Content and Links: A Strategy Guide

Optimizing a website involves a ton of different techniques. If you’re new to the world of SEO, all the various options can seem a little confusing. Fortunately, the basics of SEO can be broken down into just two general categories: Content and Links.

Both Content and Links are going to play a vital role in your site’s success online. Finding the right balance between the two can be tricky. Which of the two should you focus on first? How do you find the right balance?

Even if you’ve hired a professional internet marketer to optimize your site, you’ll still want to know the basics about when to focus on Content and when to focus on Links. Let’s take a look:

Dealing with Time Constraints

Building links and publishing content are both important strategies for any website. Links help connect your site to interested audiences while also helping increase brand awareness. Content helps drive conversions while increasing brand authority. Both help increase your site’s position in the search results.

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. Developing and implement both linking and content strategies can be time-consuming. Let’s take a look at what happens when content is the priority. Then we’ll compare that to a strategy where links are emphasized.

A Content First Strategy

Content is the baseball field from Field of Dreams. Publish great content, and readers will land on your site.

But you’ll need patience. Great content doesn’t necessarily draw readers in right away. Instead, content is mainly used to build long-term customer engagement.

You want a solid foundation of evergreen content for your site. Evergreen content is content which never goes out of date. Some common types of evergreen content include introductory guides, tutorials, and product reviews. Basically, evergreen content is any topic not dependent on a specific time period.

Another type of content you’ll want to focus on for your site is cornerstone content. This is content which acts as a representative of your site. The topics will be directly related to the products and services you provide.

For instance, if you sell rare books, a cornerstone article could be “The Beginner’s Guide to Rare Books.” This topic will always be popular for anyone looking to learn the basics about rare books. If the guide is well-written and informative, the topic could remain at the top of the search results for a long time.

Content increases the value of your site. Content also provides information and entertainment to your readers. Without content, people don’t have much of a reason to visit your site. A regular supply of new articles gives readers a chance to engage with your brand over a long period of time.

A Link First Strategy

Your content could be informative, compelling and just all-around fantastic. But your content is actually pretty useless without an audience. Links are an effective way to draw traffic to your site. The link first strategy emphasizes building an audience for your brand.

Backlinks are links from other sites to your site. They have several major benefits.

First, a network of backlinks helps increase your credibility. For instance, imagine a product you sell is recommended by a trusted influencer in your industry. This immediately gives your product credibility — and credibility among a whole new audience, too.

Also, backlinks help improve your position in the search results. Search engine algorithms consider who is linking to your site. When a trusted site links to yours, some of that credibility is transferred to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

Linking is also a scalable strategy. While you can’t post the same type of content multiple times, multiple sites can link to a single piece of content. Linking is a way to get some extra mileage out of each piece of content.

Linking or Content?

So, which one is more important? Both Content First and Link First strategies have advantages and disadvantages.

Content First helps boost your brand and create a connection with your potential customers. But Link First strategies help potential customers find you in the first place. Plus, backlinks have more of an impact on your ranking in the search results.

The best option is to focus on both content and links. However, content should be developed first. If you spend all of your time developing links, you’ll be able to draw people to your site. But if your site doesn’t have engaging content, those readers won’t have any reason to actually stay on your site.

A site should launch with a solid base of interesting content. Check out The Best Type of Content for Start-Ups to learn more what types of content will work best for a new website.

After you have a solid base of content, then you’ll want to start link building. This guide has some tips for developing quality links to your site.

Curious about what type of SEO strategy will work best for your site? Contact us today to learn more about how both content and links can boost your brand online. Also, feel free to ask any questions you might have below: