Welcome to the final part of our content marketing series about articles and the incredible value they provide to a business when incorporated in its marketing strategy.
In case you’ve come to the series late, here’s a quick overview of what we’ve already covered:
- Our introductory article discussed how blogs can help steer customers down the purchase funnel
- We then talked about how blog posts can accurately and effectively target keywords and categories to help boost your search engine rankings
- And last month’s entry explained how articles, combined with social media, can make a powerful combination to help drive web traffic and increase conversions.
In this final part, we explore how articles on your company blog can be used as link-building assets to help your content reach the top spot in search engines.
Building backlinks to your content
For those of you who are new to the concept of backlinks, a backlink is when another site links to a page on your website. Your website’s backlink profile is considered an important ranking factor by search engines.
Think of it as a vote of confidence and a quality indicator. If an external site links to your website it may symbolise that:
- They think a specific product you offer is amazing and they want to help promote it and drive some of their traffic to your site
- They thought a particular piece of content you produced was unique and valuable, and would also align with the interests of their own site visitors.
Search engines recognise this and provide more favourable rankings to websites that not only have backlinks, but have backlinks from sites of high quality and relevance to the content.
In 2012 Google launched its Penguin algorithm update, penalising websites that used deceitful backlink acquisition tactics. For example, a lot of high-ranking websites bought links from ‘spammy’ websites or subscribed to ‘link farms’ (e.g. acquiring hundreds of low quality and unrelated website backlinks). That’s why modern day link building is more about quality and relevance, rather than quantity.
So, how does your content get high quality backlinks?
This whole process takes a bit of research and creativity in the planning phases.
You first need to decide on what topics your content will cover and then look at the content that already exists on that topic, written either by your competitors or other publications. By finding a unique angle to take on that topic and identifying unique points that weren’t covered by the existing articles, you can differentiate your content.
Getting your content in front of people who are interested in consuming it is where the link building starts. From here, you have two options for your blog post to acquire links: passive or active link building.
Passive link building
This is where you optimise your content for search (our SEO checklist can help), and share and amplify it on social media with the primary intention to maximise its exposure and drive awareness and reach.
Some members of your audience may have their own blog or work in the same industry as you. After reading (and loving) your article, they may decide to share your article over social media, through email or make reference to it (with a link back to your article on their own site).
Active link building
Taking things to the level, you can actively look for opportunities to share your content with other websites and publishers in order to acquire backlinks.
For example, infographics are a shareable format of content that can act as a valuable link-building asset. Not only are they eye-catching (provided they’re designed well) but they’re unique. You may contact a men’s fashion blog who recently published an article about the suit construction process. You have already written an article about this topic and, within the post, you included a beautifully designed infographic illustrating the whole process. You get in contact to introduce yourself, tell them who you are and what your business does. You can then ask if they’d be interested in using your infographic, with a backlink to your original article or website, within their article.
Good content for active link building acts as a win-win. In the above case, the infographic would bring value to their readers, and you get a highly relevant link back to your site from a fashion blog.
The real value of great content
Just like TV, radio or newspapers, blogs form a vital part of your marketing mix. Their ability to educate customers and act as a subtle advertisement, along with their ability to help boost your website rankings with keyword targeting and link building, highlights the immense value they can provide to your business. Failing to integrate articles into your content marketing strategy may see your business get left out in the cold.
If you’re looking to capitalise on the benefits of content marketing for your business, get in touch with Assemblo. We have qualified copywriters, content managers and SEO strategists to give you a holistic content marketing strategy that integrates with your overall marketing and business strategy.