Not all content is created equal, and not every blog post automatically garners external links. Building a robust link profile for every piece of content through outreach can be a time-consuming endeavor.
However, there is a more efficient way to earn valuable backlinks and enhance your outreach response rates: by creating linkable content assets.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of crafting linkable assets that can significantly boost your website’s link profile while saving you time and effort.
Defining Linkable Assets
Before we delve deeper into the process, let’s clarify what linkable assets are. These are high-quality content pieces strategically designed to attract backlinks from other websites. These assets come in various formats, including infographics, written articles, videos, online tools, or downloadable documents. The key to an optimal linkable asset is its ability to provide substantial value, uniqueness, and relevance to your target audience. Furthermore, it should seamlessly integrate with your website, either as an HTML page or as part of an existing page.
The Power of Established Expertise: The Role of E-E-A-T
To create linkable assets that truly stand out and attract quality backlinks, it’s essential to understand and implement the principles of Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) as outlined by Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. These elements play a crucial role in content quality assessment and are increasingly vital in SEO, content marketing, and link building.
- Expertise: Your content should demonstrate the author’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of the topic, substantiated through education, experience, or publications.
- Experience: Highlight the author’s firsthand knowledge of the subject, drawing from personal experiences, interviews, or extensive research.
- Authority: Establish the author’s reputation and credibility, showcasing credentials, affiliations, or the high quality of their work.
- Trustworthiness: Demonstrate the author’s honesty and integrity by maintaining transparency, neutrality, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
By optimizing your content to exhibit these characteristics, you not only enhance its appeal to publishers but also improve its chances of ranking higher in Google’s search results.
Leveraging Generative AI for Content Ideation
The emergence of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has transformed the content creation landscape. Tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing Chat can significantly expedite research, generate compelling content topics, and streamline the content creation process. While AI-generated content is still evolving, it’s crucial to align it with subject matter expertise, personal experiences, case studies, and in-depth topic exploration to ensure authenticity and avoid plagiarism.
Generating Content Ideas with ChatGPT
- Topic Selection: Choose a niche or topic and prompt ChatGPT with “Act as [industry blog or person] and provide a list of 20 unique long-form content ideas for [topic/keyword].” Select relevant, unique, and searchable ideas, and refine them by comparing them to top-ranking content on Google.
Creating an Outline with ChatGPT
- Outline Development: Prompt ChatGPT with “Act as [industry blog or person] and create a comprehensive outline for an article ‘[title],’ using contemporary content marketing techniques.” An editor can then refine the AI-generated outline. Utilize tools like ZeroGPT or ChatGPT AI Classifier to ensure your content maintains a human touch.
When to Use Generative AI Tools
It’s important to understand when to leverage generative AI tools effectively:
- Bing Chat & Google Bard: These tools can access real-time search results and current content. Use them for research and data-driven insights.
- ChatGPT: While ChatGPT receives monthly updates and lacks internet access, it excels in generating titles, outlines, and process lists.
By harnessing the power of generative AI in your content creation process, you can streamline ideation and enhance content quality, making your linkable assets even more attractive to publishers and readers alike.
Pros and Cons of Linkable Assets
Creating linkable assets is a potent strategy for link building, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons:
- Scalable Link Acquisition: Informational content allows for link opportunities across various topical areas.
- Enhanced Organic Visibility: Long-form informative articles can attract substantial traffic across various keywords.
- Relationship Building: Linkable content assets facilitate connections with influencers and industry experts, fostering collaboration and trust.
- Long-Term Value: High-quality content continues to attract backlinks and traffic over time.
- Brand Exposure and Credibility: Linkable assets elevate your brand’s reputation as an industry expert, enhancing trust and credibility.
- Links May Not Target Ideal Pages: Links typically point to the asset, but redirecting them to commercial pages might be more beneficial for ranking.
- Time and Resource-Intensive: Creating high-quality linkable assets can be challenging for smaller teams due to the time, effort, and resources required.
- No Guarantee of Backlinks: High-quality content doesn’t guarantee backlinks or immediate SEO rewards.
- Difficult to Measure Success: Assessing the impact of linkable assets on SEO can be challenging, as search engines may take time to recognize and reward acquired backlinks.
- Increasing Competition: As more websites adopt linkable content strategies, competition for backlinks and organic visibility intensifies.
Crafting Linkable Assets for Different Strategies
Linkable assets can be tailored for specific link-building techniques or audiences, or created for a general niche. Let’s explore two primary approaches:
- Identify specific sites, forums, bloggers, or influencers interested in a particular topic.
- Create content tailored to their interests and preferences.
- Distribute the content through email outreach or promotion to earn links.
- Examples of technique-first methods include the Skyscraper technique, ranking statistical articles, niche forums, competitor link building, and guest posting.
- Create high-quality content for a specific audience or niche.
- Seek opportunities to acquire links for that content.
- Utilize ideation techniques like subject matter expert (SME) focus groups or addressing unanswered questions in your industry.
- Distribution methods for content-first assets may include Help a Reporter Out (HARO) submissions, email outreach to existing relationships, targeted social ads, and content syndication through press releases.
Exploring Various Types of Linkable Assets
Numerous content types work effectively for securing links, and the possibilities are endless. Here’s a curated list of asset types that can improve outreach response rates and earn valuable links under the right circumstances:
- Statistical Roundup Lists: Aggregate statistics from reputable studies into well-organized categories for easy reference.
- Unique Research Studies: Conduct and publish unique studies with transparent methodology and insights.
- Listicles of Companies, Tools, or People: Present information in a list format with brief descriptions or commentary.
- Informative Infographics: Create visually appealing representations of complex data or information.
- Excel & Google Sheet Templates: Offer templates for various purposes, such as project management or budgeting.
- Planning Tools: Develop web apps that simplify specific tasks or planning processes.
- Calculators as Content: Design online calculators for various calculations or planning purposes.
- Checklists or Cheatsheets: Provide step-by-step guides or lists for completing specific projects or tasks.
Creating linkable assets that resonate with publishers, bloggers, and general websites can significantly reduce your outreach efforts and even result in backlinks without active promotion. While crafting these assets can be time-consuming, the long-term benefits in terms of link acquisition and enhanced SEO are well worth the investment.
Whether you opt for a comprehensive research study or a simple Excel template, prioritize creating content that is easily linkable. By following the principles of E-E-A-T and embracing generative AI tools, you can stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of link building.