How To Use The Past-Success Strategy In Your Link Building Efforts

November 15, 2016

Anyone who has read my previous blog posts knows I am a big proponent of using embeddable content assets as the cornerstone of your link building campaign. Here at Straight North, we use three marketing strategies to come up with ideas for our clients.

My favorite of the three strategies is the past-success strategy. For the most part, we are not experts in most of the industries our clients are in, so we use the successes of other websites in that industry to educate us about what to create. But within the past-success strategy, there are different ways to use the achievements of other posts to create a new content idea. In this post, I will lay out three ways you can use the successes of other posts to come up with content asset ideas.

Broken Link Building

One of my favorite past-success strategies is finding old/broken pages so that I can re-create them. This ends up working really well because you are basing a new creation on a topic that already is a proven attention-getter with the linking public. We also can analyze the page’s backlink profile to see what types of sites link to it, and find more like it. Since similar sites have demonstrated a pattern of linking to similar posts, it bodes well for us to pitch to them. We also have all of the sites that link to the broken link as outreach targets.

Undermarketed Posts

One of the biggest mistakes people make with the past-success strategy is they only look at the raw backlink numbers. Instead, the thing to look at is what types of sites link to topics. You can find some hidden gems that did well, but were never really marketed properly, so they never gained the link attention. We did this for a client. We found an auxiliary power unit (APU) weight exemption guide that had been created by a trucking association. It only had 10 sites linking to it. Most people would have just overlooked it, but we decided to analyze what types of sites linked to this table. We found that other trucking associations and trucking companies linked to this guide. There are thousands of such sites on the Internet. With that in mind, we decided to make our own APU table and pitch it to other trucking associations and companies on the Internet. It has netted us a nice number of links for our client in the last three to four months.

Similar Topics

The past-success strategy was made for the “similar topic” technique. To use this tactic, we look for the most linked-to pages on the larger .gov/.org websites related to a client’s industry. From there, we try to figure out if there is way to piggyback off that post that did well. As an example, we have a client that sells blueprints for new homes. We figured realtor.org would be a great place to learn what types of posts do well from a linking perspective. We ended up finding a roofing-type guide that documented all of the different roofing styles homes can have. It had 200 domains linking to it. We saw this as a chance to create a similar piece of content about floor plans. We figured that if these people like roofing guides, odds are they would be interested in a floor plans guide — a similar topic. With this strategy, we can reach out to all of the same people who linked to the roofing guide, as well as similar websites once we analyze that page’s backlink profile.

Content assets should be the lifeblood of your link building campaigns. Topic generation can always be tricky, but it can be a lot easier if you let the success of other posts guide some of your ideas.

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