Creating content that ranks for a target keyword and attracts backlinks is the goal of many SEOs and content marketing professionals.
This is where linkable assets come into play.
They are high-quality pieces of content that naturally draw in backlinks from other websites, enhancing your site's credibility and improving its search engine ranking. But what exactly are these 'linkable assets', and why are they so critical?
Moreover, how can you create them effectively?
In this article, we'll delve deep into the world of linkable assets, exploring their effectiveness, sharing the seven best types of linkable assets, and offering valuable insights into best practices for creating them.
This guide is designed to equip you with everything you need to start creating powerful linkable assets for your website. So, let's dive in!
What are Linkable Assets?
Linkable assets are high-quality, valuable pieces of content created with the specific intent of naturally attracting backlinks from other websites. They serve as a resource that other site owners find so useful or interesting that they want to share it with their own audience, providing you with a backlink in the process.
Linkable assets can come in many forms, including infographics, long-form blog posts, white papers, case studies, original research, and more. (more on this later)
Why are Linkable Assets Effective?
Linkable assets are a powerful tool in any digital marketer's arsenal, and for good reason.
They're not just about creating content; they're about creating value.
When you offer something that is informative, unique, and shareable, it naturally encourages others to link to your site.
You see, the internet is saturated with content, but not all of it is high-quality. When you create a linkable asset that is well-researched, insightful, and offers something new, it stands out from the crowd.
Other websites are more likely to reference and link back to your content, effectively increasing your site's reach.
Furthermore, backlinks are like votes of confidence in the eyes of search engines. Each backlink signals to search engines that your content is credible and valuable, improving your site's authoritative strength.
This, in turn, boosts your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), driving more organic traffic to your site.
Image source: Backlinko
When other sites link back to your content, it's not only a backlink; it's a relationship. These relationships can lead to further collaboration, guest posting opportunities, and increased visibility within your industry.
Unlike paid advertising, which stops delivering results as soon as you stop paying, linkable assets can continue to attract backlinks and deliver SEO benefits long after they've been created. This makes them a cost-effective strategy for enhancing your online presence.
Now, let's take a closer look at some of the best types of linkable assets.
An infographic is a visual representation of information or data. It combines engaging graphics with succinct text to present complex information quickly, clearly, and in an easily digestible format.
Image source: Postermywall
But why does this make infographics such effective linkable assets?
- Visual Appeal: Humans are naturally drawn to visual content. In fact, studies show that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Infographics capitalize on this by presenting information in a visually appealing and memorable way.
- Easily Shareable: Infographics are easy to share across various platforms, including websites, blogs, and social media. This increases their reach and potential to attract backlinks.
- Simplifies Complex Information: Infographics have the unique ability to break down complex information into understandable chunks. This makes your content more accessible to a wider audience, increasing its potential to attract links.
For instance, here’s a simple infographic from Wordstream on the best practices for keyword placement.
A case study is an in-depth analysis of a specific instance, event, person, or organization over a set period. It's a research method used to explore, describe, and analyze complex issues in real-world contexts.
But why are case studies so valuable for link-building? Here are four compelling reasons:
- Real-World Evidence: Case studies provide real-world evidence of your product or service's effectiveness. They showcase actual results, not just promises or potential outcomes. This solid proof can be highly persuasive, encouraging others to link to your content as a reliable source of information.
- Storytelling Element: People connect with stories. Case studies tell a story of transformation – from problem to solution, from before to after. This narrative element makes your content more engaging, memorable, and shareable, increasing its link-building potential.
- Detailed Insights: Case studies offer deep, detailed insights into specific topics. This makes them a rich source of unique, high-quality content – the kind that naturally attracts backlinks because it offers value that can't be found elsewhere.
- Social Proof: A case study is a powerful form of social proof. It demonstrates how others have benefited from your product or service, enhancing your credibility and persuasiveness. When people see the success others have achieved, they're more likely to trust your brand and link to your content.
Smash Digital is an example of one digital agency using case studies to document and share the effectiveness of their marketing services.
They created this case study on how they were able to grow a SaaS client’s revenue by 332% through the use of expert SEO.
The result? This case study has 58 high-quality backlinks from reputable domains such as Entrepreneur, Singlegrain, and others.
Online tools are interactive features or applications available on a website that provide practical solutions to specific problems.
These tools are designed to make life easier by automating tasks, providing valuable insights, or simplifying complex calculations.
