How a Content Strategy Works as an SEO Strategy
To find the website that link back to yours, you can use Moz’s Link Explorer tool here. You have to submit your email address to get the results, but you can find all the websites that link back to yours. We use the paid version of Moz. We have been since 2012. If you want a full report, message me. I can help!
Over the years, we’ve stumbled upon a “content strategy” that works really, REALLY well as an SEO strategy. Below are the screen shots of actual websites that link back to one of our websites. We never would have known these websites were linking back to us with out the help of Moz (yes, I know there are other link metric tools you can use, but Moz has been nothing short of wonderful to work with over the years).
For years, I’ve heard people say things like “SEO is dead!” or “SEO never works!” or “It’s all about content!” That last one I thought was complete horse manure, until I checked links to my old blog and this website. The biggest thing I learned? Content strategy takes a LONG time. Sometimes, years later your effort pays off (as you’ll see in the examples below).
I’ve been a big believer in SEO strategy for the past 5 years. Ironically, though, I’m not as confident in content strategy….yet. As much as I love creating content, I still think links are far, faaaar, FAR more valuable. But that’s the funny thing; good content ends up becoming great link backs from prominent websites. Finally, I’ve collected enough examples to give you an idea of what a real content strategy can look like.
First off, you have NO CLUE what people want to link to. Best try as many different avenues, topics, and content as possible. Below you’ll see examples of podcasts, articles, quotes and stories people linked back to.
Yup! The ever so difficult .edu link! And we got one not from just any old school, but PURDUE UNIVERSITY! Yes, that Purdue. How you ask? By writing about a story I heard on a Freakonomics Podcast on how Purdue is reinventing how to charge for tuition.
In 2010, I wrote a blog about choice architecture and lottery tickets at the Superstore Kiosk, based on a concept I read about in the Nudge book. Ten years later, that link is still there, passing Google juice on to my old blog, jephmaystruck.com. The Nudge Blog links to my post here if you want to check it out for yourself.
Sidenote: Great book and an important topic for anyone who works in Government trying to create change. Change never happens all at once or in a major way. No, change happens all the time by simple, little nudges all around us.
There was this amazing Freakonomics podcast on Johnnie LeMaster, a professional baseball player who was being “booed” by fans at one point in his career. Well, the star of the team, Reggie Jackson, over breakfast one morning (off the cuff) told LeMaster, “people don’t boo nobodies.” It changed LeMaster’s look on the whole situation.
Getting negative feedback is something only driven, highly motivated people get. If no one ever gives you constructive criticism, you probably aren’t doing anything worth criticizing. Negative feedback is a sign of growth: welcome it, want it, cherish it.
Buzzfeed shares a lot of content – like, a ridiculous amount. To create all that content, they need to source a whole lot of text and imagery. Here’s a link back to a post on Podcast I published in 2012 on jephmaystruck.com.
At one point in my life, I was recording and publishing The Marketing Revolution Podcast, where I’d interview people I knew about what they did. The podcast in itself was a failure, but it was the precursor to Brandon, Linden and I starting StratLab. So, I’m very happy with it. And now, to find all the links back to my blog because I published the podcast.
Content strategy works. It just takes time.
You never know who may link back to you. Here, the Guardian found my articles I wrote on Outcomes and Key Results. It was a story I referenced from the book In The Plex, a story on the inner workings of Google. John Doer had a great quote in the book about the outcomes and key results they used to track at Google in the early days. I loved it the first time I read about it. It’s simple, easy to understand and implement, and you may want to check them out for your organization.
I started making quotes 10 years ago. Ever since, they have been some of the most valuable content when it comes to what people like to link back to. Whether it’s Pinterest, Twitter, or a quote aggregating website, images of quotes are shared frequently on the highways of the world wide web.