Link building and content marketing are inextricably combined; you can’t have one without the other. While they’re both individual components of search engine optimization, a strategic link building campaign is the foundation for a strong content marketing strategy. If you don’t have a strategic link building campaign, your content marketing efforts will produce less than optimal results.
Publishing random content isn’t a link building strategy
While almost everyone uses content marketing as a link building strategy, not everyone approaches link building strategically. For example, some people aim to get as many pieces of content published anywhere they can with any link a publisher will allow.
To maximize link acquisition, they write generic content en masse and publish it on random websites, including their own. This is a mistake.
While any way you get links can technically be called link building, it’s an approach that will ultimately fail.
Publishing random content carries the following risks:
- Your content could be deleted from the website
- An editor might remove all backlinks from your content
- The publisher’s audience may not be your market
- The publishing site might be a link farm
- Content that doesn’t provide real value will not rank
Strategy is required to achieve the goals of content marketing
Whatever your specific content marketing goals are, you need a strong strategy to achieve those goals. In general, content marketing serves two purposes:
- Generates targeted traffic to your website.
- Increases your ranking in the search engines
There are several additional benefits, however, those benefits fall under these two categories.
Creating link bait is one of the best strategies to generate traffic whether you publish the content on your own site or with another publisher.
However, you can’t get targeted traffic or increase search engine rankings by publishing random content with random links. For link building to work, your content needs to include intentionally chosen links and you need to be selective with your publishers.
How to use strategic link building to better support content marketing
If your content marketing and link building efforts could use a boost, here are 4 ways to supercharge your results.
1. Find publishers in your niche
You can find publishers anywhere, but it’s crucial to find publishers in your niche. Nobody wants to read about holiday recipes on a geology website. Even if you write an article about geology and find a way to stick your Christmas cookie recipe link inside, that’s a terrible strategy. Sure, you’ll get a backlink, but search engines will know your link isn’t relevant to the page content. Also, readers interested in geology probably won’t click on your link.
2. Research your competitors’ backlinks
Where are your competitors getting their backlinks? Do they know about a secret resource? Is there a website in your niche that you’ve missed? Are you running out of publishers and need some ideas?
Use an online backlink checking tool to find out where your competitors are getting backlinks. Scour the list to see if you might be able to get some backlinks of your own from those same sources.
3. Write content for the publisher’s audience
When you get the chance to write for a publisher, make sure you write for their audience. For instance, if readers are high level business executives, don’t write an article with tips for employees. Make sure your content matches the publisher’s niche and reader position/status.
4. Plan for a long-term strategy
Long-term strategies take time to create and require patience to execute. Success won’t happen overnight. Plan on pursuing your link building strategy for at least one year before experiencing tangible results. However, when you start seeing results like increased traffic, more conversions, and higher rankings, keep your momentum going. When you start to see results, that’s when you know your hard work is paying off, but it’s not the time to rest.
Content marketing is a long-term commitment
You’ll be writing content to build backlinks as long as you have a website. Content marketing is an ongoing commitment. As you publish more pieces of content, your competitors will also be publishing more content. You have to stay on top of your game to stay in the arena.
Whether you write your own content or outsource the work to a team of professionals, once you start you’re in this for the long haul. Be selective with your link building efforts because the publishers you choose and the links you include in your content matter. Choosing relevant publishers and linking to relevant content will always get you optimal results.