Using Case Studies Can Earn You Natural Backlinks
Case studies represent a type of a qualitative research which does not involve testing a hypothesis. They are used across a variety of disciplines and have managed to prove their value in the SEO industry, as well. Cases are also used by inbound marketing specialist to clearly represent traffic growth, conversion metrics, website interaction and the amount of money the established marketing campaign brought in.
Though once all it took to rank high in search results was mid-quality content enriched with relevant keywords to which you build as many links as possible, the almighty Google has decided to change the rules of the game. Now, effective SEO does not only revolve around quantity, but also quality of backlinks pointing to your content.
That seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Getting quality natural links from authority websites is far from easy.
However, once you manage to build just a couple of relevant backlinks to your site, you get to enjoy the high-converting traffic. The more leads you acquire, the more sales you will make, what will result in greater revenue.
But what are natural links anyway?
Moz defines them as relevant and useful links which flow smoothly into the context of the page. In some cases, you will earn them without even having to ask, whereas other times you will have to create a piece of content which will be difficult not to link to.
One such type of content is a case study.
On several occasions, this method of research has been criticized for being too bias, general and rather unreliable. In order to avoid such claims being made about your case study, you will have to spend a significant amount of time on a planning process.
Target clients and traffic, not links
Certainly, getting a quality backlink will benefit your rankings, but that should not be your priority for now. One other factor Google takes notice of is the activity that occurs on your page, and to drive traffic to your case, you will have to provide your readers with valuable content.
So what is valuable in the eyes of your target customers? Actionable results they can identify with. For instance, if the topic of your case study deals with PPC marketing, provide them with a step by step guide they can act on immediately. In time, your guide will attract tons of natural backlinks from authoritative websites that were on the hunt for a detailed explanation regarding PPC methods.
Answer your target customer’s questions
In order for your case study to be linkable, it is advisable that it answers questions people enter into search engines. But how are you going to acquire this kind of information?
Quora is a great place to get to know your customers’ needs. Type in the topic you wish to deal with and it will list some of the most commonly asked questions around which you can revolve your case study around. Aside from Quora, you can browse through a number of forums which specialize in your line of business – also, once you publish your case study, you can go back to the same places and offer your piece of content as a relevant source of information for the questions they’ve asked. Ultimately, this kind of promotion might just attract several forum-followers and motivate them to link to you on their websites.
Conduct a keyword research analysis
In addition to scouting forums, it is of utmost importance to get the list of keyword phrases people to search for information relevant to your topic. According to SEO Brisbane experts, the current state of affairs in the SEO industry dictates long-tail keyword research. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is by far the most reliable tool out there. It provides information on the keyword volume (that is, the number of times people have searched for a particular keyword on a monthly basis), keyword difficulty, and CPC in your area or globally. Once you find the most relevant keywords for the topic you wish to write about, ensure you include it in the title of your case study and that you optimize the content for it.
Notify websites you linked to
If you have decided to curate case studies from third-party sources, ensure you let them know they have been mentioned in your case. Often, creating a study alone will not attract backlinks as easily – sometimes you will have to ask for it. Certainly, the best way to persuade an authoritative website to link to you is to show them that you have already done the same for them. When you decide to outreach, make sure the email is short, especially if you are looking to contact high-quality resource – it is quite possible they do not have the time to read a lengthy email. Keep it to the point, and they are bound to get back to you with an answer ASAP.
Target niche influencers
After you publish a case study, craft a list of influencers in your industry and notify them of your content. The fastest way to do this is with Buzzsumo or Epictions (these two tools are also beneficial in the pre-writing stage, when you are still deciding on the topic). Simply enter the topic into a search bar and click on “View Shares”. After uncovering influencers who have already shared something on the similar topic, you can offer them your case study as yet another high-quality source of information.
Alternatively, you can try to locate them manually on Facebook or Twitter; in that case, we advise browsing through popular Facebook groups or using a particular hashtag.
The bottom line
Content is the king – yes, it’s a cliché, but it became one for a reason. A compelling piece of content naturally attracts organic backlinks, and a quality case study has the power to drive more traffic and links your way than any other piece of content.
In the end, bear in mind that Google has evolved in the last couple of years, and if the quality of your content is not worthy of the top of the SERP, it stands no chance of getting there.
And even if it is top-quality – make sure you let people from your industry know about it (relevant, influential people from the industry).