For instance, consider a mortgage repayment calculator. It's a perfect example of an online tool that provides real value to users.
With a few clicks, users can estimate their monthly mortgage payments, helping them plan their finances more effectively. This kind of tool is not just useful but also highly linkable, as it offers a tangible solution to a common problem.
Take the above mortgage calculator from Ramsey Solutions. At the time of this writing, it has more than 19,000 backlinks pointing to it.
Sure, this didn’t happen overnight, but it shows you what’s possible if you’re able to create an easy-to-use tool that solves a common problem.
But the world of online tools doesn't stop at mortgage calculators. There's a vast array of tools out there, each offering unique value and potential for backlinks:
SEO Tools: SEO analyzers audit your website and provide detailed reports on its search engine optimization performance. They can identify areas for improvement, making them indispensable for anyone looking to enhance their online visibility. For instance, SEOptimer has a bunch of free tools that we’ve made available for anyone to use. This includes a Keyword Generator, CSS Minifier, H1 Checker, Internal Link Checker, and much more.
Budget Planners: These tools help users manage their finances more effectively. By inputting their income and expenses, users can get a clear picture of their financial health and make informed decisions about their spending.
Fitness Trackers: Online fitness trackers allow users to log their workouts, track their progress, and even get personalized workout plans. They're a valuable resource for anyone looking to get fit and stay healthy.
Content Idea Generators: Stuck for blog post ideas? Content idea generators can solve that problem in seconds, providing a steady stream of creative suggestions to keep your content fresh and engaging.
These examples illustrate how diverse and versatile online tools can be. The key to their linkability lies in their utility: they solve problems, offer solutions, and provide value that users appreciate.
And when users find something helpful, they're likely to share it – whether that's through social media, on their blogs, or on a resources page. That's what makes online tools such a powerful linkable asset.
Studies and Statistics
When it comes to earning high-quality backlinks, studies and statistics are your secret weapon. Why? Let's delve into the reasons:
- Credibility Boost: Statistics and study results lend credibility to your content. They provide hard evidence to support your claims, making your content more persuasive and authoritative.
- Unique Value: Original studies offer unique insights that can't be found elsewhere. This uniqueness makes your content highly valuable, increasing its potential to attract backlinks.
- Shareability: Statistics are easy to share. They can be turned into infographics, charts, or social media posts, making them a highly shareable asset that can generate numerous backlinks.
Now, let's look at some examples of how you can use studies and statistics to create linkable assets:
Original Research: Conduct original research in your industry. For instance, if you're in the e-commerce business, you could study consumer buying habits during the holiday season. The insights from your research could be highly valuable to others in your industry, encouraging them to link to your findings.
Industry Reports: Compile an industry report based on available data. These reports are often referenced by bloggers, journalists, and industry professionals, generating a steady stream of backlinks.
An example of an industry report that generates a lot of backlinks is HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report.
I’m pretty sure that most marketers know about this report and download it every year to learn about the latest trends in marketing.
Because of the value in this report and because marketers like to refer back to this when creating content, it generates a tonne of backlinks for HubSpot.
As you can see from the above screenshot, this page has more than 39,000 backlinks pointing to it.
In essence, studies and statistics are a potent link-building tool because they offer a compelling mix of credibility, unique value, and shareability. By incorporating them into your content strategy, you can enhance your content's linkability and boost your online presence.
Ebooks and downloadable PDFs serve as a treasure trove of linkable assets. They are comprehensive, valuable, and can be easily shared, making them an effective tool for generating high-quality backlinks.
Why Ebooks and PDFs?
- High-Value Content: Ebooks and PDFs typically offer in-depth, well-researched content that goes beyond what a regular blog post or article can provide. This high value makes them attractive to readers and increases their potential for backlinks.
- Evergreen Nature: Unlike news articles or blog posts, the content in ebooks and PDFs is often evergreen. It remains relevant for a long time, continually attracting backlinks.
- Shareability: Ebooks and PDFs are easy to share. Readers can download them, forward them to colleagues, or share them on social media, creating multiple opportunities for backlinks.
Tying it with Case Studies and Statistics
Ebooks and PDFs work exceptionally well when combined with case studies and statistics. Here's how:
- Case Studies: You can compile your case studies into an ebook or PDF, providing a single, comprehensive resource for readers interested in real-world examples of your product or service in action. This not only enhances the value of your content but also its linkability.
