Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 14th, 2010

How to Build Backlinks with Content

There is nothing more mind-numbingly, hair-pullingly frustrating than having a “grand opening” for your website and no one showing up. There are endless amounts of opinions available as to how you gain online traffic, and most of them may be correct in their specific circumstances. But there is one that no one will ever contest. One of the fastest ways to start letting people know your website exists is through the power of the written word.

One of the many successful SEO services we provide our clients at Volacci is content creation. Articles are created using SEO best practices and are submitted to online directories in order to build backlinks for the client’s website. Backlinks create new roads and doorways for visitors to enter your website through. This is a very effective and efficient method for building a strong foundation for any SEO campaign.

The Web is visited everyday by hundreds of millions people looking for unique content to consume. To get even a percent of a percent of web surfers could mean a significant boost in your sales. But you can’t submit just any ol’ content to online directories, the content must be unique and search engine-optimized.

Join me after the jump for more tips on how to build backlinks to your site using content.

All Article Directories Are Not Created Equal

Online article directories are like libraries, where other websites can go and check out your content to publish on their site. Once your article is checked out and published, you get the backlink that is created. There are hundreds of article directories online for you to submit content to, but not all article directories are created equal.

Choose article directories that are reputable, experience high traffic, and have solid PageRank. Check out this list of Top 50 Article Directories by Traffic and PageRank. If you submit articles to any of these article directories, you will build better backlinks than if you went with a less-reputable directory.

Long Live Content!

In school, we learned from a very early age not to copy off our neighbor’s paper. The same holds true in online content. The articles you created need to be unique, engaging, and, most importantly, not duplicated from another site. There are now services that allow you to track what content is copied from your site. A such service is Tynt™ is THE “copy/paste” company who will help you leverage your stolen content to your advantage. By using their service, you can see who is copying your content and learn how to use it to your advantage.

Apart from being unique content, you should be creating content that is highly relevant to your business. Write out the three most important messages you want to convey through content. These should be the themes of your content, also known as ‘siloing’. When you have your silos, start writing (or paying someone to write) articles that convey your message while tying you in as the expert source. It is very important to use at least one call to action, and most preferably in the conclusion.

Search Engine Optimization

Not only do you need unique content that conveys a specific message for your business, but you need to use SEO best practices while doing so. Articles submitted to online directories should have a word count between 400-600 and have at least four paragraphs. One way to approach article writing is the five-paragraph essay format: Introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. We all learned it in school and most us never thought we’d see it again, but it is excellent structure for online content.

With your content siloing, you should have certain keywords chosen to target with each specific message. Every article created should fit into on of your content silos and target a relevant keyword. For SEO best practices, use the keyword in the article’s title, and as early in the title possible. If there are any sub-headlines, use them at least once, if you can. In the body copy, use the keyword three to five times, at minimum. Work the keyword in as naturally as possible so that you don’t discourage the reader from finishing the article.

Once you have the keyword in the title and at least three times in the body and conclusion, the article should be properly prepared for search engine spiders.

Additional Resources

When you are ready to publish the article on a directory, make sure you provide a “article information” section at the end of it. Basic information needed is the author name, word count, the targeted keyword and its link text, and a summary.

If you feel hesitant putting your name on the article, make up a pen name. You should already know the targeted keyword and, hopefully, what link you want people to click through to on your site. In the summary, provide a brief summary in three to four sentences that will intrigue potential readers. Use the keyword at least once, if you can. Once you have added the article information section, you are ready to submit. Choose the article directories from the list I linked to earlier to submit to and you are ready to build great backlinks!

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