The Content Issue: What Makes Content Shareable and Linkable?
Having great content is an important contributor to better positions in search engines for relevant keywords. Content is king – which may seem obvious, but more and more businesses are forgetting to utilise this powerful tool. Even Google’s strategists have stated that links and content are the two main ranking factors!
Compelling and strong pieces of content naturally attract links and, at the same time, links make content more popular. However, not all types of content attract links. That being said, what exactly is it that makes content linkable?
Characteristics of Linkable Content
Blog posts, photographs, infographics, whitepapers, listicles… these are all types of content that someone can easily find on the web. However, not all types of content are actually link-worthy.
Creating the content is simply not enough and it would be naive to build it and expect it to naturally attract links. You need a continuing strategy, and in order to develop such a strategy it is important to understand why people link on the web. Then, as you plan your next piece of content, you can ask yourself: “Why would anyone link to this content?” Your answer should guide you towards what to include in the article.
Why Do People Link On The Web?
People link to pieces of content that are entertaining, unique, valuable, useful or insightful. They also link to content that comes from reputable brands, sites and publishers. Google uses links as a signal of trust in their algorithm because people tend to link to trusted authorities online. When a site is authoritative, it usually has larger audiences and visibility.
It is common that people will link to authoritative content that covers a specific topic to back up their views on a current or historic issue.
As a digital PR agency, when developing content for clients we take a step back to think about the reasons why people may link to it and then build those reasons into the content. We make sure to include:
- Unique imagery/video
- Original research
- Original data
- Expert opinions
- Quotes from experts
When link-worthiness is built into content -planning, promoting the final piece becomes an easier and more natural process.
On average, images and videos are more linkable than text-only blog posts, listicles or whitepapers. That said, take your time to look for visual elements that can enrich your content and not only make it more attractive to the eye but also more link-worthy. Think about visually striking images, memes, GIFs, charts, screenshots, videos… they can all help you connect with your audience in a more immediate and direct way.
For instance, a well thought-out and humorous meme will allow you to connect with your audience on a human level and make your content more relatable. A breath-taking photograph will earn links off its own back, as people are naturally drawn to attractive, striking images. Charts and other graphs make it easier for others to understand your content while screenshots lend validity to your content.
Videos are also great as they appeal to an audience that may prefer to listen to, rather than read information.
Partnering with other businesses on a content initiative is also an effective method to create link-worthy content. If this idea sounds appealing, build up a list of potential partners and map out shared interests and audiences. Once you come up with a couple of topics that are potentially interesting to both audiences, create content around that topic.
A collaboration with other industry leaders makes it easier for you to gain access to a larger audience, not to mention that it assures you that you will get links from those you are working with.
Additional benefits? Future promotional support, new partnership opportunities, improved industry reputation, brand development and increased authority amongst others. It increases your resources, allowing you to come up with a post that is best-in-class for your niche, extremely link-worthy and more authoritative than any piece you could have created on your own alone.
Original research is probably the best type of content to secure links as it provides unique information that cannot be found anywhere else. In other words, any site that needs to cite your information, can only link to your source.
Research is linkable because it is backed by data, making it a natural source of links from others.
If you decide to commit to doing original research, make sure that your findings not only get you incoming links to your site but also relevant and insightful information for your organization. Doing research is an investment as obtaining original data is not easy.
Another option for building strategic, link-earning content is featuring expert insight. Expert perspectives add legitimacy to your content and tap into the audiences of those experts, thus making your content more authoritative.
Take your time to build a relationship with influencers who are qualified and willing to share their personal experiences and insight. Make sure you share your content plan and goals with them and explain why your plan will benefit the greater community.
POLARIS is a leading SEO agency based in London. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free audit.