101 Experts Reveal How to Produce Content That Creates Engagement and Attracts Backlinks

Relevant backlinks and high-quality content are two of Google’s most important ranking factors. That’s why, anyone that works in SEO focuses on these two elements.

Unfortunately, on most blogs you can find the same info rephrased. Writing average content is easy so everyone does it.

Writing unique content that offers new information, that really solves people’s problems, that’s much more difficult.

Your goal should be to write content that is so amazing that other marketers will love and see it as a valuable resource that they will link to it from their websites. Ideally, those links should come effortlessly, without you having to ask for them.

In reality, if your website is new, you may have written the most fantastic blog but your reach will be so low that people won’t even know that it exists. It’s like having the most beautiful girl in the world in a remote village forgotten by the world. So what do you do in this case?

It’s not a simple issue so that is why we reached to 101 internet marketing experts and asked them the following question:

How to produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks?

We received amazing answers that reveal a variety of strategies. Keep reading to see what the experts had to say.

Tim Soulo - ahrefs

The most important attribute of the content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks is NOTABILITY.

Yes – being a skillful writer helps;
Yes – proper formatting helps;
Yes – beautiful design and custom images help.

 

But above all – you have to have something interesting to say. Something new and unique, which would make people want to reference you as a source – hence the backlinks. And the way to achieve that is to muster enough knowledge in a given industry and apply some creativity to come up with something original and noteworthy.

Jeff Coyle - MarketMuse

Everyone likes to do business with an expert. Therefore, your content needs to be well-researched, detailed, comprehensive, and a reflection of that expertise. That’s the type of content that attracts backlinks. Every industry has specific topics that generate a great deal of debate. 

While I don’t recommend being controversial for the sake of controversy, you need to articulate your opinion in a reasoned and defensible manner. So, take a stand when creating articles on these types of topics. Provide personal experience and insight wherever possible. People who feel a connection to your content are most likely to engage.

Rand Fishkin - Sparktoro

If you want people to share your content, you need to target it to the people who have the ability to amplify and link! Making “great content” or “better content” won’t help, despite what many marketers say.

Step 1: Build a list of amplification-likely targets
Step 2: Generate ideas that will make them likely to share
Step 3: Make connections with them
Step 4: Publish and share

Creating content is just like creating a product — nail your target audience and how you’ll get them to convert (in this case, amplify) BEFORE you build it.

Jason Berkowitz - Break The Web

Drawing on your personal experiences and letting your individuality shine through is a great way to encourage engagement.

Share stories that stimulate an emotional response from your reader. Publish thought-provoking content that’s relatable and ask questions that keep your audience hooked.

Being authoritative and sharing content that’s rich in information and original research also encourages other publishers to link back to your content. Infographics, industry-specific lists, graphs, charts, and other reusable graphics also encourage backlinking, sharing, and stimulate discussion in the comments section of your blog.

Anyone can post content, but if your content isn’t engaging your audience and creating backlinks, you’re simply wasting your time… not to mention your money and resources. Including images and videos in your content is a great place to start but being 100% unique and proving your authority are the keys to boosting your engagement metrics and generating more backlinks.

Michał Suski - SURFER

There are hundreds of pieces of content all around the Internet. To make people engage with yours, you always need to have the extra card up your sleeve.

Surprise your readers. They don’t want to read about the same old truths over and over again. Give them something to get excited about and get the aha moment out of them!

Be trustworthy and authoritative. Always prove your hypotheses with hard data. Without them, your theories are just speculations.

Link to valuable resources. Show that you know what you’re talking about and have deeply researched the subject.

Instead of thinking about what to do to attract backlinks, start thinking which aspects of your content could drive them away! Don’t go over the board with branding, avoid being sales-y, don’t serve shallow, unresearched content that SERPs are already full of. Stay objective, keep the quality up, and always provide value!

Dan Fries - Blue Tree Digital PR

We don’t have a secret formula for engagement or link earning/attraction. What we’ve done that works very well is writing really technical content in a way that non-technical people (or sorta-technical people) can understand. 

Essentially, translating heavy nerd-speak into a language that aspiring nerds can understand and appreciate. Over time, this content tends to pick up links naturally, and the engagement metrics are super high. 

Dino Gomez - Dynamik 365

Want to attract links to your site? There are 2 components necessary. The first is a deep understanding of your target audience. You must have a clearly defined audience for which you are directly producing a piece of content for. After you have identified this audience you can focus on the secondary component, value. 

The content you produce needs to provide massive value. Let me stress that again. It’s unlikely that a decent piece of content will attract links or social shares. It has to be memorable!

I call this combination of focusing on audience and value, “Valuence”.

Let’s take a peek at how these two components work together. First is your audience. Start by brainstorming and researching what types of content would be appreciated by your audience. Once this is clearly identified you can move into choosing what type of “value” you will provide.

Value can take on many different shapes and forms. You can be funny, demonstrate expertise, assemble a ground-breaking case study, build a free widget, or host a great interview as a few examples.

Imagine you spent the time to put together a funny parody video that only the folks in your industry would understand. If you hosted that video yourself and embedded it on your blog, the only option for folks to share it would be to link to that specific URL. Given that it truly had niche specific humor and was indeed funny… it would surely be shared on social media and then embedded on other industry sites.

To keep this short, always ask yourself before outlining a piece of content, “Would I like this piece of content?” If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track!

Daryl Rosser - Lion Zeal

First, I’d say these are two slightly different objectives, so let’s focus on backlinks because I’m an SEO guy.

When creating content for links, your audience isn’t the same as your customers/clients. A review sites audience, for example, are people searching for “best [product category]”. But they’re unlikely to be niche-relevant website owners searching for those terms.

Instead, we want to create content that stands out to the people that have the ability to link to it. Then in simple terms, we want to make it better than what exists.

Better, in this case, is relative to the people we’re targeting. So it should be something that’s either valuable to their audience, makes them look good, or going to create a lot of engagement for them.

“Valuable to their audience” can be as simple as creating a super helpful guide, infographic, or something like that. My PBN guide is an example of a blog post that’s better than anything else on the topic, so is very valuable to share.

“Makes them look good” could be arming them with statistics or anything that helps them to sell their products/services or make them seem knowledgeable about the topic.

And “Going to create a lot of engagement” could be some survey/research you’ve done that shows that vegans sleep better (or worse) i.e. controversial or interesting.

That gives you “linkbait”, which will naturally acquire links, presuming people find it. But even then, you should do some outreach to deliberately land links to take full advantage of this

Vin D'Eletto - Wordagents

I do a few things to every piece of content that I create to help ensure it has the best chance possible to engage with readers and attract backlinks.

The title tag and h1 tags should address the intent of the target query. Your title/h1 tag will be the very first thing searchers will see in the SERPs. If they don’t convince the searcher that the article has the answer they want, it’s unlikely they will click through and engage. It will be challenging to get backlinks as a trusted authority for the same reason. 

The introduction should address intent, capture attention, and explain what the reader will learn. Your intro will make or break your chances of engagement. Make sure you use the introduction to let readers know that this is the article they’re seeking.

Share plenty of statistics, data, and unique information about the topic. Back that information up with outbound links to trusted, reliable primary sources. Becoming a “hub” of data on the subject is a great way to attract natural backlinks.

Create scannable content. Structure your articles using plenty of subheadings, lists, and other elements to break up the content. Easily scannable articles keep people on the page longer and make it easier for “linkers” to decide if this is a document they want to link to…

Chris Makara- Chris Makara

I’ve found that the content that produces the best engagement often is very conversational in tone. Let’s face it, there’s not much fun in ready some dry, boring content. In fact, most people will just get bored and leave. So, it’s best to be as conversational as possible when writing. A great way to do this is to drop in questions along the way that get the reader to really think.

And just because you create great, conversational content doesn’t mean people are waiting to link to it. Unfortunately, you’ll have to be proactive and let others know about your content in order to really generate some links.

This will entail email outreach, social media influencer outreach and more in order to secure links.

However, once your links help to rank your content high within the organic search results you’ll be able to get organic links by others who are researching your topic and commonly reference you as a resource. As a result, you’ll create a mini-snowball effect of being able to get additional links over time.

Josh Eberly - Conklin Media

Creating engagement and content that attracts backlinks is really about answering questions that our prospective readers have. Often I find that taking complex processes and breaking them down into simpler steps with graphics helps readers better understand the content along with making it much more shareable. 

An attractive branded piece of content visually helps to give credibility to the piece, further encouraging users to engage with the company.

When creating the content make sure to lay out the copy first and then go back and design, this will save a lot of time and frustration on your part. Making the content personalized also helps with engagement, the more you can appeal to the users frustrations or emotions the better response you will get. Lastly, don’t overlook promotion. Building up a network of people who can act to spread your content is highly valuable, especially in today’s social media dominated world.

Christina Nicholson - Podcast Clout

To produce content that creates engagement and gets links, you need to do two things.

The first thing is to make sure that content answers a question or solves a problem. If not, people won’t take their time to read it. 

You also want to make sure it’s easy to read. You can do this by making sure the content has headers, subheaders, and lots of spacing so it’s easy on the eyes.

To create engagement, you can pose questions to make people think or leave a comment. You can also include content that makes it easy for people to click to tweet a line that is thought-provoking or controversial to drum up conversation.

To attract backlinks, you want to have content that adds even more value than what you’ve shared in the original piece of content. That way instead of diving deep, you can just link to that deep dive on your blog.

This is why it’s important to have a blog on your website that is regularly updated.

Another way to earn backlinks is by offering value by being a guest on podcasts.

When you share your expertise on another person’s podcast, they will mention you online and most likely link back to your website for their listeners to find out more.

Andrej Ilisin - Alpha Investors

Look, you have to understand why people read content or link back to it.

After running hundreds of link building and outreach campaigns, I can tell you that people link back to other sites for one of the following reasons.

