Content That Targets a Theme
The first strategy I want to share with you is to create content that targets a general theme, not content that is only optimized for one keyword.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you want to write an article to rank for the phrase “how to get traffic to your website”. You’ve done the keyword research and now that the volume for this particular query is pretty good.
The competition is pretty high, but you know that if you can rank first on this phrase, you will get very targeted and high-converting traffic to your article.
So you start writing an article all about getting traffic to your website. You’ve optimized the headers, the URLs and the content to rank for that one phrase.
But, what if you could actually rank for way more keywords that are related to the one you’re trying to target?
The truth is, Google places content that covers a general theme in much higher regard. So instead of just optimizing your post for “how to get traffic to your website” you can actually optimize it for the general theme of “website traffic”.
What else are people searching for when they look for the keyword you’re after?
If you scroll to the bottom of Google you can see a lot of related keywords and phrases that are suggested.
Plus if you’re looking at Google keyword planner, you’re getting a wide range of suggestions for other possible keywords to target as well.
Based on this quick research, you now know that people don’t only want to get more traffic, but they want to get it for free, they also want to get it fast, and they are looking for software that might help them!
Your simple article about getting traffic just got a lot more complex and a lot more useful to a range of people. Now your chances for building links are a lot higher as well, since you offer more insight to your readers, and give them more linkable assets.
At Venngage we applied this on a guide we were working on which was meant to help beginners learn the basics of infographics. But since we already know a lot about making infographics, we took to Google to get some idea of what other people were searching for. And we ended up putting together a very impressive guide on infographics.
Not only will doing this research help you rank for more keywords, but it will also help you understand what your audience actually wants to read.
Don’t Just Use Cold Outreach, Use Paid Social
The next strategy for link building is to not depend exclusively on cold outreach as a means to promote your content. I’m not saying you should stop your cold outreach (but if you find that you’re not getting a lot of response, there might be something wrong with the way you are conducting your outreach). What I am saying is that on top of emailing bloggers, you should also be retargeting them with your content when you have the opportunity.
One of the best ways to do this is by utilizing Facebook ads. If you have a list of emails that you’ve scraped, on top of your usual process of emailing them a series of link requests, create a custom audience on Facebook and target them with your content.
If your list is culled well you will be double feeding your contacts with the content you want promoted. So not only will they see your email, but they will also see your ads, keeping your content top of mind.
Build Ongoing Relationships
Lastly, when you do get positive feedback from the outreach you conduct, don’t end the relationship there.
Here’s a story for you. One day, I was shooting out some cold emails to a number of relatively reputable news sites. One writer got back to me and liked my pitch and featured an infographic we made in a post. The next day it had gone viral. Clearly I wanted to keep this relationship going! If the first article went viral, who knew what other opportunities awaited us.
I saw that he was based in New York City, and being from Toronto myself, it wasn’t that far of a trip. A couple of months passed and I was headed to New York, so I reached out to this writer and asked him if I could by him a drink as a thanks for replying to me.
When I arrived in New York, we met up and have become good friends. Now he listens to all my pitches and helps out whenever he can.
I’m not suggesting you fly out to meet every editor you talk to, but when the opportunity presents itself for a relationship to carry on, go with it. This might mean simply reaching out and saying hi, or inviting them to an exclusive Facebook group or Slack group for like-minded people to share ideas and help each other out.
The point is, try turning contacts into individuals you can establish an “internet-friendship” with.
Link building is not only a matter of identifying and acting on tactics. It’s also about strategy. The first step is creating content that demands attention and that people naturally want to link to on their own accord. Use outreach and paid social advertising as a way to drive even more attention to that content. And remember, when possible build ongoing relationships. Don’t let your contacts rot in your inbox. If you can do that, the opportunities for links are high.