The approach to link building has changed a lot over the past few years. In the past, it was enough to write a 500-word guest post and spam it with your keywords and links. Today, the emphasis is put on the quality of your content. Without fresh, insightful and valuable content, no one will link back to you.
Another factor you should keep in mind is the fact that users’ needs have changed over the past few years. With the growth of social media, instant messaging apps, and mobile devices, their attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. That’s why your content needs to be highly interactive and visually appealing. Its goal is to grab users’ attention and keep them engaged from beginning to end. Given that, it’s not surprising that we’re now witnessing a great shift from traditional articles to visual content formats, where design plays the central role.
Idea #1. Create Stunning Infographics
Infographics have been one of the most popular content pieces among your audiences. They’re extremely valuable, as they pack lots of data in an easy to follow way. When designed and promoted properly, infographics can boost your website traffic. Above all, they will increase user engagement, generating lots of social shares and organic links.
Now, when creating infographics, there are a few simple rules to follow:
- Identify the audience for your infographic. Are you talking to the industry experts or your potential customers? Depending on your audiences, choose your tone of voice to make your infographic more relatable.
- Collect the data for your infographic. No matter if you’re using your in-house research or third-party resources, always make sure that each piece of information you include in your infographic is valuable and relevant. No fluff is allowed. A content creation guide by Four Dots explains that creating insightful, trending, and authoritative blog posts is the only way to earn backlinks from reputable sites.
- Choose the right template. There are different infographic formats. For example, you could choose side-by-side infographics, where you would compare two different concepts. Timeline infographics let you tell your story chronologically, while image-heavy infographics are perfect for those designers that rely on high-quality design, rather than plain numbers and statistics.
- Make your sentences short and easy to understand.
- Customize your infographic – adjust your font sizes, typography, colors, and design elements to make it visually appealing.
- Cite your sources, by adding the URLs at the bottom of the infographic.
- Make sure your infographic is on-brand – include your logo at its bottom.
Now, to make sure your infographic is on-brand and high-quality, you should consider hiring an in-house designer or outsourcing your infographics to a creative agency. However, if you’re operating with a limited budget, you can always start with infographic design tools, such as Canva, Infogram, Adobe Spark, Piktochart, Biteable, etc.
Now that you’ve created a perfect infographic, it’s time to publish it on your blog. Just like I’ve already mentioned above, this is one of the most shareable content forms and, as such, it will immediately attract wider audiences and gain shares and links. However, you need to focus on maximizing the reach of your infographics.
First, there are many relevant blogs that may consider your infographic valuable to their audiences. Do research, find authoritative sites in your niche, and ask them whether they’re interested in embedding your infographic into their blog post, along with a link to your site.
Second, there are also many sites dedicated to the promotion of infographics, such as dailyinfographic.com, iinfographic.com, visual.ly, etc. This is one of the easiest ways to promote your infographic and, at the same time, earn a quality backlink.
Third, promote your infographics widely on social. Use social media management tools to promote them when your audiences are active. Cite the data from your infographic when providing tips or feedback on social.
Idea #2. Make Unique Memes
There are many content formats that will engage your audiences and show the fun side of your brand. One of them is definitely GIFs and memes. These are immensely popular content formats that are getting shared on social networks, via email, or even through instant messaging apps. Above all, they’re inexpensive and they support a sense of community. As such, they have a great potential of going viral and earning lots of valuable backlinks.
First, know how to create your memes. There are many tools, like Meme Generator, Quick Meme, or Photoshop to design unique memes quickly.
Second, know where to incorporate them. Start by adding them to your blog posts to make them more engaging and readable. This will automatically make your blog content more. Then, start promoting your memes across social sites, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, 9gag, or Tumblr.
Third, use your memes in your external content promotion campaigns, such as guest blogs, ebooks, etc.
Still, keep in mind that, even though making a meme seems like a walk in the park, creating the one that resonates with your audiences and helps you stand out is not that easy. To make valuable memes, you need to:
- Make sure your meme matches your brand image and tone of voice.
- Ensure your meme is not offensive. Wendy’s made a terrible mistake a while ago, when they published a racist meme that resulted in the sea of negative criticism. So, before your meme goes live, educate yourself on the meaning of the current memes. This is where sites like Know Your Meme can help.
- Address trending cultural phenomena – something that will engage your audiences and get them to share your content. Take the example of the popular “Not great, not terrible” meme from the Chernobyl TV series.
Idea #3. Take Advantage of Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the most powerful places to promote your visual content and bring traffic, shares, and links to your site. Now, there are numerous forms of visual content that go viral on this platform and some of them are:
- DIY guides and how-to images
- High-quality product images
- Inspirational and humorous quotes
To increase the reach of your posts on Pinterest and generate relevant traffic and backlinks, you should do thorough market research. Check what kind of content resonates with your target audiences. Pay attention to the most pinned images and focus on creating similar content.
Above all, focus on building a loyal and extensive follower base. For starters, get your followers on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to follow you on Pinterest. Above all, keep your users engaged by providing them with relevant feedback.
Connect with influencers on this platform. Send them the examples of your work and ask them whether they would like to use your visual content on their blog or repin it. The idea behind this is simple – by boosting your reach, you will have greater opportunities to get noticed by relevant bloggers and earn new backlinks.
Finally, cross-promote your content. Promote your pins and boards across other social networks. Make sure each post includes relevant keywords and descriptions so it can appear higher in Pinterest’s search results.
Idea #4. Curate High-Quality Images
This tactic is quite self-explanatory. Namely, you can merge your gorgeous images into a comprehensive article or guide. For example, you could write a “Top 20 images from our blog” article, where you would insert internal links to your original pages. Alternatively, you could create ultimate guides, long articles, ebooks, or online brochures, where you would insert your images.
If you’re going to combine your images with the visuals from other quality sources in your niche, this is yet another way to get awesome backlinks. You should always curate the photos from popular and authoritative sites. Once your blog post is live, contact these bloggers, let them know that you mentioned them, and ask them to share your article with their followers and promote it on their blog.
Idea #5. Take Advantage of Google’s Reverse Image Search
Bloggers are using your visuals and you believe nothing can be done about it. You’re wrong. If you’ve been in SEO for a while, then you’ve certainly heard about link reclamation. Namely, when a blogger mentions your post, but doesn’t provide a backlink to it, you reach out to them and ask them to link back to your original page.
The same can be done with your visual content, using Google’s Reverse Image Search. All you have to do is enter the image URL and Google will tell you where else this image appears. Next, you should check these sites manually and see whether they’re providing credits to you as the original source. Then, make a list of those sites that don’t provide a backlink. Send them a friendly email, where you would thank them for considering your image valuable and asking them to link back to your original post. It is a super-easy way to get backlinks, as these bloggers already consider your content valuable enough to use it on their sites.
Design is what connects high-quality content and link building. Only by creating relevant, trending, and authentic content will you be able to stand out in the overcrowded market and increase social shares and backlinks. Of course, you need to mind the quality of your content and ensure that it is organic, user-friendly, and easy to understand.
What are your thoughts on combining gorgeous design and link building? Share your experiences with us in the comments section!
About the Author!
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.