When the art of link building was newly introduced to the web, you could still trick search engines into improving your visibility. You’d deal with little to no consequences.
You can start link schemes and spam every directory without Google penalising you. Whatever it takes, right? However, search engines are getting smarter each year, almost leaving no room for sketchy link strategies.
Now, you have to prove that you have something to offer. When webmasters visit your site, they should feel naturally attracted to linking to you.
So, how can you exactly create an influx of backlinks within the bounds of white-hat SEO? If you want actual results, creating linkable assets is vital. Not just any content piece to keep your platform alive, but something so well-made and linkable that people in your niche would piggyback onto its success.
Turn things around with our SEO content services and find out what linkable assets are!
The Basics: What is a Linkable Asset?
A linkable asset is a high-quality piece of content that attracts backlinks by adding elements that the audience will see as worth referencing to.
They provide real value to a specific industry or niche in various forms such as instructional videos, resource guides and checklists, among others.
Backlinks have become so impactful in SERPs that they’re now considered a form of currency. It’s one of the things that powers the SEO ecosystem. That’s why having linkable assets remains to be a top priority for marketers, helping them perform well in the search engine landscape.
So, what makes it different from any other type of content? Let’s take a look at its characteristics:
- Comprehensive – In-depth assets that are well-researched and detailed can help you earn quality links. According to a study conducted by Moz and Buzzsumo, posts that have more than 1,000 words get more shares and links.
There’s no exact word count that would bring you to the top. However, the data proves that long-form content is crucial in your ranking.
- Useful and non-promotional – Remember that visitors will be encouraged to share your content and link to it if they learn something from it. That’s why your linkable assets should be audience-focused instead of being brand-centred.
Sometimes, you have to give up all the sales pitch. Give your readers a quality piece about your niche that they can always refer to.
- Evergreen – There’s no doubt that content pieces revolving around current events will attract more impressions and clicks. However, evergreen content is more ideal if you want to earn quality backlinks in the long run.
The most effective way is to mix evergreen posts and timely content so you don’t end up with outdated pieces that could harm your link-building campaign.
- Top of the funnel – When it comes to publishing content, targeting a broad audience will help you earn links than making something that only targets a specific group of readers.
Meaning, if you only create content pieces that are well-researched and detailed, linking opportunities becomes rare if your topics are too particular.
Why Are Linkable Assets Important?
Now that the virtual world has too much noise, a huge chunk of published content pieces doesn’t have anything worth linking back to. Fortunately, you don’t have to jump on that train! Take a closer look at the importance of creating linkable assets below:
Improves Your Brand Exposure
What makes linkable assets superior to any type of content is that they increase your brand exposure and affinity. When you do it right, your company might just be the focal point in the most popular, high-traffic sites in your niche.
Some PR agencies would even reach out and pay you just to talk about your brand!
Increases your referral traffic
Most users on the web take advantage of links to explore the search engine landscape and find what they’re looking for. So, if you’re getting links from in-demand sites within your field, your referral traffic has a chance to increase rapidly.
6 Types of Linkable Assets You Should Know
Infographics are perhaps the most common content format when it comes to creating linkable assets. The SEO community was publishing this type of content left and right because it was an effective way to build backlinks.
Ever since it got way too popular, the quality of infographics isn’t that impressive anymore because people don’t do it the right way. If you invest time in making great infographics, it’s still a fantastic way to boost your SEO.
Here are some tips to get you going:
- Tell a story – Most people think that infographics are all about numbers and data that don’t make any sense. However, this isn’t entirely true. Using all the statistics and information that you’ve gathered, you can tell an engaging story that people can remember over time.
Remember that storytelling will help you communicate why the topic matters to your audience. Using illustrations is also a plus, especially if you want to better demonstrate your talking points.
- Do your research – Infographics can only work wonders for your brand if you do extensive research. Make sure you use reliable information and verify the data presented.