  • To build credibility by citing reliable sources
  • To source images, data or research findings
  • To share examples and case studies
  • To quote an expert on a topic
  • To provide readers additional reading material
  • To link to relevant sites for SEO
If you want to attract backlinks to your content, you need to make it link-worthy by

  • Sharing original research in your content
  • Backing your arguments with data evidence
  • Sharing examples or case studies that others can cite
  • Or create a massively useful and comprehensive resource on a topic that others can refer to for additional reading.
As for content engagement, you need to make it easy for your readers to consume content. You can do that by
 
  • Writing in a conversational tone (using You, I, me frequently)
  • Talk directly to a single person in your content, not a crowd.
  • Do away with conventional and boring introduction paragraphs. Get straight to the point and start giving value.
  • Make it obvious from the start what readers will learn from your content.
  • Use sub-heading frequently to break down the topic into smaller chunks
  • Use lists and bullet points wherever possible
  • Add lots of screenshots, images, videos, and GIFs in your content. It makes your content more engaging and keeps the readers interested until the end.
  • Write in short paragraphs (2-3 lines max).
  • Include relevant CTAs in your article. In Gutenberg, you can add CTA buttons which are more effective than simple text CTAs
  • Go to Reddit or Quora to find topics that generate a lot of discussion and extreme points of view.

Patrick Langridge - Screaming Frog

In my view the key to creating content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks is emotion. Content with an emotional hook resonates most strongly with your audience and with outreach prospects.

This type of content is more likely to attract coverage and instigate healthy discussion, of which engagement and backlinks are often a by-product.

Early in my career, I saw a great talk at BrightonSEO by Danny Ashton of NeoMam Studios.

The talk was predominantly about infographics and using them for link building purposes, which while a less common and less effective tactic these days, there are parts of that talk that still resonate with me today.

Danny explained the importance of emotion in content pieces, regardless of format. The way he explained it was, whatever emotion you are drawing upon, go big with it.

Don’t make people annoyed, make them furious. Don’t make people happy, make them elated. Don’t make people chuckle, make them laugh uncontrollably out loud.

Content that is too safe and boring is unlikely to cut through the mix.

Pushing the boundaries emotionally is what creates hooks and helps to compel readers to share and engage with the content, and increase the chances of other sites covering and linking to the content.

Clayton Johnson - The Hoth

There are a few things that I’ve seen work really well.

First is you create something BIG – I’m talking an enormous guide that is extremely valuable, not just for the length but for the actual content.

The second thing that I’ve seen work really well is data. If you produce unique data, especially data that proves a point and you include graphs to demonstrate it, you’ll attract loads of natural links.

Matt Diggity - Diggity Marketing

 

There’s a reason why backlinks remain one of Google’s main ranking factors: natural and quality backlinks are very hard to come by. 

You can take shortcuts to acquire backlinks for SEO purposes…

But even with a robust outreach process, backlinks must still be earned. Few, if any, outlets will agree to link to shoddy content, no matter how good your outreach team is. Furthermore, exceptional content is far more likely to land you those hard-to-get natural backlinks.

So, how do you do produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks?

Think about this…If you’re writing a piece of content, what are you most likely to link out to?

Nine times out of 10, it’s going to be something that either backs up or elaborates on a point you’re trying to make.

Things like:

  • Original research
  • Statistics
  • Quotes from subject matter authorities
  • A more comprehensive topical resource

In other words, writers tend to link out to lend additional authority to the content they’re creating.

The bad news?

Authoritative content is tough to produce.

What works for Diggity Marketing is producing content based on the extensive research and testing that’s the foundation of everything we do for SEO.

If you’ve got hard data that people can’t find anywhere else, paired with actionable advice, other content creators will link to it.

Case studies are also highly effective — especially real-world explainers that outline a step-by-step process readers can follow to replicate results.

By bridging the gap between theory and application, case studies are like crack for SEOs always looking to improve their processes.

Back up a good story with facts and figures, and you’ve got a recipe for content people will link to and share.

When you’re doing content planning for the purpose of building natural and high-quality backlinks, always ask yourself this question:

“What does this piece of content offer that people can’t find elsewhere?”

The answer could be any of the points I listed above.

Mad Singers - Mad Singers Consulting

We generally build content in 2 ways to engage and build backlinks:

The first way is through Broken linkbuilding, where we know there’s content that has been linked to, however no longer exists. We normally take a look at the original content that was linked to and try and improve it as much as we can, as this also allows us to create new outreach to others that might find the content valuable, even if they weren’t linking to the original piece in the first place.

Abi White - Abi White

  • Create a hook – tie in pertinent events to your business topic
  • Be relevant, useful and interesting
  • Don’t be an a*sehole (insensitive opportunism is spotted a mile away)
  • Dig deeper, work harder and find an unexplored niche
  • For YMYL content, remember E-A-T (not just for Google but for your readers’ trust in you), but realized that E-A-T alone is not enough

Creating engagement often requires a hook – something highly relevant or topical to tie in with your article. But a hook has to be genuinely useful; there’s nothing worse than obviously augmented articles that say nothing.

Don’t leave them thinking ‘that was 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back’.

Hooks are particularly relevant for the millions of businesses that feel that their industry isn’t that scintillating. Dentists, chemical companies, builders, home repair businesses can quickly feel overwhelmed about creating engaging content.

Genuinely tying in the relevance of their business with a topical event, such as a lifestyle trend, sporting event, an upcoming election or when done the right way – Covid 19 – can be genuinely interesting and worth sharing.

But there’s an important caveat here: don’t be an a*sehole. Tie your business to a recent tragedy such as bushfires, a murder or piggyback off a genuine social issue such as Black Lives Matter, and you deserve to fail miserably.

Secondly – and most importantly – Don’t Be Lazy! Far too many businesses create content on the fly, spinning out “10 Top Tips on XYZ” – stuff that’s been done a million times. Take the time to think hard: What do my readers need to know but can’t find?

What specific details are missing? Find a niche and explore it.

Finding a niche is especially crucial for medical/dental/YMYL websites as there is already a plethora of content out there.

Don’t write basic info on a medical condition – you can find that on Healthline; instead, carefully explain post-operative advice, or give feedback from real patients. Find particularly nuanced scenarios. Explore particular populations in the way they have coped with these medical conditions or financial circumstances (if it’s a finance site). Dig deep; think hard. If you want people to engage and link to you, put some effort in!

A final tip for YMYL sites: hopefully you’re familiar with E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust), so prove your E-A-T by linking out your credentials, and referencing your work. But remember that today, this is no longer enough – plenty of people are on that train already – so you still have to provide that niche angle; otherwise, although you’ve demonstrated your authority, there’s still nothing unique about your offering. It’s all been said and done!

Garrett Graff - Reach Creator

We like to find a stark contrast in topics that people wouldn’t commonly relate, and back it up with hard hitting statistics. For example, you may write a piece that covers how our common, every day “addictions” affect the environment. Think coffee for instance: thousands upon thousands of acres worldwide are used to grow coffee and it is something we’ve never even considered to have a negative impact on the environment.

 By connecting a shock & awe factor with something so common place, you’re able to generate excitement and interest in your writing, and ultimately earn great links.

Outside of just thinking of content as text itself, we also believe the way it is laid out is just as important. Let’s be honest, not many people want to read 2,500 word walls of text, even if it’s the most informative article on the planet. I’m not saying that you have to be a design guru, but using basic layout strategies that keep readers interested is huge. Additionally, using creative and super engaging titles is important. You’d be surprised how many people share articles based on the title and opening paragraph alone!

Ryan Stewart - The Blueprint Training

The best way to produce content that get backlinks is to make sure people see it (no one links to anything they don’t know about). That means you’ve got to promote it hard to get it in front of the right people. Hit your email list, communities and run traffic from Facebook and Instagram.

Hazel Jarrett

Hazel Jarret - SEO+

Your first priority should be to create content that is genuinely useful to your audience.

Think about your customers’ pain points, the questions they regularly ask, the information they need to improve their lives in some way.

 

In-depth, unique, high quality, and easily shareable content is the ideal way to show your customers and Google that you know your stuff. (Make sure you reference any factual claims as this will support your credibility.)

Content can take many forms so don’t be afraid to mix things up to discover what works for you as well as your audience. This could be blogs, videos, audio files, podcasts, infographics – the list goes on.

If you track the metrics, you can learn what kind of content your customers love above all else, and then produce more of it.

By creating useful content, you will not only be giving authority but your website will also be gaining authority – from the people who are reading, liking and sharing it and looking to you for expertise and answers to their problems.

Each time people talk about and link back to your content, Google will take as a vote of confidence.

Alan Silvestri - Growth Gorilla

The most important thing when writing content for links is to make sure that content can compete in search with what’s already ranking there.

Writing great content doesn’t only mean making it shareable, readable, and visually appealing; it also means making it citable/mentionable.

When you’re thinking about writing content for link building, start off by picking 1 or more different “angles” that you want to use for your outreach.

Think about whether your content:

Offers a new/different perspective on a topic
Corrects something wrong that others have written
Has up-to-date information or statistics on the topic that people can mention

These 3 are usually the most important points for link worthy content. if you can hit all 3, even better. If you can make it visually appealing, that’s also a very good thing to have. Nobody wants to read content that looks bad, even less link to it.

If you can make people who read your content scream “yes! this is what I wanted to show people for a long time!” you have hit the jackpot.

Mandy McEwen - Mod Girl Marketing

Creating engaging content starts with having a strategy. The best content is well planned and executed. It includes keyword research, industry research, and influencer research.

It links to several reputable outside sources that back-up the statements made in the article. It includes visuals like images and videos. It is easy to read with headlines and subheadlines. It clearly articulates the message and is educating while also being entertaining.

It keeps users’ attention and leaves them with “aha” moments. It’s the work that goes into the post BEFORE and AFTER that generates the exposure and engagement you want.

Sabrina Bomberger - Greenlane

If you want your content to generate engagement and attract backlinks, you have to put your audience first and create content that they will be genuinely excited to engage with.

Before you start the content creation process, get an idea of who your ideal outreach prospects are and take notes on what they’re already sharing, linking to, and engaging with online.

Think about what value your content can add to your target audience, and document what’s in it for them. This will help you when it comes time for outreach too, as you’ll already have a compelling reason for them to share your content.

