Term of the day! Linkable assets are something, usually a web page, that has incredible content on it that everyone loves and can be used to build your brand (it also refers, indirectly, to the brand itself). While we've talked a lot about getting great content, we haven't talked much about the different techniques people use to really push content – the different strategies available to you. Now's the time! See which one of these techniques is right for your situation.
Note: Link building techniques to build your linking rep are typically divided into white hat and black hat. White hat practices are above-board and help everyone involved. Black hat techniques use cheats, hacks, and money to get results (they also tend to get banned by Google). We're focusing on white hat here, obviously.
The skyscraper technique is used by a number of different agencies to boost content awareness for brands that currently…well, don't have much going on. The goal is essentially finding out what works and then imitating it. You carefully study your surroundings and find out the blogs and sites in your industry that are doing well (or the best results for a given keyword). Then you narrow it down to a few pieces of content that are doing really well – the amazing performance that you aspire to. Then you create your own content about the same subject matter, written in the same way – not a copy or cheap imitation, just something in a very similar vein. As a result, you can tap into the current interest in this sort of content and slowly build your own skyscraper for a linkable asset.
Just like a dandelion, the goal here is to send out as many seeds into the wind and hope for the best – seeds in this case are referring specifically to directories. There are good directories and bad directories, so it's important to pick high level versions that will increase your online presence and won't penalize you. Google isn't a huge fan of this method, but they are still allowing it and it can still produce results.
(The) Historical Optimization:
We don’t have a fun nickname for this one, because it already has a name. We have talked about historical optimization before: It's a little like the Skyscraper, but here the technique examines your own past content for the most successful pieces, and then either reposts that content or creates similar content. This can quickly grow your responses and make your work a linkable asset in the eyes of others.
The Friendship Bracelet:For this technique, you focus specifically on those contacts that you already have relationships with – the business partners you know and trust. Here the goal is to build a tight community of recommendations and shares that benefits all members and leads to mutual respect. This works well if you have long-term industry contacts that you can leverage. As you can imagine, it's also a common technique in the B2B world because it starts with what you already have. However, a lot depends on the current reach of you and your partners – it may not be enough to get the results you want.
The Black Widow:
If you're ready for a little espionage, this technique focuses primarily on your competitors. Take a close look at the backlinks that your competitors are acquiring, and make contact with the same sources to improve your own linkability! If you want to take it a step further, you can aim for indirect links from your competitors themselves! Just make sure the backlinks you are hunting are high-quality.
The goal is here is to win backlinks from everyone you come in contact with. Well, not everyone – but if someone gives you a mention or a retweet, then reach out to them and ask about sharing some content. One advantage here is that you can create a template to quickly shoot off to anyone who mentions your brand to get the ball rolling. On the downside, this may annoy some of the people who weren't interested.
The Olympic Champion:
Think about that one link partnership that would be a dream come true – that one publication or site that everyone in your industry respects and pays attention to. Wouldn't it be amazing to be published there, or have them reference your work? Talk about skyrocketing link value! This strategy focuses entirely on a top few publications and creating content specifically to forge relationships with them. It's risky, but the payout is big, too.