One important element of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — in other words, getting Google to send traffic to your website — is how many other websites link to your content. You don’t want just any old backlink, but you do want high-quality and related sites to link to content on your site. All of these links are what make the Web a web.
What kind of content generates those links from other sites to your site? Here’s a list of the most popular kind of content that will produce organic backlinks, without you having to ask for them.
- Data or Research — people love to link back to the data that supports their own statements and content.
- Lists — everyone loves a list. Listicles are perennial favorites.
- What and Why Posts — posts that explain the basics, provide definitions, etc. are also great time savers for others. Think of all the links out there to Wikipedia!
- Videos — Another popular media format.
- Infographics — Not only will people link to it directly, but they will also share it on social (especially Pinterest).
- White Papers — People like to link to in-depth content too.
- Guides — How-to content is another perennial favorite.
- Reviews — People who like to review things will often link to and reference other reviews. And people who don’t want to do reviews will link to them as well so they don’t have to share their own opinions!
- Opinions / Rants — People often respond on their own blogs to opinion posts or link to them as a way to outline the debate around a particular issue.
It’s all about being useful to other websites and blogs. All of the content types listed above work well within other content. For example, I might be writing about a big issue but want to include mention of specific examples without including them outright. So, I link out to another site with an example. Or I might be doing the opposite: I might be writing about something that is fairly niche in nature, but I want to link out to an article that provides the bigger context.
Online writers often link to additional resources at the end of their posts too. I’ll do that now, as I close this post.