For SEOs, one of the main objectives in content creation is to get links from that content. However, a content piece can easily flop on this front if it's not strategized correctly, so it’s important to have a firm grasp on what qualities help a piece of content get links. Here are the most important guidelines to follow in order to create content that gets links.
Know Your Target Audience
Before getting started, have a complete understanding of your target audience. Know what the audience is interested in and what they are looking for. You can identify the different buyer personas in your target audience by asking a few kinds of questions. Asking basic questions about their demographics and lifestyle helps to get your foot in the door. Developing these personas further, it’s helpful to try to understand their habits as consumers, career and life goals, and what challenges they face day-to-day.
Appeal to Publishers
Remember that this includes appealing to people who can to link to your content and put it in front of a bigger audience. In order to appeal to these journalists, first of all you need to know what their interests are in writing and what they’ve written about in the past. Research past articles, and try to gauge their particular wheelhouse when it comes to what topics they're known for writing about. Another great place to look is at the social shares of individual articles. Topics that have more success on social are more likely something the journalist will be interested in writing about again; a tool like BuzzSumo can help you with this. Finally, keep in mind the eight news values (impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, the bizarre, conflict, currency and human interest) when creating your content, because this will help to appeal to journalists as well. These news values are also just important in general when creating linkable content.
Easily Consumed Content
A mere summary of data relevant to your audience isn't going to get links, even if it's on a topic that your buyer persona is 100% interested in. Linkable content also has to be easy to consume. The data should be presented in a compelling and informative manner. The data should also provoke emotion through some kind of hook, whether it be informational, entertainment, etc. Design of the content is a key aspect, especially if the content is visual (and visuals tend to be more successful than plain text content).
Content That Provides Value
Though it may seem obvious, it’s essential for the content to provide value. Think about the audience’s intent and answering a query clearly. Content should be helpful and informative in this manner. Above all, content should provide a unique value. If the idea has been done before, you’re doing it in a way that’s better in every aspect: data, user experience, design, etc.
Not Overly Self-Promotional
Finally, if you want to create content that gets links, keep in mind that it can’t be overly self-promotional. Content that gets links isn’t typically overtly promoting a brand’s products or services, because publishers know that readers tend to mistrust self-promotional content, and therefore the publishers steer away from promoting this type of content. To steer clear of self-promotion, start with your company’s values and mission and try to create content from there. Also, rely on your expertise and authority in your industry when creating your content, rather than extolling the benefits of your product or service. This way, you’ll be providing a value to the writer that’s not going to feel like a straight advertisement. Consistently creating solid content that provides a unique value will help you to become a reputable and trustworthy brand. In the end, valuable content and a reputable brand go hand-in-hand in getting the most high-quality links.