How to Create Educational Content That Boosts Backlinks

Jessica Thiefels on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

educational content

Educational content might be the missing piece in your SEO strategy. Don’t just talk about yourself, your products and your services, create content that attracts writers who are covering similar topics and themes. 

When you create educational blog posts that include relevant information and fresh insights, other writers will link to it in their own content, increasing your chance of earning new organic backlinks. However, many organizations miss out on this opportunity because they don’t put the time and effort into creating great, value-based content. In fact, B2B marketers reported their greatest content marketing challenge is content creation, according to CMI’s 2021 benchmark report.

Developing backlinks cannot be overlooked as one of the consistent themes among Google’s 200+ ranking factors. If you’re struggling with this, find out how you can create educational content that boosts backlinks—even if you need to hire someone to help do the writing.

Develop Content That’s Thorough 

There’s no getting around the fact that hard work pays off when it comes to content marketing. Recent SEMrush research found that long articles, specifically 7,000+ words, drive almost four times more traffic than articles that fall into the 900- to 1,200-word category.

What’s more, short articles, 300 to 900 words, gain 75 percent fewer backlinks than articles of average length, 900 to 1,200 words.

When you create thorough and comprehensive blog articles, guides and resources, it appeals to your audience, as well as increases your ranking. As such, when other writers or researchers look for sources on a topic, your article is more likely to appear higher on the SERPs, increasing the chance for them to find, and in turn, link to your page. 

Ultimately, writers often include links to guides with in-depth explanations as a further resource for the reader, as this is good for their website’s SEO and the reader. For example, you’ll note that in the “Embrace Neutrals” section of our Winter Marketing Guide, we link to a Shutterstock guide for a deeper dive into using neutral design elements. 

The more you create this content, the more likely it is to be sourced, earning you an organic backlink.

Set Yourself Apart With Proprietary Data 

Proprietary data is data that’s unique to your organization—you sourced and analyzed it yourself. Think of companies like Buffer, which releases their proprietary State of Remote Work report each year. Harvard Business Review makes an important point about what proprietary data is not: 

“This is not to mean trade secrets and intellectual property (which is often proprietary but seldom really data), but rather, data where the company is the only organization that has it, or it has added enough value to make it a unique business asset. […] What’s important is that it is not easily replicated by another entity.”

Simply put, if you have original data from product or service use, or that you gathered through your own surveys and polls, you become a unique source of this information. Think: sales stats from your CRM or even data from your Google Analytics that shed new light on an industry-related topic.

Note how in the previous section, I linked to SEMrush research—that was based on proprietary data from their platform. You can easily do the same. 

Incorporate Relevant Examples With Media and Graphics

It’s easier for a reader to comprehend a new concept when seeing it in action versus simply reading about it. Scientific studies confirm that visual representations improve learning and another study also shows that seeing and understanding patterns activates a different part of their brain, triggering a more active form of learning. 

When you create an article that presents a concept or claim, back it up with a video or graphic. If a reader can fully understand the concept, their more likely to find it valuable, and therefore link to it in their content.

This also means you’ve done the heavy lifting for other writers. They don’t need to create the graphics or conjure up the examples themselves—they can source the examples in your article instead. 

Finally, this gives you an opportunity to develop trust with the reader. Michat Suski, from Surfer SEO, confirms the value of this: “Always prove your hypotheses with hard data. Without them, your theories are just speculations. Link to valuable resources. Show that you know what you’re talking about and have deeply researched the subject.”

Source Expert Insights From Your Organization and Beyond

One way to provide even more value in your educational content is to bring in the voices of experts within your field. This can include your CEO or other C-suite executives, but it’s important to look past the four walls of your organization too. 

Using a tool like HARO, you can connect with a wide range of experts. Once the article is published, they have more incentive to share with their audience and even link back to the article on their website. 

You also give writers more to work with, given them a range of insights to source in their content so they don’t have to seek out the quotes themselves.  

When doing this, be sure to properly quote your sources. Best practice is to include a link to their website or LinkedIn page to give proper attribution. Don’t forget to include their full name and title, the latter of which shows the value and relevance of their insight.

Get a Content Team in Place

Ultimately, to create this content, you need to be able to do the writing yourself or have a team in place to do it for you. The good news is, hiring freelance writers or a content agency like ours is both easy and takes the work off your plate. The question is, how do you find the right person or team or create high-quality educational content? Keep these questions in mind:

  • Do they have experience in your industry? While this isn’t necessary—a great writer and researcher can tackle many industries—it can help if you’re in a niche industry like manufacturing.
  • What are your goals and how will you measure their success? If you’re not sure, a good content marketing agency can help you determine that.
  • What do you actually need help with? Do you need support just with writing, or do you also need someone to do keyword research and SEO optimization of each article? If the latter is the case for you, you need more than just a writer, but someone who specializes in SEO or an agency like Jessica Thiefels Consulting. Our organic content marketing services include keyword planning, competitor research, optimization, writing, and publishing, all done for you.

Create Educational Content to Earn Organic Backlinks 

Content marketing is a cyclical process. When you create educational content that engages and provides value to your audience, that sends signals to Google, which then boosts your rankings. When you have better rankings, more writers will also find your content, increasing your chance of organic backlinks. The more backlinks you get, the higher your site with rank and ultimately, the more leads and business comes through your website.

Need help creating educational content? Tell us about your needs.

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