Thanks to Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, we now know for absolute certain that the two most important ranking factors are links and content.
For most of us in the SEO game, we were pretty sure that this was the case anyhow – but it’s most reassuring to have it confirmed. All the hours we spend writing blogs for our websites in efforts to try and accumulate as many links as we can is not in vain, and we can all heave a collective sigh of relief… and then get back to work writing more and more (and more and more).
However, writing great blogs that people love to read and share is one thing – and indeed, as content marketers, we’re not going to be let off the hook on that front any time soon, I’m almost certain. But, there is a lot more that we can do, especially when it comes to link building, to ensure our rankings stay on the right trajectory – what it means, however, is expanding our concepts of what we understand as ‘content’.
Great Content = Great Links
Yes, Great Content = Great Links – both of which in isolation make Google exceedingly happy, but, when combined, the search engine giant is positively over the goddamn moon, and will reward your site with a big zoom up the rankings accordingly.
The question has to be, then – what type of additional content can I create that will in itself be Great, and also attract a ton of links from other Great sites like mine?
Indeed, this is the question that I’m going to spend the remainder of this blog answering. What I want to try and get you to think about is how you can add heaps of value to your website which will get people to visit it and link to it for all sorts of reasons. You will need to think beyond the primary service or product that you sell, and offer other resources aside from your blog for free, which will ensure that your link catalogue will increase and see people returning to your site again and again (and again and again).
3 Ways To Turn Your Website Into A Resource Hotspot
1. Create An Original, Industry Relevant Image Bank
The internet has gone visual. There are no two ways about it. Think about your own habits when you’re casually browsing Facebook or Twitter after a hard day hitting the share button – what do you click on?
No longer is a blog title and a link good enough – in fact it hasn’t been good enough for a long time. You need an interesting, high-quality and relevant feature image in order to attract attention.
This is, of course, intuitive – but here’s some research results to back it up:
- 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.
- 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information, full description, and customer ratings.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
But where do you, as a blogger, go to source the images you use to head up your content?
Well, most of us head to a stock image site like Pixabay or Gratisography and select the most appropriate one we can find for use. Now, whilst these (and other similar sites) are great resources, and there are indeed some fantastic images that can be had from them, there are a couple of problems.
First, if you choose this route, then you’re not the only blogger to be doing so. Indeed, we all do. And the result is that we see the same images being used again and again everywhere. The second problem is that the images that we end up using aren’t always relevant, or just irritatingly obscure.
So – I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this – first thing’s first: start creating your own images that are relevant to the industry that you’re in. This, in the first instance, will make you stand out from the crowd.
Secondly, create a new page on your website where you can stock these images allowing others to use them for free. Indeed, over time, you will likely build up a stock of hundreds and then thousands of industry relevant images, which other people can use.
This is something that another website that I write for has experimented with and has found great results. Other content marketers have begun linking to their image page, and even writing blogs about what a great free resource it is. As a direct result, traffic has improved, the site’s link profile has strengthened, and its Domain Authority (DA) has enjoyed a jump. And this could all be true for your site, too.
2. Conduct Original Research
When blogging, in order to convince readers of whatever point it is you’re trying to make, you need research and hard facts to back it up.
For instance, in the above point, I wanted to hammer home the importance of using images to promote your blogs, and so I consulted Google and in the end used someone else’s research to qualify my points, and now the website that I used has yet another brand spanking new organic link, which Google, as we know, will be pleased with.
But these are links that you could be garnering for yourself if you managed to turn a certain percentage of your output into a resource for some sound, originally researched statistics.
Research isn’t necessarily difficult to conduct, especially if you’ve got a large customer base and/or social following. All you need to do is ask your audience a series of questions. If you’re selling, say, some sort of beer, then you can poll your audience on whether they prefer to drink it out of a glass or out of a bottle. This will provide some great industry insight on the importance of providing barrels to pubs as well as bottles to stores and restaurants.
Conduct a few of these types of polls and you’ll soon have a wealth of knowledge that other content creators would like to use to make their own points on their own blogs, and so will happily quote your statistics, and reward you with an organic link in return.
Indeed, great research is a source of great content, and you will get great links in return for your efforts.
An easy way to get started is to check out Twitter Polls – it really couldn’t be easier.
3. Add A Useful Interactive Tool To Your Site
If you really want to turn your site into a useful resource, then you need to think about creating an interactive tool that users will be able to use themselves.
For instance, if you’re in finance, then a currency converter would most likely be useful to your visitors, so add one.
In SEO? Some sort of trend-measuring tool would be most useful for your audience.
Sell footwear? Then how about some sort of tool that matches what you’ve got in stock to the fashion and tastes of your online visitors?
The possibilities are endless, but in this day and age, pretty much anything can be created. You will of course most likely have to consult a developer to create and include interactive tools on your website, and so it will be an investment. But, if you come up with something brilliant, then it should pay off, as your site will be a shop window no longer, but a true resource that will ensure you build up a barrage of links going forward.
What steps have you taken to turn your website into an industry resource? Has it paid off? Let us know in the comments below.