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Content marketing is everywhere today. Thanks to the success that a couple of brands experienced within this field, a lot of companies have started to allocate significant chunks of their budget into content marketing. They have finally figured out that by producing and publishing different types of blog posts, webinars, images, infographics, videos, newsletters, case studies and use cases, their online presence could be significantly influenced for the better.

Content marketing is extremely important for everyone in the SEO world. How come? – Well, because it helps earn quality links and build authority online.

When Google sees that a particular piece of content is earning links for a specific keyword group, the Engine interprets that content as relevant and valuable (for those keywords), and rewards it with good rankings in SERP. The more links your content generates, the higher you’ll go in Search Engine results for that particular keyword or phrase. It’s what Google’s algorithm uses to determine a page’s rank. Naturally, this will significantly improve your exposure and get a lot more people to visit your site and check out what you’re all about.

If you’re, like me, in the business of turning new businesses into real powerhouses online – this is something that you just cannot afford to ignore.

In today’s world, content marketing is not a luxury, but a necessity for most brands. Regardless of the fact how great and compelling content influences your SEO and turns even the dullest of enterprises into major players online for those who leverage it right, content marketing also has the capacity to drive in more conversions by complementing your sales tactics in every part of your marketing funnel.

As the latest findings from The Content Marketing Institute indicate, 72% of ALL marketers have a content marketing strategy in place. This means that every single one of these individuals is on the mission to create compelling and valuable content that will help them capitalize on popular and relevant queries on the Web, and thus – build up their SEO and beat their direct competitors in SERP.

Even though this sounds like a pretty straightforward deal, like in every other aspect in business, most young and inexperienced businessmen fail to make this technique work for them. Nonetheless –  they’re still pretty determined to see their plans through. The content keeps piling up, but most of it isn’t really generating any new links.

Even though they’re investing a significant amount of effort to keep up a steady flow of fresh content on their or their client’s website, they still haven’t seen any real fruits of their labor.

Anyone can produce “content”, but creating something that actually serves a higher purpose (in this particular case, build links) and does wonders for your brand online – well, that’s quite rare these days.

Generating backlinks is extremely hard today -especially those great and natural ones. That’s why we need to be extra sharp with our link building efforts. Even though a lot of SEO experts praise content marketing and call it our lord and savior when it comes to creating new internal and external links for your site, it’s not really easy to make your content work for you. Publishing random stuff isn’t going to cut it here. If your content isn’t attracting any new backlinks, that means that you’re probably doing something wrong. Here’s a list of top 5 things that you should check and improve if your content isn’t really helping you in this department:

1.Your Content Isn’t Really Worth Linking To

I know this might seem harsh to some of you, but it’s the truth. Content marketing is a complex game with a lot of different aspects and formats. Before you go on and curse the Gods for your failures, you first need to take a step back and look at your work without the pink glasses.

goldfishes looking to the fishhook


For example, if you want to create content that a lot of sites will link back to, you need to come up with something that truly speaks volumes to your targeted crowd. You need to produce something that is actually worth linking to.

To create linkable content – first, you need to choose a popular topic. You can do that by using tools like Buzzsumo and Ahrefs. Once you do that, you need to look over all the top content that covers that exact same topic that you want to write about and figure out how to add new value to that already existent content. Your mission here is to go for that extra mile and feed people additional and fresh insights.  

Solution No.1: Update

In most cases, the content that you’ll find to have the most links pointing back to it, will be quite old. Don’t believe me? – Type in any set of keywords into your search, and you’ll see that Google will (in most cases) feed you with links that were published back in 2011 or 2014. This is great for you. This means that you could easily win big here if you just update that already existing content. Once you choose a topic and add fresh insights to the established topic, all you have to do is reach out to the sites that are linking to the original content and offer them your new, fresh, and updated content. Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 of these publishers will be interested in at least reviewing your work.

