Both content marketing and SEO function in parallel universes.
One of the best ways to optimize content is simply by searching the nature of its high quality and quantity.
However, it becomes a problem when content marketers misplace their priorities by losing sight for their vision and goals and, by so doing, fail to get the right perspective on the techniques that enhance easy access to great content.
Your content marketing goals should be a driving force to your content marketing practices and techniques.
In the words of Joe Pulizzi, you can surely have some overall business objectives in content marketing: These include:
- Committed subscribers
- Customer leads and conversion
- Customer trust/loyalty
- Customer upsell
- Customer service
- Creating awareness for brands
That is even far from the start; there can only be more goals. This depends on certain audiences and a particular niche.
In order to achieve any of these goals, your content must entail the following:
- Search engine rankings
- Accessibility to users
- Readability for readers
For your content to achieve all of these, it has to be linked.
The major basis of linking always reveals a lot in respect to content marketing and SEO world.
Content marketers do form to link together and make a declaration of being part of the underworld of black hat SEO.
SEO marketers also can develop links and buy links. Anyhow, the solid views on the issue might seem to be that links are always an essential part of content marketing and SEO.
Until your content gets linked and contains links, it won’t get ranked.
- It won’t get found until it gets ranked.
- If it is not ranked yet, it won’t get found
- If it is not found, it won’t get read
- If no one is reading your content, then what is the essence of writing?
It is very much essential for us to think about links; we really need to be aware, very active, and be strategic when it has to do with the techniques involved in content marketing.
Linking is a very essential part of content creation. A wrong linking practice may make your content never get ranked or found.
The worst of it all is that misguided linking practices may lead to a link penalty.
Below are the six things all content marketers need to know about linking techniques:
1. Make Use of Co-Citation
Though co-citation doesn’t seem to be the easiest technique on the net, it is a good one and it shows signs that it will likely boost the future of SEO.
SEO co-citation occurs when your brand is mentioned and not linked.
So far Google tracks brands, makes mentions, not just about direct links; you can also improve the authority, recognition, and ranking of your site when you finally get more brand mentions.
Co-citation can also occur when website A gets linked to website B and website C, thus giving out the authority of Website B to Website C even with the fact that the two are not directly linked.
I hope you are not confused yet!
Below is what you should do: Make mention of other brands and sites in your content even if you don’t connect to them.
In order to be more clear, linking to that particular site is always the best.
But if the linking is not optimal or possible, then co-citation is the right method to improve ranking and authority.
Listed below are the times when co-citation can help your site:
- Guest blogging: Make mention of your site or the name of your brand.
- Posting through social media: Google always indexes brands mentioned on all social media platforms.
- Holding certain discussions on forums or other user-generated content platforms where linking is not easy or possible.
Go through the power of co-citation in practice.
Online Business Publication (OBP) is given mentions on several authoritative sites, and it ranks well in Google’s search results.
2. Forget about Keywords
Though I am used to SEO and have also been a digital marketer, I am putting it straight to you to ignore keywords.
Even though keywords are not dead, they still pave the way to a more complicated SEO irrespective of search intent, long-tail complexity, and semantic usefulness.
Even though I’m an SEO specialist and digital marketer, I’m really telling you to forget about the use of keywords when creating content.
Back in those days of SEO, if you wanted to rank for a particular phrase, you would fill up your page with that particular phrase.
Many SEOs go as far as insisting on the use of ‘keyword density’ – the normal ideal ratio of keywords to the rest of the content.
In the good olden days, even if the content was crappy and not unique but had tons of keywords, Google would surely index it, rank it and the website would surely be found.
Now things are completely different and it doesn’t work like that anymore.
There is now a new standard of content marketing and it requires that you create some good content.
Keywords and their semantic partner occur naturally as just a subset of great content.
While researching and compiling this article, I never contemplated on using keywords.
Now, imagine that, in the long run, this very article might get ranked for “Good practices for linking in content” and “How to utilize links in content marketing.”
Below is an example of how it works.
If a user has a keen interest in “Real-time marketing” and its effectiveness, he will search for “Will RTM work for marketing?”
That long-tail query “Will RTM work for marketing?” shows nowhere in the article.
To be honest, the major term “RTM” appears just twice in the article.
What’s happening here?
Keywords are not much of a big deal, but instead, there is quality content with so much semantic relevance.
It is compelling, well-composed, well-connected to other sites, well-analyzed and it appears well on authoritative sites.
The next thing is that the article got indexed and ranked faster.
This article moved to the top position on Google in just three hours after it gets published and was read by a whole lot of people.
What’s the important lesson to learn from this? It shows that you should write and not for search engines.
Forget and ignore keywords, and go into your subject with the most suitable content that you can create.
3. Remain Focused on Your Specialty
If you stay focused on your specialty, you will surely receive links from other websites.
If you deviate from your specialty, you will get links from undesirable and unwanted sources.
Undesirable websites in those off niches will affect your site’s authority negatively.
The moment your website gets ranked by Google, the next thing is not just looking for links but looking for links from reputable websites.
The more useful and relevant these websites are, the more authority they channel to your website.
For example, Online Business Publication (OBP) has a whole lot of links. So, what kinds of websites are linked to this site?
Online Business Publication also gets many links from marketing and advertising websites.
That appears like a win-win situation because all OBP is interested primarily in the business of marketing.
OBP always cherishes these types of links; so, we needed to develop authority.
OBP is not interested in links from online casinos, online design sites. All these won’t be highly authoritative for OBP’s niche.
Question: How did Online Business Publication come across such a great link and high relevance?
Answer: OBP only publishes articles for which it wants to get links.
One of the secrets to getting high-quality links to your content is a regular posting of valuable, quality, remarkable, compelling, informative, and useful content for your specialty.
4. Don’t Optimize Your Anchor Text
When you are linked to other publications, you need to be highly-principled; don’t try to optimize your anchor text.
What exactly does this mean?
For every text link you use in an anchor text, the words in the copy form the link.
Go through the following sentence; the phrase “Strong Android devices” will definitely be the anchor text for a link to www.yoursite.com/strong-android-phones.
The phrase stated above is an example of an implicating anchor text because it is optimized with keywords.
Also, the URL, the page title, and content do use that same keyword, “Strong Android phones”.
The site is at great risk of getting penalized because the anchor text is being optimized with the phrase.
Linking is good, but linking with keyword-optimized anchor text is not good and advisable.
So, make use of sentence fragments, branded terms, or other words in your anchor text instead of using keywords.
5. Interact with Other Websites and Blogs
Another way to get links from other sites is to maintain a constant interaction with those sites.
Since you know the other players in your niche, they are either competitors or simply greater websites.
If you connect to them and deliberate over their content, they are likely to alert and link to you
For example, Buffer, a social media tool, always publishes a well-detailed lengthy article and, in so doing, it engages with some other authority sites in its niche.
So my point is, Socialbakers is a kind of social media measurement and an optimization channel. So also is buffer, so are Socialbakers and Buffer competitors?
Yes of course!
But that doesn’t stop buffer from linking to Socialbakers or vice versa. Quality content is great content; it doesn’t matter who publishes it. Buffer can also link to Socialbakers.
So, this linking is at whose advantage? Baker and Social bakers will surely get the benefit of the link, though buffer gets the recognition, co-citation value, recognition from Socialbakers, and the normal use of its data in a great piece of content.
The bottom line of the story is that it is okay to link to other sites, either they are competitors or not in as much as those websites have quality content that will add value to your own.
For example, this particular article you are reading can be linked to other niche-related sites, for you to have something that you will benefit from while reading at this moment.
6. Link Internally
With the hassle and challenges that come with linking, it is quite easy to forget one vital linking technique: which is internal linking.
In a very simple definition, internal linking is creating a link from one page of your website to another, like this.
In the explanation above, every “post is directly linked to another “post”, and from another “post”, those posts are more likely evergreen or well-read pages or blog articles.
Internal links are quite different from menu links. Menu links are also included with the structure of the site as a whole, and always lead users to the main pages.
Internal linking in your content always leads to the actual text links within the content.
When you create an article for your website, you should ensure that you link it to other quality articles from your website.
Though internal linking won’t assign authority to your site like an inbound link, it will strengthen your site structure and integrity.
This is what occurs when you generate internal links:
- It allows users to access other additional content
- Helps to improve the dwell time
- Decreases bounce rate
- Shares page authority across the site
- Enables the crawlability of the site
- Helps to increase the indexation of all pages which include deep internal pages
- Page views increase across the site
If you don’t understand those terms, you don’t need to bother much. The big deal is that internal linking is awesome.
At the start of this article, I reminded us of the goals and objectives of content marketing. I want us to remember this and be goal-focused.
The reason you are doing this is for your customers. Make your content quality enough for your readers, for your users, and for real people.
So far linking is an essential part of the content marketing world; always work towards it and make it part of your marketing strategy.