- Statistics: Incorporating statistics into your ebooks or PDFs can make your content more compelling and authoritative. You can use statistics to support your arguments, illustrate trends, or highlight the effectiveness of your product or service.
Examples of Ebooks and PDFs
Here are a few examples of how you can use ebooks and PDFs as linkable assets:
- How-to Guides: Create a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to use your product or service. This not only helps your customers but also attracts backlinks from other resources looking for comprehensive guides.
- Industry Reports: Compile an industry report based on your original research or available data. These reports are highly valuable and often attract backlinks from industry professionals, bloggers, and journalists.
- Whitepapers: Whitepapers offer in-depth analysis or research on a specific topic. They're considered authoritative and reliable, making them highly linkable.
Ebooks and downloadable PDFs offer a powerful way to build high-quality backlinks. By offering high-value, evergreen content that's easy to share, you can enhance your online visibility and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
Not only that, Ebooks can be used in your inbound lead generation to generate leads for your business. So yes, they are effective in getting links, but you can also utilize them to build up your lead database.
Ultimate Guides, also referred to as pillar posts, are comprehensive, long-form content pieces that provide in-depth information on a particular topic.
They are like encyclopedic entries for your blog or website, offering readers all they need to know about a subject in one place. Because of their thoroughness and value, Ultimate Guides serve as excellent linkable assets.
Here’s a good example of an Ultimate Guide type article from Pipedrive on creating your own sales strategy.
This 6,900 word blog article goes into detail on everything related to sales strategies. Because of the value this blog article provides to readers, this post generates a lot of backlinks for the Pipedrive blog.
As of this writing, the backlink count for this article is at 186.
Why are Ultimate Guides Good for Link-Building?
- Authority Building: Ultimate Guides position you as an authority in your field. By providing exhaustive coverage of a topic, you demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, building trust with your audience.
- SEO Benefits: Due to their length and depth, Ultimate Guides are rich in keywords and provide numerous opportunities for internal linking. This can improve your site's SEO and increase organic traffic.
- Link Magnets: The high-value content in Ultimate Guides makes them attractive to other content creators who might link to your guide as a reference, earning you valuable backlinks.
- Evergreen Content: Ultimate Guides often cover fundamental topics in your industry that remain relevant over time. This evergreen nature ensures they continue attracting traffic and backlinks long after publication.
Checklists are a powerful linkable asset that can significantly boost your online visibility.
They are concise, actionable, and highly practical, making them an attractive resource for readers and a potent tool for generating backlinks.
- Simplicity and Efficiency: Checklists break down complex tasks into manageable steps, making them easy to understand and follow. This simplicity and efficiency make them a go-to resource for many, increasing their potential for backlinks.
- Actionable Value: Unlike other forms of content, checklists offer immediate, actionable value. Readers can apply the information in a checklist right away, enhancing its appeal and shareability.
- Versatility: Checklists can be used in virtually any industry or niche. Whether you're in marketing, healthcare, education, or any other field, you can create checklists relevant to your audience's needs and interests.
- Shareability: Due to their practical nature, checklists are often shared among peers, colleagues, and social media networks, creating multiple opportunities for backlinks.
Examples of Checklists
Here's how you can use checklists as linkable assets:
- Step-by-step Guides: Break down a complex process into simple, easy-to-follow steps. For example, this "Website Launch Checklist" that we created is a valuable resource for anyone looking to launch a new website.
- Best Practices: Compile a list of best practices for a particular task or goal. For example, this "Ultimate Email Marketing Checklist," from SendGrid provides marketers with a quick reference for their campaigns.
Best Practices for Creating Linkable Assets
Understand Your Audience
Creating effective linkable assets starts with an essential first step: understanding your audience.
When you comprehend the needs, interests, and pain points of your audience, you can create content that resonates deeply with them or that people are looking for online, increasing its potential for shares and backlinks.
Here's how you can better understand your audience:
1. Conduct Market Research: Start by identifying your target demographic and defining your buyer persona. Who are they? What age group do they belong to? What are their professions? Where are they located? The answers to these questions will give you a clearer picture of who your audience is.
2. Analyze Your Current Audience: Use tools like Google Analytics to gain insights into your current audience. Look at their behavior on your site, the pages they visit most, the content they engage with, etc. This data can provide valuable insights into their interests and preferences.
3. Use Social Listening: Monitor social media conversations related to your industry or brand. What topics are people discussing? What questions are they asking? This can help you identify trending topics and common pain points that you can address in your content.
