We all want high quality backlinks to our sites. But here is the question: If you came across your site and were not aware that it was yours, would YOU link to it? Is it so remarkable and extraordinary that even a seasoned website owner like you would want your blog readers to know about it?
If you wouldn’t even link to you then it’s likely no one else will either.
Backlinks are the fuel of search engine rankings, and without them you cannot expect to get even a reasonable amount of search engine traffic. We are not supposed to build these backlinks. We are supposed to create great content and let the flood gates open, as if we believe the “if you build it they will come” theory. So let’s assume that all we need to do is create great content and people will link to us. You may not believe the premise to be true, but let’s roll with it in this article. This idea begs the following question:
What kind of content do people link to? Or for those who hate ending a sentence with a preposition: To what kind of content do people link?
The answer cannot be just great content. I have seen tons of great content online, but that does not mean I have linked to all of it from my site. This is mainly because the content probably had nothing to do with my site, but it also had to do with the content just not being very linkable.
What content will make people want to link to you?
Content that answers a common question with uncommon clarity.
I have seen way too many ehow.com style articles that are nothing but junk. Yes, they address a common question, but the answer is so generic and vague you feel like you just wasted your time from just browsing the page.
Website owners don’t want to link to a page that is just like every other page out there. But if you can answer a question with more clarity and better reasoning than all the other sites, your webpage becomes much more linkable. And please forget keyword density in your writing. Write to satisfy a human brain and not an algorithm.
Content that looks at an ordinary idea from a unique perspective.
Whether your content is an article, video, podcast or infographic, it should use a perspective that goes against the grain. Dare to be different and think of an angle that no one else is talking about. You might just write the blog post that stirs up a huge debate on that topic, and websites that do this on a regular basis can be very linkable. Look at what everyone else in your niche is saying, and then think of the one perspective that everyone has left out. After all, why would anyone want to link to your site if you are just a sounding board for all the other sites out there?
Content that is not just timely but ahead of its time.
It’s not easy to predict the future, but knowing the trends of your market can have huge benefits. You want to create viral content that will get all the blogs buzzing about you? Get the inside scoop on a product or story. It might take a little work, but if you can manage to beat all the other blogs and write about the newest widget before it has even been released, you might just have some linkable content. Yes, it’s good to write timely articles as well, but what makes them timely is that they are already being talked about.
Use your mental powers to try to figure out how you can create content that is ahead of its time and you will be creating linkable content at its finest.
Content that makes people laugh and think at the same time.
There are a ton of funny videos online that get linked to all the time. But to get true quality backlinks from reputable sites, you need to be able to engage your audience with levity and substance. If you can explain a complex thought in a simple way, and at the same time make it fun and enjoyable, you are creating linkable content.
Think about the commercials during the Super Bowl. Most of them are designed to make us laugh, but they also get a brand stuck in our heads. No matter what your website is about you should be able to make your readers laugh now and then. And in the midst of that laughter you can throw down some knowledge that will sink even deeper. It’s not about what you say, but how you say it that makes content linkable.
Content that is timeless.
We already talked about creating content that is ahead of its time, but creating content that will be relevant for years to come is also imperative if you want natural links. Try to focus on writing articles that will still be relevant two years from now. The big advantage to this approach is that you have a better chance of getting more natural links down the road. If I write about a new cell phone that just came out, I might get a few links. But when version 2 comes out my post will be completely irrelevant.
Make the majority of your posts and videos on topics that will not be so fickle. Write an “ultimate guide” type of article on a specific topic that looks at every angle, and make sure it will still be a great article 24 months from now. You will be in a great position to get natural backlinks from other bloggers in your niche. This type of content typically takes more time, but it also lasts longer, so it’s a good investment for your online visibility.