How to Complement Content Marketing with Link Building


Often, when those in marketing circles talk about link building and content marketing, it’s discussed as an either-or concept. Either you’re investing in content marketing strategies, or you’re focused on link building. Link building is often considered old fashioned, or only useful in the short term. While the old style, what Nate Dame at Search Engine Land calls spammy link building, will no longer move a website up the search ranks like it did before Google’s Penguin update in 2013, content marketing can be—and should be—used to build links and create cross-pollination across the Web. Let’s talk about this.

Interlink On Your Own Site

interlink your siteIf you’re building content on your own website, either with a content marketing company or a dedicated team, it’s important to remember to link to older posts. Don’t link to posts that are irrelevant, but if you’re building off a concept that you’ve previously discussed, or talking about a market expert you’ve touched on previously, link to that older content. When readers browse your website, they don’t often dig deep into your content without a reason. Show them that you’re more than just today’s post.

Share Your Content On Social Media

share on social mediaThis seems so obvious, but it’s shocking how often a content marketing company devotes significant time and resources to creating content, whether it be vlogs, blogs, or guest posts, and then fails to let their social media followers know about the new post. Many users follow someone on social media simply so that they don’t have to go to the blog every day; tell them about your new post so they can see it and share with their followers.

Build On The Rest of The Content That's Happening

follow blog postsIt goes without saying (right?) that you should be aware of what else is happening in your field, and be following the blogs and posts of other experts. On your own content platform, react to what’s happening in your industry. Build on what other people are saying.

Don’t act like your content is created in a vacuum; link to what you’re responding to. Then, find that person on social media, and let them know that you’ve posted on the same topic and linked to their post. Navneet Kaushal at Search Engine Journal offers some great examples of how to do this on Twitter, and how to respond if someone links to a post you’ve written.

Guest Post and Invite Others to Guest Post for You

guest-postThe guest post is far from dead; inviting in experts to guest post for you, and offering to guest post for them, can still be a great way to get exposure to a new audience that might not have heard of you before. Even high authority sites such as the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur or Forbes accept guest posts. The trick is that you can no longer do this the way it’s been done in the past, where you send out a generic post that will reappear on a dozen websites. Each piece of guest posted content must be targeted towards the audience in question, and be completely unique. If not, it will hurt both your search results, and those of your guest poster.

Content marketing strategies can seem confusing and opaque at the best of time. The last several Google updates, however, have strongly focused on moving the needle towards rewarding quality content. As upsetting as it may be in the day to day of content marketing, for the long term health and results of the market, these changes are good.