We are told time and again to do awesome things and create awesome content in order to naturally inherit links to our blog or website.
Here are 10 types of content suggestions for you to build on your website as a way of inheriting links. I’ve also included some examples to show you how others have made inherited links work.
1. Flagship Content
"Create awesome content!" and "Content is king!" get thrown around a lot. Easier said than done, of course.
But, the sayings are true — if you create awesome content that people want to read and share, it’s going to inherit links, provided users can find it.
You could produce a series of posts, or perhaps it could be just a single post that your blog becomes “known for.” A lot of users don’t want to spend their time using search engines to eventually find what they’re looking for, they want one good reference. That could be your site.
Wikipedia is a great example of content that is referenced. Journalists are often considered lazy for doing so, but it’s possible for you to create that piece of content in your niche that sits at the top of Google for your keyword and is referenced and linked to time and time again because it is that good.
One of the most popular pages on the e-How website is a guide to doing raw food cleansing. Not my area of expertise, but I would guess the information on this page is the best around given the number of links it has picked up across more than 1,000 domains.
Reliable data is excellent for inheriting links. People love data. And when people come across data as part of their research for news or a blog post, they often link to the original source.
If you have data on your website or blog, getting a link from Wikipedia can be an excellent way to pick up links, too. Lots of people begin their research with the site; therefore, if they come across your link there is a chance they might use it for their needs.
Publishing the initial data as a static page and then referring to it in a blog post is useful for helping it to rank. Naturally, if the data is good, referred to and not overly competitive, you can rank very well in Google for it in a short period of time.
Ranks number 1 for “Arsène Wenger 100 red cards,” the most tweeted and linked to blog on the website.
Contests are a great way to get links and visitors to your website. On top of that, you can win customers and increase your email list.
When you have decided on the contest you’re going to run with an awesome prize to give away, make sure you host it on your website. After that, offer exclusives to other websites to showcase your contest and they will link back to the contest itself. There are contest sites to submit it, too, to start spreading the words as well. After that you’ll be on route to inherit further links.
There are a number of comparison sites that are big businesses these days. Several of them that started out on the internet and are now advertising on television. Essentially, they’re just a tool that compares prices.
You tool doesn’t have to be so sophisticated. There are lots of tools created for tons of things in many different industries. Perhaps your business could create a tool that people search for but cannot find. Or, create an upgrade on a competitor’s tool. If you can create a tool that is useful for users, i.e., it can save them time or money, then there’s an opportunity.
No good with percentage? Here’s a simple tool that works out your sums in less than a second.
Create a portfolio of covetable images. Setting up an account in Flickr is useful to help get you found. Add Creative Commons instructions so that anyone using your images has to link back to them. If you can get your images ranking in Flickr and also in Google Images, there’s a good chance of them being picked up and used to inherit links to your site.
Links pointing to your images may not seem like a direct money maker but they will certainly help build your link profile and you can point traffic in the right direction should you start ranking in Google and bring traffic to your website.
This is the most popular linked to account on Flickr with over 5,000 domains linking in. If the company were clever/cheeky they could get a lot of these linking to their website instead.
6. Breaking News
Easier said than done. But if you’re able to break some industry news and get it out there — then you’re in a position to pick up links when others quote your or refer to the original source (you being the original source).
In fact, it’s not always the first person who breaks the news story that inherits the link — often it’s a case of someone finding your news story and referring back to it as a reference in their blog post. But whether you work in an industry that has a thirst for news is another matter. From experience, I’ve worked wonders in gaining links and social shares in the world of sports from breaking news.
Lists are very popular on the internet, especially on social networks. They attract links, too.
BuzzFeed made a successful business from a website that essentially features list blog post after list blog post. Of course, they are humorous, too, and massively popular across social networks. This website has over 13,000 domains linking to it.
Over 13,000 domain links are pointing to the website that started in 2006. Majestic SEO data shows that it became really popular over the past 18 months in gaining backlinks:
If you can lock down an interview or a series of interviews with authoritative people in your industry, followers of that/those personalities will be interested in their work and potentially link to it at some point.
Information and quotes from these interviews could produce content that is referenced and referred to from external websites. Thus, inheriting a link when they are referencing your interview.
An interview I had with Search Engine Journal’s Murray Newlands last year picked up 451 shares and a couple of nice inbound links to their site. Obviously, the more popular the person being interviewed, the more exposure you’re able to get. I’m obviously not that well known!
The internet is a fantastic place to be educated: TED Talks, YouTube and Coursera are all popular sites to learn. While these cover a wide variety of topics, your business or blog no doubt specializes in something and has the opportunity to become a great educational source for visitors.
Creating and uploading great tutorials or free education courses on your website are a great way to attract both visitors and links to your website. Bloggers may wish to link to you to advise your course, or even act as a reference if they used your course. These are also popular in forums and comments when users are helping out those who are looking for, but are unable to find, what you offer.
The page above ranks number 3 in Google for “how to make pancakes” — above newspapers and big recipe sites that are trying to rank in that position. I assume this is one of the best pancake recipes on the web as it ranks so well for a competitive search term that, according to Google Keyword Planner, has a volume of 90,500 in the UK in May.
10. Fun Games
If you’re running a serious business then you may want to skip this idea. For everyone else, creating a little fun game can be great for attracting links if it goes viral.
It’s common to build a game on a dedicated domain, but it’s not out of the question to build a page for it on your website and attract links and traffic to it that way. Attracting traffic to convert is a different story, but for branding and link building it can be very successful.
According to Malcolm Coles, this game received 500,000 plays in two days.
Do you have any other suggestions for gaining inherited links? Let us know!