To be blunt, Google doesn’t want to trust your website.
It takes a lot of effort to convince Google that your site is a reliable resource for anything and in the meantime they continue to hunt for site issues in increasingly complex ways. One of the strongest ways to show Google that your site is a trustworthy and valuable resource is through the cultivation of quality backlinks. Links that point back to your site provide a sort of third party validation. Google rightly assumes that if trustworthy and valuable sites are pointing to your site, you must be trustworthy and valuable too.
There are many ways to build a strong backlink profile, but today I’ll focus on one of the most accessible for small businesses: strategic content. Creating content that is useful for your niche with the goal that it will be distributed, shared and linked-to.
Step 1: Determine What Sharable or High-Value Content is Best For You Audience
Garden lovers read about gardening, runners read about running, food lovers read recipes. In any space or niche, people are looking for content which is both enjoyable, relevant and useful. A gardener might read an article with tips and tricks on planting succulents, a runner might enjoy a guide to the newest running shoes, and a food lover might read about which wine pairs best with a steak.
Look around your niche and see what types of content are the most widely consumed and shared. Inventory these types of content and brainstorm ways to write a similar article with a different angle. Make sure it’s an article you can execute well. In most niches, the best types of shareable high-value content are guides, lists, checklists, recipes, how-tos and tricks.
Step 2: Research and Develop Shareable Content
After you’ve brainstormed and taken a look around, test and hone your ideas with keyword research. Let the research determine what followers of your niche are searching for and what they value. Start creating content based upon these findings.
We’d recommend creating content with a specific strategic keyword or phrase in mind.
Step 3: Publish Your Content
It’s a strategy that’s been around for awhile but having a company blog continues to be a strong resource for generating backlinks. If you create high quality articles that are interesting to your audience, then when people share your content, they’ll be linking back to your blog.
By publishing your content onto your blog or your online customer resource center, you’ll help to drive traffic to your site and build up your backlink profile. Keeping an active blog with at least one or two posts per month shows users that you’re a valuable resource of information.
Step 4: Share Your Content
Blast out your content via social media, email marketing, and even digital advertising. The key is to choose whichever strategy or platform will ensure that the largest amount of people will see it as possible. If you’ve aligned your content well with your audience, then this is when the post builds some momentum with re-posts and backlinks. This is when likeminded folks begin to reference and share your content, while you reap the SEO rewards.
Don’t be afraid to create incentives to encourage people to share your content like giveaways or use social media advertising to boost the reach of a given post.
Step 5: Ask For Links
Another way to get more links is to ask other sites with a similar or parallel audience if they’ll post or link to your content. This is, essentially, digital PR. Politely approach sites and publications to make them aware that you have content that might be relevant and valued by their audience. Encourage these sites and publication to repost and link back to your site. Don’t be discouraged by being turned down and don’t be afraid to offer some bartering, trading links or offering some free products/services in exchange for links.
Using strategic content is one of the most accessible and overall beneficial ways to build a backlink profile as it helps your SEO in many different ways simultaneously. Posting consistent content shows Google your site is active while different keyword focuses help to widen your SEO net. Sharing content helps to expand your reach or keep you top of mind for folks who have already heard of you, and every backlink helps you rise in rankings as you earn more and more of Google’s coveted trust.
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