Developing linkable content, a term I use loosely, for a site has always been a great way to develop links. Instead of the typical written content I'm talking about anything online that people can link to – tools, widgets, cartoons, surveys, statistics, charts, interactive games, etc.
The trick is finding the content that will attract links after you've actively promoted it. Let's explore methods of coming up with a strategy for your site, or client.
The simplest way to ensure your content will attract links is to find something already accomplishing the task. Spend time researching sites in your industry and related businesses. When examining their backlinks, make a note of what type of content is getting the good links. Then do something similar – with your own spin.
You'll notice in most cases the content with great backlinks wasn't created for the purpose of link development.
Here's a tip. If the content page has a higher PR (PageRank) than the homepage you've probably found a truly remarkable strategy. Regular readers know I rarely mention that little green bar so many are addicted too. Yet, in this instance, it can help you identity a successful strategy.
Be the First
Always be on the lookout for new trends or problems facing your industry. If you're the first to create something around this you're more likely to get the links. This could be an app, online tool, widget, research, or even a cartoon poking fun of the new trend.
If you're a small company, don't be overwhelmed by the lack of resources. Keep in mind there are a wealth of talented independent contractors who can help you. This could range from a talented programmer to a creative cartoonist. Keep your options open.
Modernize an Online Tool
Is there an old online tools that is useful yet hasn't been updated with a modern feel in five or 10 years? Would it make a great smartphone app? This is your chance to update and improve it at the same time.
Some will say this is just copying. Think of it this way. Google didn't invent search. They improved it. Apple didn't invent the personal computer, mp3 player, cell phone, or tablet. They improved it.
In reality there are very few new ideas actually out there. Most are just improvements on old ones. Just make sure it's something you can legally recreate and improve.
A good place to start this research is your bookmarks and social bookmarking sites. Another starting point is to post the question in online discussion forums. If you don't want the competition to find out what you're up to, simply register a new screen name.
Whichever road you take, it's time to start the research. Keep in mind some of the best ideas that have become link magnets were never created for the purpose of link development.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!