It’s true: Not everyone loves to read. Though when you create amazing, quality content and provide proof behind your statements, you raise the readers interest in your content and cause them to read your post in full. Case studies are one simple way to properly break down a topic element and provide a ton of value to your readers. Not to mention, case studies are one of the most favorable pieces of content shared across the Web and are a great art of “social link bait.”
I’m going to show you how to create social link bait, but first I’m going to show you how to create your first case study and explain how the two can be used together to develop what could possibly be an easy route to viral content.
How to Create Your Very First Case Study!
Creating your first case study can be a challenge, but if you can write a nice, quality article, creating a case study should be a breeze. The only difference from creating a case study and writing an article is basically the amount of research involved and the amount of data you provide to your readers within your post. Adding that little bit of extra effort makes for a great case study.
To create your first case study, you’ll need to prepare for the task. All case studies are very different. They depend on your experience on a given topic and how much time you put into your content-creation process. Expect to do some research and experimentation. The more time you allow for the job will most likely determine how awesome your content comes out in the end.
“A case study (also known as a case report) is an intensive analysis of an individual unit.” (Wikipedia)
To start, no matter how much experience you have on a topic, you’ll need to be more than prepared to do a lot (intensive) of research. A case study is the break down of an individual topic or unit. So in order to create your very own case study, you’ll have to literally break down whatever it is you’d like to do a thorough case study on.
As an SEO, it’s seems as though it’s daily—I hear people complain about Google, and how there’s no way Google could define or understand the true qualities of great quality content.
Think about this for a moment: To me a true piece of great content is something that took someone a fairly long time to create and something that the majority of a crowd enjoys. Now, I’m not saying that anything that takes a lot of time to create is a great piece of content, because how long it takes you to create whatever content it is you’re attempting to write has nothing to do with the quality of the concluded product. In fact, there hasn’t been very many case studies at all, in which I would not define as a good read, but something I would love to share via Twitter, Google+, etc.
Creating case studies has a lot of benefits, and some of the benefits include:
- An increase in traffic to your website
- Brand (personal) recognition
- Social link bait (quality links)
- Helping others
- Experimentation guidance
- Scientific understanding
- Improving the overall value to your site
These are a few of the many benefits offered to you for taking your precious time and creating a great piece of content, such as a case study. One of the benefits I’d like to discuss in much more depth is the social link bait benefit. But before I get into it, I want to just make sure everyone understands what social link bait is.
“Link bait is any content or feature, within a website, designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website.
“The quantity and quality of inbound links are two of the many metrics used by a search engine ranking algorithm to rank a website. Link bait creation falls under the task of link building and aims to increase the quantity of high-quality, relevant links to a website.
“Part of successful linkbaiting is devising a mini-PR campaign around the release of a link bait article so that bloggers and social media users are made aware and can help promote the piece in tandem. Social media traffic can generate a substantial amount of links to a single Web page. Sustainable link bait is rooted in quality content.” (Wikipedia)
What is Social Link Bait?
I recall a time when many SEO company owners were asking themselves whether or not the implementation of social media was a good idea. Today, social media has been the hype and many (including myself) are utilizing the implementation of SEO along with that of social media optimization.
Social media has become an obligation for many, as millions of people become active on Facebook, on Twitter, and now on Google+ every single day. People are no longer as interested in Google and SEO today as they were 5 to 10 years ago. For that reason alone, I suspect more and more will become less interested in link building in the near future.
“People will start caring less about links in future years because social popularity will become the new link popularity.” (Point Blank)
In my opinion, social popularity became the new link popularity a long time ago!
In fact, you can’t visit the Google or Bing search engine without having a sift through social search. Google Analytics has implemented Social Analytics data, as more and more professionals have noticed the difference within their research and data-driven results. They’ve seen just how much social media can influence their organic search results and have concluded more info.
Now, step outside the circle for a moment and take a good, long look at all the problems Google has had concerning spam links and the time period in which the problems have existed. In seeing how frequently Google updates its algorithm, wouldn’t it only make sense for Google to take things a bit further and implement a “social rank” along with its already scorned “page rank”? Things are changing, and it’s up to you to be better prepared.
“We now know that those link sharing activities on Twitter + Facebook are evaluated based on the person/entity sharing them through a score Google calls ‘Author Authority,’ and Bing calls ‘Social Authority.’” (Rand Fishken)
How to Create Social Link Bait
In my opinion, social link bait is a “social form of link bait” which is shared by a larger range of websites and platforms than what that of link bait did. Nowadays, it’s fair to say that social media is the highest form of platform used by most of our targeted audience, in which link bait should be shared.
While creating social link bait, you should keep in mind that it should be “socially sharable.” To make the most of your social link bait creation, I strongly recommend you to use ThingLink, a fairly new image optimization process. ThingLink offers a nice little plugin that you might want to take a look at. It also offers you the opportunity (FREE!) to implement links into your images.
There are many forms of social link bait. Social link bait doesn’t have to be a case study. Infographics can work extremely well for this process, too. Imagine using this social link bait tool I’ve shown to you to “pimp your infographics,” and then imagine how far those would go in the social media sphere.
In My “Case Study and Social Link Bait” Conclusion
In conclusion, articles are great, but personally, I’d love to start seeing a lot more people create content by using other means, such as creating their first case study, etc. Why not take the time to create your first case study and top it off with a little bit of social link bait!
In this day and age, you don’t have to have a ton of money to get your content to go viral. All it takes is a bit of this and a bit of that (as explained above). I hope by reading this article you’ve gained a little insight about where the world of search is heading, how to create your first case study, and what social link bait is. If you have any questions, please be sure to use the comment form below. And remember: Content is king! :)
You should read: Seth Godin on Where Do Ideas Come From?
Image Credit: cdnext; RxSEO.net