When you’re creating your content, whether it’s an infographic, article, or video, again think about serving your audience over yourself. Content that is overly promotional doesn’t often earn great engagement because it loses touch with your audience.

People don’t want to share an ad for your brand, they want to share something truly helpful, insightful, or interesting.

Chris Labbate - SEO Bank

To earn backlinks to your content, you first need to understand why bloggers and site owners link to other sites. In simple terms, it is how much value you are providing to your readers, but let’s break that down just to get clear.

Let’s imagine for one second that Google didn’t exist, and there was no reason to get links for ranking. Why would you want a link? Or even better, why would you link out to another website?

The Answer: It’s because you wanted to share something that’s related to the primary topic and adds value to the reader.

Links that you get naturally, prove that your content provides additional resources that other articles don’t cover. They can be things like

Comprehensive Ultimate Guides
Case-Studies
Data or Infographics
Trusted Online Resources (Government Site / Wikipedia)
Video or other multimedia
Quizzes & Tools

The trigger for bloggers to link out to any site is one of the following things: its valuable, trustworthy, and relevant content. Site owners and webmasters will choose to link to the content that offers their readers something that no other article offers.

If you use a high standard, this article has to be 10x better than any other article on the internet, you can start to see natural links.

Chris Dreyer - Rankings.io

Today, one of the most important aspects of creating content that attracts backlinks is to produce something that provides value or entertainment…and that is truly unique. 

Be a contrarian: have a different opinion, source, view, format, statistic or design than everyone else. The easiest way to get lost in the shuffle is to create content that doesn’t provide value and resembles a 💩.

Chris Dreyer

There is a lot of noise out there and you have to find a way to stand out. What can you say or create that is different and will provide value to your reader? It depends on what type of content you’re producing. 

If it’s a sales page (e.g., practice area, service, or product page), it’s often beneficial to incorporate statistics, as they give an individual something to cite…and, as a result, this frequently results in an acquired link.

tl;dr:

-Create something different
-Create something awesome
-Stats can help

P.S. – Just passing a plagiarism test doesn’t mean something is truly unique. Think outside the box. 📦

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt - THGM Writers

As a general rule, there are three criteria I use to make engaging content that draws the interest of people who might want to share it on social media or on their blogs.

The first is that it is useful to the audience. There are exceptions, but useful content is shared the most. That means the information should be specific and actionable, and obviously accurate. More importantly, it has to be something your audience wants to do – something they care about.

Keyword research can help you find what people are searching for, but so can customer questions and discussions on social media.

My second criteria, is that it needs to be more interesting than everything else out there. You know the saying: there is nothing new under the sun. So, to make your content stand out, you need a unique way to express yourself.

For instance, many people struggle with whether to hire a ghostwriter. Instead of just telling people how to decide, I also created a flowchart to help out.

Instantly, this blog post is more interesting than dozens of other articles with very similar information on the same topic.

My third criteria is often overlooked in business communications and even among many bloggers; write in plain English.

If your grandmother would have to slow down to follow a long-winded sentence or pronounce a big word, you’ve already lost readers.

It’s not about what your audience can read; it’s about what they feel like making the effort to read. The same principle applies to videos, by the way.

In sum, create useful content with a unique twist, and make it easy-peasy for them to read it

Greg Elfrink - Empire Flippers

If you want to create engaging content that has the best chance for backlinks, there are a few things you can do.

The first, and my favorite, is to create a piece featuring unique data and analyze that data. 

For example, we produced our industry report analyzing over 700 businesses bought and sold on our marketplace over a 3 year period. This was a huge hit with unique data that only we have.

We’ve examined seasonality of businesses, types of businesses that tend to get earn outs, and a plethora of other things. Most businesses have unique data they are not using and it should be the first go-to strategy for content creation. 

The next piece you can do is look at what is already getting a ton of backlinks and social shares in your industry. Are you able to build something similar but even better? 

If so, there is a solid chance you’ll get links because that style of content has already proven to be a link magnet when someone else did it. 

Just make sure yours is actually unique and ideally make it ten times better either through better writing, designs, or some other aspect that makes the piece higher quality than the one getting all the backlinks.

Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph - Blogging From Paradise

Backlink-building content that initiates chatting needs to:

– address reader needs

– be practical

– solve a particular problem common in your niche

Ask your readers what help you can offer them. Offer help-answers through your blog content. 

Adopt an abundance mindset; publish content prolifically to increase the chances of driving more links and engagement. Keep creating. Polish your skills. 

With practice, people organically link to helpful content that solves problems. Plus folks generously chat about helpful content that addresses their needs.

Ali Pourvasei - LAD Solutions

The first step in producing content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks is figuring out topics that your potential visitors are interested in. There are many tools that can help you figure this out. We recommend using any mixture of the following below:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool
  • Answer the Public
  • FAQ Fox
  • KWFinder
  • Next, after determining the topics your audience is most interested in, you would need to figure out what kind of content generates the most social engagement and attracts backlinks. 

Depending on your industry or niche, the different types of content below can generate excellent engagement and attract natural backlinks:

  • Videos
    • Branded Storytelling
    • How-To or Instructional Guides
    • Live Streaming on Popular Social Platforms
  • Infographics
  • EBooks
  • Memes
  • Blogging in the Form of Lists
    • Example: Top 10 Best SEO Tools for Keyword Research

Researching is going to be your most important weapon. Research your audience and your top competitors in your industry. 

From there, you should be able create engaging content that should attract backlinks to your website and help build its authority and credibility.

Servando Silva - Stream SEO

To produce content that gets a ton of engagement in the form of social signals, comments, or shares, and eventually gets linked as well, our favorite technique is to create case studies. 

In the case study, you should include everything you can and be as detailed as possible, including numbers, errors made, graphs, and a ton of descriptive pictures of the process. 

Infographics or any type of graph that helps build context or summarize the results is also a great asset that people will end up sharing or linking to. The idea is simple: Become a resource worth linking to.

If possible, you should also link or mention other high authority sources and notify them as soon as you publish your post, so they can read it, share it and perhaps even link to it.

Jared Hobbs - Builders Society

The key to attracting natural backlinks is two-fold. First and foremost you must take the time to design an article that provides the type of information that is seen both as interesting and of a high enough quality to be sourced by other websites. And truly, it’s just a psychological trick – include tables, graphs, pie charts, and any other visual display of data. 

 Doing this with Javascript / jQuery so that it’s interactive increases the perceived quality of the content, even if that’s just mouse hover events. Inflating the text count by providing explanations of how the data was curated and processed, and providing interpretations for the reader makes them feel smart, and thus they can appear smart by sharing it and achieve a higher social status.

The second aspect to gaining links to this page is exposure. You need to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This can be social media shares and paid ads, forums, sites like Reddit, etc. You’ll find a cascade of forum links and blog comment links coming in, leading to contextual links in blog articles, and with enough attention you’ll hit the larger publications with massive link power. 

What you’ve done is do a journalist’s job for them by creating something news or discussion worthy. Iterate over this simple two-step process and your domain will explode with page rank juice over time. Interlink these pages out to your other pages on the site to raise the tide for all of your content!

Meagan Morris - Hurrdat

In a perfect world, you could create content and it would naturally attract a ton of links. While it’s true you’ll probably get at least a few earned backlinks on your best content, it’s not possible to predict if—and when—those backlinks will materialize. Having a solid strategy to acquire backlinks through outreach is one way to speed up the process, but it can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

The other alternative? Write content that other websites want to share and link to. Here are a couple of ways to get started:

Publish original research. Did your company recently conduct a survey or data analysis that provided interesting results? Find a way to package those findings into an article. Content creators love to add value to their blog posts and articles with relevant statistics.

Compile statistics. Don’t have your own original research to tap into? Harness the work of others (with proper attribution, of course). One example: The article from Ahrefs on SEO statistics has over 743 backlinks from 160 unique domains—pretty impressive!

Create “Ultimate Guides.” When writing content, don’t automatically assume that longer = better. There’s one big exception to this rule: When you create content that’s so above and beyond that no other competitor can top it. One way to do this is to create the most in-depth guide into a subject that it’s a complete resource others in your industry can reference for their own work (and link to, of course!).

A great example of this is the beginner’s intro to digital marketing by Hubspot. This behemoth is broken up into easily digestible sections—and you can even download it for offline reading.

All of that work was worth it, though: It currently has over 3,321 backlinks from 1,490 unique domains. All of these great backlinks undoubtedly factored into its rank at number one on the Google SERPs for the term “digital marketing

Cyrus Yung - Ascelade

There are a few ways that will get lots of engagement and attract backlinks, one of my favourite methods is to invest in an animated and interactive infographic.

They are highly presentable and interactive, it gives the wow effect on people wanting to share on their social media and, somethings even link back from their websites. The facts and statistics presented have to accurate and easy to understand as well.

Cyrus Yung

The investment may be high, but it will give a huge ROI in the future SEO of your site. You will need to do both paid advertising and manual outreach to blog influencers to increase your chances of success.

Here are the steps I would take to make this a success;

1. Research what are the linkable content, and make sure they are not highly presentable.
2. Gather the stats and facts.
3. Find an experienced graphic designer who can do the job.
4. Gather the blog influencers’ names and emails.
5. Use Facebook ads and Google Ads to promote the published infographic.

Sameer Somal

Sameer Somal - Blue Ocean Global Tech

Content is the critical factor for increasing engagement online. The first step to creating appealing content is to analyze and identify your optimal target audience. 

After determining their inherent needs, produce educational content that genuinely benefits your niche group. 

Backlinking is critical and highly sought after strategy for enhancing user engagement on the internet. Creating content that attracts backlinks requires both creativity and patience. 

When published articles and videos offer actionable strategies, backlinks are organically provided by people who feel their writing is substantiated by your guidance.

Publish content that is easy to comprehend. Avoid complicated vocabulary words that may alienate or confuse readers. Begin with the end in mind. 

Create content that you know others will want to share on merit because it is genuinely informative. 

An emphasis on quality will drive more organic traffic and improves page ranking. Quality content also correlates to a higher click-through rate (CTR), which may further justifies the backlinks you seek.