Solution No.2: Create a Bigger and More Detailed Post

More often than not, the content that earned the biggest number of links isn’t just dated, it also isn’t that well written. When I say it isn’t well written, I’m not thinking about grammar here, of course. I’m talking about depth. Sure, there are exceptions of course, but in my experience – this is usually the case. Almost every dated and well-ranked page I find while conducting my analysis, I see as something that could be made better with a little more words and insights to it. I feel like there’s still room for improvement there, and I often take on myself to come up with a bigger, better, and more informative post.

For example, when I find a post that covers the 10 best link building tools out there, I focus all my time and energy to come up with something like: “30 best link building tools, and how to use them right”. This is just an example, of course, but you get the picture.

2.You’re Not Reaching Out – Spread the Word, Promote Your Content

It doesn’t really matter how good or well optimized your content may be if you don’t do a good enough job of distributing it all over the Web – the chances are it will never live up to its full potential.

As I already wrote above, thanks to extreme content saturation, it’s insanely hard to earn quality links today. Everywhere you turn, you are bombarded with all sorts of different blog posts, tweets, pins, social media promo post, etc. Believe it or not, around 2 million new blog posts get pumped out online every single day. Insane, right? Thanks to that, these days you really need to push on all cylinders if you want your content to get picked up by a lot of people.



Solution: Get Your Content to The Right Address

You don’t get backlinks without trying.

It’s also highly improbable that a major publisher will accidentally come across your blog posts, read it from top to bottom, and link some of his work to it. Nope, that almost never happens. And when it does -well, you got lucky. Don’t get me wrong – usually, this has nothing to do with the overall quality of your work.

In most cases, these publishers are quite swamped with their own work, so they don’t really have any time or patience to browse the Web and look for alternative content. As in every other part of this text, there are exceptions, of course. But all in all, getting authoritative domains to link back to your site is almost never that easy.

It has to be you who looks for linking opportunities and offer major publishers your work as something that would be in their best interest to read. Your job here is basically to convince your targeted domains that your content will serve as a supplement to their already existing work. Naturally, it’s far better if you arrange to publish a guest blog post on their site and really earn that backlink, but hey – this is great as well.

3.You’re Knocking On All the Wrong Doors

Sometimes, regardless of how hard you try, your link building efforts might seem like a total waste of time. You keep reaching out, offering this and that, and no one seems to be responding. There’s literally nothing more frustrating in business. However, you shouldn’t let that sort of thing discourage or sabotage your future link building efforts.

There are many different reasons why your content link building strategy is failing, but in most cases, it usually boils down to that one and the same thing – you’re reaching out to the wrong domains.

Solution: Analyze your Prospects, Make Sure You Have Something That Really Works for Them

Going out and requesting backlinks from all corners of the Web is nothing short of an utter and complete waste of your time. If you want to see your efforts pay off, you need to develop a smart and intelligent link building strategy. You need to choose the right prospects. For example, if you run a web hosting company, you don’t really need a backlink from a website that sells gardening supplies on it. It won’t harm your domain, but it certainly won’t help you out win big in business. That’s why you should focus your energy on earning links from publishers that work in the same or related niche as you do. You want to appear in front of the crowd that could actually be interested in your products and services.

Sure, everyone is interested in acquiring backlinks from sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and such, but 8 out of 10 people forget that when reaching out to these publishers, you cannot just focus on creating great and compelling content. In order to get featured or receive a backlink from these sites, you need to focus on a topic that’s really interesting to them. You cannot just write about anything and everything, and expect from them to reward you with a link. You need to focus on something that’s currently relevant and interesting to them. You need to come up with a piece of content that covers a fresh topic and do your best to make it worth their while. Only then can you expect from these publications to acknowledge your efforts.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post from top to bottom. I hope it helped you understand how to improve your content marketing and link building strategy. If you have anything to ask or add, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below.

author avatar
Radomir Basta
CEO and lead SEO strategist at Four Dots and lecturer at Digital Marketing Institute Also an angry driver and huge tattoo fan. In love with growth hacking.

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