It’s easy to slip back into black-hat techniques for SEO, especially when somebody (whether that somebody is yourself or a client) is desperate for some short-term success.
It is deceptively easy to buy links and blog post spots with hastily written content in order to get your name out there and potentially rank higher in the SERPS.
However, this may be more costly and actually take more work in the long run. Having strong, well-written, and authoritative content marketing materials on your website is a necessary stepping stone towards easier, higher-reward links, shares, and response.
The Easiest Way to Ask for Backlinks
Responding to someone who has already shared your content marketing piece is far easier than reaching out for the first time to a stranger. The advantage with good content is that website owners and bloggers are more likely to take the initiative and share your content, rather than you trying to convince them that your content is worth taking up space on their page.
That first contact – the reaching out to just the right person with just the right pitch – is already done. Your content was your pitch, and suddenly, reaching out to that website to share more of your content is easier because the beginning of the relationship is already built, and was done without a single email sent.
When sharing your content, bloggers will sometimes attribute a secondary source – e.g. Visual.ly for an infographic – rather than the original source (you), but these are still great resources for backlinks. It’s also a great way to get in touch with the content manager. They’ve already used your content – the “what’s in it for me?” is already satisfied.
All you’re asking is for a link back to the correct source, which is something reputable bloggers want to do. The rest would just fear retribution because the original content owner (you) is contacting them regarding mis- attributed content.
However, in my experience, very few bloggers are resistant to adding your website as a backlink. Finding the right contact information is often the biggest challenge, but this is true for when you are initially reaching out to a blogger who hasn’t posted content.
Social Share Explosions & Great Content Marketing
Social shares are becoming ever more important from an SEO standpoint, and regular users of social networking sites are becoming ever savvier and pickier about what they share.
Great content is shareable content, and is more likely to be shared with circles relevant to your business. One Facebook share could become visible in over a hundred feeds, and if that content is interesting enough, it can warrant secondary shares from those feeds.
Pinterest has been extremely effective in promoting good content (and it works for a variety of businesses!). For Pinterest, it’s not just what’s said that’s important, but how it’s presented.
For some, this could be excellent displays of products, and for others, this could be infographics. I deal largely with promotion of infographics, and Pinterest is a powerful tool towards sharing our content.
See the graph below for how much of a difference good content can make. Each of the letters is an infographic, and all were promoted at about the same time, for the same client. Most had a decent amount of shares for the time invested, but letter B stands way out from the rest.
This particular infographic wasn’t picked up by any largely-trafficked sites – we weren’t fortunate in that way. It was just spread around by a lot of small users – all who felt the infographic was good enough to send to the friends. It exponentially increased the amount of shares expected. These people were more likely to follow related Pinterest boards as well, making it more likely that they would see the other infographics as well.
Cravings for More Good Content = Good Bounce Rate
Frequency is extremely important in imparting brand awareness, and the better your content is, the more likely a reader will dig deeper or return for more. This point returns to the basics of frequency in advertising: The more a person sees your brand, the more likely they are to remember you. With good content, you don’t have to place yourself everywhere.
The user seeking more of your content is increasing how many times they view your brand with each page visited. They increased the number of times they saw your brand by their own volition. Because they feel like they’re in control, it’s easy to get them to see your name many, many times without additional effort on your part. All you have to do is provide content compelling enough to keep them craving more.
Let People Know it’s There!
Having good content is an excellent starting point, but there’s no point in it unless you let relevant users know it’s there. A little promotion goes much farther with good content, and viewers are more likely to return to your page to view more. Here’s a little sample what happened to traffic after the infographic promotion I did (using the infographics in the earlier graph):
This increase was a little less than two weeks’ worth of promotion, and most of it went to just making the infographics visible – posting them to Visual.ly and similar sites, and sharing them on tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
These sites are swamped with content because anyone can submit to them, but we were still able to get good traffic and quality backlinks from users who shared and reposted our infographics.
Pushing For a Higher Quality Internet
The newest generation of internet users is blessed with a plethora of high-quality websites – everything from Pinterest to Livestrong – and it’s imperative to keep the web from sinking back into keyword-stuffed articles and over saturated linking. Besides, high-quality content marketing is not just good for SEO.
The potential customer that reads it will be more likely to trust your product or service, and find you more transparent and reliable. All of this was done without the need for over-encroaching and expensive advertising, and your ROI will thank you for it.