In the SEO business we always talk about producing link-worthy content. It might mean a valuable, informative resource, or its trashier cousin link bait. We always recommend producing content that appeals to your audience and the people with the power to link.
Beyond the vague recommendation to “produce great content”, what can you do to ensure it’s something that will appeal to the elusive linkerati?
If you know a new topic or product is going to get plenty of coverage there’s leverage in being one of the first people to attack the subject. The future pieces will try and reference back the early protagonists in the debate, so we always suggest getting something out there early.
Don’t be scared about rushing something out, you can come back later and expand the piece. Even better produce a separate follow-up piece that can attract new links in its own right.
Become the De-facto Resource
Even if you’re not first to the party you can attract more links by being the most comprehensive page on a given topic.
Think of your role as a curator as well as writer.
Take what has already been written across the web, explain what it all means, synthesise it into a coherent whole and you’ll have no trouble attracting links from subsequent stories.
Produce Something Substantial
I know early I said get something out the door as quick as you can but the more valuable someone feels a piece of content is the more likely they are to reward you with a link.
Glen over at Viperchill has done a great job of analysing blog post length that makes for an interesting read
Appeal to Skim Readers
We’ve all been there when writing a blog post, we feel it needs a little extra credibility so we go on a hunt to find some other articles we can link to that supports are argument.
These people are going to quickly skim read the piece to see if it’s a good fit before giving it their full attention. Clear headings, frequent sub headings and great visuals will appeal to skim readers as well as your regular punters.
Interestingly this phenomenon makes ranking for a keyword a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you rank highly people will find you more easily and you get more links. Another reason to go early.
Use other Mediums
If you’re a regular reader here you’ll be bored of me harping on about our podcast (did I mention it’s the third most popular marketing podcast in the iTunes US?) and though we try our best to produce a great show, I think a major reason for its success is we’re using a different medium.
There tens of thousands of internet marketing blogs but only a few hundred podcasts. Which do you think is easier to get traction in?