In Search Engine Optimization, there’s a bit of advice that has long been stated, only recently true, but still rarely adopted: you must create quality content. Content is King!
Creating what SEOs label “quality content” is a complex proposition. For many brands, accustomed to getting by with press releases, marketing collateral, or the occasional white paper, it’s a completely new way of thinking. This is particularly evident for brands operating in highly scrutinized realms such as prescription drugs, insurance, finance, or government. Marketers in these fields may know the value of SEO, and understand the value of provocative content, but still, they cannot justify a free-flowing blog for the hope of some links that might help with Search.
But there’s another way to approach creating this “quality content,” considered vital to digital marketing – and that is to shift the thinking from quality to linkable – because ultimately links (or references, or shares) is what you’re after, so how can you make that happen?
Think about Wikipedia. In fact, think about the Wikipedia page about Lawn Mowers. Content on Wikipedia is held to a high standard, which means everything stated needs a source, and the Lawn Mowers page exemplifies this.
Reading through the Lawn Mower page on Wikipedia, one can almost predict when a reference is coming. The first instance comes from the mention of the lawn mower’s inventor: Edwin Bunting with a link to the official US patent form, hosted on espacenet.com. The reference serves to make this article credible, and satisfy the standards of Wikipedia editors (the argument of SEO value of links from Wikipedia is a different debate – which I will have with you). If it just read that Bunting invented the lawn mower the article without a link to the US patent – the statement wouldn’t be credible – so espacenet.com wins the link for housing this content.
Surely there are instances like this for every brand. Which areas of the world is your brand the most credible voice on the subject? What facts, figures, studies, quotes, graphs, dates, or expertise can your brand offer the world?
One way to find “fact gaps” like this is to regularly read news about your keyword area. Consider what references would make the articles better. If the writer called you before publishing the post to get your thoughts, what could you have added? Create it. Then put it up on your site, and the links will come.
In the post-Panda (code name for the the Google update that put a bigger emphasis on content) world for SEO, this content will not only be relevant to your terms, but also attract all the links you’ll need.