When I wrote my checklist for the perfect blog post every time, I learned that Neil Patel recommends a minimum of 4 external links. That got me thinking– I want people to link to MY posts on their perfect blog posts. And you do, too, don’t you! Inbound links and social shares mean ranking and organic traffic.
It’s free marketing, when done right, although according to Skyrocket, businesses still spend $60,000 to $120,000 for it! The ROI is worth the money.
So how do you get links? What’s the anatomy of a linkable post? Matthew Barby wrote a comprehensive study of it on Hubspot. They’re the experts and Barby dug around to see which Hubspot articles do best when it comes to links and social shares.
While most of the data are Hubspot data– remember that they have a particular niche– the takeaways are still legit guides for success.
❏ The Title: 8-14 words
We know this. That length gives you enough room for a powerfully magnetic headline. According to Barby’s research, Hubspot’s 8-12-word titles got the most Tweets, while the most Facebook shares went to those titles with 12-14 words.
❏ The Word Count: Long-ish
For Hubspot, the “sweet spot” was 2250-2500 words. Articles with over 2500 words got the most links and social shares. But remember, Hubspot publishes reports and guides on marketing and sales. Depending on your niche, over 1000 words could be too long.
Aim for a minimum of 600 words. This gives you room for the following link-worthy content:
Data-driven content generates 283% more links than non-data-driven content.
❏ A story
Readers love stories. It’s what they remember– and what they share and link to.
Break down your points into digestible and memorable chunks, and use the opportunity to for keyword use and persuasive content through your subheadings!
Writing with personality makes you unique and something of a celebrity. And your readers would love to share your content with their friends. I loved Barby’s Hubspot article because it was injected with humor throughout. And look, this post is linking to it!
The next four are essentially part of the content, but they deserve their own sub-headings.
If you have key takeaways in your blog post, turn them into graphics. Readers are very visual creatures, and visual content score high in getting shares in links. Blog posts with infographics generate 37.5% more links than those without. — Neil Patel.
Don’t hesitate to mention from whom you got your information and stats. Your readers will actually want to know that. Mentioning influencers makes your readers trust you– and your article. They’re more likely to link to it.
❏ Content Curation
Curated content can work wonders for your blog. Compilation, guides, best of the best… Readers love these, they bookmark it and share it. You should do your research so you don’t insult your readers and those you curate with, by providing substandard content. Connected to name-dropping, but you go a step further by only curating from the best and letting them know about it.
❏ Embedded video
Content with videos attracts 3x more backlinks than those without. Think about it– if you post DIY, people will want to see how step 1 segued into step 2. And people just like videos, really. But for those who prefer one-glance information, you have inforgraphics.
Almost 50% of people say they link back and come back to a website because of its great design. Why would YOU purchase from a store with an unattractive display window? Effective blog design is your tool to make people trust you– it instantly shows them you’re professional (and have good taste).
❏ Outbound Links
Yes, to get links, you should link! Link to influencers. Link to fellow bloggers. The former sometimes gets you noticed by that big fish, and when you link to fellow bloggers you sow good feeling, you reap something in return. If someone else already wrote about it– and this is true 98% of the time– link to them.
❏ Inbound Links
The sum of links and social shares. No, I’m not telling you to start a campaign to get people to link to you (or for you to link to you– some do that). But, do you make it easy for people to link to you or share your content?
The technical: Consider your audience– do they know how to link to you? Give them ready-made links. Having social media buttons in a sticky widget isn’t enough– tell them to “Click to share to your friends!” Make your takeaways readily Tweetable (like Hubspot does). Pepper your post with Pinnable images.
The technique: Reach out to your audience. Where do they hang out? Go there. Schmooze with the page owners. Participate in the social media platforms your readers prefer.
Providing posts that are highly linkable can require more behind the scenes work, but in the end it’s worth it when people begin linking to your content.
So which of these are you planning to utilize right now? Or have you already done it? How was it?
Please share in the comments!