How To Write Links!

If you want more visits to your website, rank nr. 1 on Google, Tweets, Shares and Views, everything comes down to your content marketing and your Link Building.

You don’t need decent content nor good content, but truly remarkable content.

Writing this is tough for me, given that I’m a Search Marketeer who’ll try to dominate the SERP independent of the quality of content. But think about it…

Let’s go back to basic:

  1. A search on Google give you about 10 different websites in organic order.
  2. Your job is to reserve your spot on the first page or even better as the first organic result, right?
  3. Google’s job is to provide the best and most relevant results for its users in order for them to return the next time they are looking for information.

And by the way; I am not going Matt Cutts on you saying that you should cancel your Xrumer subscription or shut your link-wheel down, because great content will rank naturally.

When I want to rank for a specific keyphrase; lets say,”Content Marketing”, I’ll make a Google-Search for the term and check the top 10 sites, on the first page, to get en idea about two things:

1. How great is the content that currently ranks on the first page?

2. How many links and how much authority does the sites on the first page muster?

Never forget about step 1 -you have to outperform your competitors’ links and content.

Let me show you some examples of blogs and people who have created great content around their topics as well as achieved a lot of attention through links, views and shares. Try to inspect some of the following links and think about how you can re-create them, in your business.

 28 Examples of Epic Content That Gets Links

Link Building with great data and unique insights

In the links below you’ll find a common pattern. They all show great data/facts or insights  about their topic. By the way, the data comes from SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer.

Posts with statistics Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
SEOmoz’s Ranking Factors 3,693 2,736 999 776 1,094
Okcupid’s Awesome Charts About sex 303 2,147 5,133 10,555 28
Interesting Facts about Dreams 43 1,126 3,262
2,412 62
Facebook Facts 60 2,725 1,545 765 9

Link Building with Pictures and Infographics

I bet you will find the pictures and infographics below, inspiring and fascinating – And that’s why they’ve succeeded.

Oh and by the way, the posts with statistics I’ve mentioned above, are perfect for creating awesome infographics, because infographics rely on great data and insights.

A Picture is worth a 1000 links Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
Shoemoney’s Adsense Check 225 12,763 66 90 1
Oli Gardner’s huge infographic 52 337 255 63 2
Facebook Vs. Twitter 501 4,651 1,954 2,446 4
Tiger Bread vs. Giraffe Bread N/A N/A 49,967 157,308 N/A

Link Building with free stuff

So free stuff will automatically go viral? Probably not.

The key is to create or improve a solution for a specific problem – for free.

I know the authors of the results below has spent a sh**-load of time building their free, great content – especially Aaron’s and Yoast’s plugins, as they have to be constantly updated, compared to Seth Godin’s ebook, which is a finished product the day it reaches the public.

Pick your strategy carefully and think long-term so you know which lane to take as well as the PRO’s and CON’s for each strategy.

Link Building with free tools and stuff Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
Seth Godin’s Free Ebook 591 4,739 2,005 502 8
Yoast’s Free Analytics Plugin 1,283 369 181 59 107
Aaron Wall’s SEO Plugin 2,373 199 100 235 212
SEO Browser 931 458 67 20 11

Answer a common question

Answering a common questions should be real easy right?; It sounds very simple, but the competition on these queries is very high.

In order to successfully answer a popular questions you really have to think about the interest of the searcher. Your job is to help the searcher by providing the best possible answer to his question or problem.

Think about what format fits the solution best. Think video, infographics, interviews, lists, Q&A’s or pictures….. What’s the best way to deliver an answer to a searcher? Different methods for different questions.

Link Building with Common questions Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
What is RSS? 515 81 87 21 4
What is SOPA? 162 750 1,739 232 230
What is planking? 28 238 4,215 2,375 20
Why is the sky blue? 233 166 2,194 312 13

Build links with lists: “4 secret tips to master [insert topic]”

You know the lists… Some hate ’em, others love ’em. Lists work great because they are usually easy to write and very easy for the user to read and understand.

