audience, too. – It’s not just a buttering up session. So, choose inspirational stories or examples that offer real value to your readers.
- Optimize the design of your post. – Creating picture quotes, for instance, that people can easily pick up and use could mean even more links and shares.
2. Branded Content
You’ve heard of the Skyscraper Technique. Who hasn’t. Of course, a post generated using the technique could not be called “a lesser-known linkable asset”. However, the post featuring the technique is a type of linkable asset in and of itself:
Do you need help with your website?Services We Offer:
- Medical Website Design
- Health WordPress Development
- Website Maintenance
- Medial SEO & Digital Marketing
What Brian Dean has done here is create a branded piece of content based on his own invented technique. Not only that, it is his own invented keyword because as Dean puts it, “You always rank #1 for keywords that you create.” Clever, huh?
Naturally, he has generated a ton of backlinks with this post, 1.4k to be precise:
This type of content works as it provides a unique and thorough solution to a common pain point. It’s extremely useful so lots of people link to it.
You can emulate this kind of success by producing a piece of content that features an invented technique for your industry. It could be anything from a new way of applying eyeshadow to a new template for outreach emails. Just be sure to give your technique a branded name and you could be onto a winner.
Top Tips for Branded Content
- Consider the unique techniques, tactics or strategies you already use. – You may already have a gem under your hat without realizing it.
- List your audience or clients’ pain points. – if you don’t already have a technique, see if you can find a creative solution to a common problem.
- Study or collect data on your technique. – Dean uses a case study to show that his technique really works. Don’t forget that the proof is in the pudding with this type of blog post.
Not enough people utilize microsites. Perhaps because they require a lot of time and resources to make. But if you have the means to create a microsite, you absolutely should.
They are highly beneficial for numerous reasons, but most importantly for us they can be quite the little link earner. Amazon’s microsite, Amazon Web Services, has earned millions of backlinks, for instance.
The bottom line is, microsites are major linkbait. Think about how much easier it would be to earn links for a high utility, content-rich microsite than a corporate site. What’s more, you’re more likely to get highly relevant links as microsites contain focused content on a particular topic.
The microsite, Blue Heart, about the damaging effects of hydropower dams, is highly informative and has a stunning interactive design:
Microsites are often designed beautifully, making them extremely attractive to both your audience and likely-linkers.
To create your own microsite, you’ll need to choose a topic relevant to your brand or based on a target keyword. Then come up with an idea for an interactive resource. It could be a tool, game, quiz or interactive content.
Top Tips for Microsites
- Make sure it doesn’t look too commercial. – This way your microsite will be more conducive to natural, editorially-placed links.
- Don’t be afraid to grow your microsite in the future. – If your microsite is a hit, why not? Amazon’s AWS microsite has hundreds of thousands of pages and stock photo-sharing site, Unsplash started out as a microsite.
- Include lots of in-depth content. – This is your chance to create lengthy, high utility content. The more useful a piece of content is, the more likely it is to attract links.
Creating lesser-known linkable content is the best way for you to stand out and earn those all-important links in an overly saturated market. The type of content you create should be original but at the same time based on proven strategies that you know will perform well.
Well-designed, useful pieces of content that appeal to both your audience and influencers are always going to earn you more links. Now the question is, which of these linkable assets are you going to try first?
You can find her at Copy Goals.