Acquiring backlinks to your content from other sites is crucial for increasing your visibility in search results. What types of content work best to build these valuable backlinks?
We wanted to find out – and turned to the experts for some insight. We also included the examples they shared of their best-performing content to help you gain inspiration. Let’s dive into the 14 best types of content for link building.
1. Easy-to-read content
“Focus on the fundamentals: how-to guides, top 10s, easy explanation videos. Now more than ever, people want content they can understand quickly. Provide that to the right audience and link building will handle itself.” –David Cusick, House Method
“Listicle-type blog posts that contain interesting, niche-specific facts or trivia – particularly information not readily available and in an accessible format. Headlines incorporating superlatives, such as best, oldest, strangest, etc., tend to add even more traction to these types of posts.” –Marie Belsten, Bootcamp Media
2. PR surveys (roundups)
“A creative technique for businesses to increase backlinks is by conducting a simple PR survey, sometimes called a roundup. The main objective of conducting a PR survey is to collect opinions from the general population or a niche audience of people regarding a certain topic related to a brand.” –Emily Carroll, Drive Research
3. Infographics and visuals
“Blogs with infographics and other original visuals help generate the most links because they make a direct impact on readers.
“An example of using an infographic for attracting backlinks and boosting traffic is our infographic on seven ways to improve public relations writing. The interactive infographic is a great feature to offer other blogs also trying to teach readers how to improve their PR writing.” –Farzad Rashidi, Respona
See Respona’s full post with the high-quality infographic
“The content we’ve used with the most success is creating infographics/maps that are 10x compared to the others on the internet. We allow the target website to use the infographic in their copy, with the request that they give a backlink to us. An example of one of our infographics can be found at this link.” –Kevin Groh, Cachi Life
4. Press releases
“Press releases are great for getting new backlinks. They get syndicated on many websites, and you can reach out to those sites and ask for a link back to your website from their content.” –Gregory Golinski, YourParkingSpace
5. Original interviews
“My most successful content in terms of links is the ClickFunnels interview, according to Ahrefs stats. I think it’s successful because it provides unique information, via an interview, about the marketing strategies and numbers at ClickFunnels.” –Bruce Harpham
6. Definitive guides
“Ultimate guides have been the most successful in generating links. This content type has been so successful because it establishes the website as an authoritative, well-researched source.
“People feel confident about linking to ultimate guides to help answer the questions their readers may have. It also decreases visitor bounce rate.” –Peter Mann, SC Vehicle Hire
“Expert industry insights and fully crafted longform articles. I think these have been successful because they offer true, non-repeatable value to the person deciding whether or not to give you a backlink.” –Danny Grainger
“Besides guest posting, long-form guides (sometimes called link magnets) have been the most successful. Our 16-Step Legal Checklist to Starting a Business is a great example. It’s over 11,000 words long and is loaded with information and videos for entrepreneurs.” –Darin Evangelista, Lyda Law Firm
“In-depth informational content in which we include scientific evidence and real-life stories. These types of posts add value, and people can trust the content because there’s evidence. Other website owners have no problem referring their readers to these posts.” –David De Haan, Stand Up Paddle Boards Review
“Our blog posts and comprehensive guides on Chinese wedding dresses, tea ceremonies, etc. have been the most successful. This is because we try to write the best guide out there, and answer any question a bride might have regarding these topics.
“We also make our guides easy-to-read, beautiful, and with a modern aesthetic. Many sites and even brides link to our guide in wedding forums or share with other brides. This guide lives as a landing page on our website so it’s easy to link.” –Vivian Chan, East Meets Dress
Check out East Meets Dress’s full guide to Chinese wedding tea ceremonies
“My huge guide on power words has been most successful in attracting links. It’s a guide I built by taking what works from several ranking competitors and combining the winning elements into my post.
“I did cold email outreach for it and got a bunch of links. What’s more, my guide is the one post on my site that picks up links organically without any direct input from me.” –Nikola Roza
Check out Nikola’s full guide to power words
7. Product reviews
“The content that generates the most links for us is when we write about our personal experiences and subjective reviews of apps we’ve tested. Most reviewers just copy and paste facts, but we give actual feedback, based on our own use of the apps we test.” –Jane Kovalkova, Chanty
“Product roundups are the most successful content type we’ve used when it comes to link generation. With a list of links in an informative article, this type of content is a fast way to grab the attention of other bloggers or websites.
“They’re likely to link back to you especially if the content is valuable. This technique combines content marketing and link distribution strategies, so you get double whammy results.” –Mollie Newton, Pet Me Twice
“We’ve always found our most successful content is usually some form of top 10 list. I think the reason is because we offer ways to buy all of the products we include in our top 10 lists.” –Brandon Wilkes, The Big Phone Store
8. Content that answers questions
“When we create a piece of content that helps answer a question or solve a pain point for the target audience – and that uses the correct keywords – that will get shared. All our content has SEO in mind, is well-written, at least 800 words, with a photo and a clear call to action.” –Christy Morgan, Exposure Ninja
“How-to guides are informative and beneficial to the reader, so they’re often used as a source for other articles. This type of post is an excellent option for building links to your website, as it can serve as great information for the host site’s readers, as well.” –Brett Banchek, Overnight Flowers
Read one of the Overnight Flowers how-to guides
“Our most successful content pieces all provide valuable information for our core audience. We think the success of these pages is a combination of targeting the right keywords, providing a resource of information for our core audience about the services we offer, and making the content easily digestible.” –Katie Fellenz, Trust & Will
“Writing informational blog posts has been quite successful in getting quality links for us. It’s worked because websites need content, and there’s a dearth of good content out there that will truly benefit the readers.