Marcus Miller - Bowler Hat

I wish there was a simple answer to this question or even a single answer, but we really have to look at the situation of each individual business to provide useful answers.

Firstly the content has to carefully match the intent of the search query. The user is asking a question. We want to be the answer. This is the secret to engagement.

But, if there are many other posts out there that do this then you can find that offering something unique is difficult – so you may want to do something truly unique, conduct some new research or something that makes your offering better than that of the competition.

This is the key – something unique. In fact, there is a line in the Basic Guidelines section of the Google Webmaster Guidelines that I think really spells this out – if we can just extract the meaning from what is a fairly high-level statement:

“Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.”

Unique. Valuable. Engaging. If you can nail all three of those and really stand out from others in your field. Well, then you have something that people will want to talk about, share and link to.

Patrik Bindea - Strodin.com

There are two EASY ways to produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks.

The first is to reverse engineer what is already attracting lots of backlinks. You can use tools such as Ahrefs or Buzzsumo to type in your main keyword and check out the content that attracts lots of backlinks.

For instance, if you’re in the social media niche and put in the keyword “Instagram story templates” into Ahrefs you’ll see that some of the pages attract hundreds of keywords.

Once you find a hot topic, you can build something similar, but with added value.

The added value can be an updated piece of content. Or you can create something that’s more comprehensive. Or something that’s easier to understand, maybe with better graphics, etc.

Another way is to take a piece of existing data (or create it yourself) and put it in a form that’s interesting for journalists so that you get powerful backlinks from well-known online news websites.

For instance, one business took something very dull and boring – a list of the most common surnames in each country – and created an interactive map that attracted over 147 backlinks!

No matter what type of content you produce, make sure that it’s interesting for the people who have the ability to link to you: other bloggers, journalists, influencers, etc.

Cover topics that others are already talking about – but do it differently. Now by this, I don’t necessarily mean make it “bigger” and not all content has to be a skyscraper piece, in the traditional sense.

It could mean, you may want to talk about it from another angle or talk about it from a different viewpoint. Maybe a lot of people have talked around the subject, but not explained it very coherently?

If you want to stand out from the existing content that’s out there, and attract genuine engagement and backlinks – you may be able to say it better… with fewer words.

Raymond Lowe - WL Media HK

Engagement and backlinks are fundamental goals for any marketer, but despite this they are not directly correlated.

While informative, interesting and useful content attracts links, it does not necessarily create engagement.

My work in the travel segment shows me that precise informative content that addresses consumer concerns not otherwise provided for can work wonders for growing links entirely naturally.

People want to know the best way to take the bus to Victoria Peak, how to avoid the Typhoon Season in Hong Kong, or when the Pantheon in Rome is open.

If you tell them in a useful, direct and authoritative way then links happen naturally with no outreach required.

Although lists of informative material are often recommended, and they do work, it can be a lot more cost-effective in terms of resources to precisely target specific information that people need rather than creating long lists.

In addition, the content has to be information needed not just by any consumer, but by people who can generate links.

In the travel niche, this means travel bloggers, writers of travel guides, even hotel concierges. They need information, and if you provide it succinctly and cleanly without any other marketing visible, it then often creates incoming backlinks.

Engagement, on the other hand, can be triggered by many things but most of them ultimately boil down to some form of disagreement.

Without encouraging negativism, which can reflect badly on a brand, a marketer needs to see where there are multiple disagreeing, yet entirely valid, points of view exist in their niche.

Luckily for us, the human experience has no shortage of these. From the deeply personal and important discussions of politics and spirituality to trivial points of personal conduct, hygiene and cuisine there are a lot of different ways things can be done.

You don’t have to start an argument between the political left vs right, merely ask whether pineapple belongs on a pizza to start a debate that has no end.

Combining the two goals of engagement and backlinks means identifying those subjects within your target area where there are strong diverging opinions, yet there are substantial facts that you can present in support of one, the other, or preferably both points of view.

Beyond Pineapple Pizza, beyond Jam-first vs Cream-first for English Scones, there is a range of things such as Shoes-on-inside-house and underwear-under-leggings that can create unending Facebook comment threads.

Identify those topics, typically extremely niche single question items, which exist in your segment and see if you can come up with some decisive argument in favour of one perspective. Then do the same for the opposing perspective.

Charts, statistics, reasoned arguments, calls to expert and authority figures, all of these can be presented in a range of mediums to make evidence to argue over and hence get people who write, and link, to use your material as evidence to support their point.

But for myself, Pineapple is fine on a Pizza – as long as you don’t order it in Italy! The waiter will never respect you.

Andrew Holland - Zoogly Media

There are 2 types of content engagement that you need to think about when trying to gain backlinks.

The first is writer engagement and the second is user engagement.

Let’s break them down. For the most part, writers are the most powerful people on the web because they are the ones hired to write articles and when doing this they use sources online to support the point of their article.

So, to gain the engagement of writers you need to create the type of content that they engage with.

This could be stats, quotes, trends, studies and others. There are then 3 easy ways for this data to get to that audience. The first is to boost using paid ads.
The second is to reach out on social media or via email to them and give them your content (which they won’t mind because it is useful) or get the content ranked, which is often very easy due to a lack of competition.

Once writers know about your article it becomes a source for them to use in future content and this will then continue to give you links.

The second type of content that generates links and engagement is ‘How You Did It Posts’.

Everyone loves a new method or approach to achieving results and when you introduce this to people there is a good chance people will engage and link. But there is a trick, you need to put some personal spin on the approach and name the technique you use.

Brian Dean did this with The Skyscraper Technique and you can do the same.

The other bonus is that these types of posts gain customer engagement as well. They act as lead generators for a business that uses them and get invites onto podcasts which of course leads to even more links.

Stats and Techniques are the way forward in the rest of 2020 and 2021.

Stephen Sumner - Optimise

Creating content that attracts links and engages users is not as simple as churning out a generic blog, there are millions of new pages being published every day, most of which are mediocre. 

To make content successful and stand-out from the rest, a few top-level criteria are needed in your thought process… Does the content provide a wealth of information? Is it entertaining? Does it provide utility i.e does it help the user solve a problem.

If you can make your content tick one or more of these criteria you are on the right path. At a deeper level, you will need to think carefully how to structure the article so that it’s not a wall of text that nobody will want to consume, make sure videos, images and graphics are all considered as part of the creation process. 

If you can make the content as original as possible, with great research you stand a better chance. Bring in experts into your article in the form of quotes, opinions or advice bubbles. The more unique, useful and entertaining an article, the more likely it will become a linkable asset. One final thought, content on its own won’t do it, you will need a solid content promotion plan so ensure you have this covered.

Boyd Norwood - Nozzle

First, you need to find and collect data that your website visitors find interesting. Come up with several ideas related to your industry and don’t forget to explore tangential topics.

Please stay away from pieces that are heavily product focused.

Make sure to include an awesome graphic and a compelling video, even if it is someone else’s video from YouTube.

Second, you need to reach out to journalists looking for content related to this topic. Use IFTTT to get alerted by email when a journalist inquires on twitter about that topic. Create a trigger to alert you when keywords related to your article and the hashtags #journorequest or #prrequest are tweeted out. When you receive the email alert, send over your article to that journalist.

Over time, you’ll have several IFTTT triggers set up for each piece of content and you’ll be able to respond to several inquiries from journalists each week or month.

Alex Alexakis - Pixelchefs

I like to use simplicity while creating content and to provide information that is easily digested and accepted. 

My go-to engagement and backlinking magnet content are listicles.

Even though listicles are an old school technique, they are easy to digest, create engagement, and attract backlinks, but have to be done a little different while structured properly.

I worked in travel for a long time and I loved creating top things-to-do lists, best places to eat, etc. The idea is to literally create something much better than your competitors by using data to guarantee your content will be accepted/ loved by a broader audience. 

Merging data from third party sites and social sites can help you build your lists while using a “crowd-sourced” rating guarantees the quality of your list. 

For example, if you are working on top 50 places to eat in New York, you can gather the top 100 places found on sites like Yelp, GMB, and Trip Advisor and populate the top 50 places by simply creating scoring formulas in Google sheets that calculates the combined scores from each rating site. 

When building your page always include your scoring system, including images and a brief description for each location added.

Creating a piece like the above uses data to structure your top list while it is easy to read and to be shared. 


Debra Murphy - Masterful Marketing

Engaging content is content that grabs the attention of your reader and entices them to take action. You first need to understand the reason your audience is searching. 

By knowing the intent of the search, you can create the right content that will encourage them to read and take your desired action.

For our clients, we write content that educates visitors and helps them better understand the solution to their problem. By educating them on how to solve the problem, you may help them solve it themselves. But in most cases, people will be looking for someone to solve it for them.

When you share solutions, you provide value, demonstrate expertise and build trust with your audience. Building trust is the first step towards a long-term relationship with them.

In my opinion, building this relationship with your readers is more important than building links. However, once you have this content properly optimized, it will rise in the search engine results, naturally attracting backlinks from those looking for a credible source to bolster their content.

Brendan Hufford - SEO for the Rest of Us

The number one way to create content that attracts backlinks is to understand search intent and to have an opinion. Most content is generic and doesn’t take a stance on anything, so ours must if we want it to get engagement and traction. 

We also have to understand whether or not what we’re creating is often linked to (or not). Creating content where the search intent is to link to it (such as [industry] statistics), is a smart way to build links and authority on autopilot.

Dominic Wells - Digitally Approved

One way to do that is just like this post, an expert roundup! 

However, there are a few other strategies you can do as well. For example, you could create a piece explaining some new patent or news piece in layman’s terms, which will attract news coverage and a lot of comments. 

Another classic method is also to create something controversial that people will link to and will argue over in the comments. It’s hard to do this well, without alienating a large part of your target audience though, so use it sparingly. 
 
Twitter is a useful place to get ideas. See what people are debating vehemently in the space, write an article about it, and maybe even embed some of their tweets. You now have a piece people will share, other bloggers will link to, and you have an excuse to tag various twitter handles when you share the post too.
 
As always, you’ll get more results if you share the post with people afterwards, so always try to include experts in the post so that they’ll be more likely to share it.

