Stacey McNaught is a freelance SEO and content marketer. She began her SEO career back in 2009 within an agency, and now speaks regularly at industry events. She went freelance in April this year. She got into SEO on accident, and has been working in the industry for 12-13 years.
Her talk focused on how to make sure your content continues to build links and gain coverage for month, or years after it’s finished.
“You’ve created an amazing story with great supporting assets and you’ve had superb success getting it placed, covered and building links.”
Stacey starts by saying that if when you stop doing your outreach, your content stops generating links – does it still count as a linkable resource? In an ideal world we could keep promoting great content forever but we’re bound by time, budgets and contracts.

Survey

Before the talk, Stacey conducted a survey in which she asked industry professionals a series of questions on their capacity of involvement in content promotion and outreach. The headline takeaways she shared with us were:
  • 59% said they do all outreach at once and as quick as possible.
  • 22% said they go back often to a project to re-outreach
  • 25% claim to hit their outreach targets
She said that it’s surprising that three quarters of people aren’t really hitting their targets. She went through and analysed the data and turns out that success rates are higher for the people who re-visit their content often or always.
Stacey claims that her best performing content has been ongoing for years. She speaks about a piece of content she made three years ago about consumer’s smartphone habits, as it has been cited as a source consistently since.
It’s the work you put in before outreach that ensures you get ongoing links to your content later. Her top tips are the following:

Tip 1: Optimise your content. Become a source.

As SEOs, its amazing that we forget to optimise content we’ve created, blinded by fancy headlines. However if you can optimise it to rank in search for specific terms on topics that you know people will be looking for a source, you’ll continue to gain backlinks.
Look for these topics beforehand so you know what content to create which answers the questions, statics and sources that people are searching for. She gives examples of sites who have taken stats taking from other sources, but the domain list is consistently linked to because they are ranking. Whatever the content asset, approach keyword research the same way you always would when creating content onpage.

Tip 2: Assets

Create assets, images and infographics. Upload them as creative bank on your site or Flickr, and ask for attribution.

Tip 3: Monitor

Monitor mentions of key topics where a revisit might be genuinely impactful.
Use TalkWalker alerts. Don’t put short tail keywords in here. Use a separate email for these alerts. Go through these when you have time and when there is something genuinely relevant to you, put your emails together and outreach.
Check competitors content disappearing, and follow up with your own content.  Monitor your own content too.

Long term value of content: other notes

  • Work closer with stakeholders
PR people aren’t bad at outreach we need to work more closely with sales teams to set objectives that take into account long term value.
  • Set bigger and more ambitious targets.
If you hit ten links on a project where you have a target of 100, you’ll be more motivated to continue. It’s a mindset thing.
Jess Hawkes

Digital PR Specialist

Digital PR Specialist and mediocre character. Relentlessly opinionated. Often mistaken for being sarcastic even when being sincere.

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