Since we have established the importance of the development of quality content as the precursor to earning quality links, and that links are still a very important overall ranking signal in SEO, the next logical question is how to go about getting these two interdependent objectives accomplished.
How are Links Earned?
It is important to step back and examine why links are created in the first place. Why did that person decide to link to that particular website from their own site? There are many possible reasons:
1. The site owner was paid for adding the link (this would technically be considered a paid, rather than earned link). Although this is a perfectly legitimate reason, in the search engine’s eyes it carries no
editorial value (and search engines may even penalize sites for linking or acquiring links in this fashion). Buying links for purposes of increasing your search rankings should not be part of your campaigns.
2. Links were traded between sites. Also called reciprocal linking, the practice of trading links between sites is popular. However, search engines view this as barter and therefore as having limited editorial
value. That being said, there are often legitimate and necessary reasons for two separate websites to link back to one another, without the “purpose” being link bartering; one should not sacrifice user experience or business needs in this type of scenario by “fearing” that the linking relationship will be frowned upon by the search engines; rather, simply be aware that the linking relationship may not provide any benefit to either party from an inbound link perspective.
3. Something on your site triggered an emotional reaction from the publisher, causing the publisher to link to your site. For example, perhaps your site had the funniest cartoon the publisher ever saw, or it offered an inflammatory political opinion.
4. The publisher may see something of value on your site and wants their site visitors to know about it. The majority of the highest-value links are given for this reason.
5. A business relationship comes into play. For example, you may have a network of distributors and resellers for your product. Do they all link back to you?
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Content Ideation and Creativity :
Coming up with content ideas is one of the most important parts of a content marketing campaign. Without the right type of content, your efforts to market that content will fail. Creativity is required to come up with content ideas that are distinct enough to meet your needs.
This is because it’s likely that there are already high quantities of content that relate to your potential topic matter already.
The notion of “being creative” can be a frightening one, especially to those who do not work at it on a regular basis. However, the reality is that it’s a myth that some people are born to be creative, and that
others are not. Success at being creative requires practice. Through trial and error you work what works, and what doesn’t.
In addition, active research techniques can help you come up with ideas. Here are some examples of methods for coming up with ideas that you can use:
=> Internal Brainstorming :
This is a method that many companies overlook, yet is often one of the best techniques to use. Gather key members of your management and marketing teams in a conference room and brainstorm together. Chances are there are many people who know a lot about your business, and it will surprise you how many good ideas they can come up with.
=> Competitive Analysis :
Spend time researching what content your competitors publish. Check out their site and/or blog in detail, and follow their social media accounts. If you have a competitor that is actively pursuing
content marketing, this can be a goldmine of ideas for you.
=> Social Media Research :
Social media sites such as Facebook (http://www.facebook.com), Google+ (http://plus.google.com), LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com), and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) can also be used to help generate content ideas. Follow major influencers in your market and see what content they are publishing.
=> Keyword Research :
Research what types of phrases people are searching on to see what common customer needs are. This can provide insights into what types of content are likely to draw the best engagement.
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