This also means that you research your audience. Find out what they care about and what kind of information they’re looking for. Ensure that you also know their current knowledge level so you meet them where they are.
Online Tools and Calculators
If you want to widen your reach on social media platforms, using tools and calculators may just do the trick. Clearbit, for example, launched a tool called Clearbit Logo where users can embed company logos on their own websites.
It seems pretty straightforward, but the simplicity of the tool has helped Clearbit gain links from over 60 referring domains according to Ahrefs. With just a simple tool, they have built a strong backlink profile.
What makes it more beneficial is that users will have a first-hand experience of your product, helping them realise its value.
Another example would be an insurance company. If you’re in this niche, you can make an insurance calculator. This will help future clients to decide the type of policy they need along with the level of cover.
Remember that good content doesn’t just revolve around ads, blogs, videos and podcasts. Creating a buzz around your products and services can be done through practical tools that your audience can use in just a few clicks. Make it interactive!
Unique Data and Statistics
If you’re a content writer, writing an article can be pretty tough. How can you make things easy to understand for your audience without losing your authority? The answer is simple—using data and statistics.
Whether you write for a magazine or a website, you have to make sure that you can back up your claims with evidence. Perhaps, you’ve done some experiments and you’d like to show the results. You can also share a survey done with your audience, or data collected from your own platform. Put this information to good use and enjoy its rewards!
Let’s show you a great example. MailChimp, an email marketing service provider, gathered all its data into a report called Email Marketing Benchmarks. The result was impressive: the page attracted 10,700 backlinks from more than 3,000 sites!
Creating case studies is highly recommended for businesses that want to collect and analyse data. That way, you can effectively establish your brand as a subject matter expert and outperform your competitors.
This gives you the chance to pitch your case study to high-traffic news websites, especially if your report has original data. Industry writers may even mention your work for citations, helping you earn backlinks.
However, case studies are difficult to create. The results that you need to include in your study should impress your audience, which isn’t always easy to produce.
Also referred to as definitive guides, ultimate guides are long-form content pieces that have several chapters or headings to discuss one main topic in detail. They get lots of backlinks because bloggers and journalists would often link out to one tutorial instead of several sources.
But the challenge with this type of linkable asset is you have to be an expert to pull it off. Most content creators make the mistake of using ultimate guides just so they can target keywords and outrank competitors.
However, you need to remember that ultimate guides should inspire readers to take action. You might want to convince them to buy your products, subscribe to your channel or fill out a form. When done right, these guides can drive conversions through your content!
Also, make it visually appealing. Include images, videos and infographics so readers are encouraged to share your work.
A resource page, also known as a pillar page, is a collection of the best articles, guides and tools on a specific topic. You can include sources from your own platform, outside sources or a mix of both to give your readers a macro view of the subject.
The ultimate benefit of having a resource page is that it helps your visitors. They visit your website for a reason. Most of the time, they look for information that will help them solve their problems. And when you have a resource centre, you have something to share they’d find valuable.
So, when creating a resource page, think about the needs of your visitors. It’s important that you know how to anticipate their needs so you know what links to include.
How to Create Linkable Assets
There are lots of linkable assets on the Internet, and if you’re a beginner, creating your own feels too intimidating. This is especially true if you’re not a giant brand in your niche, so how and where do you start?
To help you get on the right track, check out these simple steps:
Step 1: Know your audience
When you understand your audience, it’s much easier to build links through great content. Unfortunately, not every content creator understands this concept.
They just publish whatever they want since they are more concerned with rankings than knowing what their audience actually finds interesting.
Bear in mind that posts are only link-worthy when they can be used as a reference and answer questions in a straightforward way.
To get started, use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer Tool. Input keywords relevant to your niche, sort by the number of referring domains and study the report. However, if you’re not sure about your keywords, use the Site Explorer Tool instead to search for the linkable assets of your competitors.
