link building
Worker Character with Wheelbarrow on Puzzle Pieces

By Christelle Macri

Generally speaking, the key to successful content marketing is to make sure the foundations are in place, so that quality content can be produced efficiently and at minimal cost. When it comes to developing a link building strategy, this means knowing what you are trying to achieve and understanding how to achieve it.

Although there are other potential motivations, such as building brand awareness for a specific audience, most link building strategies are primarily concerned with securing good quality links from unique domains in order to boost SEO performance. So how can you and your SEO company put the foundations in place to ensure your link building strategy achieves this?

Content is King

You may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’ from your search agency before, but it bears repeating, because it applies to any form of content marketing. No matter how clever your strategy is, how good your outreach is, or how much you invest, if the content itself is poor, your link building strategy is doomed to fail.

Ultimately, your strategy needs other websites to share your content, so the content must be worthy of being shared. As a basic rule, the most shareable content relates to people’s interests and lifestyles and acts as some form of social currency. That means that, by sharing it, people feel smarter, funnier, more knowledgeable, etc.

Most importantly, for your content to be shared and generate links to your website, you need it to stir some kind of emotion in the reader. Positive stories tend to be shared more than negative ones and nostalgia is a particularly effective ‘feeling’ that you can try to trigger in readers, although surprise, joy and even anger can work well too.

Finding an Audience

Understanding the importance of content is an important foundation to have in place, but content is pointless unless people actually read it. Therefore, a strong focus should be placed on the concept of ‘audience’ and more specifically, how you can target certain people with your content in order to build links and improve your SEO.

One method that works well is to target passionate ‘sections’ of the internet at key points in time, rather than trying to appeal to absolutely everyone. For example, Doctor Who fans are very loyal and passionate, but also quite competitive. Sharing your content may make them feel superior to others, and you can also time the release of content to coincide with the beginning of a new series, or an important anniversary for the show.

“Start with a self-identifying market of potential sharers who see themselves as part of an exclusive group,” says Jacob Plumb, writing for Econsultancy. “The key then is to find points where your product/service/brand, or at least the topics and issues associated with it, crossover with this passionate community.”

Reach Out and Touch Base

So you have strategies in place for developing content and identifying an audience for each piece. The final foundation that you need to lay involves outreach. After all, your link building strategy relies entirely on other websites being willing to share your content and provide a link back to your site or web page.

When it comes to laying the foundations, you need to consider what outreach methods to use and this will depend on what you are trying to achieve, the scale of it and your budget. You might want to formulate a list of target websites, based on your identified audience, and simply contact them, asking them to share your content. Alternatively, you may opt for paid promotion on Facebook, in order to reach a large number of people quickly.

However, avoid paying for links from websites at all costs. Remember, you are already offering to provide useful, insightful, high-quality content, free of charge. You want to generate links from authoritative sources, and any website that asks you for money will be asking others for money too, meaning they aren’t concerned with quality.

Christelle Macri is the founder of Ebizpromotion, a leading SEO company in Berkshire, with a no-nonsense and ethical approach to digital marketing. She is also search engine consultant with over 17 years experience in the internet advertising industry. Having worked for a major search engine and pioneering pay for performance advertising networks, she is an expert at turning her clients’ websites into consistent revenue streams, using a variety of digital channels. Feel free to follow her on Twitter.