The Exact Steps To Take For Content Link Building To Work

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Content link building is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) tactic that gets other websites to link to content and pages on your website. Depending on your approach, there are a lot of little details and optimizations to consider when trying to build links to your website. However, the general steps you need to take for link building to work are relatively simple.

The Exact Steps To Take To Ensure Content Link Building Generates Results

Step 1: Establish Brand Authority

Getting a link from a reputable site can be very challenging—especially if your site isn’t equally as reputable as the brand you’re trying to get into a link building agreement with. 

The first thing you should focus on is establishing your online brand authority early on in order to have an easier time negotiating for links later.

What is brand authority?

Brand authority, and especially online authority, measures how likely customers are to see your company as a reliable source of information in your respective field. In other words, it signifies the level of trust you’ve gained from your audience.

If your company enjoys a high level of brand authority, it means your contributors are likely to be considered experts in their fields, and your site will serve as a pillar against which other brands will often be compared—both online and offline.

To illustrate, if a clothing brand that produces garments from sustainable sources posts original research about future and current environmental concerns, shoppers will be inclined to trust their data more compared to an emerging company that’s more lenient with its views on environmental sustainability.

Additionally, the general notion of brand authority alone doesn’t do anyone much good unless it’s transformed into tangible data, and there are a couple of ways to do just that. 

One approach would be to measure the frequency of your marketing department’s interactions with the public and the type of responses those types of outreaches generate. A different way to measure your brand authority would be to compare your company with your direct competitors through tools like Google Trends, research impactful keyword rankings, and hunt for important mentions of your brand on different social media channels.

From an SEO perspective, brand authority or domain authority can also refer to a score that denotes the trustworthiness, domain age, and expertise of a website. This score is typically measured on a scale from 1 to 100 in online SEO tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz.

Actionable ways to build brand authority

As the advent of AI-generated features is slowly murking the waters between truth, quality, and usefulness, you should instead focus on creating high-quality content by real experts and promoting them across a variety of different online channels. 

These channels include social media like Instagram and the X platform, forums such as Reddit and Quora, and in the comment sections of other popular brands that occupy the same niche as your site.

Some of your most active users might also be enticed to share your content with their existing network. To facilitate this, ask your target audience about the type of content they’re most likely to engage with by leveraging online polls and surveys. Moreover, you can also talk to your audience through comments and messages on your site, as well as other sites whose readers share common interests with your recurring patrons.

Lastly, keep in mind that building brand authority will take some time before your company becomes a recognizable name in your industry. In fact, it might be helpful to think of brand building as an ongoing project that requires constant maintenance to keep your site ahead of the curve.

After all, you want to have a well-respected brand before you start working on your link building campaigns, mostly because the sites you ask to link to your content will perform their due diligence and research your site if they’re really interested. 

There needs to be something substantial there, like a seal of approval that convinces your potential collaborators that it’s a good idea to enter into a link building agreement with your brand.

Step 2: Create High-Quality Content Worth Linking To

Despite brand authority being critical in the pursuit of link building, high-quality content worth linking to is just as, if not even more, important. 

When you have an established brand that people know and like, but you keep producing subpar content, the top sites you want to collaborate with won’t even think about sharing links with you.

What is considered high-quality content?

There are a couple of criteria that can help us define quality content. 

First, good content should satisfy user intent, i.e., it should match the user’s queries or searches with the answers they’re seeking in the majority of cases. In other words, give your readers exactly what they’re expecting when they click on your page.

Secondly, high-quality content should be concise, offer new information, and contain original research. Or, it could provide a novel take on an existing resource such as an academic paper or a popular infographic while including credit to the original author’s work. 

If the content is brand new, the content’s author should be an established expert in their respective field or an emerging talent with a substantial interest in the subject they’re writing about in their upcoming piece.

On the more technical side of things, what’s considered quality content should provide users with a good page experience that elevates its existing information beyond the notion of simply reading text from a screen. 

This includes optimal page loading speed, good readability, extensive accessibility options, and extensive device compatibility across a variety of device manufacturers and operating systems.

Let’s examine these concepts in more detail below.

