Backlinks are the building blocks to improving your website rankings in search engines. When many high-quality links point to your website, it indicates to search engines that the page has valuable information that people recommend. When these sites link to your website, it signifies that they are endorsing you as a subject-expert. The more links you get from credible websites, the higher your content ranks on search engines. As a result, more people are attracted to your site.
There are numerous methods to build links for SEO. One tactic that has proven to be the most effective is content marketing. This involves publishing on-site linkable assets. They would then attract backlinks for off-site SEO.
Start by creating high-quality content and publishing it on your website. The next step would be to use content promotion strategies to inspire other websites to link back to your content.
These 8 proven content marketing strategies boost drive backlinks to your website, thereby boosting SEO.
Try these 8 link building strategies to SEO leverage and content marketing for the best results.
#1. “How-To” Posts
Considered to be the most popular types of content, “how-to” posts educate readers by leading them step-by-step through a process. They offer ever-green information for the readers that even appeals to publishers.
A step-by-step guide that either solves a problem or teaches a skill becomes a highly linkable asset.
When you create the best instructions about how to do something, your website will become the go-to resource on the internet. Other web pages will reference it.
For example, HubSpot created an article in 2013, “How to write a blog post: a step-wise guide + free blog post templates.” The post is a classic example of steps to write a blog along with tips and blog templates.
Over the years, HubSpot refreshed this post to keep it relevant and updated.
Remember to focus on the URL structure. This SEO best practice has two benefits. Firstly, website visitors know what to expect. As a result, they are more likely to read, link and click on the blog. Secondly, keywords in the URL determine relevance. Google’s algorithm ranks relevant pages higher in search results.
How to build links with “how-to” articles?
Using Ahrefs, you can find out the websites that link to outdated resources. Reach out to them requesting to link your “how-to” article that is comprehensive and has recent data.
HubSpot research shows that posts longer than 2,100 and 2,400 words rank higher in organic search than shorter posts. Write long-form content that is at least 2,000 words in length to improve your chances of being found online. Optimize the on-page “how-to” blog posts for technical SEO.
#2. In-depth Guides and Ebooks
An in-depth guide or an ebook is a long-form content piece that addresses one main topic.
Websites prefer linking to sources of their facts and statistics. When writing about a topic, or best practices, publishers link to information that reinforces their stance. That is why publishing in-depth guides on particular topics is an excellent strategy for creating linkable assets.
The guide should dig deep into the topic. Create resources that your audience loves referring to and that third-party sites will reference and link. If you are gating them, they double up as a lead generation strategy for content marketing.
The Moz “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” has helped them build links to their site. The guide has 10 chapters that cover details about SEO from start to finish. As it covers the topic thoroughly, the guide is a go-to resource on SEO. As per Ahrefs data, this guide has more than 2,500 links.
How to build links with ebooks and in-depth guides?
A Google search will show popular topics in your industry. See where the content gap exists and create a guide using the Skyscraper method. That way, people don’t have to jump to multiple pages to find what they need.
Alternatively, you can combine multiple blog posts on a topic in the form of chapters in an ebook.
You can automate the finding of prospects who link to an inferior resource using Ahrefs. Then, carry out blogger outreach to ask them for a backlink insertion in their existing article. You can scale the link building strategy for SEO using Respona, a PR software.
#3. Online Courses
You can turn your guides and “how-to” posts into a course that doubles up as a linkable content. It is a quick and effective way to repurpose your content. All you need to do is restructure and upload it to a platform that can host your course. When you add credibility to your online course, in the form of social proof, it becomes a link building asset.
Ensure that the course landing page has customer testimonials and a clear outline of what the course covers. You can go a step ahead and make a video talking about the pain points the course would solve.
How to build backlinks using a course?
Promote the course on social media and with your email subscribers. Embed the video links on your blog posts and high-traffic web pages.
Take a look at the Facebook statistics of over 1.4 billion users. Regularly post about your course. Run paid video ads and retargeting ads on both existing users and a cold (but relevant) audience.
Amy Porterfield regularly promotes videos of her online courses on Facebook.
#4. Original Research Posts
To create a research post, you can either use first-party or curated data that is unique. Typically, research posts are informative, persuasive and relevant. They build your website’s credibility and attract backlinks in the process.
A great way to stand out from the noise is by sharing online information not found elsewhere. This content is hugely linkable because people love to share new and interesting data. If your statistics are unique, useful and comprehensive, you will gain links from other websites citing your data.
Content Marketing Institute publishes an annual report covering content marketing stats, trends and data. Their “B2B Content Marketing Report for 2020” has 1,500 backlinks.
They get lots of backlinks because content marketing is a broad topic—thousands of articles and websites talking about content marketing link back to this data.
