How Quality Content Generates Links (For Free!)

Link building is one of the core SEO tactics. With appropriate outreach and relationship building, you can grow your website’s authority to a decent level in a matter of a few months. However, building links manually takes a lot of time and effort. After all, you must convince other site owners that your content is […]

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Link building is one of the core SEO tactics. With appropriate outreach and relationship building, you can grow your website’s authority to a decent level in a matter of a few months.

However, building links manually takes a lot of time and effort. After all, you must convince other site owners that your content is worth linking to.

This usually happens through offering guest posts or sharing high-value resources. And, as you might expect, it can get very time-consuming.

There is an easier way to do this: you just have to go back to the basics and let your content earn links on its own.

If you want to increase your chances of getting links through organic search, you need to create the right kind of content.

Here’s how we managed to attract quality links for one of our clients and how you can do it, too.

What Is Quality Content?

There are two ways to approach quality content when talking about search engine optimization.

The first, more common way is through the content itself.

As a rule, your content should follow the standard SEO-friendly practices:

  • meet Google E-E-A-T guidelines, focusing on expertise and trustworthiness,
  • provide value to the reader, i.e., by answering the question in the title clearly,
  • include engaging and shareable elements like infographics or video snippets,
  • include basic SEO elements, such as keyword optimization,
  • align with search intent,
  • employ a clear, logical structure for easy navigation.

Yet, this is just a piece of the SEO cake. Google takes a little broader look at your content marketing.

That’s why the second approach is to look at your site holistically.

Think about factors like website loading time, site structure, mobile usability, schema markup, and internal links. All these elements, while not directly related to the content itself, come into play when Google determines its value.

Every component we mentioned has a particular influence on your website’s overall performance.

If you do them right, it can help you rank higher in search results. Conversely, if you fail to optimize your site in those areas, you may find it difficult to make your content stand out.

Quality content is about finding a balance between Google and the user, with the emphasis on the user. On top of that you still need to weave your business skillfully. Always put the user first, and think about how you can improve your content to make it even more helpful -- good content will defend itself, but it's worth helping it by making sure the whole website is technically well-optimized.

Krzysztof Kilewski
Head of SEO at NoN Agency

While the value of each of those elements can be approximated, the extent of their effect (or lack thereof) very much depends on your website.

Let us illustrate it with a small case study.

How NoN Agency Created SEO-Friendly Content for Building Links

Our team at NoN Agency was tasked with a nine-month journey to transform a website that, despite covering a popular niche (sustainable living), was not drawing sufficient traffic or generating revenue.

Where to begin? With a comprehensive understanding of why.

Our SEO Discovery uncovered multiple issues, from small technical difficulties, like misconfigured WP plugins that slowed down page loading, to much more pressing problems, such as confusing website structure.

From the content marketing standpoint, the most burning aspect to address was the presence of thin content on the site.

Unsurprisingly, this type of content failed to attract any traffic.

To make matters worse, there was a significant content gap between our client and their competitors.

If it wasn’t clear enough up to this point, we were now certain the website needed a new approach to content creation and an extensive revamp of its content marketing strategy.

To succeed, we devised a plan meant to increase brand awareness and bring high-volume traffic.

It boiled down to two points:

  1. Create high-quality content for the main page and blog pillars and boost it with outreach.
  2. Create content clusters to attract valuable links naturally.

Let’s focus on the latter.

Creating Valuable Content For Link Building in the Sustainable Niche

By now, you’re probably familiar with the term “programmatic SEO.” It’s an approach where sites focus on delivering a lot of content in a short span of time.

This method is frequently used by eCommerce giants like Amazon, which have thousands upon thousands of category and product descriptions to create.

When you find yourself in a similar position, taking advantage of the programmatic approach is often a necessity.

Unfortunately, if used in the wrong way, programmatic SEO can also be considered spam.

Just because you can put your content creation on autopilot, it doesn’t mean you should leave everything up to AI. Because if you do, the results will likely be disappointing.

Instead, you need to make sure your programmatic content delivers unique and valuable information.

And that’s just what we did when we started creating content aimed at attracting more links.

Thanks to AI, we successfully developed and published almost 1,500 new web pages. Most of these pages formed a new section on the website that was dedicated to providing extensive information about various brands.

To ensure every piece of content will attract valuable traffic — and, eventually, increase the number of links leading to the client’s website — we enriched them with reviews, photos, videos, and other interactive elements.

The integration of AI helped sort, categorize, and present the data in an accessible manner, improving user experience and satisfaction.

Combined with the routine production of high-quality articles, it significantly accelerated our content creation process.

After nine months, our client’s website has seen remarkable growth. Initially attracting around 20,000 clicks, it soared to over 275,000 — an impressive tenfold increase in traffic.

As we expected, this boost in visitor numbers led to an organic increase in acquired links, helping the site establish a trustworthy reputation.

Look at the number of referring domains on the graph above (blue). Throughout the entire campaign, we only developed a small fraction of links. The rest was left for the target audience to share further.

A call to action here, an interesting content piece there — it was all it took to generate more natural links for our client.

Practical Tips to Improve Your Content Creation and Obtain High-Quality Links

So, what’s the secret recipe for pumping those referring domain numbers up?

Well, the secret is there isn’t one. There’s no magical one-size-fits-all solution you can rely on to create popular content.

The advice we share below is far from revolutionary. Quite the opposite — these are tried and true practices commonly employed by experts in the industry.

