How to attract quality links to your website or blog
As you are probably aware, creating great content is the fastest way to gain recognition for your website or blog. But what exactly do we mean by ‘great content’?
Well, articles, podcasts, webinars and videos that your visitors will actively enjoy. Then there are case studies, press releases, white papers, training courses . . . whatever media your audience will find stimulating.
There are two basic aims to creating your content. It should be content that:
- ‘Authority’ websites and blogs will want to link to.
- People will want to share via social media.
The best way to ensure you produce a steady stream of great content is to write a Content Plan. Sorry if that sounds a tad tedious, but it’s what all magazines and print publications do as a matter of course – and all successful bloggers too.
Now the majority of monthly mags will produce a Content Planner for the entire year ahead – I’m not suggesting you go that far! Though if you are planning to use advertising on your site at some point, it may pay you to consider doing so.
On the other hand, celebrity-focused weeklies place more emphasis on current events, so they need to be geared up to be reactive to what’s happening in the entertainment world.
Which of these two content models suits your business best?
Either way, nothing concentrates the mind quite like a deadline, so logging cut-off dates for each piece of content onto a spreadsheet (or similar) is essential. And if your business is seasonal, for example if sales peak during July-August, you will need to set aside extra time outside of this period to meet your content demands during your busiest times.
Set Achievable Goals
Setting achievable goals is a proven way to meet your objectives.
Avoid meaningless goals like: “I’m going to get 15 links in 6 weeks”, because you may be tempted to snap up any old links simply to meet your target (and that rather defeats the object).
It is better to say: “I’m going to get a link from x, y and z (recognised blogs or websites within your industry) and aim for quality rather than quantity. Or, “by June 30th my website will be mentioned on the sites of these publications . . .”
It makes sense to set yourself, short, medium and long-term goals for your internet marketing which are measurable. These will be the benchmarks for your linking strategy.
Choosing Your Keywords
What ‘keywords’ do you want your business to rank for? Consider the main keywords or phrases your customers will use when searching for your products or services and write them down. If you are a business which offers services to different types of clients, for example a lawyer who covers several different disciplines but specialises in ‘family law’, this is the area you should concentrate on first.
Once you have identified a list of half a dozen relevant keywords, these will be the ones you will work with first, so build your content around them. Once your site has a respectable amount of content, you can begin marketing it to attract quality links.
Sites like HelpaReporter.com (HARO) can be worth signing up to as they will give you an idea of what journalists are looking for and help you become a recognised source of information. There are also some great resources for connecting with journalists on Twitter, for example Seek or Shout, MuckRack and MediaOnTwitter.
Content-wise, you need to balance your ambition with what is practical. Many bloggers who start out with grand plans for their content, fall by the wayside if they become overwhelmed. So whilst creating a sense of momentum is important to your publicity drive, it is even more vital to enjoy what you do.
And remember you don’t need to produce all the content yourself – if you are strapped for time or short on ideas, then outsourcing could be a viable option.
Written by Chris Jenkinson, founder of Jenkinson & Associates Ltd.
Jenkinson & Associates undertake marketing and business consultancy for businesses in different sectors and industries requiring business marketing and consultancy services including local, national, international and global trading companies.