Jeremy Skillings - You Can Be Found

I deal primarily with small businesses. When you go to conferences and see presentations a lot of them are focused from the perspective of large corporate budgets and create content from that perspective. 

I recently saw a content presentation about paying for a lot of people to go to an event and writing about it. That kind of thing just isn’t feasible for a small business.

At the same time, small businesses may not need the link volume to rank that bigger and more competitive businesses need. I would say always lean on creating useful content for your market and audience. Think about questions you often hear and answer them in a nice and creative way.

Many small businesses are local. Think about useful local information that will help your market in a way that is relevant to your business. local maps or lists of information that help in your geographic market. Things like that. Always think “How can I be useful to my market?”

Floyd Buenavente - SEO Philippines

First of all, writing content is not a walk in the park. You need to research thoroughly and put yourself in the shoes of your target market.

Unbeknownst to many, writing content is like preparing yourself for war, because your content can only be as good as the information you have at your disposal.

And contrary to other content creators, I don’t believe in just putting out something for the sake of speed, remember–quality takes time and gaining your target market’s trust is your main goal.

You need to ask the right questions instead of giving an immediate answer.
You need to lay out the benefits and the value of what you are writing about.
But most of all you need to make the reader of your content FEEL something aside from just learning about something.

You must be able to spur action by using your words, and you must be able to connect to your reader in a real and unique way other than trying to fix a problem that they are wrestling with.

And lastly, you need to have your content be seen by your target market, the fastest way to do this is to connect with people of the same motivations as you are.

Attracting backlinks is secondary, creating a high-quality article should always be your main priority.

Because, seriously, nobody would want to link to a second rate article.

Syed Irfan Ajmal - SIA

Creating engaging content takes time and research. Research is necessary because it provides you valuable content that you can share with the audience.

It doesn’t stop there, you need the following tips to create engaging content that can get you backlinks:

1. Research the topic thoroughly so that you have a basic idea of what you are writing. This could include keywords searching and know what people are searching for on the web.

2. Come up creative headline or title of the content that you are sharing. The first thing that the audience will see is the title of the post or the content. If that’s interesting than the audience will be intrigued in what you are to say in the below post.

3. Make the content “listable”. This means that you can create the content including each section of the content, such as “Top 5 creative methods to gain backlinks”. This is necessary because you have provided the audience with a list of 5 ways that they can get backlinks. Also, it will appear as a snippet of your blog content on Google or any other search engine.

4. Use images. These images are creative ways to provide value to the content. Select these images that are related to your content that you just shared on your blog posts.

Johnny Baskin - Nomadic Advertising

When producing content for engagement and backlinks it’s important to evoke emotion in the reader.

If your content evokes a strong emotion in the reader they are much more likely to react to it, for example, memes get great engagement on social media, they are shared often and receive tons of likes and even inspire more posts.

The reason memes perform so well is pretty obvious, they are funny and make us feel better, we want to share that feeling with others. This doesn’t just work for comedy but making people feel inspired, shocked, or enlightened can produce the same result.

It’s great to have informative articles that provide new information and spark curiosity but where most people go wrong is having no emotion in their content and instead of rehashing information that is already easily found on the first page of Google.

If your content doesn’t make me laugh, doesn’t shock me with a fact I didn’t know, or provide me with some coveted information I probably won’t have much inclination to share it and getting any backlinks or comments will be tough.

Figuring out what content will inspire emotion in your audience is the key to success.

Karina Tama - Senior Care Clicks

My approach to acquiring natural links through content is the following:

Create data-driven content. This type of content takes time to write because it involves research. The hard work pays off because it attracts tons of natural links.
In addition, I add valuable resources as external links because I know that this will help my content to earn trust.

Create long-form content: This is also a must thing to do. I love pillar pages, and from my experience, this type of content ranks well and attracts links.

Infographics: As part of my content, I always create infographics because I want to target different audiences within my personas. Some people like to read while others are visual and love images. Then, I do content in different formats so I don’t lose any opportunities.

Video: I believe a video can tell a story. I create them and use them a lot. For me, it has the same function as infographics. I know that most of the video links are “no-follow” but I also believe it is important to have a mix of links ( different types). Anyway, “no-follow” backlinks are treated like hints for Google. Any signal that I can provide to Google is valuable for me.

Andrew Sterling Ansley - SYNDIKET

To produce content that gets links these days without doing outreach requires a lot of research and a lot of effort. If people just want to link to you then you better have really unique content that really addresses a specific need.

I find that doing research and putting together statistics for a niche and then doing just a little bit extra work putting some graphics together to make those statistics more digestible is usually all it takes to create something that people actually want to link to.

Now, this won’t happen if you’re working as a plumber or in textiles or some other niche that isn’t known for digital marketing savvy, but this works super well for software and the tech world.

if you’re just trying to get links for something that’s more of a news type website then all you really need to do is do a little content promotion and write an article that appeals to people’s biases. The sad truth is that we all want to read and share whatever confirms our bias.

Gabby Miele - From The Future

What separates content that creates engagement is current, in-need topical relevance. What attracts backlinks to that piece of content is how you present that content.

When writing an article or case study, you want your content to not only answer something that has a relevantly higher search volume that people are asking but also answers something new about the subject matter.

You have to take an expert’s approach to answer a question and bring your own personalized experience to the question. Before answering, ask yourself what is the personalized answer my company can bring to the SERPs?

What is the difference between my company’s solution and another company’s? While we all hold similar practices, none of our answers are the same. Some companies show a lot of data and research in their content to become a ‘subject expert.’

Other companies focus on user-generated content that compiles together their customer’s (or potential customer’s) questions.

You should take it from a digital PR perspective: if you want your reader or potential customer to care about what you have to say, you have to personalize your data to answer their questions.

Sam Bretzmann - Local SEO Machine

When I am thinking about content that can create engagement and attracts backlinks there are a few areas I like to think about.

Use stats – Stats are interesting and can inform quickly. Utilizing stats that interest your target audience can be a great way to gain interest and attract backlinks.

Be original – The internet is full of the same content that gets slightly tweaked and then republished. Put together your own thoughts and unique take on a relevant topic in your niche. Not only will this be more engaging, but it will also help you to build your voice and brand, which will win in the long run for you.

Use lists – People like lists. Lists make it easy to skim and quickly take in information. There is a reason there are a million “Top 10 Greatest Keanu Reeves Movies” articles.

David Pagotto - Sixgun

Creating content that is engaging and attracts genuine backlinks is no easy task. It takes time and effort, but the results are well worth it.

Think deeply about the audience you want to engage. Too many people jump into writing what they want to write about, without assessing who their audience is and what questions their audience might be asking themselves about a variety of topics that your article could answer for them.

Picturing your audience, write down a list of the things they are struggling with and/or topics they want to learn more about. Read through your list and pick one of these to be your first article.

Now it’s research time! Read blogs and articles that discuss this topic, taking the time to find out as much as you can about it. As a writer, it’s your job to do the hard work of reading and researching, so that you can distill the information for your audience into an easy-to-understand format.

Now you are ready to start writing! Choose a tone and style that is engaging, and write your first draft. Go on, dive in!

Next is editing. Read through and edit your draft, paying particular attention to the structure and engagement of your content. Adding subheadings throughout is a great way to make information more digestible, and depending on your audience you can use GIFs dotted throughout to add a level of engagement. Make these changes, and edit the article one more time.

Now your blog is ready for review. Ask a friend who is similar to your ideal audience to read it and give their feedback. Do they understand all of it? Did they lose interest at any point while reading it? Do they have any questions about it that you could add in to the article to explain things further?

Make any changes required, and you’re done! Congratulations, you have taken the time to write a good-quality, engaging, and genuinely useful piece of content.

The final step is amplification. One of the best ways to do this is to review who is linking to similar pieces of content (using a tool like Ahrefs), and then reach out to them to see if they would be interested in linking to you as well. Your content should be useful to their audience, so this can create a win-win situation.

Harris Brown - HFB Advertising

There is certain content that will always do better in engaging your audience and get you more backlinks.

I am going to share some of my favorite tips with you on how to do it.

You just can’t add 1000’s of words to a page and hope for the best. Trust me it won’t work.

Your headline is the most important part of your content to start getting the attention of your audience. Once you have them interested in your content you need certain elements to make it shareable for backlinks.

Here are a few of them that you can have images, infographics, and videos throughout your written posts that are more likely to attract more backlinks.

To take it one step further don’t be lazy and use generic stock photos. Use better images to add like custom graphs, polls, charts, photography, screenshots, that other sites can use for themselves.

Remember when doing infographics make them shareable with an embeddable code. You can use embeddable code with almost and graphic too.

Also, you can do interviews and quotes from experts from social media platforms like Twitter add a direct tweet and embed the answer on your post that they can share.

Step by step guides and tutorials are useful to add to your content. When you are willing to help others with tips and helpful information people intend to share them with others gaining a high probability of getting backlinks.

Pete King - Authority Builders

Recently we’ve started working with higher DA sites and have taken more of a traditional “PR’ approach. We will create a case study relevant to the site we want to obtain links for. For example let’s say the site you want to generate links for is a music site, we would then create a case study along the lines of ‘How Covid Has Affected The Music Industry.’ (Ideally you want to tie it in with current affairs or find something that is interesting and would have a chance of getting picked up.)

Next we will do some research and create some data points and some interesting content. Once we’re happy with the case study we will contact journalists and relevant music sites to ask if they’d be interested in posting the article. 

From here you should generate a fair tone of backlinks, please note with higher DA sites like 80+ new websites it’s not unheard of for them to just publish the content and not change the copy. You can request them to change the copy slightly OR you can just leave it how it is. There isn’t any proof that syndicated content will negatively affect your rankings; think of Apple getting PR lots of the time journalists are lazy and will not rewrite something but that won’t negatively affect Apple as that’s just how PR works sometimes.

Producing engaging content that gets links isn’t easy nowadays, especially if you’re a small publication. My best approach is no longer creating the best, most comprehensive content because there is so much competition.

