So a few weeks ago we talked about Off-Page Optimization where the whole strategy there is to get inbound links and to do a good job of internal linking. So after you have mastered internal linking it’s time to get those external links. This can be extremely challenging and if you go about it the wrong way can sink a lot of time and still not feel like you are getting good results. So where should you focus?
Build It and They Will Come
If you create awesome, unique, and valuable content on your site then people WILL link to it. So the best link building strategy is a content creation strategy. So in many ways this kind of is similar to “the best defense is a great offense.”
It’s pretty simple to rationalize too. If you don’t have incredible content on your site why is anyone going to link to it? Yes, you can force your way into getting “spammy” and lots of directory links, but after a point this simply isn’t worth the time. For a higher education site it is definitely not worth your time.
Now we all know that college sites are extremely large and if you don’t believe that simply go run a Google Search using “site:schoolname.edu” and see exactly how many indexed pages of content your domain has. Now of course you want more and here are a few ways to create more pages of unique content.
Three Content Creation Ideas
- Blog: Every blog post is a unique page of content. Do you have student blogs? How about professors that blog? Maybe you could have more or what about getting your newspaper staff to setup a blog? The possibilities are endless here. Blog posts are definitely the easiest and fastest way to get new pages of content and you can really dig into the culture and life of your campus through each and every post. Just make sure that your content creators understand a few of the On-Page Search Engine Optimization Best Practices before you let them run wild. What about a blog for your admissions office or mabye even Alumni blogs?
- Split Up Current Pages: One of the most obvious ones I see about this is FAQ pages that go on forever. Take each of those questions and turn the Q/A into its own unique page of content that can rank around those long tail keywords. Maybe some of your academic pages go on forever and ever because they list all the classes and requirements on one page. Could this also not be split apart? Remember it’s about the user experience, and people don’t mind clicking on additional links as much as we think they do. As long as the user experience is clean and clear more links and pages can be a good thing.
- Internal Site Search: Remember that useful internal site search is a great place to get a quick usability test. Do any of those searches look like evidence that you don’t have the perfect page to send the results to? Well go create that page for those visitors. Remember it’s not about what your site has it’s about what visitors want your site to have.
Now go Create Content
So keep on focusing on content creation and be sure to do a great job of linking to other content across your site with keyword descriptive links. Then watch your search results go up and your visitors being more engaged. They are more engaged because you are providing them superior content linking to additional superior content!