Search engines love backlinks.

According to a recent study, backlinks are the 3rd most important search engine ranking factor.

If you want your content to be ranked on Google’s first pages, you need powerful and high-quality backlinks for your website. The problem, however, is that not many people know how to get them.

In search of how to get backlinks, they end up using out-dated and prohibited SEO techniques. As a result, Google and other search engines penalize their websites.

The only way to get powerful, high-quality and 100% natural backlinks is by creating awesome content. Content marketing is the new SEO. And it never gets you penalized if you do it right.

Furthermore, there are certain types of content that have the ability to generate more backlinks than others. In this post, I’m going to list and explain 5 different kinds of content that can get you the most number of backlinks.

1. Infographics

Infographics are great. Although they may be a little harder to create and require more efforts and time, they can generate a great number of natural backlinks.

Recently, OkDork and BuzzSumo got together and analyzed why contents go viral. They did a massive research and found some great things.

One of the most important things they found out is which type of content get the most amount of social media shares. Here is their research.

Ok Dork research for most social media shares

As you can see in the above image, infographics get the most number of social media shares.

Now, you may be wondering what does it have to do anything with backlinks?

Understand this very simple concept.

A higher number of social media shares often translate into more backlinks. Furthermore, some SEO experts also believe that social media shares are indirectly a form of backlinks. However, they don’t directly boost your search engine rankings.

Infographics are almost always unique. They are also harder to create. Their uniqueness is also one of the reasons why they garner so many backlinks. So, once you create an awesome infographic, you can always actively produce some backlinks with it.

Want to know how? Keep reading.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to generate backlinks with infographics:

Promote Infographics to Get Backlinks With These 7 Steps

Step #1: Create a high-quality infographic on a very specific topic and publish it on your own website. Make sure it is well-designed and contains useful information for your target audience.

Step #2: Find relevant blogs in your own niche that are well-established and have a substantial amount of traffic. It’s very important to target blogs that are within your niche. Backlinks from irrelevant blogs can get you penalized by Google Penguin.

Step #3: Send an email to the owner of your shortlisted blogs and show them your infographic. Don’t pitch anything. Just give them the link and mention that their blog readers may find the information of your infographic useful.

Step #4: Once you get a reply from those bloggers, ask them if they’d like to share this infographic with their audience. Offer to write a unique guest post for them as a build-up to the infographic. This guest post may be as long as they want, but it can also be a 300-word introduction for the infographic. That will do.

Step #5: Include a backlink contextually in that introduction you write. Contextual links are infinitely more powerful than, say, the author bio links.

Step #6: Publish that infographic on the other blog with your customized introductory text or guest post. If you do include a contextual link in that introduction, you will have an organic backlink for your infographic.

Step #7: Share the post on your social media profiles. If other people and influencers like it, send them a message and repeat the process. Ask them if they’d like the infographic on their own blog with a customized post/introduction. Leverage the social media exposure and comments you received, and you will be able to land many more similar backlinks.

2. Listicles or List-Based Blog Posts

If you can’t create infographics, don’t worry. You can always create list-based blog posts to attract more views, shares, and backlinks.

These listicles or list-based blog posts are relatively easier to create. However, you do need to research and find enough data to make it interesting and valuable for your readers.

After infographics, list-based blog posts generate the most amount of social media shares and backlinks. Recently, BuzzStream and Fractl also teamed up to find out the effectiveness of listicles, and they discovered that listicles are super effective in the content marketing world.

According to the same research by BuzzSumo and OkDork, list-based blog posts generate an average of 11,000 social media shares. Despite this amazing data, only 5% of the total content on internet consists of list-based posts.

It means that there is always some room for one more listicle.

BuzzFeed, for example, creates many list-based blog posts with exceptional results. Some of their most popular blog posts are, in fact, list-based posts. I did some research using BuzzSumo to prove my point that list-based posts really work.

Here is what I found. All 4 of their most socially shared blog posts are based on lists.

BuzzFeed most shared posts

This is the reason they create so many list-based blog posts.

Because they work!

3. Case Studies

Case studies are unique. That’s why they perform so well.

The best part about case studies is that they contain personal experiences of different people that just can’t be replicated.

If you have experienced and learned something that might be useful for your readers, share it with your audience in the form of a case study.

Internet users love informative case studies as they offer high value, precise tips, and actionable ideas.

More importantly, if someone wants to share what you have achieved, they will have to create a natural link to your blog post. There is simply no other option for them but to create a 100% organic backlink. And more often than not, that would be a contextual backlink.

