Google continually updates the algorithms it uses to evaluate websites and determine their rank for organic search results. Other search engines do the same. But regardless of how the algorithms evolve, one characteristic that seems to always be given a high value in the calculating of a site’s "popularity" and “authority” is the number of links to it from other sites. While “linkbaiting” has, at times, had negative connotations due to the underhanded strategies employed by some companies, it is nevertheless an important aspect of SEO if you do it properly.
Although you have little direct control over who links to your site (aside from making sure you're listed in all of the appropriate directories), you can increase your odds of attracting links by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Pay Attention to Design — People tend to associate high-quality design with trustworthy companies. And, of course, people are most comfortable linking to the websites of companies they trust. Be sure that both your site, and the marketing content on it, have great visual appeal.
- Use Facts and Figures — A blog posts and/or other content that contains informative (and verifiable) data attract links at a much higher rate than materials without.
- Be Engaging — Inject some humor into your content, or perhaps ask tough questions or share unpopular opinions at times. People enjoy reading (and encouraging others to read) material that gets outside the standard sanitized corporate box. Telling a good story is another way to engage readers.
- Use Video — As you might expect, good video content gets linked to much more frequently than equally good non-video content. People who share content understand that the people with whom they are sharing—like all people these days—are very strapped for time, and video can be a fast way to learn something new.
- Do Some Name-Dropping — OK, that’s another phrase (like “linkbaiting”) that can have negative connotations if taken out of context. However, if your content draws insight from, and refers people to, an authority on a particular subject, there’s nothing wrong with that.
- Have a Good "Long/Short" Mix — People like a nice, quick read. But studies show long-form content is also good at generating links—perhaps because it is used as reference material. Creating and promoting both short and long-form content lets you attract both types of audience.
Inbound links have the power to propel your site upward in the organic rankings. Taking the time to create a strong content marketing inventory that appeals to your target personas in ways that make them want to share your materials is well worth the effort. Our team at 30dps has extensive experience in helping companies craft content that people love to link to. Let’s talk about your needs!