Link building and outreach can be the toughest parts of running an SEO campaign. That’s because great editorial links remain critical for a website to rank well in organic search.
I hear the presenters in a lot of link building webinars talk about continuing to guest blog at a pretty high rate. While that is a great tactic to help generate links and exposure, here at Straight North, we have pulled back significantly on the amount of guest blogging we do. It can be very time-consuming, and constantly having to come up with new ideas gets old, and the content gets tired. We wanted to come up with a way to write less and pitch more, while still generating the same number of links for our website. How did we do that? We switched our link building strategy to using embeddable content almost exclusively — and we have seen results more quickly than ever before.
What Is Embeddable Content, and Why Has It Worked for Us?
When we say “embeddable content,” we are referring to some type of visual content that needs an embed code to be placed in a blog. Traditionally, this takes the form of an infographic, but there are many other types of embeddable content that have worked well for us, and for our client base.
This link building tactic has worked well for us because it reduces the amount of time to acquire a link from outreach. In the past, when we were guest blog heavy, we would have to come up with a new topic every single time, get it approved, send the assignment off to the author to write, edit the piece, send it over to the publisher to get it approved, hope the publisher didn’t have further edits to incorporate, and then wait for it to go live. It can be really time-consuming. Since all of our embeddable content is visual, we have found that publishers are OK with posting content on their blogs/magazines as long as we supply a short 100- to 150-word introduction that is custom written for them. That 100- to 150-word intro can be written in a fraction of the time of an entire blog post. Also, there is no fear of us not gaining a link after the content is published, because we are pitching the content upfront. If a publisher doesn’t link it, at least we didn’t invest any time writing anything. We can just move on to the next site.
When pitching out blog posts, we had to hope people would link to them. Sometimes they would say, “This was really cool,” and they would promise to link to it in their next post. Then we would be left to hope that they would remember to post it and to include a link to the content we shared with them. That response is now avoided. Having content in a visual form allows us to just give a publisher an embed code, and the contest asset could be live on the site the next day. We could also pitch it as an add-on to a recently written article, and it could be live later that day. Speed is the critical reason for success here. So spend time upfront to come up with one really great idea instead of writing 10 things to try to get 10 links.
Think Beyond Infographics
The biggest mistake I see with embeddable content is that people just default to infographics. Publishers have really enjoyed many other forms of presentation — everything from checklists, to data tables, to embedded whitepapers, to slide decks, and many others. One of our most successful pieces of embeddable content is a data table that we created, which you can view at the following link:
It is just a simple table that lays out the APU weight exemption laws by state — nothing flashy or complicated. What we learned in our research phase is that trucking companies and associations were interested in this type of data for their drivers. So we created the table and started pitching. After about just four months, we have about 15 sites hosting the table, with many more holding it in their publishing queues. Since there are thousands of these types of sites on the Internet, we won’t run out of sites to pitch it to any time soon.
The key to running a successful embeddable content campaign is picking a strategic topic (with a matching content type that doesn’t have to be an infographic) that should attract a large audience. Below is a deck that demonstrates three different research/marketing methodologies that we use to come up with embeddable content ideas.
To download the presentation click here
Link building is and always will be a tough job. Using embeddable content — with the topic chosen strategically — will give your link building campaign the best chance at success.