“If you’re able to provide quality in your content, having it published on a good authoritative website shouldn’t be much of a hassle. Even HARO has been a great source for us to get quality links. Providing in-depth responses that genuinely help the reporter add value to an article gets rewarded with a nice link.” –Noman Nalkhande, WP Adventure
9. Encyclopedia-style posts
“One new content type we’ve been very successful with is the encyclopedia-style blog post. These are blog posts that present factual information useful to a brand’s competitors and prospective clients.
“An example is this post, which got our client 24 backlinks from 19 unique referring domains. I think the reason this content is so successful is because it’s extremely useful. It contains information people are always looking for. So even though it’s more like a Wikipedia article than a blog post, it works well.” –Tory Gray, The Gray Dot Company
10. Original research
“Research, whether it’s data already in the public domain but hasn’t been packaged, or research data you’ve compiled yourself. Either way, insights provide immense value, and research pieces are naturally great at attracting backlinks.” –Quentin Aisbett, OnQ Marketing
“The best type of content is researched content. This means gathering data no one else has and creating new/better content unique to your niche.
“For example, say Google released a new algorithm update. If you analyzed and studied the impact this algorithm had on top niches, then published an in-depth article that described what was affected, how it was affected, and how you can help combat the effects within each niche, people within the SEO world would link to that like crazy.” –Tonya Davis, ThoughtLab
“We conduct original research using surveys. Once we have the data, we create a page detailing the findings with graphs, etc. so it’s as engaging as possible. We’ve found this technique to be successful for link building for a number of reasons:
- You have unique data that potentially no one has seen before
- You can outreach to ‘[niche] statistic’ pages, as they always update their pages with new stats
- If you get on one of the top-ranking statistic pages, you can see links snowball, as more people will see and potentially use your data
- You can use your data as a natural and relevant link in any guest posts you secure.”
–Daniel Reeves, Dandy Marketing
Check out Daniel’s example survey from Isoline Communications
“I love using the double survey technique by Kyle Byers when it comes to generating backlinks for my blog. The double survey technique combines two of the most famous blog post formats – original research using surveys and roundup posts.
“The first step is to narrow down a topic lacking good survey material. Once you have one, you can start conducting surveys. This will create original data and statistics that act as backlink magnets. Posts with the double survey technique have been most successful for me.” –-Freya Kuka, Collecting Cents
11. Statistical articles
“Stats pages are growing in popularity, especially if they’re recent and relevant. Lots of websites want to cite verified statistics, which is why investing time to create quality content can really pay off. My advice is to keep stats pages focused and concise, instead of providing a long list with all kinds of random facts and numbers.” –Malte Scholz, Airfocus
“From my experience, statistical roundup posts have been the best post type to generate links both organically, and they’re easy to link to when doing outreach. Most bloggers tend to back up their posts with statistical data to position themselves as an authority. So they’re always looking for industry related statistic roundups to cite and link back to in their posts.” –Khris Steven, Khrisdigital
“In-house digital PR. We’ve been creating interesting articles with lots of statistically relevant information. Having a strong infrastructure for outreach, we then gather hundreds of relevant media contacts.
“The cost per campaign is significantly reduced, and we build no less than 10 and up to 30-40 links per campaign in up-and-coming and established media outlets. It also makes up for the fact that guest posting is becoming harder to do, and regular email outreach has a limited number of contacts in each industry.” –Daniel Pacheco, Zety
“The best pieces of content for generating links on their own has been statistics articles. These are simply roundups of facts, stats, and studies on a term. For instance, ‘X Sales Enablement Statistics.’
“I’ve found these work best when the writer groups all related statistics and uses headers to target related keywords. Other content writers and journalists will often cite your roundup of statistics in a subject, rather than cite the original source of information. Once these rank in the top three for a term, they’ll generate links for you forever.” –Jakub Rudnik, Shortlister
Shortlister’s roundup of employee wellness statistics
12. Unique, specific blog posts
“Our most successful content are blog posts that are unique, informative, and fun. While targeting high-volume keywords is an important part of SEO campaigns, we’ve also found that taking on a broad range of topics can help garner shares on social media and links on other websites, while showing our personality.” –Charlie Tatum, Fort Worth Optimism
“Blog posts focused on very specific topics have been most successful in generating links. Often blogs are written to reach too broad of an audience. A niche blog post can provide information to a smaller group of people on a topic that’s not often covered. This allows your content to live in a more niche world of content without vast competition.” –Jordan Lassiter, Optimistic London
13. Evergreen blog posts
“I’ve found evergreen blog posts to be the most effective in link building. These are fantastic tools because you can always update them, expand upon them, or repurpose them for additional value later.” –Kristen Bolig, SecurityNerd
14. Content that’s relevant for a target website
“We are most successful at obtaining backlinks when we offer content that’s both relevant to the target website and that showcases our expertise. By offering tidbits of our knowledge in SEM and SEO tactics, we give information of value to these other websites. In return, they are more willing to promote our services.” –Anna Tatelman, Optimistic Miami
We hope this collection of link building content helps inspire and boost your own backlink efforts.
Remember to always create content that offers value to your niche and audience, as well as the audiences of any sites you seek to gain backlinks from.
Looking for more link building advice? This expert roundup will help you choose strategies for gaining even more valuable backlinks.