Instead, I aim for specific angles around content which would cause the content to be polarizing and controversial. It may not always be the most accurate content (so I wouldn’t recommend this method around sites with a personal brand), but when I create this content for niche blogs it almost always gets natural backlinks for free.

An example of some article titles may be:

 How Trump and Obama Actually Have Similar Leadership Styles

 Cell Phone Towers Caused Covid | An Explanation

While these posts aren’t real posts I’ve done they are an example of some controversial topics. These work because people will either hate it or love it and are thus much more likely to link to these – whether or not the linking posts are citing these as credible or not.
Being controversial garners attention and helps you stand out, making it a lot easier to naturally attract links. Taking this approach can create evergreen content that gets dozens of links a year – all for free.

Sam Soh - Sam Soh

In the context of social media, engagement can often be understood as the end result of the reader understanding the points that the writer is trying to convey, and wanting to share this excellent piece or aha moment with their friends. I refer to such content as a “share-worthy piece”.

Creating this “share-worthy piece” can be as simple as rewriting a complex subject following the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) format.

By breaking down the subject at hand into something simpler and bite sized, more readers will be able to resonate with the content better. This way, readers will feel compelled to help share your content. As more people share your content, the organic reach will then increase as well.

Moreover, people will be willing to share your content as they know it will not have a negative perception from their friends. In a sense, that the one sharing this piece of information is well read.

In order to attract backlinks, besides having the aforementioned “enlightening” article, you’ll need to have an established brand name and specific niche to be considered “an authority site”. This is before anyone will be willing you add your page as a link on their site as an “authoritative source”.

Here’s an example. Everyone will not think twice about adding a Forbes or Yahoo link as an “additional” reading material into their content. Thus, when your brand has this perceived value, attracting backlinks will come naturally.

Callum Scott - MHC

One of the common issues we find when analysing traffic drops following core algorithm updates is that a site has a lot of content that we would classify as “blogging for blogging sake”. This usually results from high volume content creation that is not the best of its kind.

The content is not bad content, and the opinions expressed are useful, but as a stand alone piece of content, it doesn’t provide much value to users.

We have had a number of clients see good results by leveraging their existing content into a hub-and-spoke model with each “hub” being a master guide on a topic, and each spoke page providing more specific, or specialized information related to the larger category.

By going through this process, clients will often realize that they have a wealth of information on a topic, but it is spread across the site. When consolidated you end up with some really impressive pieces of content. It is then easier to update and improve these posts little by little over time.

Any existing links to the old posts can be redirected to the hub which may give them more visibility, and over time they will often naturally get more quality backlinks.

Pierre de Braux - Spiralytics

At Spiralytics, we have a slightly different approach when it comes to optimizing content for engagements, link building, or conversions.

To maximize engagement – such as reads, comments, likes, and shares – we’ve found that emotionally arousing content works best.

Tapping into things like popular culture and socio-economic issues can really strike a strong emotional chord with your readers and encourage them to engage.

So the next time Beyoncé releases a new album or mass protests erupt, you should remember that there’s an opportunity to capitalize on emotions that come with it.

Combine that with other best practices like conversational language and easy social sharing buttons and you’ve got yourself an extremely effective engagement driver.

For link building, the focus is more on showcasing authority, and we’ve found that uniquely valuable content is your best bet to accomplish this.

Uniquely valuable content can refer to anything from primary research, to custom graphics, to proprietary software, just as long as it’s useful and you’re the one who built it.

In a B2B setting, published research studies work great because websites are always more willing to link to something that meets academic standards.

For B2C contexts, we’ve had a lot of success using highly-shareable custom visual content like infographics, GIFs, and videos.

Mind you, there’s usually an overlap between content for engagement and content for links, so an article can be optimized for both.

However, there will always be a strong strategic focus from the beginning depending on the goal: engagement or links.

Beth Nydick - Beth Nydick

Content that creates engagement is not about the business owner but about their audience. Is your content telling your audience how great you are or how you have done these amazing things? What is in it for them?

Talk about your kids and how they don’t sleep but connect it to one of your services and how joining that product can help them be more successful in their business.

When you show up in service, your audience will follow you to your Call to Action and continuing to show them you’re worth in their lives will contribute to your success. When you put quality content out that can be a resource you will attract backlinks.

How many bookmarks do you reference on a daily basis, what do they have in common? Create content with that in mind, ask your audience to share it, you will be surprised how authentically that will happen.

Making your potential possible all starts with service and collaboration in mind.

Ben Henderson - Agency 51

Visualized data is a great way to both engage users and get links. It has much more immediate appeal than text and tends to stand out more and attract a greater number of links as a result.

Over 2 million blog posts get published every day. This makes it hard to get noticed and gain traction unless the article in question is exceptional.

Although good quality visualizations such as infographics, maps, and even video take much more effort to produce, there’s much less chance of them getting lost in a sea of mediocre content!

We put this into practice recently for a car leasing client, using recently-released public data to map driver penalty points and driving offenses across the UK. The infographic was hosted on their site and garnered several links from infographic sites and blogs, helping to build the authority of the client’s site.

Although to achieve maximum impact, it’s advisable to have an in-house designer on hand to put visuals together, it’s still possible for those with fewer resources available to get good results. This can be achieved by using one of the many free content generators available.

The key is to either visualize data in a way that hasn’t been done before or to use original data that no one else has examined.

John McGhee - Webconsuls

I’ve found the best way to create content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks is to produce content that provides real value to users. The more value and knowledge that can be gained by accessing the content, the more users will interact with it and the more others will link to it.

Revolving your strategy around providing value and information to users, assuming you add basic on-page SEO features, tends to be the optimal strategy.

SEO metrics are positively affected when more information is provided, so adding information and value helps the SEO authority you’re seeking to fall into place.

I haven’t yet found a limit to the amount of information that’s beneficial to share through our content. There’s a natural tendency to want to withhold a portion of the information or knowledge you have from your content.

If you know something that helps give you a performance edge, it’s natural to not want to share all of it and lose that edge. I’ve found that the SEO benefit of sharing that knowledge outweighs the drawbacks of others knowing your SEO secret.

Something that furthers the case for sharing everything is that if you know something few people know in the SEO world, you’re going to lose that advantage in a week or so anyway because word of new tactics travels quickly. If you don’t write about it, someone else will within a few days.

Nat Alleblas - SEO Sluth

Content that creates engagement should make the reader want to interact with the content- leaving a comment, sharing the content or taking a call to action. Offering a unique perspective is a good way to take a common topic or theme and give it a fresh spin.

Examples include explaining difficult concepts in a different way through storytelling or using analogies that make the concept more understandable and relatable to readers, or giving an opposing view about a popular topic (although take care not to offend your audience).

Ideally, backlinks should be contextual- they should come from pages that have a connection with the topic/theme you are writing about.

There needs to be a reason for other websites to link to your content, and that reason needs to benefit their audience as well as yours.

Does your content include important information that their audience needs to know? Do you have statistics, data, an infographic or something compelling that would make sense for others to link to?

Think about complementary businesses in your industry or niche and who their ideal clients or customers are, and target these readers when writing your content. Websites are more likely to link to you if you are not a direct competitor but can help their audience and their business in some way. Think about mutual benefits for both audiences.

Lauren Hamilton - Digital Narrative

The most challenging aspect of creating engaging content to attract backlinks is writing copy that’s smart, interesting and well-presented enough to grab human attention, AND optimised enough to attract Google’s attention too!

Here are some handy tricks of the trade…

1) Breaking up your copy into a list (for e.g. a Top 5) or into different sub-topics (like Pros and Cons, Do’s and Don’ts) can help to avoid the piece looking too ‘blocky’.

2) You’re aiming for a minimum of 350 words to keep search engines happy (which sounds short but can look looong) so think about ways your information can be visually interesting. Great photos, videos and infographics all work well – ensure they’re relevant, credited and optimised.

3) Be fun, but keep it clean. Many brands and webmasters won’t link to content which is controversial, political, ‘adult’ or with bad language. Bear this in mind, but avoid writing like a textbook – this is the opposite of what people like to link to.

4) Create content that doesn’t exist elsewhere. If there are many similar blogs out there, your job is harder. Choose less popular topics or fresh ways of phrasing your topics (research keywords first!) and you’ll stand out.

Blake Smith - Blake

My top tip to produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks is to be the source of your own data, and visualise it.

A study has shown users spend an average of 37 seconds reading an article, so keeping them engaged as they consume your content is important.

By sharing your data (for example, from a survey) or publicly shared data (for example, from a study) that has never been put into an easy to digest graph / chart before. This is key when trying to gain links.

I also know my kids would prefer to read a colourful storybook rather than a 400-page novel. And the same is true for adults.

From a psychological perspective, adding visually engaging elements to your content immediately makes your content more engaging and interesting. It’s a great way of conveying more information in a short time. Plus it encourages people to spend more time on the page.

David Sorauer - Evolocity

1. Search for keywords that have a significant search volume (>100 searches/mth) and aren’t super competitive.

2. Search for these topics in a content marketing toolset such as SEMRush + Google trends that shows which topics are “successful” in terms of backlinks, traffic and social shares.

3. Look at the search results to see what the search engine expects for that topic/keyword to see what style of content is currently ranking (ie long form content, lists, videos etc)

4. Create content that demonstrates your expertise in the form that the search engine expects, but out-performing existing competitors. Instead of “10 tips to get more customers”, use a compelling title like “16 Tips you need to know about to crush competitors (2020 update).

Have a well written piece of content that answers the searcher’s question thoroughly. Use either long-form content, or lists that are separated by catchy headings to create a unique piece of writing that is also split up by images to foster engagement.

Create a compelling meta description that ensures the click through rate of the article is as high as possible.

Quentin Aisbett - OnQ Marketing

In my experience there continues to be two specific types of content that engages and attracts backlinks – long form ultimate guides and original research.

Neither of these are easy or quick to produce. They require a significant investment, whether that be in time or money or even both. That’s why they stand out and have such an impact.

In-depth ultimate guides that engage and attract backlinks show the reader that what they have access to is infinitely more valuable and more in-depth than any other resource they’ve read on the topic.

