A Step-by-Step Guide for Killer Content Creation That Supports Your Link-Building Strategy

We’re an SEO consulting firm, so we are unable to share some tightly guarded link-building hack or strategy with you: because we know that none exists.

Link building is immune to hacking. So don’t believe anyone who says they have a secret approach or key to unlock extraordinary link-building results. If there were, you wouldn’t be reading this, or searching for a local SEO company in Toronto to handle this for you. You’d already know the solution and have it in use.

Instead of hacks, there are tried and tested procedures. Implementing these strategies will require effort on your part. Most businesses don’t have the bandwidth for that work and look to avoid it. They believe the next Google algorithm upgrade will betray some backdoor to link-building success.

Most likely, this won’t happen. Almost all Google updates tilt the balance toward rewarding those who put in real effort, like professional link-building services, and penalizing those who try to find ways around it.

And there have never been greater benefits for the businesses that do that work. About 15,000 keyword terms were analyzed by Moz. They verified that there was at least one outbound link pointing to 99.2% of the top 50 websites for each keyword. The majority had much more.

And now that PBNs, trading links, and article submissions are no longer effective strategies, and you can no longer buy high-quality links, you should invest in whatever hard work it takes to create great content.

Here are 8 things you need to do to gain links in today’s marketplace.

1. Understand Your Audience

Before diving into content creation, it’s crucial to know who you’re writing for. This initial step is about identifying your target audience. These are the people most likely to benefit from your products or services. Understanding them is the cornerstone of effective content creation and, by extension, successful link building.

Start by gathering data. Look into your existing customer base and use analytics tools to pinpoint common characteristics. Age, location, interests, and challenges are good starting points. This information helps tailor your content to match terms they are searching for, solving real problems in their lives, making it more likely for them to engage and share your content. Audience-centric content naturally invites backlinks as it’s used as a reference by others in your industry.

Conducting surveys or interviews can provide deeper insights. Direct feedback uncovers what your audience truly values and the types of content they prefer. Are they seeking quick, how-to guides or in-depth research articles? Understanding their content consumption habits will guide your content strategy effectively.

2. Keyword and Topic Research

Starting with SEO keyword research and topic selection helps you understand what your target audience is searching for online, which directly informs the content you should create to attract links naturally.

Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush. They provide insights into the search volume, competition, and relevance of terms related to your business. Aim to identify keywords that are not only relevant to your products or services but also have a decent search volume and manageable competition.

Keyword research on paper and a mobile device being discussed by two people

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to brainstorm topic ideas. Look for questions or problems commonly asked by your target audience both in person and online. Forums, social media groups, service calls, and customer feedback can be excellent sources for this. Understanding the context around your keywords helps you create content that answers real questions and solves actual problems.

Remember, the goal is to find a balance between what your audience is interested in and what will drive traffic to your site. High-quality, topical content that addresses the needs and questions of your audience is more likely to earn links from other websites.

3. Analyze Competitor Content

Understanding what works for your competitors is a smart way to guide your content strategy. By analyzing the content that has successfully earned them backlinks, you can identify gaps in your own strategy and opportunities to create something better or different by efficiently refreshing blog content.

Start by identifying your main competitors. These could be businesses offering similar products or services or websites ranking for the keywords you’re targeting. Advanced tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush also provide you with the context of seeing which pages on competitor sites are getting the most backlinks. This will give you an idea of what topics or types of content are resonating with their audience.

Look at the structure, style, and substance of their top-performing content. Note any common features among the pieces that receive a lot of backlinks. Is it the depth of information they provide? The way they present data? The overall readability and user experience? Understanding these elements can help you craft your content to meet or exceed these standards.

However, don’t just copy what your competitors are doing. Use this analysis to find out what’s missing or how you can add unique value. Maybe there’s an angle they haven’t covered, or you can provide a more updated, in-depth, differentiated take on the topic.

The goal is to create content that is not only as good as your competitors’ but better. This is what will earn you legitimate backlinks and improve your SEO over time.

4. Create a Content Plan

A structured content plan should outline what content you’ll produce, when you’ll publish it, and the goals each piece aims to achieve.

Start by setting clear objectives for your content. These could range from improving SEO rankings and increasing website traffic to generating leads or boosting brand awareness. Having clear goals helps guide the creation process and measure success.

Next, decide on the types of content you will create. This ideally includes a mix of blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, or reports, all relevant to your niche. Consider your audience’s lifestyle and pain points and the kind of content that is likely to earn backlinks. Mix different formats to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Closeup of someone writing out a content plan in a notebook in front of a laptop

Plan your content topics based on your keyword and competitor research. Create a content calendar that schedules each piece’s production and publication. This helps ensure a steady flow of content and allows you to prepare for key industry events or seasonal trends.