Here are a few articles on how to create great case studies for your audience.

4. Long-Form Blog Posts

You can’t have many backlinks for a 300-word blog post.

It may sound harsh, but it’s true in today’s competitive digital marketing world. Those days are long gone.

Today, people want to read in-depth and comprehensive blog posts. They read your content because they want answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.

Detailed, long-form blog posts help users find all the information they’re seeking in one place. Not only human readers prefer it that way, but search engines also love such in-depth posts that are filled with useful information.

Recently, SerpIQ did a research to find out if search engines actually prefer long-form content. They analyzed 20,000 different keywords and Google’s top 10 results for those keywords. This is what they found.

SerpIQ research for long-form content

As you can see in the image, all the pages that were ranked on Google’s 1st page had at least 2,000 words in them.

This speaks a lot about the importance of long-form blog posts. They are preferred by search engines as well as human readers.

More importantly, long-form content or blog posts help you generate more backlinks.

Here are three different reasons why such long-form content or in-depth blog posts can help you get more backlinks.

Reason #1

When bloggers create outbound links, they do it for a reason. They want to add genuine value for their blog readers. This is one of the main reasons they always choose in-depth posts to link that have all the information on a given topic. If your blog post is really helpful and informative, they will automatically create a link to it. Otherwise, they will opt for a better post than yours and link back to that one.

Here is an example.

Brian Dean recently created a complete list of 200 Google ranking factors. No other blog post comes even close to it for this topic.

If I want my readers to redirect to a blog post that explains Google ranking factors, I will naturally link to Brian Dean’s post. Why? Because it contains the best information on that topic — much better than any other blog post on the web.

Reason #2

Apart from human readers, search engines also prefer long-form blog posts that have rich content. Most bloggers run a quick search on Google to find relevant blog posts to create outbound links. If your blog post is complete and rich in information, search engines will show it on the first search engine result page. Other bloggers will link to it.

Here is an example of the search engine results page for the same keyword ‘Google Ranking Factors’. Which post would you link to?

Searching for Google Ranking Factors

As you can see, Brian Dean’s blog post is ranked on the first position. The chances are that most bloggers will link to it right away.

Reason #3

There are many bloggers and content marketers who use Google Docs to write their blog posts. They often create links right away. Google Docs has a powerful feature that allow writers to create outbound links on the fly. More importantly, it searches the best content on a given topic and suggest linking to it.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about.

If I select the keywords ‘Google Ranking Factors’, and try to link to it within Google Docs, see what happens.

Creating Links in Google Docs

Brian Dean’s complete list comes on top again. The writer will almost always link to this post as it is rich in content and is also the first suggestion that Google Docs comes up with.

I used the example of Brian Dean’s blog post because it is one of the most comprehensive posts I’ve ever found on the web. It is truly complete in terms of information. And this is why it has generated over 1600 backlinks from over 700 domains.

Backlinks Checker

If you want to build a piece of content that can help you generate powerful and natural backlinks, create a very in-depth post with as much information as possible.

If it is a list, make it a complete list. Leave nothing out of it.

If it becomes the most information-rich article on the web, other people will have to link back to it. They will have no other option. It is as simple as that.

5. Detailed Guides

There are infographics. There are blog posts. Then they are definitive guides.

These guides are not like your average blog posts, as they are much more informative, in-depth, and lengthy. They are almost like free books.

For instance, Neil Patel creates guides that usually have more than 40,000 words.

An Online Marketing Guide by Neil Patel

I can understand if you don’t have enough time or resources to create such guides. But if you can do it, it can create a huge impact on the amount of traffic, social media shares, and backlinks your blog receives.

As I said, these guides are like free books on the internet. They have all the nitty gritty details and information on a given topic. Moreover, if you make them pretty, they become even more popular.

Bloggers and influencers from your niche would love to create links to these guides, as they know they are sending their readers to a credible source full of useful information.

If you are interested in creating comprehensive guides for your blog, here is one of the posts you should read by Neil Patel about creating useful guides.

A Guide on How to Create a Guide

In Conclusion

Creating content is one thing. However, creating content that actually works for your content marketing plan is completely different.

You can’t have success in content marketing if you don’t have clear plans. One of those plans should be to generate backlinks with the content you publish on your blog.

These 5 types of contents generate the most number of backlinks.

Given said that, in the end, it all comes down to the quality of your posts. If the blog posts add value to your users’ lives, they will generate all the buzz, exposure, and backlinks they deserve.

So, focus on quality instead of quantity. And try creating more of these posts if you are looking to generate a higher number of backlinks.