Rand Fishkin of Moz and Sparktoro fame, spoke some years ago about the term ‘10X Content’. He spoke of the opportunity to create a piece of content that is 10 times better than the highest ranking result for your target search term.

So identify your target search term and look at the top few ranked results and identify if you can create a piece of content that’s 10 times better. But please note, this does not mean that you look at the other 1200 word articles and decide to go and write a 12,000 word essay.

That’s not what it’s about. It should be 10X more valuable and 10X a better experience. Not 10X longer.

Original research is a fantastic way of producing engaging content and attracting backlinks. Because it is original and can’t be found, or at least packaged as you have anywhere else, it will provide great value and research is something that is naturally linked to.

You do need to make sure you get the right data and research topic to achieve your objectives and engage the audience you want to engage. So make sure you do some due diligence before embarking on such a project.

Publishing original research also means you can update the data on a regular basis, producing new content, increasing engagement and attracting more and more backlinks.

Jacob King Stanley - Studio Hawk

There are 5 main types of linkable content used regularly today:

1. Scientific data & research

2. Useful tools like calculators, comparative directories & web apps

3. Guides & How to evergreen articles

4. Education, courses & online learning

5. Event’s, promotions & competitions

I’ve found after working with many sites with more than 1 million users per month from organic search that when creating 1 or more of the 5 types of linkable content there is one important factor to cutting through the competitive noise.

This is showing some personality and humour in your content. Personality and humour paint a clear picture of someone likeable and someone you and others could enjoy a good conversation with while reducing the risk of endorsing someone who will create a bad or average experience.

This is important as tone of voice is a large part of your first impression and whether someone is interested or not. When trying to get people to link to you, first impressions are crucial. You want anyone landing on your page to read or engage with your content but how do you grab their attention.

“Make them laugh and smile.”

I can guarantee your content will get a lot more links than your competitors. Sounds simple but let’s be honest it’s not that often you’ll find content that can make you laugh, smile, or feel good. Try it, before you knock it and you’ll be surprised.

Simon Ensor - Catchworks

Content is King. 

A phrase that has been bandied around the SEO community for years and, to an extent, misled many. It’s true, great content is a significant factor in the success of almost every SEO campaign. However, this has led to some marketers and SEOs taking a quantity over quality approach. A mindset of ‘just get it out there’.

The power of successful content from both an SEO and conversion perspective is no secret. Couple this with the sheer quantity of content being produced and you are faced with competitive (and very noisy) search environments. In order to create content that engages and earns backlinks it is imperative that you create content with purpose.

Do not create content for the sake of it.

That’s where buyer personas and buyer’s journeys come in. These give purpose to your content. They drive the underlying value for the searcher that Google and figures in the SEO world have been advising on for years.

What query does your content address? How can you make this the very best solution for that query? Finally, how does that query fit with your audience and therefore maintain relevance to your brand and other content you have produced?

Focus on this and your content will stand the best chance of ranking, engaging and earning those much coveted links. Create content because content is important, without any real thought into what problem it solves and you’ll simply add to the noise.

Marcus Clarke - Searchant

Start by creating images for your content, they are more attractive to the audience and are also easy to read.

Make a list, mostly people like reading organised lists as they can easily find the one thing they are looking for on the internet. And with good subheadings in your lists it makes it even easier to read and understand, that way even if someone just wants to scan through your article they will understand properly what’s going on and that creates reliability.

With that people might be coming back to your website often and probably even sharing your articles.

And another thing you can do with your list type blog posts is to add quotes from experts or well known people that way it might be getting relatable exposure.

And yes, no one said that your lists have to be short, you can write as many points in your lists as you want, people will be willing to read because they are mostly helpful and provide value.

The thing about adding value to your content is you write your own words and that’s where lists get better with so many subheadings you get so much to write.

To conclude, content in lists format with good images and a few quotes from experts is likely to get more engagement and backlinks as well.

Nalini Prasad - BluShark Digital

In our agency experience developing over 15 different creative ways to curate natural backlinks to our client sites we’ve learned a few tricks along the way. Many of these link-building projects are centered around producing sophisticated and engaging content that people will want to link to. A couple tips for creating content that is backlink worthy and sells itself below.

1. Quality and expert level information that can not easily be obtained

If you’re a doctor, lawyer, or other licensed professional, you can offer guidance and information that the average individual cannot. Leverage your expertise by providing quality content on hot topics to blogs with high domain authorities and large audiences. Be sure to include information on your business or yourself with a link to your site in the content. The blog will want to publish your original and free content and you get exposure to a large audience. Win-win.

2. Fits the tone and topic of interest of an audience you’re catering to

Do a little research into what your audience is interested in. If you can find a website that attracts your audience mimic the tone and topics of interest. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Replicate what works. Identifying the most trending topics and having fun opinions or even unpopular opinions can gain you looks and engagement. The more engagement, the more likely people are to share your content (make sure the content has a link to your site somewhere in it).

3. Create content that has call to actions and personal stories or community successes

An example of a popular topic of interest and tone that is generally appreciated and shared is
community involvement. People are generally interested in helping a good cause or reading about and sharing news about someone who has done something good in the community. If your business is involved in anything in the community creating a press release with a link to your site that can be distributed to a number of media outlets. If your business is sponsoring an event, whether in person or virtually, you can reach out to applicable, local businesses to help share event info with their clients or customers.

Conclusion – Be active in your content creation and link building ask

Many people will try to create tools or resources on their websites and wait for people to discover the information and link to them. This type of link building is the hardest to achieve the most time consuming from a content creation perspective.Instead of waiting around for people to link to your beautifully crafted content, be active and create targeted content that has a high likelihood of being accepted and placed on related websites.

Andrew Gillespie - Paramount Digital

The biggest mistake people make when trying to get links is not giving anyone a reason to link to you. A lot of the time someone will write a blog or provide a comment and add a link back to their homepage, which will just get removed – and rightly so.

If you haven’t provided a good enough reason to link to you, you don’t deserve a link. If you have an exclusive report, an interactive tool, or useful information on your website, then you’ll drastically improve your chances of earning a link. It doesn’t just have to be words either.

Writing something to earn a link is probably the easiest way to do it. But you need to try and be creative and come up with something that can’t be copied anywhere else so the link becomes important.

It could be something like:

Videos – A video explaining an issue (like the latest Google algorithm) is useful content to link back to Comparison tools – if you’ve got a tool or table that shows people useful comparison information then you’ll have a good chance of earning links Interactive tools – people love to engage with interactive content when it’s useful, or entertaining. And they make great link building content.

Cost calculators – Something that takes a couple of bits of information and automatically calculates the cost e.g How Much Should You Budget for SEO Services?

Infographic – Create an image that explains a workflow or checklist e.g How To Create a Landing Page That Converts In the end it comes down to the quality of the content you’re trying to get a link to.

If you’re trying to get links to a product page you’ll have less success than something that’s useful and worth linking to.

Max Allegro - Intuitive Digital

While no particular piece of content is “guaranteed” to get backlinks, some are more likely to get natural backlinks than others. One of the best ways is through original research. 

This method, while very time consuming and resource-intensive, can be worth it in creating not only an engaging piece of content but content that attracts backlinks.

People love stats. They add authority to any content. They support the message you are trying to convey. And they’re quick and easy to cite. Being the source of those stats is a perfect way to attract natural backlinks, as well as establish your authority on a topic.

Original research does take time, and not everyone has the ability to conduct it. Find a trending topic within your industry, run some tests or experiments and document the results, create a case study, or survey a large sample size of people. Whatever method you choose, make sure it’s driven by data. Doing so will ensure your research is unique and therefore valuable.

Original research is a trust builder within your niche. If you are seen as the one with knowledge and data on a particular subject, it will go a long way towards establishing your brand as a credible source within your industry. Conduct it multiple times, and your reputation as a thought leader will grow.

Finally, link building can also, of course, be supplemented with an outreach strategy, or some other promotional strategy once the content is published. Doing all of that research and then relying on the internet to find it is not something I’d be willing to risk.. Utilize your social channels and networks to distribute and promote your research. Take some of the more salient points and share them with your followers. Chop up the data into bite-sized (shareable) pieces and use that to regularly promote your content online.

Do all this and you’ll start to see the backlinks flow in!

Chelsea Roller - Rank Fuse

As the content manager, my goal is to create content that people want to read and share. To do this, my team performs keyword research and analyzes the competition to see what topics we aren’t covering that other companies are ranking for at this time. 

This research helps us build a content calendar specifically for each client (including our own website).

As the content manager, my goal is to create content that people want to read and share. To do this, my team performs keyword research and analyzes the competition to see what topics we aren’t covering that other companies are ranking for at this time. This research helps us build a content calendar specifically for each client (including our own website).

After we have finalized a calendar, we start to research each topic individually, paying special attention to what the direct competition is saying. We aim to create content that is better than what the competition has written.

Using tools like SEMrush and Answer the Public, as well as just searching topics on Google to see what the “People also ask” section brings up, we develop comprehensive content that answers all relevant questions about a specific topic.

We have seen that Google values longer articles that better cover a topic as a whole than a bunch of smaller articles that break down different areas of the same topic. This has led us to write articles that are at least 1,000 words, although we like to aim for more than 1,500 words.

We are also cautious of the links we include in our content. When we include external links, we like to use studies or government websites. Internal links are often to service pages or other blogs that will provide more information on the same topic or additional information about a very similar topic.

We like to make sure all of the links we include are incredibly relevant so that users are more likely to get value out of every link on our website.

Maximizing user experience is incredibly important when users could choose to read content from other sources that also provide value.

Khalid Zidan - Affiliate Ghost

There are many techniques to address engagement and backlinks.

For engagement

The content should encourage readers to interact with it to take action, for example, for lead gen, they can ask readers to download a checklist to do a certain task or perhaps download a PDF version of the article so that they can take notes or read offline.

One little technique we use quite often is to ask readers what is missing in the article and would like to see contents about. We also ask them to comment or join the FB group to start a conversation about their thoughts.

If that does not work, we offer them a free consultation for 30 min with one of our specialists.

For backlinks

The best results we have got after testing tons of approaches are:

1- Skyrocket technique which is finding a content that already has a lot of backlinks and make it better and ask for the same backlinks. It is quite an old process but still works just fine in 2020.

