After two days of work, the post was finished and live on their blog. A couple of months later and the post has more than 1,000 backlinks from over 500 referring domains and it ranks for more than 500 organic keywords.
How did that all happen? I wrote a solid piece of content back in 2019 and it was picked up by Glassdoor, the well-known HR website. After they linked to it, more links started coming to the article.
The reason for all of that success from a single article was research. Instead of writing another listicle with X Things To Know When… I wrote a comprehensive guide on the cost of hiring. It was relatively easy to do, with so much data available out there.
I found what the average cost of onboarding, replacing and hiring a new employee was. The sources for this were widely available online. I used the chance to link to these sources to make my research more credible and backed with data and facts.
Now here is the thing. Google and other search engines will determine the quality of your content according to a number of factors. One of those factors are the external links you have pointing from your piece to other websites. Your external links need to be high-quality and point to reputable articles from leading industry websites.
This is where research comes in. For this specific piece, I found lots of resources online. For example, you can find the cost of turnover in many articles on page 1, but each of those articles quotes another research done by a university or an independent research group.
Always quote the original research when you can. A lot of times, when you quote a piece with “X Statistics on Something”, you’re actually linking to a competitor and reducing your own chances of ranking for a certain keyword.
Having said all this, some pieces just don’t have the opportunities to link to independent research. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your research. Link to relevant sources in your industry and make sure that the sites you link to are relevant and with high domain authority. Needless to say, do not link to the competition that you’re trying to beat in the SERPs.
As for my piece that performed well, the reality is that it didn’t bring anything new to the world. All of the great data was already out there, I just had to do some research and put it all together in one well-structured post and that’s all it took for it to rank.