Everyone wants to know how to get those coveted, natural, organic hyperlinks that skyrocket your website in the organic rankings. They can be hard to get, especially if you are a new website, writing boring content and don’t do any distribution.
I’ve been blogging, doing SEO and social media for over a decade now, so I know a thing or two about it. Some blog posts have thousands of links pointing at them. In this post, I’m going to give you some insight on how to create blog posts people want to link too.
Start a new conversation
When you’re researching your topics, try to take a new slant on a conversation or at least offer some new information. If you are writing on the exact same stuff as everyone else, there’s almost no point. What you do has to be bigger, better and more robust. Or the content needs to at least really speak to people about the subject. Make sure to write on something new! That is actually the rule on most major news sites, ‘we only publish it if it adds to the conversation.’ Use this rule for your blog posts too.
Make sure your posts cover the topic completely
I like to do really long posts, sometimes that are thousands of words. Here are a couple of the guides I have done for Search Engine Land, both of which have thousands of links.
- The Ultimate Guide to Multilingual and Multiregional SEO – 3,482 links total
- The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools – 1,692 – links total
But you don’t need to do post this long, you just need to make sure your post is really thorough, especially if it’s a topic that is not 100% new. When I wrote my last blog post for SEM Rush, they said they only accept posts that are over 600 words. I think this is a good rule of thumb, unless you are breaking a story (it can be shorter and quick) or writing on something already out there, such as the webmaster tools article above (this needs to be longer because others have already covered it).
Picking something controversial
The other day, I wrote a post about “Why Agencies are Better Than In-House SEO.” It has only been out for a few days, and it has already attracted nearly 100 backlinks. Why? Well, that is a controversial topic, don’t you think? Also, it is a great post that really flushes out the topic. Now if you Google, “are agencies better than in house for seo” you will see the post ranked number 4, right behind a few major news sites. Getting this ranking will result in many more links over time, which will also help our bigger keywords.
Get a following
You cannot get traffic and links if you don’t have some type of a following. People need to subscribe to your email, watch you on social, read your blog, and you need fans! It can happen in any industry. Trust me, I worked in VOIP and 1800 numbers for a year as a Marketing Manager. Even in that industry we were able to get a huge following! Within a few months, we were ranked page 1 for all our major keywords and brining in over 6,000 visitors a month all through the blog. No matter what the industry, you need to get people to watch your move by creating innovative topics, not the stuff everyone else is talking about.
Add sources at the bottom
Why do you think Wikipedia ranks so high for everything? They are credible, they have sources and citations and they have awesome internal linking to relevant items on the site. They are an SEO machine! You need to do the same thing for your site. Why not follow the same rules? This is what people what to link to, something that looks official. Not a half written blog that covers 1/5 of the topic.
Use lots of facts, figures and stats
Hubspot says that 75% of SEO is offsite and 25% is onsite and 91% of Internet users search every month. Don’t you think you would link to that in a research paper, blog post or article? Of course you would! Also, that is what Google wants to see for rankings. So make sure you are taking the time to find important statistics like this. By the way, I don’t really agree with this statistic. It’s more like 50/50 in my mind.
Have a headline that cuts through the clutter
It’s all about the headline, I swear. What if I titled this post, “A couple things I do for blogging”? Would you even click on it? Of course not! But with this well thought-out title, I will get much higher click-through rates and people will read it and link to it. That’s why you’re here, right?
Use BuzzSumo and create similar content
You can use BuzzSumo, Google search, use social mention, comb Twiter, whatever, but you need to do something to distinguish content that is similar to what you are writing on, that has taken off. I like BuzzSumo because it was created specifically for this purpose.
Have compelling images
If you write a blog and it doesn’t have an awesome image, you are losing massive sharing potential. Half the time, it is the actual image that triggers the share. Blog posts are largely based on text, but without a good picture, you are leaving shares and links on the table.
Get into recap newsletters and syndication sites
In most industries, large industry publications send out daily recap newsletters. These newsletters take posts from around the web and list them. This can be a great way to get more eyeballs on your post. Also along these lines, you can get your blog listing on sites like Alltop, Squidoo, Hubspot or even have your blogs RSS feed go out on your companies’ profiles on other websites. This can really help with indexing, get your post noticed and eventually build more links.
Share, Share, Share!
If you have a big following, you don’t need to share as much. If you have small following, you need to share, share, share! Anyone who is connected with me on LinkedIn knows that I am not afraid to post there. Same goes for Google +, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit and all the rest. If you really want to get exposure for a post, you need to share the heck out of it. You never know when you will strike SEO gold and get noticed by someone who needs that information and will link to it.
Get started now
With so many blogs being written, amazing content that cuts through the clutter is really hard to find. I hope after reading this post you will join me on the front lines of creating content that not only makes people say, “Wow” but gets tons of links. These tips are general, but they are the real deal. I can tell you, we are a fairly new agency and we get well over 200 leads a month. Great blogging and link acquisition are a big part of that.