Using content marketing to build links can help increase your web traffic.
Build links and watch your website traffic grow. Do it right and you can boost more quality traffic with content marketing for links (also called backlinks).
Can you generate links with a shoestring budget? YES, you can.
Link building is an online marketing strategy aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage. Its primary purpose is to improve a website’s overall ranking in the search engines.
Marketers use different techniques to build links. One is the use of content marketing.
Most businesses nowadays consider content marketing as an important component of their marketing strategy. Why? Because it works.
However, just like the other approaches, it comes with a cost too. Whether you are hiring a third-party agency or managing content marketing by yourself, you will have to spend.
The good news is you can build links and optimize your website without breaking your bank.
Link Building through Content Marketing
When it comes to search engine ranking, we have to take Google’s words into account. And according to them, the top three ranking factors are links, contents, and RankBrain – their artificial intelligence system.
You can’t control how RankBrain works. But links and contents? Sure you can.
But let’s face it: building links is tough.
Buying links no longer works (it could even worsen your marketing efforts). You should know where to focus your efforts to get maximum results.
Link building, when combined with another ranking factor which is content – is the best path to your marketing success.
You create quality content which drives more traffic to your site. And you build more links.
Isn’t that hitting two birds with one stone?
But what is content marketing and how can you use it to build quality links?
Content marketing involves creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. They include articles, news, blog posts, guest posts, infographics, videos, etc. All these forms of content are aimed at educating and entertaining a specific group of people (demographics) while promoting your brand.
Content Marketing for Small Budgets
Startups and small businesses need to watch every penny. And every penny needs to show value.
The cost of content marketing can vary, depending on many factors like the size of your company, and your marketing goals and scope. On average, businesses spend anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 per month.
Check out the following budget-friendly techniques to build links through content.
Include data, always.
If you want to make sure that your marketing efforts don’t go into waste, make sure they are data-driven. Content marketing is powerful yet often relatively low in cost to execute if you will base every decision on data.
Take note that the overall goal of content marketing is to provide value to your audience and build relationships. But how do you know which content is relevant to your target market? How do you know which ones they like?
You want creative content that tells a compelling story. And the only way to know which topics will keep them interested and engaged is by learning more about your customers.
But where do you get the data you need?
The easiest way to gather data is with the use of an all-in-one marketing platform. It’s equipped with tools like data analytics that capture information from various sources and channels, such as social media, email, and search engines.
Here’s the thing. Content marketing has four key aspects: strategy, production, distribution, and measurement. The idea behind an online marketing platform is to organize all these things in one tool and help you plan your strategy and see more successful results.
What data do you need?
You need basic information like location, gender, demographics, and age. To make your content even more targeted, you need additional data like their purchase history, interests, topics that they read about, websites they often visit, social media posts they follow, etc. The more data you get, the better.
It is also helpful to know what time and day your target audience is most likely active or likely to check out your content.
Use case studies.
You’re doing a great job in your industry. Why not tell the world about it? Case studies are an effective and inexpensive way to earn links.
Buyers have gotten wiser these days. They don’t just buy products or services. They first do some research. 88% of buyers (or 9 out of 10) look at online reviews and recommendations online. A case study is a great way to build your authority over your niche and establish proof that what you are offering is valuable and of good quality.
So how do you use case studies to earn links?
You also can publish whitepaper and research papers.
Like case studies, people get a lot of valuable information from whitepaper and research papers. It takes time and effort but these types of content help build your reputation and boost your link-building strategies.
Use expert roundup posts.
Roundup posts are among the best ways to earn shares and backlinks.
The more experts you could encourage to contribute in your roundup post, the more links you could build as they will likely share your post on their channels too.
What are “roundup posts”? These are articles that feature responses from different experts or influencers. The information gathered is new and created specifically for the article. How do you maximize results from a roundup post?
Guest-blog to build links.
Gone are the days when guest posting is submitting any content to another website that links back to yours. To earn links from guest blogging, focus on giving value to your readers.
This way, you are positioning yourself as an expert. And when you do, people will trust your brand. They will be more interested to know about your brand and what you offer them. You don’t just earn links. You also earn customers.
It may sound counterintuitive but backlink-building shouldn’t be your goal when you guest post. Rather, it should establish authority over your niche. Because when you do, backlinks follow.
Last, be authentic. Present your case studies, results from your work, your best practices, and ideas that worked for you. Sharing personal insight and knowledge is a great way to earn the trust of your target readers and connect with them.
Uses social media to promote your content.
Sharing content on social media is free and very effective. There are 2.89 billion active users of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others). People use social media not only for entertainment but also to find useful information and relevant content.
When a follower finds your content interesting and worth sharing, they will share it on their newsfeed without you having to ask them to. And what does it mean to you? More links for your website.
Check out these tips when using social media to promote your content:
It’s important to keep track of your social media engagements to understand what types of content boost your link-building campaigns the most.
You can use a cloud-based online marketing platform like Adrack that features data analytics for easy monitoring of your marketing campaigns and content engagement.
Publish long posts/guides.
Lengthy posts, such as guides, might be exhausting to create. But when it comes to link-building, they could bring you amazing results. The ideal length for SEO articles is at least 1,000 words.
Note, however, that the minimum word count does not apply to every keyword target. To know the ideal length for your niche, conduct competitor research about your keyword targets. The average length should serve as your reference.
Enrich your posts with visually appealing product images and graphics to generate more interests and keep your audience scrolling. You can present your content in other formats like a slide presentation to make it even more interesting.
Why are long articles better for SEO?
Simple. Long articles provide more value, considering that they contain rich information about a certain topic.
Another thing. Google favors long articles. Why is that? First, you might assume that long articles include more keywords and provide a detailed discussion on the topic.
But there’s another reason, according to Google. Longer articles receive more engagement and social “shares”. These shares help boost the “author’s rank”, which help their articles rank better.
Ideally, you want a nice ‘featured SERP’ like the one below.
So how do you maximize the value that your articles provide?
Leverage PR to build recognition.
Another technique to earn more links through content marketing is to get the media to write about your business. You need not hire a PR agency to do this for you. You can pitch to writers and editors in your area.
These people are constantly looking for interesting topics that they can write about. If you establish a good reason for them to promote your brand, they will be more than happy to create quality content for you.
And even if you’re a national or international brand, you can benefit from leveraging local PR. Local newspapers and online publications are great places to land news coverage and contribute expert advice and show your authority over your niche.
Wrapping it Up on Content Marketing and Link Building
Content marketing is a powerful link-building strategy. But just like other forms of online marketing, it comes with a cost too. Various factors affect the potential cost of content marketing, such as your company size and marketing goals.
If you’re looking to generate more links for your website but you are tight in budget, several content marketing techniques can bring you amazing results without the high price.
These include leveraging data, using case studies, guest-blogging, using social media, publishing long posts, and tapping local PR individuals.
Mike Austin is a marketing and creative content specialist at Adrack.com and working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2009. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is generated when an external website links to yours. This why some people refer to them as “external backlinks” or “inbound links.”
Why are backlinks important for a small business?
For a small business or any business for that matter, is because search engines associate number of links with popularity, and if you have the right amount of links to your website, search engines find you more relevant and more useful.
How can I start building backlinks?
Today you’re going to learn how to build high-quality backlinks. (FAST) You can do it yourself or hire outside help for your backlink efforts. Backlinking outreach is very similar to media outreach with a broader audience.