Assign responsibilities for each task involved in the content creation process. This includes research, writing, editing, design, SEO optimization, and promotion. Having a clear workflow helps streamline the process and ensures that each piece of content is created efficiently and effectively.

5. Create Killer Content

Yes, the main step in creating content that performs well enough for backlinks to be effective is to create killer content armed with deep insights and tailored strategies. That’s why there are people out there telling you that you can get around producing insightful, informative, and helpful content: because they know that’s what most business owners want to hear. 

In reality, there really is no getting around the need to roll up your sleeves, conduct accurate keyword research, become a good writer, and know how to get your content out there and found by Google (successful SEO blogging requires more than just keyword research), and more, or, consulting professional SEO copywriting services for advice and/or help for content writing and backlinking that converts. 

Now that we’re in the AI age, if you’re armed with an LLM, proper SEO keyword research and professional guidance or support, and you’re ready to create killer content that converts, Google’s guidelines for content they consider helpful can be summarized by the acronym EEAT: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

6. Optimize Content for SEO

Optimizing your content for search engines helps your content rank higher in search results, making it more likely to be seen and linked to by other websites.

Start by integrating target keywords naturally into your content, including the title, headings, and body text. However, avoid keyword stuffing as it can harm your SEO performance through penalization. Instead, focus on using keywords contextually and in a way that adds value to your content.

Next, optimize your meta tags — the title tag and meta description. These elements provide a preview of your content in search engine results. Make them compelling and include your main keywords, but keep them concise and relevant.

Ensure your content is well-structured and easy to read. Use headings and subheadings to break up text and make it more digestible. This not only improves user experience but also helps search engines understand the structure and relevance of your content.

Incorporate internal links to other relevant pages on your website. This helps distribute page authority throughout your site and encourages visitors to explore more content, reducing bounce rates.

Lastly, make sure your content is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. With the increasing prevalence of mobile browsing, having a responsive design and fast load times is essential for both user experience and SEO.

7. Promote Your Content

Once your content is live, promoting it is essential to increase its reach and potential for earning backlinks. Start by sharing your content on your own social media platforms. Tailor your message for each platform to engage different segments of your audience. Use hashtags, tags, and mentions to increase visibility and encourage shares.

Next, consider sending out a newsletter to your email subscribers. Highlight your latest content and promotions and provide a direct link to encourage clicks. Offering value to your subscribers can lead to more shares and links.

Reach out to influencers or industry leaders who might find your content valuable. Combining influencer marketing and SEO allows you to collaborate with a trusted voice in your niche with a proven, built-in following. Personalize your outreach messages, explaining why your content is relevant to them and your shared audience. If they collaborate on or endorse your content, it can very quickly lead to significant exposure and more backlinks.

An influencer speaking into a megaphone

Leverage online communities and forums related to your industry. Participate in discussions and share your content when it’s relevant and can provide value to the conversation. However, don’t spam these platforms; focus on being helpful and building relationships.

Consider using paid advertising to boost the visibility of your top-performing content. Platforms like Google Ads, Facebook, or LinkedIn can target specific audiences that are likely to be interested in your content.

Promoting your content is about more than just broadcasting. Engaging with your audience, responding to comments, and being part of the conversation can also help you earn more organic backlinks.

8. Monitor Results and Adjust Strategy

Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor traffic, engagement, and backlink growth of published content. This data provides essential insights into what’s working and what’s not.

Pay attention to metrics like page views, time on page, and bounce rate to understand how users interact with your content. Look at the sources of your traffic to see where your visitors are coming from. This helps identify which promotion channels are most effective.

Track the number of backlinks each piece of content receives. Tools like Ahrefs or Moz can help you see which pieces are generating the most links and what types of sites are linking to you. This information is valuable for understanding what content resonates with your audience and other websites.

Based on your findings, adjust your content strategy. If certain topics or types of content are performing well, consider creating more in that vein. If some promotion channels are more effective than others, allocate more resources to them.

SEO and content marketing are ongoing processes. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategy based on performance data is key to improving your results and achieving your link-building goals.

In Conclusion

Creating content that supports your link-building strategy requires effort, but it’s a valuable investment in your website’s future. By understanding your audience, researching keywords, analyzing competitors, and promoting your work, you lay the groundwork for success.

Monitoring results and adapting your strategy are crucial for long-term improvement. Remember, quality content is at the heart of good SEO and link building. Stay committed to providing value, and your efforts will pay off over time. Keep learning, stay adaptable, and your content will continue to improve and attract the links needed to boost your site’s visibility.

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