As a way of building brand awareness, generating traffic, and boosting your SERP rankings, the power of links can’t be underestimated. Links are the number two consideration when it comes to Google search rankings. The majority of marketers also believe that link-building will continue to have a significant influence on search engine rankings.
However, as much as 94% of all content doesn’t generate any backlinks. And, only a meager 2.2% generates backlinks from more than one website.
With those sobering statistics in mind, you might wonder what you can do to put your data-driven content among the top performers.
The good news is, there are many steps you can take to create exceptionally linkable content. In this guide, we’ll share some of our top tips with you
Source Your Own Data for Link-Building
The most important aspect of any piece of data-driven content is, well, the data!
Web surfers looking for data-driven articles are looking for highly useful, relevant, or accurate information to bring across a certain point or provide valuable insights into a specific topic.
Of course, the more unique, interesting, and reputable your data is, the more valuable your content will be to the reader.
Unfortunately, there is so much content out there that it’s unlikely you will identify a data-driven topic no one else has written about. In fact, you’ll probably find a host of articles all based on the same, or an extremely similar, topic.
You could go the skyscraper route, collecting data from a wide variety of articles and compiling it in your own, all-encompassing piece of content.
However, we can do you one even better.
Creating your own data from real-world scenarios or studies is the best way to ensure your content is uniquely valuable and stands out from the rest.
Collecting this kind of data might be a time-consuming process, but there are more accessible techniques you can use. For example, there are tones of data sets that can be studied and compiled from services like Google Trends and Google Consumer Reports. You can also employ a service like Uprankly.com that is an expert at doing this type of research.
Presenting your own data shows a willingness to go the extra mile, provides the reader with information they can’t find anywhere else and immediately elevates your authority.
From a purely link-building perspective, it puts valuable information out there that is worth linking to because it can’t be found anywhere else. Your content can actually boost the value of other related pieces by being linked to. Who knows? It might even be too juicy for your competitors to resist.
There is simply no substitute for it.
Find the Story in the Numbers
Data must be purposeful.
That means the reader has to be able to extract information from it that genuinely helps them in their everyday life, business, or career. Otherwise, it’s just trivia.
So, before you begin, start by asking why?
Why are you collecting this data in the first place? What is it you don’t know? How will knowing the answer help you? Or, who do you want to help by providing answers to their burning questions?
By answering the “why”, you can build a narrative around it. What leads to this problem or gap in knowledge? And, how will your data bring the reader round to a conclusion or point them in the right direction?
Remember to be open-minded, as the very data you collect might change your own idea of what the narrative should be.
If you can’t answer the “why,” it might be a sign you’re not asking the right question.
This trip combines well with the first because you can set the agenda when running your own study. You can start with a question you want to be answered, and then try to prove or disprove your hypothesis through the data you collect.
Working with a professional link-building service like this can help you identify topics worth exploring in your niche.
You can do the same thing without original data as well. However, there’s a fine line between simply cherry-picking statistics and facts that suit your preconceived narratives or whether you’re really telling a story that follows proper cause-and-effect.
More Isn’t Always Better
We don’t have to tell you that quality trumps quantity.
Yes, there are statistics that suggest that long-form content is more effective from a link-building and general SEO perspective. However, long-form content that performs well also happens to be incredibly well researched, thought-out, and written.Long-form content that performs well also happens to be incredibly well researched, thought-out, and written. #SEO #ContentWriting #JLM Click To Tweet
Having a title like “101 Statistics About Banana Bread” might sound impressive, but if you can’t back it up with genuinely useful and entertaining content, it’s going to fall flat.
Much more important is incorporating some of the tips we’ve provided in this article. For example, sourcing 100% unique data, finding a narrative, and using media to make your content more visually appealing and engaging.
It also means you should be ruthless when it comes to what information is worthy to stay in your article, and what should go.
Don’t simply cut data that may be inconvenient for your narrative, but try to establish whether every point is something that the reader really needs or wants to know.
An interesting take on an old subject, fun and time-saving infographics, or genuinely mind-changing information is far more valuable than an encyclopedia worth of information.
Remember, content creators like to link to content that affected them somehow. Providing some kind of compelling insight will generate more links from high authority sites than going for sheer quantity.
Create Visual Representations of Your Data
There are a number of reasons why this is a crucial step in creating exceptionally linkable content.
Firstly, it’s been proven time and time again that rich experiences generate higher engagement and lead to better overall SEO metrics. Pages with high-quality images and video generate more clicks, have lower bounce rates, and provide additional optimization opportunities.
They are also more likely to get shared on social media, generating more incoming links and social proof.
Infographics are an especially effective tool for link-building, especially when it comes to data-driven content. Infographics make it easy and entertaining to consume large amounts of data.
According to this content study, infographics generate 25.8% more backlinks than videos or “how-to” posts.
Finally, not all competitors will have the time, resources, or will to create visual assets. Once again, going the extra mile will earn you brownie points with your readers and other content creators.
Bonus Tips: Creating More “Linkable” Content
Aside from paying for backlinks, there are no shortcuts when it comes to boosting your backlink profile. The more thought and effort you put into it, the higher-quality the backlinks you will receive and the more sustainable your success will be.
That being said, there are some general tips when it comes to creating genuinely linkable content. Or, content that encourages being linked or shared, regardless of the type of content you are creating. Here are some of them:
- Target long-tail keywords to get clicks from more targeted searches
- Headlines that contain a question and are longer tend to get more links and shares
- How you approach the content also affects the linkability. “Why” and “What” posts tend to generate the most links, followed by infographics, “how-to” guides, and videos. List posts get the most links and shares in general.
- Long-form content (3,000 – 10,000 words) tend to attract more backlinks
These aren’t “hacks” to boost your backlinks overnight. However, incorporating them where relevant can help your link-building efforts as long as you don’t sacrifice quality by forcing it.
So, ready to start growing your presence through the power of link building? The time is now. While it may take months for the real value of a well-thought-out linking campaign to show, the results will pay dividends with time.
Even better, holistically approaching SEO and link building will also result in more shareable and valuable content, bringing even more benefits to your brand.