4. Analyze Competitor Content: Look at the content your competitors are producing. What topics do they cover? Which of their posts get the most shares or comments? This can give you ideas for your own content and help you identify gaps in their coverage that you can fill.
Remember, the goal is to create content that provides real value to your audience. The more you understand about your audience, the better equipped you'll be to create linkable assets that meet their needs and drive engagement.
One of the critical steps in creating linkable assets is conducting thorough keyword research.
This process allows you to understand what your audience, and the internet population at large, is searching for online. It helps you identify the topics that are relevant and valuable to them, and craft content that meets these needs.
Why Keyword Research?
- Discover What Your Audience Wants: Keyword research reveals the exact phrases people are typing into search engines. These insights can provide a wealth of information about what your audience is interested in and what kind of questions they are asking.
- Stay Ahead of Trends: By using keyword research tools, you can spot emerging trends in your industry. This allows you to create content around these trending topics before your competitors do, giving you a competitive edge.
- Optimize for SEO: Keywords are crucial for SEO. By incorporating popular and relevant keywords into your content, you can improve your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), driving more organic traffic to your site.
- Create Relevant Content: Keyword research ensures that the content you produce is relevant and valuable to your audience. This increases the likelihood that other sites will want to link to your content.
Focus on Evergreen Content
When it comes to creating linkable assets that truly stand the test of time, focusing on evergreen content is a winning strategy.
Evergreen content refers to topics that remain relevant and valuable to readers long after they've been published. They're not tied to trends or events that might quickly become outdated. Instead, they provide enduring value and continue to attract links for an extended period.
The Power of Evergreen Content
- Long-Term Relevance: Evergreen content remains relevant for years, meaning it can continually drive traffic to your website and earn you backlinks without requiring constant updates.
- Consistent SEO Value: Since evergreen topics have lasting relevance, they consistently perform well in search engine rankings. This SEO longevity can help maintain your online visibility and attract more organic traffic.
- Lower Maintenance: Unlike time-sensitive content that needs frequent updating, evergreen content requires less upkeep. You create it once and reap the benefits for years to come.
- Greater ROI: Given its enduring appeal and lower maintenance, evergreen content typically delivers a higher return on investment compared to time-bound content.
Creating Evergreen Content
Here's how you can focus on evergreen content:
- Identify Evergreen Topics: Look for topics that have lasting relevance in your industry. These could include "how-to" guides, tips and tricks, case studies, or foundational knowledge about your field.
- Use Persuasive Language: Make your content compelling. Use clear, concise language and persuasive phrases that speak directly to your audience's needs and interests.
- Leverage Social Proof and Statistics: Bolster your content's credibility with social proof, such as testimonials or case studies, and statistics that support your points.
- Keep It Actionable: Ensure your content provides practical, actionable value. This boosts its appeal and makes it more likely to be shared and linked to.
By focusing on evergreen content, you can create linkable assets that provide enduring value, perform consistently well in SEO, require less maintenance, and deliver a greater ROI. It's an investment that continues to pay dividends long after the initial work is done.
Promoting Linkable Assets
After you've created your linkable asset, the next critical step is promotion. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and other types of promotion comes into play.
Effective Strategies for Promoting Linkable Assets
- Content Syndication: Sharing your content on other platforms can help you reach a wider audience, increase your online visibility, and attract more backlinks. This can be done through content syndication platforms such as Quuu Promote or Curata.
- Social Media Promotion: Sharing your linkable assets on social media platforms can help spread your content to a larger audience, increasing the likelihood of earning more links.
- Email Marketing: Sending your content to your email subscribers can drive direct traffic to your site and encourage shares and backlinks.
- Influencer Outreach: Engage with influencers in your industry. If they find your content valuable, they might share or link to it, boosting its visibility.
Without effective promotion, even the most compelling content might not get the attention it deserves.
By leveraging SEO and implementing strategic promotion techniques, you can ensure your linkable assets reach the widest audience possible, maximizing their potential to earn valuable backlinks.
When it comes to creating linkable assets, it's all about delivering consistent, lasting value that keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Remember, the internet is already overflowing with content and information on all kinds of topics. So, the key to creating linkable assets that people will want to link to lies in the quality of the assets that you create.
There's just simply no more space for subpar, low-quality resources and content online. So if you want to create linkable assets that really benefit your business or website, you really need to focus on delivering the best quality.