Creating high quality content links is one of the most important ways to be ranked well and get search engine traffic. If your Website does not offer anything worth talking about you are going to struggle to get people link to it, and search engines rank it. And even if perhaps you succeed to trick Google and get ranked well for a while, your visitors are very likely to simply bounce away when they visit it. Consequently, you might have to beg or pay for every inbound link with questionable success, and you will see what a pain it is to promote mediocre content.
On the other hand, imagine your content is so good, that every other person who finds it feels the need to share it. With great content you only need to attract some initial traffic to get the snowball rolling – visitors will often share it on social networks for you, webmasters will link to it, search engines will love it.
Sounds simple? Well, it’s not. Creating high quality content is actually the hard part. With so many great blogs, articles, info-graphics and free stuff out there on the Internet, it’s no longer enough to publish something unique. It should be smart, attractive, mind-blowing, visually appealing and worth talking about.
That’s not an easy task, but here are few ideas that will help you:
Be Generous On Images
Plain text is boring. People rarely link to text only pages except in few niches like scientific research and programming. Don’t be afraid to add one or more images to your posts. Have at least one large sexy image instead of a thumbnail. Only use thumbnails if your content is really rich in images and you want to save the bandwidth of your users.
Although with web resources such as Flickr around, there is no excuse for contents without at least one image.
Don’t forget also that images do not always mean photos. When appropriate, enrich your content with info-graphics, interactive charts, drawings and sketches. It takes little effort or money to create them, but they will surely make your content stick in the sea of text.
Link To Useful Resources
Don’t be afraid to link out. Include links to relevant high quality resources along with your content. People are a lot more likely to bookmark, link to, and share contents that contains link to other resources.
However, do not take linking out to the extreme and publish resource collections instead of content. While this may sometimes works, I recommend that you include at least some of your own comments, intro text and a closing paragraph.
The best combination however remains strong content with links to other high-quality pages.
Vouch Strong Opinion
Being too diplomatic may seem objective because you are not hurting anyone and there is no chance to say something stupid. There is barely a chance to say something interesting, too.
Being dry is… dry. Don’t be yet another fact-reporter and boring analyst. Share your opinion, your dislikes, your story, your passion. Someone may think you are dumb or too harsh, but others will fight for you and promote your content. Strong opinion bears strong fans.
Bundle With A Tool
If you have or can hire development resources to build a relevant tool for your content, don’t hesitate to do it. An article about losing weight bundled with a weight loss calculator on the page is a lot more linkable than an article which just shows static numbers.
There are all kind of tools you can embed in or bundle with your content: calculators, widgets, converters, planners, calendars, Firefox and Chrome extensions, WordPress plugins and many more.
Make It Printable/Download-able
What does it cost to create a PDF version of your article? Almost nothing. But it looks so much more complete with high authority when there is an option to download or print.
If you provide PDF versions of your content, with the URL of your site inside, some people will download it and check it later, others will print it and share it, others will link to it just because of the format. It’s an easy way to gain few links and enhance the perceived quality of your page.
Deep, Not Long
It’s wrong to think that good content should be long. Yes sure, sometimes you need few thousand words to express a great idea or describe a complex concept. But to use more words so as just to make your content long is not going to help you rank in search engines.
Instead of adding paragraphs rephrasing what you already said earlier, just to meet a target word count, ask yourself what details can you add to your content, what additional point of view can be discussed, what other form of content can be plugged in.
No Sales Pitches
Don’t mix your sales pages with your best content. With few extremely creative exceptions, sales pitches don’t attract links. Focus on providing high quality, useful content that will be linked to and shared and keep it clear of sales pitches. If there is something you want to sell, use your high quality content as a traffic source to your sales page. Feel free to link to it or even advertise it with a large button, but keep all the sales talk on the sales page only.
Now check your best ranking content. How many of these tips does it follow? What’s going to happen if you apply more of them to it, right now?