Why Tangential Content is The Secret to Great Link Building

by Posted @ Mar 05 2020

Why Tangential Content is The Secret to Great Link Building

One of the most common questions the Go Fish Digital link-building team receives is “How does content that isn’t related to my product help my brand?”. 

While it is a fair question, we are huge advocates of tangential content for all of our link-building campaigns. We’ve seen a massive amount of success with them for many of our clients, with a number of those campaigns going viral. So, how can a study on something that’s not related to who you are and what you do help your business? The answer is simple: you’re giving the people what they want.

The Argument for Tangential Content

To understand why tangential content is impactful, you need to hone in on the real goal of link building initiatives – enhancing your site’s credibility by delivering high domain authority backlinks to your site. When you develop a link building campaign, your focus isn’t on your own target audience. Instead, you’re looking at what other sites will find interesting or useful and by extension, how you can engage their audiences so that they’ll publish your content as a resource for their viewers.

When other websites link back to your website’s content, that tells Google that your content is good and valuable to people looking for information. This helps boost the authority of your domain, an input that Google uses to quantify the strength of your website. This helps Google rank the results on the search engine results pages. It’s a sort of peer review system in the cyberspace world, with Google acting as the final judge of how good your content is. 

The thing to remember about link building campaigns is that they’re not about conversions or sales or even engaging your target audience. Building backlinks is about getting high domain authority sites to link back to your website and seeing the value of that link equity dispersed on your site. Whether that link equity comes from The Washington Post or Buzzfeed, there’s a major value in building backlinks from any high domain authority source. While industry publications are a good place to start, you’ll also see value from lifestyle and local publications, which gives you more opportunities to expand your backlink profile.

Where we tend to see projects stall is when companies get too worried about the continuity of articles on their site. Many businesses tend to get nervous about putting an article about food smack in the middle of all of their articles about best business practices. Often, they worry that their site visitors will wonder what that has to do with anything. However, it’s the out-there ideas that tend to lead to the best results. Look no further than our first major win for a software client. It might seem odd if a Customer Relationship Management company posts an article about Trader Joe’s. But in this case, that’s exactly what this company did, and the results were staggering.

The Trader Joe’s Campaign

This CRM software client was looking for a knockout campaign option. They wanted a project that would generate tons of backlinks and drive some traffic to their website. Our team had the Top Trader Joe’s Item by State idea in our back pocket and we were dying to try it out. There were a few reasons we thought it would be a successful project:

  1. Trader Joe’s has a dedicated customer pool who love to hear about Trader Joe’s products. This would be a great piece of content to engage that existing audience.
  2. Food publications are often high-quality links and they tend to be open to “fun” ideas such as this one.
  3. Each year, Trader Joe’s releases its Customer Choice awards for their products. This gave us a news cycle to work with that we could piggy-back off of to boost engagement.

Ultimately, the client allowed us to try out this idea. We did the study, launched the article, and within two days, the links were rolling in. We received 26 backlinks total for this campaign, including coverage from MSN, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, and The Business Journals. The page received over 1,600 sessions in just a few weeks, and the client was as thrilled as we were.

Why It Worked for the Client

What does Trader Joe’s have to do with client relationship management software, you might ask? We tied the client’s brand in with the following logic:

Trader Joe’s has an incredibly loyal following. By enhancing your customer relationships, you can foster the same kind of loyalty in your clients as well.

It was simple and it was effective. Journalists were excited to see a study that related so effectively to a subset of their audience. This campaign gave foodies exactly the sort of content that they wanted and in the end, it led to a fantastic number of high domain authority links to the client’s site. Since that campaign, we’ve done a number of tangentially-linked content campaigns that have performed even better than this Trader Joe’s example. But that campaign marked the turning point of when our strategy for this client really broke through and we saw the results we love to deliver.

While it might seem like tangential content is too off the wall for your company to use, its benefits have proven time and time again how effective this strategy can be. Whether you’re trying to reach page one of Google or just trying to give your brand a boost, backlinks provide that extra punch. The fact that you can reach audiences outside of your industry and still get that same SEO value is an incredibly underused tool, which is why we love it when our clients get a little creative with their ideas. The next time you’re wondering how to drive a little extra SEO value to your company site, try thinking outside the box! You never know what could turn into your brand’s link building secret weapon.

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2 Comments

  1. George

    March 08th, 2020 at 4:25 am

    I agree to a certain extent how tangential content can be helpful. But it can also be counterproductive. Sometimes, links from an irrelevant domain can be harmful to search engine positioning.

    Reply

    • Devon Cameron

      March 09th, 2020 at 6:16 am

      Hi George! You’re absolutely right, not all tangential links are valuable. Some can be spammy or might not provide any value. That’s why we have our SEO team help inspect all of our clients’ backlinks so we can disavow any harmful ones.

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