As it turns out, getting lots of links that lead traffic to your website is a well-known method. The true challenge lies in going through with your plan and sticking to it when the going gets tough.

Understand Your Audience

Everything starts and ends with your audience. If there’s no one to read your content, why even bother writing it in the first place?

Luckily, getting to know the people who interact with your blog articles and social media posts isn’t that difficult.

With the help of tools like Google Analytics, you can gather demographic data and track user behavior. It’s a simple yet effective way to learn a bit more about your customers.

Answer The Public is another option worth considering. It can be a big help when you need to check search intent for a particular keyword or search for ideas to implement in your content plan.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel — see what’s already popular and follow the trend.

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving landscape, so you can’t expect to prepare one strategy and just run with it indefinitely. Instead, try to understand your audience’s changing needs, and you will be rewarded with growing traffic and conversions.

Get to the Point Quickly

While writing long, Tolkien-esque paragraphs certainly has its place, it’s not the best choice for your regular run-off-the-mill articles.

A much better option is to deliver everything you have to say in the most straightforward manner possible.

You don’t want to sound like a marketer who is desperate for results. It will only prevent you from making your content more engaging.

More often than not, successful content that attracts readers isn’t overly complex. So, leave long-winded explanations behind and embrace writing articles that are succinct and to the point.

Feeding your audience bite-sized information will help your messaging get through and achieve its goal, which is getting more links to your website.

Also, prioritize quality over quantity. Publishing fewer but well-researched and well-written articles can be more effective than churning out numerous mediocre ones.

High-quality content is more likely to be shared, cited, and linked to by other websites.

Mix Things up a Bit

No matter the industry, staying on top of the news is always important.

Since Google’s guidelines undergo constant changes, some might even argue that doing proper SEO work is impossible without constantly adapting to new challenges.

That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches to creating quality content.

Make use of various content formats. Mix up text-based articles with videos, infographics, podcasts, and interactive elements to keep it fresh and exciting.

As a seasoned SEO expert, I'm a strong advocate for repurposing content. It not only maximizes the value of our existing resources but also significantly boosts SEO performance and audience reach. Quality content is key to effective link building.

Raf Chomsky
CEO NoN Agency i zwolennik cyklu PDCA

Additionally, in order to position your content for success, learn what Google and other search engines value at the moment.

Yes, some basic tips will always work. However, going beyond basic is what you really need to make your content attractive to search engines and users.

Optimize Your Content for SEO

Ever heard the phrase “optimize for search engines but write for humans?” It’s true.

Unfortunately, way too many people focus on the latter and skip the former.

It’s a shame because SEO has become so prevalent that you will have a hard time earning a high volume of valuable links without it.

Depending on your needs, using a great tool or two might be enough for your purposes.

For instance, analysis tools like Ahrefs and Moz deliver a wealth of insights you can leverage to discover trends within your niche and write content that ranks.

Combining them with content optimization tools like NeuronWriter gives you a comprehensive package to kick off your SEO campaign.

Then, it’s only a matter of coming up with a sensible content plan and incorporating relevant keywords naturally within your content.

Don’t Overlook the Visual Aspects

Have you ever clicked on a blog post only to find endless walls of text? It’s not a good experience.

In fact, it tires your eyes so quickly that you want to close the tab and look for the answer elsewhere.

All of this leads us to the universal truth — even if your content is well-written, it won’t go viral if there are little to no visuals in it.

Adding visual elements like infographics and tables to your content pieces is necessary to grab the attention of your readers and keep it for longer.

Structuring your content is equally important.

Shortening attention spans and the growing popularity of short-form videos suggest audiences value clarity above anything else.

There’s no way around it — creating content that’s easily digestible is the way to go if you want a high chance of consistent success.

To make sure your content is easy on the eyes, incorporate the following elements:

  • Simple Language: Use clear, straightforward language. Avoid complex jargon.
  • Headings and Subheadings: Break up content with headings and subheadings.
  • Bulleted Lists: Utilize bullet points for easy scanning.
  • Short Sentences and Paragraphs: Keep sentences and paragraphs concise.
  • Supporting Visuals: Include photos, videos, and infographics.
  • White Space: Ensure there is enough white space to avoid crowding.

Conclusion

Link building and content generation efforts often go hand in hand.

For example, when other sites cite your ultimate guide and link to it organically, it will give your website a significant boost.

Earning a link back to your website in such a manner might seem challenging, but there are many tools you can use to make this task more manageable.

Alternatively, you can contact a professional link building agency to take care of it for you. With our help, you can learn how to create content that ranks and start earning more links leading to your website.

Posting fresh and high-quality content is one of the best ways to build high domain authority and expand your link profile. So, don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

FAQ

Is having quality content necessary to generate links?

You can probably get away with poor content to get a link or two, but it’s not a sustainable long-term strategy.

Websites are more likely to link to high-quality sources, so it’s wise to take advantage of this fact.

Creating stellar content will help you naturally obtain links from external websites, suggesting to Google that your website is a credible source of information.

Does content marketing influence link building efforts?

Absolutely! Creating high-quality content that is likely to attract links from other websites can help you expand your link profile and improve your website’s SEO.

How to assess the success of link building campaigns?

Analytics tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs provide data-driven insights into the performance of your link building efforts. With their help, you can see how well you’re doing and adjust strategies based on real-time results.

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