How to Create Linkable Assets

Linkable assets are simply awesome pages on your site that you can leverage for links over and over (and over) again. However, because they have to be phenomenal, they aren’t easy to make. That means you want each one that you create to be a hit. In this video I’ll go over how you can find topics that will work well in your industry, and how to turn those topics into evergreen linkable assets.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up, everybody? It’s Brian Dean from Quick Sprout, and in this video I’m going to show you how to create linkable assets on your site.

Linkable assets are just amazing, thorough guides that people will naturally link to, or link to if you ask for a link. The most important part of a linkable asset is to find the right topic. So we’re going to head over to Google trends, so just head over to Google. Click on the first result when you search for Google trends, and this shows you the trending keywords within Google. So, this doesn’t show you search volume, but it shows you the direction of the search volume, if a keyword’s becoming more popular, or less popular. So, let’s put in ‘content marketing’. That’s a hot topic in internet marketing right now. Click on the magnifying glass, and this will show you the interest over time for this keyword.

This shows you till 2004, so you can see about a year and a half ago, content marketing shot up, right? So, the reason you want to look at Google trends first, before we look at the keyword tool for keyword volume is that you want to create the most thorough guide on the topic. So this isn’t like another video that I showed you where you find something and improve upon it. What you’re trying to do is curate the best content from other places, and create the go-to resource for that topic, and that really makes that page a linkable asset. And if you choose a keyword like ‘content marketing’, which is sort of new, and increasing in interest, you’re more likely to be the first one to create the thorough guide. If you would choose something like SEO, or email marketing or something like that, it’s likely there’s already a lot of thorough guides in the internet, so there’s not much you can bring to the table.

If you want to get more specific, you can change the date here from 2004 to present, which is the default, to any time frame you want. So over the past 90 days, the past 12 months, and this may show you different results. And you can see that even though it dipped a lot during Christmas time, obviously, it’s increasing over time. So this would be a good one to get in on, at least. And another thing I like to do is look at this rising area. So this is related terms to content marketing, content strategy, content marketing strategy, social media marketing. So these are all related terms, in Google’s eyes, and these are other keywords that you could search for within Google trends to see if they’re potential linkable asset topics.

You can also click on this ‘Rising’ tab here. And this will show you some things like content marketing 2013. But this wouldn’t be a good linkable asset because in 2014, nobody’s going to be searching for this, right? So these are some things you could just take a look at, and maybe find some keywords.

Now, as you do your search, so what you want to do is search for this keyword in Google. But before you do that, you should set up a post in WordPress as a way to curate the resources that you find, so you could put ‘the ultimate guide to content marketing’, and then when you search for Google for the results, which we’ll do next, you can put the best results you see into here, and then piece them all together and create a thorough guide, because what most people do when they write about a topic is they’re not thorough. They write about one part, so if you can create the most thorough guide, you’re more likely to get linked to.

The best way to do that is just to search the keyword in Google, and go one by one through the results, and get an idea and a feel for what’s already out there. So let’s look at the first result together from the Content Marketing Institute. And this is ‘What Is Content Marketing?’ So this is a nice guide, as an introduction to content marketing, and selling content marketing a little bit. And it’s telling the people that come to this page, who have no idea what it is, what it is.

This other one, by CopyBlogger, this is a nice visual guide, this is an example of a linkable asset, actually. This is a nice visual guide to content marketing, right? But, it’s not totally thorough. It doesn’t cover all the angles of content marketing. So there’s some potential here. Let’s look at one more. This one is ‘Content Marketing Information And Helpful Resources’. This list is, again, not exactly thorough. It just has links to other content about content marketing. Which is nice, because these are pieces of content that you can use. So what you do is you take each of these results, and I like to copy the URL, so let’s head over to the Content Marketing Institute, copy the URL, paste it into WordPress, and then put a note next to it, ‘What’s missing?’. So here, I notice that it’s a good intro, but lacks advanced strategies. Right? So, if you already know content marketing, and you want to get more out of content marketing, this doesn’t really give you any advanced information.

This content marketing is nice, it kind of tells you what it is, and they have some downloads, but it doesn’t really give you a good step by step system, or any case studies. So, lacks step by step and case studies. So these are things that you’d want to put, and then you would fill in all these gaps in one giant page, and you’d be very, very likely to get links. So let’s look at one more to give an example. So this one is a link to content marketing resources, which, that’s something that’s great to have in an ultimate guide or a linkable asset in general, or links out to other great resources that you curate. So this has that, but what it lacks is how to do content marketing, there’s no practical information. So if you came to this page, and weren’t sure how to execute a content marketing campaign, plan it, or what it looks like in real life, this would be something that, you know, would be lacking in that way. So you take that URL, put it here, and you put something like, you know, ‘lacks explanation’. And what you’re doing is finding the gaps in the content that’s already out there, and you keep doing this for as long as you want. You can go up to the 50th result, and just keep looking in Google, go to the second page, see what’s there, see what’s missing.

For example, Neil has ‘The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing’, right? So that’s great, if you know about content marketing, and you’re looking for what this post lacked, which is the advanced strategies. But for a user, they would have to go to multiple places to get the information. Now this guide happens to be ridiculous, 50,000 words, something like that. You’re not going to be able to recreate that, but maybe you can distill some of the most important advanced topics into one section of your linkable asset.

Now, if you don’t come up with anything in the Google trends search, you can also just go to the good old fashioned Google add words keyword tool. So head over to the keyword tool, and make sure under match types you choose ‘exact’. It’s very important, because if you choose broader phrase, it’ll show you inaccurate search data. The exact match makes sure that when you see this keyword data, it’s for people that are actually searching for these two words together, ‘content marketing’. And obviously, if you’re on the fence about content marketing, what you can do is search for the keyword, and I like to make sure, I like to sort the local monthly searches. So what you do is you click on it twice, and it’ll show you based on the most search volume. And the reason I do that is because with these linkable assets, you want to be targeting competitive keywords, right? You’re going to put a lot of effort into this, and you’re hopefully going to generate a lot of links. So what you want to do is rank for these more competitive keywords, like guerrilla marketing. So that’s one you could create. ‘The ultimate guide to guerrilla marketing’. Online marketing, mobile marketing, what a great topic that could be, mobile marketing. And if you right click on it, you can actually Google search for that keyword. Then what you do there is you do the same thing. Go through the top ten. It looks like Wikipedia, obviously, is a mixed bag. Sometimes the content’s good, sometimes not very. Mashable, it just has their category. Mobile Marketing magazine is a homepage. The Mobile Marketing Association.

It doesn’t look like there’s a lot of ultimate guides out there, and this would be another great opportunity to go one by one through the results, curate it in WordPress, and then fill in the blanks. And once you’ve done that, it’s a matter of doing email outreach and promotion, which I discuss in another video.

So, all in all, these definitive guides are the best, in my opinion, linkable assets because you become the bar none source for that topic, and that just becomes reference bait, where people will link to you over and over again, every time they talk about something like content marketing.

So, thanks for watching, I’ll see you in the next one.