Step 2: Determine search intent
Once you’ve identified what your audience considers link-worthy, the next step is determining search intent. It refers to the primary goal a user has when searching for something in a search engine. Oftentimes, they’d go for a more specific route.
For example, let’s say a user is looking for information about pizza. If he searches for the history of pizza, it’s a lot different than pizza recipes and ingredients. Even if these topics are connected to each other, they differ in user intents.
That’s why you have to read the search engine results pages (SERPs). Type in the keyword you want to target on the search bar and see which pages Google displays.
For example, let’s say you want to create linkable assets about philosophy. The first step you have to take is a SERP analysis.
When you click one of these sources, you will be introduced to detailed posts and guides that can help you understand the topic better.
Most importantly, when you’ve identified search intent, you can improve your visibility in the SERPs. This will likely earn you organic clicks and backlinks in the long run.
Step 3: Create a quality content piece
Creating content that will truly attract links and mentions does not solely revolve around word count or well-made graphics. This isn’t to say that they don’t matter, but when you’re a small brand, you have to make something unique and notable.
Meaning, your job is to establish a resource that outperforms every linkable asset you can think of, especially in terms of design and value. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it on your own.
Sometimes, the best linkable assets are made because a team of talented people work on them together. They might require resources, time and expertise, but your hard work will pay off!
Step 4: Promote your linkable assets
Most marketers and content creators wrongly assume that simply publishing linkable assets on the web will yield good results. However, what matters is that your content reaches the people it intends to educate or entertain.
Remember that you create linkable assets for two reasons: to encourage people to link back to them and get them discovered by your target readers. So, if your linkable asset just sits there untouched, your hard work will go to waste.
To amplify your linkable assets, you may reach out to influencers and website owners. Tell them the value of your work and how this can turn things around in your niche. Sometimes, all you need is a single mention from an influencer or a blog post to witness the magic of your content.
Step 5: Assess the effectiveness of your work
Now that you’ve made a linkable asset and promoted it across the web, it’s safe to assume that your work is done, right? You can finally sit back, relax and reap the rewards of your content piece.
But when you’re in the marketing field, things do not end there. You have to know if your goals have been met.
In this scenario, you can use the framework introduced by CEO SiegeMedia Ross Hudgens called the Post Value Ratio:
(Monthly value of a content piece x 24 months) / $ to create that content piece
This formula can help you assess if your content marketing efforts are making great results and returns. Besides, following certain metrics can also guide you in looking for more ways to improve your content marketing.
Creating linkable assets is never a walk in the park. Now that a plethora of businesses is vying for that top spot in the search engine, you have to offer something new so you can stand out from the crowd.
Not everything you post online won’t get as many links as you expect, and you have to be okay with that. Publishing a great content piece isn’t enough. Once it goes live, you have to actively promote it if you want it to stay relevant and popular.
Ultimately, the foundation of your content marketing is your target audience. You cannot build a strong backlink profile if you only publish what’s valuable to your brand. You need to make something deserving of links, whether that’s a 101 guide, case study or resource page.
It’s likely that you won’t hit the nail on the head on your first try. Don’t be afraid to experiment! If you’re ready to create linkable assets to grow your traffic, our content writers and SEO experts are here to help you rank on the first page.
What are linkable assets for SEO?
In SEO, a linkable asset is a piece of content created to acquire quality backlinks. They provide value to specific industries in the form of infographics, research & case studies, calculators and resource pages, among others.
The common characteristics of linkable assets are evergreen, top of the funnel, useful, non-promotional and detailed.
What is linkable content?
Linkable content is a highly-researched resource that people will link back to on their websites. Unlike shareable content that only aims to trigger reactions and gain likes, its goal revolves around building credibility among the audience.
What is a backlink on a website?
Backlinks are links from a website to a page on another website. For example, if a webmaster links to your website, you have a backlink from them. And if you link to another platform, then they gain a backlink from you.