In their attempt to provide all the answers in small spaces, many business bloggers link out to relevant sources. Not every reader wants to go into detail on a subtopic, so writers give them the option of exploring further off-site. Make this need for outside information work for your business by creating quality content that other bloggers and business owners rely on. Thanks so much to John Doherty of Distilled Media for his post on SEO Moz “What Kind of Content Gets Links in 2012?” for inspiring this post. Here I add a little of my own experience to his thorough research with the much larger SEO Moz website.
How to Create Quality Content that Draws Backlinks Naturally
- Germane Topic Choices: Keep the topics as close to the bone or central subject as possible. For SEO Moz, their top winning topic with 4200 backlinks is: “On Page/SEO Optimization,” in other words, their exact business. In the number 2 position is “backlinking” with 3500 backlinks. Both topics are absolutely central to a SEO firm’s mission. Similarly, Informed Web Content’s most back-linked topic is “blogging.” Much of web content is blogging, after all.
- Posts with Lots of Comments: It makes sense that posts that draw lots of comments also got the most backlinks. People mostly comment on controversial or unusual topics. For SEO Moz, the most commented upon posts were “white hat/black hat” issues–those sure to get people’s ire up. Encourage comments in your blog posts and social media content and consider broaching sensitive topics that engage the emotions.
- Photos: The picture worth 1,000 words . . . People online are in scanning mode. If the photo can sum up the story well, others seem more willing to link to it, perhaps because the photo stops them in their frenetic searching and slows them down enough to read some text. Once they read some text, they often go on to read more. The photo acts as a hook. While I include photos in all posts, I don’t have a good comparison. For SEO Moz, however, posts with more images got 30% more links than those without images.
- Links Going Out: Doherty only found a slight correlation between the number of links leading to other sites on a post and more links.
- Post Content: Text? Video? Images? All Three? While I find that I get more links from longer content that’s broken up well and illustrated with good photos, Doherty discovered that video posts got more links than all other types, including text, video and image combined. Yikes! What does that mean for quality content writers? Word people!
As it turns out, SEO Moz’s very popular Whiteboard Friday, a short video appearing every Friday skews the data significantly. Doherty admits that this piece of high quality content has developed its own brand and audience. Therefore, people return for reasons other than search engine results. It has a following, people are already engaged and want to participate.
- Post Length: Yay! This word person is glad that longer posts got more links than short ones. Short posts often come across as unsatisfying, even low quality. I know when I’m writing about a topic I long to tell the whole story so the reader can have a comprehensive understanding. Posts that are 200 – 300 words are just advertisements in my mind. I always shoot for 600 words, but often end up with 1,000, as in this post! (And it doesn’t seem over- long, does it?
Google is on the Side of the Quality Content Writer
Google lets the masses determine the top search engine results by measuring natural backlinks. It’s a good strategy, after all, since researchers have proven that the wisdom of the crowd is always better than the wisdom of the very smartest, single individual in that crowd. (Curious? Read more in New Yorker financial columnist James Suroweiki’s amazing The Wisdom of Crowds.) The crowd backlinks to a website when it finds quality content worth sharing. One, four or even nine people can have the same bias; they could all be friends or co-workers. 1,000 readers? Not so much. The 1,000 go for quality content. As content writers, we at Informed Web Content follow Google’s guidelines, which luckily for us, means meaningful, quality content—just the stuff we WANT to write. Trust Informed Web Content to get you started with some SEO optimized posts and/or web and category pages, complete with the mini-advertisements known as “meta tags.” We can also get a cache of posts written for you so can start attracting links and moving your site up through the competition! Contact ustoday for a free, 20-minute consultation. We love learning about new businesses!