Being an SEO, you can’t go a day without hearing about links: “Links are crucial!” or “Prioritize links!” or “Links are the nourishing lifeblood of the almighty algorithm!”
But for those of us who’ve taken the next step to actually figure out how to earn said links, we realize it’s not that straightforward.
It’s hard to sum up all of that in the tweets and LinkedIn posts that get shared about link earning, because the truth is, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all link earning approach or vendor. You need a link earning “stack” that appropriately reflects the complexity of your marketing and content goals.
In an ideal world, here’s what that stack would look like. (Hat tip to Paul Zalewski, SVP of Marketing at Verblio, who gave me the idea for this breakdown!)
Objective: Set up a foundation for link earning with lower effort over time
Content needed: A “linkable content” asset (this is key)
Promotion needed: Manual outreach and promotion to acquire the first one or two links, to help the page initially rank
Passive link earning is any content you can create that will naturally earn links over time without having to actively promote it on an ongoing basis. These pieces are designed to carry their weight in earning links without much active promotion (which is what separates it from the next category, post-specific link earning). They’re often not directly tied to your product or service, though if they are, that’s certainly a bonus.
When SEO teams can collaborate with content teams on creating “linkable content,” passive link earning magic can happen.
Some common examples of linkable content include:
Statistics-based or definition-focused posts: People are always looking for stats to cite or definitions to link to.
Tools or other interactive resources: If they’re useful, folks love to share them!
“Best”/”Top” posts or annual reports: People like to reference lists they’re on or share lists that are interesting, valuable compilations.
This post presents new data points around blogging, and it’s earned 2,761 linking domains! How? Because there are so many blog posts about blogging (meta) that want to include statistics relevant to the point they’re trying to make — and Andy is providing them.
Here’s an example of an Alexa blog post citing a data point from the Orbit Media piece:
Image credit: Bart Maguire Over the next six months, Google is going to employ machine learning and AI to alter the hours of operation on twenty million Google Business Profiles as part of their project of creating a “self-updating map”. Some experts estimate that this is roughly one-fifth to one-sixth […]