Trying to build links for every piece of content you publish using outreach would be time consuming and incredibly difficult. Instead, you should focus on publishing content that naturally attracts links.
Creating linkable assets is the best way to supercharge your SEO efforts. You create one piece of content, and this does the heavy lifting for you. And the best part? As it grows in popularity, it will naturally rank higher, and become even more linkable. Let’s take a look at how this works in practice.
What is a linkable asset?
Have you ever been writing an article or blog and you’ve needed a source to back up your claims? Or you’ve wanted to provide additional context that isn’t currently available on your website? Chances are you would head to Google and search for a piece of well-written content to back up your point. This is a linkable asset.
It’s the content created specifically to attract links. And it doesn’t have to be an article. It could be an infographic, a podcast, a video or an online tool.
It needs to be a long-form resource that is the best available. This will help to ensure it goes to the top of the rankings, so users searching for something to link to will find it easily.
If you find a good piece of content that is already performing well and you decide to create something similar to compete with it, you’ll need to make sure that your approach is better in some way.
The asset needs to be hosted on a page on your website for the best results, as this is better than linking to a .jpg or .pdf hosted on your server.
E-E-A-T and linkable content
While we can’t know for sure what content Google and other search engines will prioritise, a huge part of the SEO role is looking for clues. Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines is a great place to start, as this comes straight from the source.
If you’re not familiar with this already, this is a set of guidelines about what makes a good website and what Google is looking for when it selects websites to appear in the SERP.
E-E-A-T is one of the more recent updates. It stands for Expertise, Experience, Authority and Trustworthiness. In short, Google wants to know if you are a trustworthy source of information.
By creating linkable assets that are reliable and trustworthy, you can improve your search rankings. When creating your assets, be sure to demonstrate each of the following attributes:
Expertise – Demonstrate that the author has in-depth understanding and knowledge of the subject.
Experience – Highlight the author’s experience of the topic through the use of research, interviews and leaning on personal experience.
Authority – Credentials and affiliations will all impact the sense of authority that your linkable asset achieves.
Trustworthiness – Establish credibility by ensuring your content is unbiased, neutral and free from any conflicts of interest.
If you’re an expert in your field and you are sharing truly valuable information, then you should be able to meet all of these criteria.
Should you use generative AI to create linkable assets?
As generative AI continues to grow in popularity, you might be wondering if you could be better off using AI to produce your content. While it might be able to provide writing assistance, you’ll still need considerable input if you want to ensure you’re sharing something of genuine value. However, I wouldn't advise to write content with AI as a Long term strategy.
That said, there are ways you can put generative AI to work in your linkable asset content strategy.
- Use AI tools like ChatGPT to generate content ideas. You can enter prompts and then pick the most original from the list. Always check to see if the content piece has been created already so you can see if there is room for improvement.
- Create an asset outline using ChatGPT. If you’re struggling to outline your content, generative AI tools can help get you started. You can always refine the suggestions, but it might help to uncover content ideas that you wouldn’t have considered.
Which generative AI tools should you use?
There are a number of free AI tools available, including ChatGPT and Bard. You can also explore paid options which may offer more automated content production tools that suit your needs. This includes tools like Jasper.ai and Rytr.
Pros and cons of linkable assets
If you’re still on the fence about adding linkable assets to your content strategy, consider the following pros and cons:
- This is an easily scalable link building task. You can gain links across a wide range of industries which can diversify the topical relevance of your website.
- You’ll enjoy increased organic visibility. Organic website growth is one of the best ways to continue to drive your business forward.
- You can establish relationships with relevant thought leaders. You’ll quickly become known as a reliable source of information and assets among influencers and business owners in your sector.
- This is a long-term strategy. Once you have created the content and earned the links, your website will enjoy long-term benefits, including increased traffic and improved brand awareness.
- You’ll establish yourself as the one to watch. You’ll know when you’re doing something right as other companies will start to follow your lead. Thankfully, you’ll be known as the originator.
- Links will be directed to a page that might not be the best for sales and conversions. You’ll have to work hard to ensure that visitors quickly get a grasp of what you offer and have an incentive to stick around.
- You’ll need to invest time and resources. High quality content takes time to create, and you’ll need to find the resources in-house to make this happen. Outsourced content creation will often result in content that misses the mark because it lacks expertise and knowledge of your sector.
- This is a high risk task in terms of guarantees. You could create the content and it could never achieve high rankings or secure any links.
- Success is hard to measure. Assigning an ROI to link building activity will always be complex. It can also take time for the benefits to come to fruition.
- High competition for visibility. This isn’t a new link building technique, so you can guarantee that other people in your sector will be trying to do the same thing. If everyone is creating it becomes harder to stand out.
Types of assets to create
If you’re ready to get started with your linkable asset campaign, you’ll need to start by choosing the type of content you’d like to create. The skyscraper technique is a tried and tested method for generating links that requires a moderate time investment. While you might need to invest time into researching and creating skyscraper content, the rewards can be considerable.
Here are some of the most commonly used skyscraper article styles:
Creating an aggregate of studies, research and insight is an excellent way to build links. Pick a topic and then gather all of the useful information from your sector. Turn this into bite size bits of information that can be quickly scanned.
The benefit of this type of article is that you can generate lots of links from other bloggers and article writers that need these stats to back up their own writing. An example of this would be 79 SEO Statistics for 2023.
I'm Paul Gordon an SEO freelancer who has spent the last 16 years helping businesses expand and grow through effective SEO strategies.