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Backlinks (or inbound links) from other domains are one of the most important content metrics. They make up 50 percent of the authority/relevance equation search engines use to rank content.
To rank well in search engines, you’ll need to continually earn backlinks .
Links play another important role in content marketing. They tell you if your content is respected enough to earn the endorsement of other sites in your industry.
Because backlinks tell us if people find our content valuable, it’s important for content marketers to keep an eye on their links. But, in many cases, we’re content to leave this task on the desk of the SEO experts.
Here are three good reasons NOT to leave link monitoring to the SEO team.
Almost every content marketer knows what it’s like to be called upon to justify the budget that the work requires. The only way to do it is with content insights that prove a legitimate ROI.
For example, if you’re handling marketing for a client or your boss, you want to be able to regularly report on how many backlinks your content has earned and what kind of engagement it represents.
Otherwise, even if the content results in greater traffic later on, you might receive less work because your team doesn’t understand how well your posts are doing.
Secondly, any time you receive a backlink, ideally , you want it to include a brand mention, as well.
For example, if you are writing an article about the best types of content for B2B websites , you might link to an article BuzzSumo wrote on the topic. Note that this style of inline link doesn’t mention our brand.
Inline links are powerful in their own right, but we’d love to get our brand’s name in the article, too. It gives us greater exposure and, if readers continue seeing our company mentioned across other blog posts, it builds our social proof , as well.
By monitoring our backlinks, we’d be able to contact any blog writer that doesn’t mention us. We can ask if they wouldn’t mind including our brand name and even sweeten the deal by offering them a quote from one of our experts.
Now, we have a backlink, a brand mention, and we get to prove our authority even more.
Plus, that extra addition of providing a quote will probably strength our relationship with that company and ensure they backlink to us again and again in the future.
One of the best ways to mine content insights is through a content audit . Every 6 to 12 months, you should look over everything your company has produced to see what’s working best.
However, you don’t need to wait six months from now – or longer – to adjust your editorial calendar for optimal results.
Depending on how often you post, you could publish several dozen pieces before looking back and realizing many of them were a mistake.
Instead, by actively monitoring your backlinks, you’ll see, in real-time, which types of content are driving this extremely important form of engagement.
Here at BuzzSumo, we love content insights, backlinks being chief among them. That’s why we introduced a tool to monitor them with ease.
In fact, we have an entire brand-monitoring suite of tools that will send you alerts about any of the following:
Tracking who’s talking about your company or linking to your content is simple. Just navigate to our Monitoring tab, and click “Create New Alert.” Then, pick what you want to keep an eye on:
If you select “Backlinks”, you’ll then get to choose from the following three options:
Depending on your goals, you may not be interested in every backlink your site receives. For example, if you’re already getting a number of them to your homepage or an especially popular blog post, constant alerts may actually make your job harder.
In that case, you’d just put the one page you care about – or more than one. Pick as many as you like to get the content insights you need.
Going forward, you’ll receive notifications every time that page is linked to from another site.
Obviously, you can just as easily keep track of your competitors’ backlinks, too. Simply put their domain – or subdomain – into the initial box.
This is a fantastic opportunity that every marketer should take advantage of. You’ll find sites willing to link to content in your industry and benefit from all of your competitor’s hard work.
You know how long it can take to come up with a winning idea, especially if you’re trying to pitch it for a guest post.
Let your competitors go through the trial-and-error process for you. Then, once you see they’ve found a winning idea, get busy replicating it.
If you’ve built those aforementioned relationships with other websites, you may even be able to send them your post before that competitor – who did way more work – is able to lock-in that valuable backlink.
While backlink-monitoring represents some of the most important content insights, there are several others you can use to inform your campaigns. As you saw earlier, these include monitoring keywords, domains, authors, and more.
We’d love to offer you a free 30-day trial of BuzzSumo to show you just how powerful these insights are and how easy we make it to extract them.
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