We all want our content to be found on the web. But with a seemingly infinite number of results that are returned with any given search (for example, a search query on "dog collar" returns 784,000,000 results while "content marketing" boasts 2,950,000,000 results), it can be a struggle to get your content to rank on the first page, let alone have it rank in the first spot. And each day, even more content is created: Each piece is trying to fight for a spot near the top of a search engine's returned results. If you don't strategize well, and continue to modify your strategy, you could go from ranking as the number one resulted to being unseated, ranking second—or lower.
What can be done?
Fortunately, we all know the answer to that: Search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization
Unless you're just starting out in content marketing, search engine optimization is old news, a daily ritual in helping your content perform better. But Google, in particular, doesn't make it easy on us: Once we've learned how to optimize our content and make Google's algorithms happy, the developers switch things up on us—again—and we need to learn what changes were implemented. Then we let out a heavy sigh and re-optimize our content as needed.
But even with all the updates Google has made over the years, there are some factors that are just as important to optimize for as they were at the beginning. In 2016, Search Engine Land reported that in a Google Q&A, links and content were the #1 and #2 most important ranking factors (but the Search Quality Senior Strategist, Andrey Lipattsev, wouldn't disclose which factor of the two was more important). And today, these both links and content still make "top SEO ranking factors" lists, such as Optinmonster's 10 essential SEO ranking factors list from June 2019. They were among good company: Other factors that made the list included page speed (including page speed for the mobile website); user experience (RankBrain); and domain age, URL, abd authority.
Dynamic Optimization Duo
Like macaroni noodles and cheese, David Beckham and football, or YouTube and cat videos, there are just some things in life that are meant to be a pair. Yes, they're fine on their own, but together? Magic.
Link building and content marketing are one of those pairs. And while they can work separately (think content without any links or link building without internal linking), together they elevate your website and, when optimized along with other factors, help you rank.
The Analysis of a B2B Link Building Campaign
So, why are we talking about link building and content marketing? Besides content marketing being our bread and butter, we got to thinking about how CONCURED can help our clients excel at optimizing for these two factors. Our brains' gears started rotating when we saw Will Critchlow's article on Moz's blog. This article, "Can 'Big Content' Link Building Campaigns Really Work?", provides an overview on how his company, Distilled, helped a client's site improve rankings through link building. We encourage you to read Critchlow's post in full, but if you're a bit short on time, here are some highlights:
- Critchlow acknowledges that proving link building's value (i.e., its ability to make an impact on rank) can be difficult for various reasons, including the fact that websites naturally accrue links and that links' impact is not apparent, especially in terms of immediacy (e.g., if you change a website's font, the change is immediately apparent).
- Many backlinks generated are to the home page; for many websites, the homepage isn't a core landing page and therefore not as easy to measure.
- Results included 228 unique linking domains and 82,854 landings in Google Analytics
Distilled posted the full case study on their blog, which offers an even more detailed look into this campaign:
- The campaign's primary goal was to generate quality backlinks to the client's website since they were trying to move past their low-quality backlink profile
- In addition to the campaign, Distilled also worked in improving technical and SEO strategy
- Campaign outcomes:
- Organic traffic increased by 69% year over year
- Domain authority increased by 6
Having read both of these articles, we have identified some ways Distilled's campaign—and the client—could have benefited from CONCURED. And you can use its insight to benefit your own campaigns.
Using CONCURED to in Your Link Building Campaigns
Toward the end of the post on Moz's blog, Critchlow links to some posts the audience can use to learn about the best ways to build a campaign that brings in backlinks. As we read, we couldn't help but note how CONCURED can help you do exactly what these posts suggests.
"Sticky content" is that which takes hold of your readers and gets them to engage with the content. The six qualities of sticky content are:
- emotional, and
- a story.
And while those are key to the piece as a whole, we still need a topic. That's where CONCURED comes in.
With some help from CONCURED, you can more easily construct effective campaigns because it exists to help you determine what to write about. Instead of taking an educated guess at the type of content you think your audience wants, CONCURED will help you create content that resonates with your audience and reduces content waste.
You don't just want to drive conversation in your market; you want to own it. And when you come up with the right content, you campaign will easily pick up traction.
In their post, Distilled defines "content strategy" as a "high-level vision that guides future content development." This strategy is meant to help achieve a specific goal. They also explain that there are three pillars of research—company, customer, and competitor—that can help you formulate this strategy.
But what if someone else—or something else—did that for you?
CONCURED is an AI-powered solution, meaning it can do all the legwork for you. In fact, its iAudit feature not only presents a view of your content versus your competitors', it is automatically consolidated, scored, and searchable. And with iMeasure, you'll be able to see if your strategy is working for you. If it's not, it can help you change accordingly.
Finally, the last two suggested readings focus on creating winning content—and by that they do not mean content that is successful but content that actually wins awards. Unless you're an agency or consulting firm that is looking to garner new clients, in which the publicity of winning an award helps, you may not be too concerned about creating content good enough to win. But you should be.
Winning content wins because it beats out all other competitors in its category—and isn't that what you want? Aren't we trying to generate backlinks for our site? If we were to write about content marketing trends in the next five years and another company had created a better piece of content on the same topic, we lose. We're not losing an award, per se, unless you count a backlink as an award (in its own way, it's a trophy). Losing that backlink is valuable in so many ways, including new readership and as a potential rank booster.
With CONCURED, you can create winning campaigns and winning content all the time. As a content intelligence platform, CONCURED uses the power of AI to elevate your content. Because it is able to sweep all of your available data, it can generate insights that might otherwise be lost. Instead of digital pencil pushing to get content onto your site for the sake of having fresh content on your site (which does more harm than good).
CONCURED can help you become the "go to" source in your industry. Its iTopic feature will serve as a blueprint to help you become visible in your industry, guiding you to write on topics that matter most to the businesses in the industry you serve.
Building Up Your Backlinks
Creating good content is a challenge, but if it were easy, everyone would be getting their content linked back to. It is the engaging and high-quality content that impresses, and it is this type of content to which others in the industry refer.
In order to build up your backlinks, you must have a strong set of content. Distilled proved that good content and its associated backlinks do "move the needle," so to speak, when it comes to your website's ranking—even if it doesn't appear to be doing anything.
CONCURED can help you create content that will easily encourage link generation. An AI-powered solution means you won't miss out on any content opportunities that come your way, and it will always hit the mark with your audience.