There is no denying that content marketing is essential to long term SEO success. While traditional link building is still very important, in my opinion content marketing is what really takes your SEO campaign to the next level and keeps the momentum moving in the right direction. What makes content marketing so special? Great content doesn’t just build links (like two links in an author bio), it attracts links naturally over time. The long-term link building value of a great piece of content is, in theory, unlimited.
Keep it Educational.
If you want to attract links with your content marketing you need to keep your ego out of it! While there is nothing wrong with promoting a new product, celebrating an industry award or other company good news, the majority of your content (I’d argue 9 out of 10 pieces) should be educational. Content marketing should be about educating and informing your audience—what are their needs? What questions do they have? What are they looking to learn? You want your content to serve your audience so they have a reason to link to it, share it and bookmark it. Are your customers really going to share a press release about your new factory opening? You might get a little love from an industry site, but you have a much better chance of attracting links with educational content that speaks directly to the needs of your audience.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Content marketing is not like the Field of Dreams; just because you built it that doesn’t mean they will come. Even the greatest content needs a little push to get seen and if you want to attract links you need to get the ball rolling on your own end. Share your content on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and so forth. Each time a piece of content is shared on a social site it creates a social signal that impacts the search engine value of your content. The more times your content is shared the more valuable it becomes. You also have to remember that every time your content is shared someone is broadcasting it to their social network, which is chalk full of people that have never heard of your brand. Remember, social shares beget social shares!
Keep in mind that one powerful influencer can have a major impact on how many times your content gets shared and how many visitors ultimately arrive on your one. But don’t expect an influencer to magically happen upon your content. If you want to attract links you need to get your content in front of their eyes and give them a real reason to give your content their thumbs up. Will it help their social network? Are you quoting or referencing them (everyone likes to be loved!)? Are you looking to get their opinion? If you want to attract links using their social prowess then make sure it’s worth their time.
Give Your Content a Second Life
Good content is good content is good content. Provided the information is still relevant, there is no reason you can’t re-promote an older blog post or update a white paper and leverage it a second time around. There is no need to drive yourself crazy by reinventing the wheel every time you’re looking to enhance your link building portfolio. Since so many website owners struggle with content creation, why not recycle content and let it attract a few extra links with minimal effort on your part.
Take a webinar and slice and dice it into 2 minutes videos. Turn a white paper into a dozen blog posts; use an interview with an industry expert and pull a nugget of information as the starting point for a new article. Put older blog posts in your company e-newsletter. You can use your existing content to attract extra links by giving it a second chance!
As I mentioned, traditional link building is still very important because it helps round out your link portfolio. But since link building is a manual process it can be very time consuming and the better the link the more time it usually takes to build. Content marketing, while still a very time consuming process, usually amounts to more bang for your buck because it will naturally attract links over time and there really is no hard end point. Add a few deep internal links in your content to really drive traffic and build links to your site!
About the Author – Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, an SEO firm in Boston MA. With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by hosting a local SEO trainings, contributing to the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter.
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