How to build backlinks with original research articles?
The goal of research-based content is to create a detailed solution to the pain point your audience faces. The CMI report educates marketers on content marketing trends to help them develop relevant campaigns.
Categorize it into sections to make the data reader-friendly. This way, it becomes easier for the reader to skip to the section they’re looking for directly.
After publishing the research, start a content promotion campaign. You can use a freelance platform such as Link-able to connect with writers already writing in your industry. They will build high-quality backlinks for SEO and PR for your research. Introduce these credible writers to your content assets, and they will accelerate your link building efforts.
#5. Opinion Posts
Opinion posts can have a controversial perspective on an important topic. Irrespective of the fact that others may agree with your opinion or not, they would still want to link to your piece to address customer questions. Or, other websites would write their own perspective on the topic and link to your original post.
In 2016, Buffer wrote about “The future of social media.” This post has a report that addresses the challenges businesses face when using social media.
They use data and examples to back their claims. When you support an opinion post with data, it makes your content more authoritative. This article has more than 2,000 backlinks from credible websites such as Entrepreneur and Neil Patel.
How to build backlinks with opinion posts?
Like Buffer, add more statistics and facts to your post to increase backlinks. You can even write guest posts on high-authority industry publications discussing different sections.
For example, the Entrepreneur article highlights different ways to get more views and shares on Facebook videos. Buffer’s article published on Medium shares video marketing statistics to create a winning social media strategy.
#6. Gated Content
Gated posts require the readers to share their email address to get access. Usually, they are high-value reads such as reports, case studies, articles and ebooks. They attract backlinks based on the human psychology of “people valuing things that are paid or are harder to get.”
Sometimes, industry reports are considered more insightful than some articles. They highlight a snippet of text or a chart of data from the article. The remaining part of the article is gated. The snippet allows Google to index the page so that it appears in search. It convinces the reader of the value that the gated content offers.
An example is Adweek’s infographic “81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying.”
Although this infographic, which talks about shoppers and their online habits, is gated, it still has almost 8,000 backlinks.
The visible introduction is an incentive for the reader to share their email address or purchase a subscription for more insights.
How to build backlinks with gated content?
Getting backlinks for gated content is tricky because all readers may not be willing to trade their email address or buy the subscription for reading the article.
The key is to gate the right kind of content at the right time in the customer journey. People who are ready to buy something may be more willing to share their information.
The image-only type of content, infographics attract backlinks because they are easy to follow and simple to understand. Since the majority of people are visual learners, include simplified visual data in your content marketing campaigns.
When you have a lot of data to share, visuals help you make the point. When building an infographic template, highlight statistics, industry trends and best practices.
Vidyard shared its 2019 Video in Business Benchmarks Report in the form of an infographic. Considering that the infographic even got mentioned by their competitors, this backlinking strategy for SEO works wonders when implemented correctly.
How to use infographics to build backlinks?
Because Google doesn’t rank image-only pages, include written content with the infographic. Mention key insights or the main findings from the survey or data contained in the visual content.
Make sure that keywords are a part of your introduction so that Google can find and index that website.
You can also write guest posts in your industry in addition to sharing the infographic. As an off-page SEO strategy, guest posting and blogger outreach establish you as an expert in your industry.
#8. Roundup Posts
Audiences prefer roundup posts because everyone loves to “make the cut.” They’re a one-stop-shop for all resources and earn backlinks because they have insights, tips and resources.
The benefit here is that you get backlinks and promotional love from the resources listed and experts included.
Databox has detailed roundup posts where they interview experts and include their ideas and quotes. Their article on “Improving eCommerce Conversion Rate,” published in June, has 160 backlinks. (Not bad!)
How to build backlinks with roundup posts?
Use the Skyscraper technique to create content that is 10X better than the first-page results. If you find a post that has a list of 10 strategies, create one with 50 strategies. The upside here is that you can reach out to experts and take their quotes.
Once the article is published, send the participants an email with the link to the published article. Ask them to promote it in their network.
What kind of backlinks does content marketing attract?
When you review the examples of articles shared above, one thing is obvious – your content has to be valuable. It should meet the readers’ expectations. A content marketing strategy that covers these points ranks higher in search and attracts backlinks.
Backlinks connect content throughout the internet. They direct readers to your site, guide search engine results and build your authority. When improving the visibility of your website and brand through link building, focus on content marketing.
Create interesting and original on-site content that websites want to cover and link to. Using content promotion, make websites, industry leaders and publishers aware of your content. Earn authoritative backlinks for SEO following this proven approach.
Test the results on your blog while monitoring the backlinks your site gets. Keep an eye on the site traffic.
Do give me a shout-out on Twitter if you have more backlink strategies to share.