You want to draw as many people as possible to your site so that they can discover all about your business or become devoted followers of your blog. That means, then, that you need to rank well on search engine results pages. After all, people are only more likely to click on links on the first page of search results.  

This article will talk about backlinks and their importance to SEO. You will also discover the types of content that can help you generate those backlinks for your website.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What Is the Importance of Link-Building?

A backlink is an HTTP link placed on a website that points its users straight to your website. These links back to your site are viewed favorably by Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or other search engines. That’s because they are seen as a strong vote of confidence in the content that you are sharing with the online world. 

The more authority the website linking back to your own has, the better it reflects on your SEO scores.

The biggest attraction to generating backlinks from other websites is that this pushes you up the search rankings with search engines. This increases your chances of being seen by your target audience on their search engine results page, increasing the chance of people doing business with you or buying your products. 

Let me give you an example. One of the most popular articles on the site Big Commerce is an article on dropshipping. The article generates 62,801 visitors a month to the site according to Ahrefs.

content backlinking 1

That article is pretty great, but that’s not the only thing that makes it rank at the top of the search results. It also has links from 564 referring domains.

content backlinking 2

In other words, you should be creating desirable content for other users to want to link up to it.

It would be preferable for your website to generate backlinks from other industry or topic-related websites because not all backlinks are equal. For example, a seaside bed and breakfast would be rated far higher by the major search engines if all their backlinks were from tourist boards, the local council, or travel agencies. 

It would look bad if the same bed and breakfast were to receive an equal number of backlinks from gambling and gaming sites or SEO marketing sites. That is because there is no good reason for mutual backlinks.

Google might even penalize the bed and breakfast for those backlinks.

Backlinks are like fairy dust sprinkled across your website, and Google loves them! Being the most powerful search engine on the planet, this matters and affects your business, whether you like it or not. So, it is worth knowing why Google appreciates good backlinks, but also remembering that backlinks gained through spamming or purchasing would probably harm your ratings massively.

5 Types of Backlink-Generating Content

Just as some backlinks are more valuable than others, the same goes for quality content that Google and others will rate higher than your competitor’s similar content. You need to remember that you aren’t the only game in town. 

So, here is an insight into the different types of content that you could think about integrating into your website. Check out how they can set you apart from your competitors.

1. Infographics

Infographics are an extremely powerful way of connecting with your target audience. They are powerful because it is very easy for people to scan the image and absorb the content. They have been proven to give readers an enjoyable way to learn something new.

Infographics do, however, require creativity, technical ability, and patience to design. If you can learn this skill, you can create content that is very digestible and could even go viral.

benefits of infographics

Things to remember include:

  • Picking a highly relevant topic for your target audience
  • Writing very specific content for your readers
  • Gathering data points and arranging them in a logical flow.
  • Your infographic needs to look stunning as well. 

Quality counts when you want to generate backlinks.

You can use plenty of tools to start creating infographics for your site. For example, Canva is an easy-to-use online visual design platform. If you have the budget, you may want to hire a professional company or freelancer to create your infographics for you.

Remember to include the support content alongside your infographic.

2. White papers

White papers are research reports conducted by the government or academics. It’s always original research.

white papers

The best white papers, such as the one above on running payrolls, offer industry experts actionable advice and relevant insights. So, if you’re writing about web design, for instance, you’d need to consider web development trends.

White papers are a great way of attracting high-quality backlinks. They require a thorough understanding of the target market, excellent research, and strong writing skills to keep it enjoyable. Get this right, though, and you could reap handsome rewards.

3. List posts

“Listicles” are just blog posts that list a selection of different options. For example, the “10 best places to visit in San Francisco” or the “Top 5 Web Design Agencies in the United States”.

listicle posts

Why are listicles so popular?

Listicles are easy to scan so that readers can go straight to their area of interest. They also offer a simple answer to search queries. Moreover, they don’t overwhelm the reader and, as such, are good hooks that create curiosity.

Lists, by their very nature, are also shareable pieces that travel well on social media platforms. That can give your content the exposure it needs. When your content has a lot of exposure, it can generate a good number of backlinks.

4. Surveys and reports

Original research is time-consuming to produce, but can provide valuable or interesting insights. So, if you can understand an industry or particular topic, conduct the necessary research, and write it up in a concise and interesting article, survey, or report. You may have a valuable piece of content to put on your website. 

Check out this example from Backlinko:


Backlinko analyzed 912 million blog posts and, from there, generated insights that proved useful to marketers. It isn’t any wonder then that the report garnered that much social media exposure. Just take a look at the number of shares on Facebook and Twitter. What followed after that? Juicy backlinks, of course.

If the content is timely and unique, you can promote it heavily across your social media platforms. Then you can put yourself in a great position to generate strong backlinks from other relevant sources, just like what Backlinko did.

This popular article has links from 1,092 referring domains.

content backlinking 3

Statistics and surveys are great sources of information and can be easily integrated into another site’s content. That makes them valuable content pieces susceptible to receiving backlinks for as long as they offer additional value.

5. Videos

Videos require an understanding of your viewer and the particular issue that you want to address. This is called a pain point. If you can help solve this in an interesting, constructive, and enjoyable way, then you could stand a chance of receiving a backlink or a social media share that can lead to a backlink from the viewer.

Remember that just as written content needs to be optimized for search engine discoverability, your video needs to be optimized for YouTube, too. I use YouTube here because it is the most important video platform out there. You can, however, also have videos on Facebook and other social media platforms.

The video below has plenty of views–over 285,000 to be exact–and for a good reason. It is a short, concise, and well-presented video with useful information on how to get your website ranking on Google.

video seo

“How-to-videos” or talks with industry experts are always very popular. Just make sure that the length of your video is appropriate for the topic. Nobody is going to sit through a thirty-minute sales pitch on YouTube! 

Wrapping Up

You can never overstate the importance of creating unique, high-quality content that other web users will find relevant and useful. That is the only way to consistently impress other website owners enough for them to want to link your website voluntarily. 

Get this right, and search engines will judge your content higher than competing web pages. That will increase your search engine ranking position, making you more visible to searchers. 

As a result, traffic to your website will increase. Your chances for conversions increase as well. Job done!


Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner & Head of Business Development of Lform Design. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients' core values. When not at the helm, Ian can be found mountain biking with friends or spending time with his family.