There are many strong motivations to create content for your SEO campaign. They give you more pages for Google to index, they allow you to optimize for long-tail keywords, and of course, they serve as anchor points for building and attracting inbound links. Those links, of course, are essential if you want to improve your domain authority and climb the rankings, so you’ll be especially motivated to create compelling content for your brand.
Here’s the thing—not all types of content have the same likelihood of attracting high-quality links.
Top Types of Content
These types of content are usually the best for attracting links because they’re dense, they’re informative, and they’re somewhat tricky to pull off—which means they’re rarer and more appealing to your audience:
- Massive lists. Massive lists are appealing for two reasons. First, they have a ton of content to wade through, which makes them seem well-researched and “deep” on the subject matter. Second, they’re organized into numerical points, so they’re easy to peruse. Listicles offer a similar effect, but massive lists (with 100 items or more) offer a much richer and more linkable experience. For example, 121 things to do in Rome isn’t just an exploration of the highlights—it goes into detail about what the city offers, making it a citable resource rather than just fodder to share with your social media followers.
- In-depth tutorials. In-depth tutorials are also strong contenders as a linkable asset. Tutorials teach people how to do something, which makes them practically valuable. If that task is specific enough, you’ll see high search volume with minimal competition, but best of all, anyone writing about similar or related topics will probably link to your resource—as long as it’s the best one available. For that reason, your tutorial needs to be in-depth, like this guide on how to sketch in three dimensions.
- Infographics. Infographics tend to gather many data points from many different sources, and collect them together in a single, visually immersive package. This makes it immediately appealing to share, but also makes it an all-in-one resource to reference for others who are working on similar or related material. This infographic covering multiple data points on the Bond film franchise is a perfect example of one blending together citable information in an aesthetically pleasing package.
- Short videos. You can also put together a short video, covering ample information on any topic. This medium is more open-ended, though you’ll still need to have something citable. You can transform a tutorial into a hands-on approach with your video, or bring in an influencer and interview them; as long as there’s some quotable material there, people will be willing to cite your work. Up until this point, longer and more detailed has been better to increase your chances of earning links, but here, shorter is better; people don’t have time to spend searching for small details they need in a 20-minute video.
- Documented original research. Any original research you provide on a topic that your audience wants to learn about is going to be instant and high-quality fodder for links. Original research hasn’t been done before, and therefore has no competition to worry about. You’ll provide new, unique data points that other people need, and nobody else can steal that traffic from you. Moz and BuzzSumo’s analysis on how content earns shares and links is a good example of this—and is pretty meta, given the nature of this article. Any type of research is valuable, so long as it’s new.
A Note on Quality
Just creating a piece of content in one of the archetypes above isn’t enough to guarantee you’ll earn some links. The piece also has to be of exceptional high quality; it should be appealing to your target demographics, easy to read and understand, well-researched, detailed, and engaging. The content world is flooded with both amateurs and professionals, desperate to get a piece of today’s ridiculously high user demand. You’ll need to produce grade-A material if you want to stand a chance in the field—no matter what type of content you end up producing.
Supporting Your Content
After producing your piece, you can’t just sit back and let the links come to you—you have to support your work if you want it to thrive. Make sure you syndicate it on social media, submit it to social bookmarking sites, and shop it around with influencers. Unless you have a strong initial audience, your piece’s quality won’t be enough to get you the links you need. But with the right support, and high enough quality, you can turn any of the content archetypes above into a link-generating landmark masterpiece in your SEO campaign.