How to create high-quality content

Producing high-quality content requires a deep, multi-faceted understanding of the topic you’re going to be writing about. In turn, this warrants thorough research to showcase your expertise, knowledge, and capability to break down complex subjects in an approachable way. Keeping this in mind will help differentiate your content from the thousands of lackluster articles that keep popping up daily.

Popular sources you can leverage to create original, professional-grade content include search engines like Google and Bing, industry reports and white papers from sources like Deloitte and Statista, books and ebooks, YouTube guides, and online forums like Reddit, Quora, and Stack Overflow.

Additionally, high-quality content isn’t going to be very helpful if it doesn’t address one or multiple pain points your audience wants to solve. To uncover their intent, you must create what’s known as a customer persona and apply that knowledge to your future content.

For example, your ideal customer might be a suburban parent who struggles with their savings and doesn’t really understand the intricacies of mortgage rates and their relationship to their household income. Are you running a finance blog? If yes, then great—this would be your chance to tailor any upcoming content to your ideal audience and try to offer useful tips about mortgage rates, down payments, and compounding interest rates.

Next, high-quality content should contain proprietary visuals, proper formatting, and intriguing statistics to capture your audience’s attention and keep them on the page for longer periods of time.

High-quality infographics can earn a ton of quality backlinks because they’re visually appealing and highly relevant to a specific audience when done right. People also love to link to, recommend, and share white papers, ebooks, videos, industry-specific data, and popular stats.

Lastly, your content should be well-optimized for performance, device compatibility, accessibility, and speed. You can use Google’s page experience guidelines to produce enticing content that ranks well and people feel naturally inclined to link to it at the same time—which brings us to our final step.

Step 3: Get Sites To Link To Your Content

It would be great if you could just create exceptional content, publish it, and the sites that want to link to it make the first step. 

However, the reality is that most published content won’t be seen if you don’t market it to the right prospects.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. You can promote your content on your own digital marketing channels so that it reaches as many people as possible organically. If your channels are new and are just starting to gain traction, you can reach out to an established network in the same or adjacent niche to help you kick off your campaigns and get a head start in promoting your finished pieces.

Still, it would be preferable to focus on getting links naturally, i.e., where different sites discover your content on their own, find it valuable, and link to it without subjecting both parties through extensive negotiations that can sometimes drag on for weeks at a time. Then, you can shift your focus to building manual links, or the type of links acquired through intentional outreach, relationship-building, and other collaborative efforts.

To start, create a spreadsheet of sites or people you want to link to your content that you can use for cold outreach, guest posting, and building long-term relationships. Make sure their audience has similar preferences to yours so that the traffic you get from link building is likely to be full of warm leads, or people who’ll be ready to link to your pages sooner rather than later.

As a side note, don’t shop around the same link or target page to every other site. Choose the one that matches the site’s style and audience, or propose to write an original guest post as an alternative solution. Guest posting is an excellent way to offer value to the other site and get a highly contextual link in return. Plus, contextually relevant links send a strong signal to Google and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPS).

In terms of what not to do, a large group of seasoned and rookie link builders alike don’t prioritize establishing a business relationship with the owner of the site they want to link to their site. They just hit as many sites as they can with the so-called spray-and-pray cold outreach strategy and hope for the best. 

To counteract this approach, try to target specific sites or people and offer them original content as a basis for your link building campaigns. It may take weeks to achieve the results you want, but people you’re genuinely connected with will be more willing to give you that backlink than those you’re reaching out to for the first time.

Finally, don’t forget about the power of social media interactions. Follow the prospective sites and their owners’ public accounts. Try to post helpful comments on articles you support often. 

Eventually, the administrators will notice you being a consistent contributor and will start developing a connection that you can leverage to get highly relevant and highly contextual content-based backlinks.


Generally speaking, effective content link building can be achieved in three major steps, including:

  • Step 1: By establishing brand authority
  • Step 2: By creating high-quality content worth linking to
  • Step 3: By getting sites to link to your content

In a nutshell, high-quality content should be:

  • Well-researched and expertly written
  • Original and unique
  • Visually interesting and properly formatted
  • Optimized for readability, page performance, and device compatibility
  • Exactly what your target audience wants to read

Also, don’t forget to perform targeted email and social media outreach to sites that can offer quality content-based backlinks to your site. Building connections and nurturing relationships can go a long way to getting that elusive #1 Google spot for your pages through content link building.

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