7 Types of Content to Build Links Naturally
As a top 3 ranking factor, it’s no secret that content marketers and SEO experts alike want to do anything they can to build more backlinks. However, while 90% of SEOs rely on content for most of their backlinks, 94% of content doesn’t get any links at all.
There are many techniques you can use to get more backlinks to your content. However, what if we told you that simply choosing one type of content over another can already give you a headstart?
That’s right. Specific types of blog content naturally attract more links than others. Typically, this is because formatting content in this way is more:
- Easier to consumer (especially on the go)
- More visually appealing
- Solves a specific problem
- Is easier and more tempting to share (especially on social media)
The upside of this is that most types of “linkable” content are also inherently more “shareable” and will help you get more traction on social media, and across the web.
So, don’t just be another statistic, crafting high-quality content but not being able to earn any links.
By focussing your efforts on the following types of content, you’ll drastically improving your chances to succeed:
The good old list post might seem like one of the easiest and most obvious types of content to create, however, it’s still one of the most effective.
Why do people love reading, sharing, and linking to list posts? Well, because listicles offer:
- A “what-you-see-is-what-you-get ” value proposition: The title of a list post generally says exactly what a reader will find. For example, top 21 WordPress themes for 2021. There is no ambiguity here. This also makes list posts more likely to match relevant search queries and reader expectations, generating more traffic – and links.
- They are highly scannable: A reader can quickly get an overview of the most important information simply by scanning the headings of the times listed.
- They spark conversation: Different readers might agree or disagree with the items on your list which can generate conversation and interest among their peers.
Listicles are a low-effort/high-reward content type because they generally require very simple research. You can also easily pull together useful lists by mixing and matching other popular and valuable listicles.
According to a study of 220,000 articles by Fractl and BuzzSumo, list posts were the most shareable with social traction of 22.45%. In another study by BuzzSumo and OkDork, lists came second only to infographics.
While social links generally don’t count towards your link juice, they are important for getting more interest and traffic to your content which can lead to more links from other sources.
What’s more, list posts tend to be more evergreen and maintain their performance over time whereas other content tends to drop off after the initial interest.
According to numerous studies, infographics is the best type of content for link building. Period. A study of 628 articles found that 61% of SEO experts agreed that infographics were the most effective type of content for link building. It was only beaten by data/research (70%) and videos (66%), but these types of content are more niche and difficult to produce.
Another study by BuzzSumo and OkDork found that infographics captured the most shares of any content type across 100 million articles.
It’s no mystery why infographics are so shareable and linkable. They are fun, engaging, and informative all at once. Like a listicle, an infographic can quickly be scanned for important information with helpful visual queues to illustrate the data.
According to the same study above, whitepapers lost out by only 1% to infographics, with 60% f SEOs agreeing that it’s the most effective content for link building.
A whitepaper is an “informational document usually issued by a company or not-for-profit organization to promote or highlight the features of a solution, product, or service that it offers or plans to offer.”
However, because they typically describe a complex solution and present the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter, they don’t apply in all situations. It’s usually a pretty exhaustive document , consisting of tens of pages in PDF format.
However, as a whitepaper is an “official” document from an original source, they are highly linkable within that niche.
70% of SEO experts believed that data/research-based content was the most effective at link-building.
However, the catch is that the “linkability” of your data-driven content is directly proportional to how unique, valuable, and authoritative it is. Today, many content marketers take the easy way out, simply putting together long listicles with datapoints and factoids from other studies.
While this is a quick and easy way to generate data-driven content, you’ll probably have many competitors with the same information. In that case, you have to ask yourself, why should someone read and/or link to your content instead of someone else’s?
You can make data-driven content more linkable by:
- Conducting your own study/research
- Finding a unique angle to present your problem hypothesis, and solution
- Including infographics or visual data representation
- Doing keyword research and picking the right topic
Webinars and Podcasts
Nowadays, it seems like just about everyone and anyone has their own webinar or podcast. It’s estimated that there are nearly 2 million active podcasts with roughly 48 million episodes. In the US, nearly 6/10 people over the age of 12 listen to podcasts. And, podcast listeners tend to be very active online, with 94% active on all social platforms.
Podcasts are usually in the format of discussions, debates, interviews, or news programs – often live. This makes them more engaging to consume than just reading walls of text or a transcript. They can also be enjoyed on-the-go without needing your full attention.
Many brands or businesses use webinars or podcasts as virtual events, bringing together influencers or authorities on a particular subject matter.
All these factors make webinars and podcasts highly shareable and linkable. However, they tend to be more shareable than linkable which is the only reason why fewer (56%) SEO experts believe they are the best type of content for link building.
Second, only to data-driven content, 66% of research believe videos are the most effective content for link building.
One of the obvious explanations for why that is is because video content is more resource-intensive to produce. While a lot of competing websites may have a similar listicle, data-driven article, or how-to guide, only 1 or 2 may have actually gone the extra mile and presented it in the video format.
You might earn a link from an article covering the same topic, simply because you have video to support it, and they don’t. It will still offer value to their readers.
Like webinars and podcasts, videos are more engaging and allow you to speak directly to the viewer. It can also be consumed on the go. Videos are slightly less likely to be shared, however, probably due to bandwidth concerns.
As a general rule of thumb, long-form content tends to out-perform shorter-form content of the same type. This counts for everything from SERP rankings to link-building. According to Backlinko, content of between 3,000-10,000 words have, on average, over 4 referring domains while content of between 0 – 1,000 words have just above 2.
However, shareability does somewhat go down when content goes over 2,000 words. According to Hubspot, the overall “sweet spot” for organic traffic is between 2,250 and 2,500 words.
Still, if you purely want to build as many links as possible, more is truly more. You can apply this principle to any of the types of text content we’ve already discussed.
You can use techniques like the Skyscraper technique to easily craft long-form content while making sure that you provide more value than your competitors.
How to build more links to your content?
Picking the right type of content to create is only the start. And, once you’ve produced your optimized and linkable content, the battle is only half won.
The hard truth is that simply creating linkable content often is enough on its own. An outreach campaign focusing on building links can help you get the most value out of your content by getting it the attention it deserves.
By using a professional link-building service like Uprankly, you can build guaranteed links to your content from high-authority domains. This will help boost your link juice, improving your search engine rankings, impressions, reach, and organic traffic.
Simply choosing a linkable type of content won’t guarantee high-quality backlinks to your website. However, it’s like a cheat code that will immediately improve your chances of hacking your readers’ habits to get more link-building opportunities.
Combined with high-quality content and a sound link-building outreach campaign, there’s no reason why you won’t improve your link profile.