Table of Contents:
Content + Links = ???
Do you want more links? Of course you do!
Honestly, who doesn’t want more links? What website/business/etc does not want more links pointing back to their website? If you know of one, we would be interested to hear about them, and why they feel the way they do. This business is all about learning new things! And that brings us to our next point…
What does content have to do with links?
Think of content not only as a vehicle for links, but as the Pied Piper, leading links back to your site. For example, with written content you can place a link back to your site in the text when you post the content elsewhere -such as a guest post on a blog or on an article directory- and then when someone else links to your content or shares/reposts it somewhere else, another link is created that leads back to you. The same principle applies with some types of videos, but we’ll be sticking with written content for the purposes of this post as it’s the easiest type of content to dissect and discuss in a single post.
Video: Effective Link Building Strategies
Please click here if you would like to read the rest of the content mentioned in the video!
Why does the quality of content matter?
The quality of the content you use makes a big difference in its ability to perform well. You can try to post a poor-quality piece of content in the same places that you would a higher-quality piece of content, but the low-quality piece will not perform as well. Higher-quality content will perform well in the beginning and then keep on performing well for some time. High-quality content is more likely to be seen as interesting, engaging, useful, and original, factors that are all positives for both human viewers and search engines. The more activity there is around your content -such as people visiting the page it is on, sharing it, reposting it, talking about it, and commenting on it- the more benefits your site will receive in terms of SEO. The quality of your content makes an impression that lasts; do you want it to be a good one?
Think of your content like this:
Low-quality content is a stereotypical used-car salesman, complete with the cheap / tacky suit and over-oiled hair. High-quality content is the clean-cut and well-dressed salesman working the next office over. They could both be decent enough people, but who would you take your business to? People who see your content will be thinking the same way. It won’t mater how great your company is, or how awesome your products / services are if no one can get past the impression your content have given them long enough to visit your website. What level of quality do you want representing your brand?
What’s in it for me / my company?
Make better use of resources
It all comes down to resources. You will have the initial investment in whatever content you choose, and then any additional expenditure later on down the line. Both time and money are involved when figuring up the true cost of your content, because unless you are working for free, any additional work you put into a piece of content after it has been purchased/created is just adding more to the final figure.
Example: A low-quality article/post can be purchased in many places online for $5 – 10 USD. This comes with no links, minimal to no research, and may or may not even include any of your keywords. Let’s assume that you are the person in charge of getting this content where it needs to go, i.e. an article directory or blog, and that your hourly rate of pay is $10 USD.
You purchase the low-quality content at 350 words for $5 USD. Right away you will likely need to add at least 50 – 100 words to the content in order to have it be acceptable for posting to article directories, most of which require a minimum of 400 – 450 words for content. Now you will need to make sure your keywords are included in the proper places, so additional editing will be required here as well. While you’re reworking the content to include your keywords, you notice some grammatical errors, better fix those too! At last you’re ready to add your links, either as a resource box or in the body of the content itself, depending on your end use for the content.
Whew! That was a lot of work, and it took you at least 2 hours to do all of this, so that brings the total cost of that content up to $25 USD just for the initial piece and the first round of edits you did to make it presentable; what if you tried to submit it to an article directory, and it got rejected for some reason, requiring even more edits?
Moral of the story: low-quality content may have a lower initial cost, but it can quickly become very costly and problematic.
- Spotlight: Bad Content HURTS Your Inbound Marketing – by Jim Belepoqui
Example #2: Now, let’s say you purchased a piece of content from a writer for $20 USD. This content was 500 words in length, has been optimized for your keywords, and was delivered to you with assurances that it is ready to be published.
Upon review you decide to shift a few things around before adding in your links, but this is easy to do and does not take long because the content reads well before you even start editing it. This all takes less than 30 minutes, and you are soon ready to submit your content! The total cost for this content is $25 USD, the same as the low-quality content, so you might be wondering what the big deal is, if both come out costing the same in the end?
The difference is something that is just as valuable -if not more so- than money, and that is time. Time spent working with a piece of content is time that you could be doing something else! Think of it as an opportunity cost; because you have taken the time to work with this content, you do not have that time to devote to other tasks that are also important to your business. If you start multiplying these figures, i.e. in the case of 5 pieces of content, the lost time really starts to add up!
Bring home the bacon! And by bacon, we mean links…
Hands down, high-quality content out-performs low-quality content in terms of long-term link building.
Using our earlier example, let’s say you have 5 pieces of low quality content and 5 pieces of high quality content. You post them all to the same places, and by chance all 10 are accepted and published, so no additional editing is required for any of them. Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the links (and traffic) to come pouring in! But wait…nothing is happening!
You scratch your head, and decide to give it another two weeks before investigating again. When you do check back in, you find that your low-quality content has sent you somewhere between 5 and 10 links (pretty much what you placed in the content itself before publishing), and a few dozen visitors to your site. Great! You move on to check on your higher-quality content and sit back in shock. Not only has it brought you over 20 links (i.e. the original links you placed there + any republishing of your content such as the option available for this from EzineArticles), but it has been shared a few times on sites like Twitter and Facebook, and you have seen over 200 visits to your site! How’s that for performance?
*Many analytics packages can track where a visitor came from when they arrived at your site, so it’s reasonable to be able to track these kinds of figures.
Quality content – The obvious choice
Of course not all situations play out like those in our fictional scenarios, but they’re simple enough to illustrate our main point: quality matters!
In the world of online content, you get what you pay for. If you want lots of links, and for your content to perform well, it makes sense to invest in this goal. You are not paying for links in this case, you are paying for the opportunity to earn them! The difference for the people who see your content will be like the difference between the nose-bleed seats at a concert and getting front-row seats; who do you think will have the best experience?
Recap: Benefits of high-quality content
- It opens the doors to bigger and better opportunities
- It offers a more sustainable link-building strategy (i.e. a piece of high-quality content will perform well for a longer period of time)
- It puts your business in a positive light
What “quality” really means
If you’re sold on the idea that higher-quality content is the best choice for your business, it is a good idea to educate yourself on what your target market views as “high-quality” content. What do they want to see, and how do they want to see it? What do they consider useful, interesting, and engaging?
You probably have your own ideas about what a high-quality piece of content should be like, and you’ve likely got a good grasp on the basics. Of course good content should be well-written and easy to read, showing that the person who wrote it has the ability to communicate their ideas verbally and with a minimal amount of errors i.e. grammar and spelling. By ensuring that your content gives your audience what they want, you are taking it to the next level and presenting the best quality content possible.
How quality content ties into your overall marketing strategy:
Click for a larger version!
In your opinion, is high-quality content worth the investment?