Building links is still a big topic with SEOs and site owners alike and we’re all a bit fed up with trying to get reciprocal links. While it may be more fun, using social media channels to build links take a lot of time and may not suit everyone. So it’s time to get creative and come up with some content you can put on your site that attracts more links to your site.
Here’s my Top 7 Ways to Increase Link Popularity with Content on Your Site:
1. Top 10 Lists (or Top 5, 25, 100 or maybe just 7)
From the FBI’s Most Wanted to Dave Letterman’s Top Ten, people love these lists! They also love to pass the information on to their circle of friends or colleagues. Pick a topic that will be of interest to your target market and do a bit a research to come up with the definitive list for that topic.
This Top 10 webpage from 2008 still does well on search engines. I like the way you see the info without scrolling and the advertising fits in well.
We all know YouTube is hot, a popular search engine in itself, but if you embed good videos on your own site, it will attract visitors and links to the page. If you have an interesting collection of videos others have done, people will be more likely to link to your page, rather than to the source video site.
You can embed other people’s videos on your site, making sure that they are relevant to your topic (and to get permission and provide attribution, etc.) but it’s not so difficult to produce your own videos. Digital webcams have come down in price and are easy to use, but you could even just create a nice slideshow from images you have that will highlight your products, work you’ve done, etc.
Yahoo’s Dirty Tackle blog has been very popular during the World Cup, mainly for its regular posts with videos of highlights and funny moments in the sport.
Not as dynamic as video, but people do like to look at ‘pretty pictures’. Whether you create them yourself or get permission to use others images, look for those related to your topic and reinforce the points you are trying to make. Think beyond photographs – relevant diagrams and charts will also be of great interest.
Sites like Nielsen use charts and diagrams on a regular basis to provide an easy way for people to take in the stats provided.
4. Interview an Expert or Industry Leader
Don’t we all want to know what the experts think and how they do what they do? You’d be surprised how willing most industry experts/leaders are to do a quick interview; whether it be in person or over the phone/Skype, etc.
Make sure you are prepared and professional. Agree on topics (try to find something that’s timely and hasn’t been covered a million times) and keep to the time allowed. It’s a sure thing that the person interviewed will link to your interview, giving your site even more exposure.
Linux Journal’s Interview with pen source advocate Simon Pipps from 2007 still comes high in search results.
5. How To’s / Tutorials
These days the internet is a person’s main way to find out how to do things, whether via an article or a video. You can easily write step by step tutorials or articles about an area that you are knowledgeable in. Even better, do a quick How To video, even if just a screencast. Besides showing people that you know your business and providing helpful information for people, it’s very likely that people will then link to your page.
Neckties.com includes an instructional animated video to help their customers, as well as draw prospective buyers to the site.
7. Free Downloads
People can’t resist free stuff! Have you created (or commissioned) an app or a script that you can provide for free? Less technical? Then you can you create helpful checklists or other articles as PDFs that people can download.
Australia’s NRMA provides a FREE Used Car Buying Guide Checklist for visitors to download as a PDF.
7. Commission a Study or Report
People love statistics! Do your own market research or commission an agency or university and put together a study or report that’s relevant to your industry.
Ireland’s Mulley Communications commissioned a Facebook Study by a division of the National College of Ireland, “made possible” with an “Innovation Voucher” funded by a government agency. (This is also a good example of providing a download and embedding a video!)
When deciding on content make sure you are focused on your target market and what will be of interest to them to ensure that it will also be something that they’d want to share by placing a link on their own sites. What to consider:
- Is my market more likely to link to content that’s funny, serious or informative – or a mix?
- Is the content fresh and original? Don’t just copy a list or article from someone else’s site, even if you give attribution. If you don’t have original information on a topic, compile interesting information from a number of relevant sites and put it together in a new way, making it your own. There may be times when it’s best to include a quote or excerpt from the original site, but be sure to give proper attribution and you may get a [link] friend for life!
- Do I make it easy for people to link to my content? Are the URLs on your site not only SEO friendly, but people friendly? Yes, it’s easy to copy and past a URL, but if your URL is particularly long and doesn’t reflect the content of the page it may put someone off from doing the link.
- Does my overall site merit getting links from others? Is it overloaded with AdWords? Is the site user friendly? Does the site look professional? Even if you have the most interesting article ever, people will be less likely to link to it if the rest of your site doesn’t live up to it.
- Are you being generous with your link love? As they say ‘give and ye shall receive’ and the same is true with links. Just make sure the links you post are relevant for your visits and that the sites are high quality.
- How do I get people to link to my page in an SEO friendly way? Short of telling people how to put the link, you can influence the link text people use in the link to your page. They are likely to use your keyphrase in your link text if you are using them properly on the page yourself. Some may still just put the URL as the link text, so if you are using keyphrases in your URL, that will help. Some may use the title of the page, video, image, download, etc., so be sure to use your keyphrases in any of these areas as well.
As you build up the quality content on your site you will find that more people are linking to the homepage of your site, as well as the pages with specific content, as the site itself will be seen as a useful or interesting resource overall.
Rather than obsessing over what’s going to get you the most links; keep focused on providing good, interesting, relevant content for the visitors to your site and the links will follow.