In a world as dynamic and rapidly evolving as digital marketing, the significance of backlinks cannot be overstated. Backlinks, or inbound links, are pivotal in enhancing a website’s authority and visibility in search engine results. 

It’s absolutely essential for every modern business to understand the intricacies of search engine optimization (SEO). One of the key strategies behind SEO success is to constantly create linkable assets. These high-quality pieces of content naturally attract backlinks and boost a website’s overall SEO performance. 

In this article, we’ll explore the five steps to create link magnets that capture attention and generate valuable links. But before we dive in, it’s important to get a few ground rules in place. From most important to least important, the backlink hierarchy goes like this: consistency, quality and quantity. Don’t be fooled by people telling you they will get you 50 links monthly. While that sounds great, there’s no telling what the quality of these links will be and it’s more than likely attained via black-hat tactics.

Instead, steadily build a healthy backlink portfolio from a range of influential sites using a tailored approach. Even if it’s just a handful of links every month (two to three is fine!), you’ll start seeing great results.

Now that ‘Backlinks 101’ is complete, let’s delve into the world of linkable assets. 

1. Understand Your Audience and Industry Trends

Before creating a linkable asset, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your target audience and the trends within your industry. Conduct thorough research to identify the topics, issues and challenges that resonate with your audience. Utilize tools like Google Trends, social media analytics and industry reports to gain insights into trending topics and popular discussions.

By aligning your content with the interests and concerns of your audience, you increase the likelihood of attracting relevant backlinks. Consider conducting surveys or interviews with your audience to gather first-hand insights. This step not only informs your content creation process but also ensures that your linkable asset addresses real needs within your industry.

Building linkable assets is always a genuine risk. Ultimately, you never know how a campaign is going to perform until it’s live. To remedy this, look at what has been successful in the industry so far and find a way to evolve that. Progress the conversation and bring something new and useful to the world. 

2. Create Exceptional Content

The cornerstone of any successful linkable asset is exceptional content. Your content should not only be informative and valuable but also presented in a way that captivates your audience. Here are some key elements to consider when creating content that attracts links:

Original Research and Data

Invest time and resources into conducting original research within your industry. Publish findings that are not only insightful but also fill a gap in existing knowledge. Original data not only establishes your authority but also attracts attention from other experts and websites looking for credible sources.

An example of a common linkable asset is a ‘state of the industry’ report’, which is just a deep dive into a business’s industry. They’re useful to other professionals and keep your brand as a leader in the field.

Visual Appeal                    

Incorporate visually appealing elements such as infographics, charts and images. Visual content is more shareable and has a higher chance of being linked to by other websites. Ensure that your visuals are not only eye-catching but also relevant to the information you’re presenting.

Long-form Content

While concise content has its place, long-form content often performs better regarding SEO and link acquisition. In-depth articles, whitepapers or case studies showcase your expertise and provide comprehensive insights, making them more likely to be linked to as authoritative resources.

Think of it this way: if you’re making a linkable asset, it must be trustworthy. So, how do you prove that what you’re saying is trustworthy? Explanation. Evidence. Showing that you know your stuff in detail. Search engines look at content in exactly the same way. Remember that it’s fine to link to other pages from your site as well. It doesn’t harm your SEO and keeps you looking authoritative and trustworthy.

Interactive Elements

Consider incorporating interactive elements such as quizzes, surveys, or interactive infographics. These features engage your audience and encourage them to spend more time on your page, increasing the likelihood of them linking to your content.

Interactive elements also provide users with a sense of result and reward, which can improve the likelihood of sharing. However, remember that we do not want people to share this on their WhatsApp group chat; this content should be targeted to leading influential publications and websites in your industry.

3. Optimize for Search Engines

At Modern Classic Digital, we tell our clients that we create content for two purposes: your audience and Google. While your audience always comes first, it’s equally important to optimize your linkable asset for search engines. This ensures that your content ranks well in search results, attracts organic traffic and earns more backlinks. Here are some optimization strategies to implement.

Keyword Research

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases related to your content. Integrate these keywords naturally into your content, including titles, headers and throughout the body. This helps search engines understand the context of your content and improves its visibility.

On-Page SEO

Optimize on-page elements such as meta titles, meta descriptions and URL structures. Use descriptive and compelling titles that encourage clicks, and craft meta descriptions that provide a concise summary of your content. A well-optimized URL structure contributes to search engine friendliness.

Mobile-Friendly Design

It goes without saying, but ensuring that your linkable asset is mobile-friendly is absolutely essential. A responsive design not only enhances user experience but also contributes to higher search engine rankings. It also helps to keep the bounce rate low.

Fast Loading Times

Page speed is a critical factor in both user experience and SEO. Compress images, leverage browser caching and employ other techniques to optimize your page’s loading times.

4. Promote Your Linkable Asset

Creating an outstanding linkable asset is only half the battle; the other half involves strategic promotion. Effective promotion increases the visibility of your content, reaching a wider audience and attracting more potential backlinks. Consider the following promotional strategies.

Outreach to the Media

Identify journalists and thought leaders in your industry who might find your content valuable. Reach out to them, share your linkable asset and pitch for their feedback or collaboration. Journalists and influencers often have a broad reach and can significantly amplify the visibility of your content. They can also be fantastic catalysts in getting the links going.

Email Marketing

Tap into your email list to promote your linkable asset. Craft a compelling email highlighting your content’s value and includes a clear call to action for readers to share or link to your content.

Online Communities

Participate in relevant online communities and forums where your target audience engages. Share your linkable asset when appropriate, ensuring that your promotion adds value to the community rather than appearing as overt self-promotion.

Social Media Marketing

Before we go any further on this particular point, we need a disclaimer: social media does not influence SEO. However, that’s not to say it can’t support it.

Use social media to drive attention to your asset, and you might see the social media buzz convert into online activity that does influence SEO.

If there’s one thing that’s true for the internet, it is that you never know what’s going to work. There’s no silver bullet. Follow your instincts and trust your judgment!

5. Measure and Report

The final step in building linkable assets is continuous measurement and iteration. Track the performance of your content using tools like Google Analytics and monitor the acquisition of backlinks over time. Analyse user engagement, bounce rates and other relevant metrics to understand how your audience interacts with your content.

Based on your findings, iterate on your strategy for future linkable assets. Consider what worked well and what could be improved. Keep abreast of changes in your industry and adapt your approach accordingly. 

Building linkable assets is a strategic process that requires a deep understanding of your audience, industry trends and effective content creation. By following these five steps – understanding your audience, creating exceptional content, optimizing for search engines, promoting strategically and measuring and iterating – you can create link magnets that not only enhance your website’s authority but also contribute to the overall success of your digital PR efforts.

Enlisting the help of a digital PR agency that understands the industry’s intricacies and is committed to helping businesses is the key to building a strong online presence. By creating compelling linkable assets, you empower clients to stand out in a competitive digital landscape and drive sustainable growth. 

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By Margaret Blank

At the moment I am an expert-analyst in the field of search engine optimization, leading several projects and consulting on website optimization and promotion, I am actively involved in various thematic seminars and conferences.

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