Link Building with Lists Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
How to Write Magnetic Headlines 849 762 223 57 20
Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep 172 0 660 188 1
10 Tips for Public Speaking 181 163 652 238 8
Best Diet tips 42 123 1,125 903 6

Scalable link building

Widget link building is very exciting because of their scalability. But it’s worth mentioning that while the creation of a badge or widget is pretty easy, the difficult part is to get people to embed it on their site. SEOmoz did a great job by creating a competition and then letting the winners brag by showing the award (with a link back of course).

Tips: Create a widget people really want to show on their website. Even better, make a widget that let’s people share something personal, like a personal bragging widget. By the way; You should shuffle the anchor-text on the links, so it looks sort of natural to the G-men.

Widget Bait Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s)
SEOmoz’s Web 2.0 Awards 528 65  62  2  0 500+ links with perfect anchor 1,483 8,609 281 170
The Caffeine test 188 111 861 86 0
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin 16,291+ links with perfect anchor 2 7 0 2

Build links with video-content

Video is one of the best ways to explain “how to” questions, because it’s so much easier to wrap your head around a video-instruction versus a text-manuel with pictures. Take for instance this video on “How to tie a tie” that has reached 7+ million views with its 1.48 minutes. 1.48 minutes of content has attracted 7,4 millions views! Take a look at the other great examples below:

Video Link Building Linking Domains Twitter Tweets Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Google Plus 1 (+1’s) Youtube Views
How to kiss the passion 30 407 26,881 10,840 6 32,961,014
Dove Evolution 1,318 41,648 76,874 41,648 52 14,311,942
How to tie a tie? 49 186 4,106 3,013 4 7,413,536
5 Minute Tone Body, Abs Workout, Fitness Training 28 119 3,905 1,382 1 2,562,786
I have used SEOmoz’s Opensiteexplorer to make the backlink analysis. 

I hope the examples above inspired you to approach your content creation and link building strategy in a new way. Keep in mind that the examples above already have proven themselves. Also think about how you can copy their success and leverage from it!

One last statement; free stuff, videos, statistics, infographics, widgets and pictures do not provide any work by themselves.
THEY ARE TOOLS! Tools to deliver your message in the best way possible.

A fool with a tool is still a fool

What’s really important is the content you’re showing and the value it creates – The cool video-effects or graphics are worthless without actual content.

Sorry for the burp. I’ve just seen too much crap-content being produced and pushed, like infographics, video, link baits et cetera, et cetera! The majority of campaigns fail because they lack content and value because the Social Media Guru/CEO/hippo is more focused on the new cool tool instead of the actual content.

Round up

Today, the web is filled with soo much content, in every niche. My guess is that the majority of the topics you are to cover on your blog/website, already have been covered many times.

What you (and I) really need is high quality content! Content that Google loves, that you subscribers come to expect from you and content marketing that you’re proud of.

You need a future-proof content marketing strategy for you website, that will give you natural links on a long-term basis. Mixing this strategy with smart link building is exactly how I will approach Link Building, Content Marketing and SEO in the year 2015.

How will you approach traffic and content?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you’ll approach content-creation and getting traffic in 2015?

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3 Comments How To Write Links!

  1. Nick Morris

    Hey Frederik, great article! I especially like the examples with their links and social metric counts.

    Do you think widget links like in your ‘scalable link building’ section will have long term value? They feel rather similar to WordPress Theme attribution links that Google have been coming down on recently. People need to make sure they do them in a high quality way such as personalised badges like you mentioned.

    1. Frederik Trovatten

      Hey Nick,

      Thanks for your comment!

      You are absolutely right about the attribution-links has become more risky.
      I think widget-link building was more effective and less risky last year, when the Panda wasn’t around. But if you make sure to customize the anchor text, which you are in control of, then you might be safe. But who knows whats going to happen in the future.

      I think it’s super-important to differentiate your link building methods (and marketing methods for the sake), to reduce risk and not be dependent of a single technique or traffic source.

  2. Ingo

    Thanks for sharing the link Write Epic Shit! Just read through the post and it really inspires me a lot. I would say epic content is the top priority to build natural links and attract more visitors, after reading the superb article :)


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