2- Statistics, everyone loves numbers, how much SEO specialists are making? How many backlinks do you need to rank in Google? How much companies are spending on online ads? They work really good and attract a lot of backlinks. If you do not know what statistic to write about, find a last year statistic that is already published and doing well, for example, Dentists spent $300 M on Facebook ads in 2019, and then update it to the current year, 2020, and then reach out to whoever linked to the old statistics and let them know there is a fresh one published.

Jus Chall - Skein Agency

I truly believe in numbers, statistics, and data!

They are more than words and can really drive home the point you are trying to make in your article. People are constantly looking for relevant and informative data that they can use for their own content and, if they use your information, they will link back to you.

Words are just words, but numbers and data are so much more. Journalists look for them, clients depend on them, and readers believe them. There is true power when you include data in your content that can lead to more backlinks, as well as website traffic.

It does take time to pull together some numbers for your piece, but it will be worth it when you start seeing the backlinks roll in. Not only will they link back to your content, but your brand will become known for creating great content that is informative and helpful.

Soon, you could become a leader in your space and have others relying on your content to bolster their own points.

Chris Dickey - Visably

What many content creators fail to recognize when crafting content for target keywords, is whether the search engine is even rewarding that style of content with first-page positions. 

What I’m referring to is Search Engine Intent – the concept that search engines have to make a determination about why a searcher entered the query in the first place.

Most searches can be generally divided into 1) Transactional results (Click-to-Buy), 2) Informational results (Click-to-Learn), and Navigational (Click-to-Go).

And Search Intent is not always easy to distinguish using keyword identification alone. Take for example “Spring Fleece Jacket” — if you were crafting content optimizing for this keyword you might be surprised to know that it’s actually “transactional” in intent; meaning that Google serves up results that are primarily “click-to-buy.”

Conversely and confusingly, “Winter Fleece Jacket” is largely “informational” in intent; meaning that Google is serving up “click-to-learn” content (more commonly associated with blog content, etc.).

SEO experts and content creators NEED to add a “Search Intent” to their keyword research otherwise their content, no matter how well written, may not stand a chance simply because it doesn’t align with the search engine intent.

Jeev Trika - Top SEOS

Only generating content is not useful. 

Marketers need to create content that actually attracts engagement in terms of likes, comments, and shares and generates good backlinks. There are certain ways by which SEO experts can achieve this. There are several content types that achieve the above things.

The first type of content is Comprehensive Guides. Guides have always been a very useful tool for educating viewers and generating backlinks. Website visitors will jump at the opportunity to share a guide that has helped them overcome a challenging task or even if it simply educated them on a topic.

The next content type is attractive infographics. Visual content is among the most interesting up-and-coming types that content marketers are trying out. More importantly, infographics generate more types of backlinks than your average blog post.

This can be attributed to the fact that infographics are very shareable. They’re intuitive and easy to read, giving viewers a reason to share them with like-minded individuals. Properly designed, infographics can be made to be very marketable tools for your backlink campaign.

The next content type is conducting surveys and to create content based on these surveys. The great benefit of surveys is that they provide you with a bunch of interesting data that can be very helpful if utilized right. With this data, you can publish quality content with the help of statistical analysis of the survey themselves.

Matt Zajechowski - Digital Third Coast

One of the more effective ways that our agency has produced content that creates customer engagement and attracts backlinks is by creating proprietary data on a given subject and turning that into long form content and shareable graphics. 

Think content marketing, but with original data.

Our process for doing this is to create original surveys on a given subject that’s relevant to our client and what they do and then create graphics and long form blog posts that are built around that data.

Why does this work? Publishers want new story angles to cover on a subject even if they’ve covered it before. Having proprietary data allows us to have that unique angle and presenting it with shareable graphics makes it easy for them to share. We look for writers and publications who cover that subject and present it to them as new research or a study.

We’ve earned backlinks on thousands of high authority publications by using this method to create content that attracts backlinks.

Noelle Fauver - Inseev

I have spent hours analyzing the types of resources that sites will be inclined to provide a backlink to. We have lots of data from years of conducting outreach and have come up with a few key aspects to look for when determining whether or not a piece of content is a linkable asset.

What we have found is that time again, content that speaks to a user’s ethos, pathos or logos secures the most backlink placements. Ethos, pathos and logos are the three forms of persuasion outlined by Aristotle in the 4th century B.C.E and they still ring true today.

Since these elements all work as forms of persuasion, it makes sense that users would feel compelled to share content that fulfills one of these elements.

For example, if you are a beauty brand, create content around your ethical and eco-friendly product development or a post around ways that consumers can buy ethical products. A post of this nature is also likely to be low-funnel and more likely to lead to conversions.

The bottom line is this: Create content that speaks to a user’s ethics, logic or emotional appeal and watch the backlinks roll in.

Jared Bauman - 201 Creative

Here are a few tips on creating content that is both engaging and attracts backlinks:

Add an FAQ section: Adding a Frequently Asked Questions to your content is a surefire way to increase the engagement of your readers. It helps to engage the casual reader, while also prompting them to further engage and learn more.

Use original research: Oftentimes, when publishers are looking for information, they are looking for stats that they can quote to further solidify their point. This is best found in the form of stats, case studies, or research.

If you can produce an original piece of data, such as an in-depth analysis or case study with statistics, your content will naturally attract backlinks over time.

Ryan Cook - Epic Marketing

Start with good research on what the content should be about. Tools like Ahrefs, Buzzsumo and Sparktoro allow you to enter in relevant keywords and immediately see what topics surrounding a keyword are trending.

For example, I wanted to create a piece of content around data storage, and so I typed “data storage” into these engines and immediately saw that something called “DNA data storage” was really hot right now as far as likes, shares, and backlinks go. I created my own content around this trending topic, and the piece has been doing great.

As far as getting organic backlinks goes, many SEOs argue that creating content focused on interesting and useful statistics is the best strategy. I agree. Bloggers and journalists are constantly on the lookout for stats to include in their articles, and providing this resource for them is an extremely natural way of earning links.

A lot of the time these kinds of stats are best conceptualized inside of an infographic. A catchy infographic has amazing virality on the web, and it’s also great for spreading on social media channels.

Another easy way to earn links and create engagement is to develop a free, useful online tool for people in your niche.

For example, if you’re in the real estate niche, build a fun calculator that lets users put in information and spits out interesting answers about how much certain things will likely cost, or what course of action they should take.

In addition to attracting shares and links, these tools also encourage users to engage with your page more and spend more time on your page – two things which Google reads as factors of a good website and results in better Google rankings.

John Pinedo - Instinct Marketing

Creating an engaging article that attracts backlinks is challenging (and at times fun) for SEOs at any expertise level.

The way you produce such an article is by truly understanding your audience. Do you engage with your audience about the topics in your industry on social media or email? If so, you’ll know exactly what topics, what tone, and what how-to guides your audience will appreciate.

This might sound cliche, but it’s what makes people in your niche share your article in Facebook groups and other sharing channels.

As for “attracting” backlinks to your article, you can take a passive or active approach. If you choose the passive approach, make sure you’ve on-page optimized your page well so it can start showing up at the top of Google quicker.

Writers and bloggers are always looking for informative articles in their niche to link out to.

If you want to speed up link acquisition, you can start an email outreach campaign or run Google Ads to your new article if you have the ad budget for it.

I’ve seen case studies from multiple digital PR experts, and Ahrefs.com, utilizing Google Ad as a link building strategy in 2020 and it’s starting to become mainstream.

Dmitriy Shelepin - Miromind

People love to share great content. Why? Because they want to add value to their community and be seen as a leader.

A key to link building is just that: creating content that social media users, website owners, and blog publishers will perceive as a way to elevate their own status in a group.

Whether it’s written, video, or infographic content, making it highly informative, tightly relevant, entertaining, and thought-provoking will naturally invite discussion, engagement, and sharing.

Paige Arnof-Fenn - Mavens & Moguls

I started a global branding and marketing firm 19 years ago and am a big fan of Content Marketing because it is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients/customers.

Activities like hosting webinars and podcasts, speaking at online and offline conferences, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.

Instead of trying to start my own blog or newsletter, I have had success contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in my industry or newsletters of like minded organizations reaching the same target audience as me.

I make sure to put my URL or contact info on it so they can find me and follow up if they are interested

When your articles or talks become available online, I also send them out via social media to all my friends, followers and contacts. Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose, just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.

It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.

Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.

For professional service firms like mine LinkedIn is a priority. If your customers are not looking for you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then find the platforms where you can stand out. This has helped me grow my business.

There are various ways to produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks. The best ones that perform from my experience are statistics or industry reports. They’re relatively easy to do and maintenance isn’t as difficult. You only need to review the content, update the year, and republish it again.

To do this, you either compile the stats or create them for your own brand. For example, I compiled a bunch of statistics on email marketing before and got a few backlinks without promoting them.

If you’re a big brand or have lots of subscribers, you can launch your own “state of the industry” report using the data you collected from your list. You can get this data by asking them directly on your forms. You apply progressive profiling and slowly collect all the data you need. This is how HubSpot comes up with their state of inbound. Another way is to simply compile a survey and send it to your list.

The main reason why this works is other writers/marketers/journalists are often juggling too many things and getting a quick statistic gives the content they’re writing more credibility. They google these stats and since not many are writing about them, yours stand out.

You get more backlinks, which gets you more visibility on search engines, which gives you more credibility, which then gets you more links too. It’s a vicious cycle.

Dimitar Karamarinov - Enhancv

I’ve done a wide range of content since 2008 and SEO since 2013 and the shortest answer to this million-dollar question comes down to three words:

Authentic, playful, and useful.

These are the three pillars of each top-performing page I’ve done or seen. The fundamental drive of both user engagement and backlinks falls under one or more of these labels.

Content is just part of a page and pages that perform amazingly are pages that provide some sort of experience.

It could be an interactive feature that triggers the natural human urge to play, a tool that solves a specific problem, an original form of art, concept, message, or multimedia that appeals to senses, or a unique piece of info, ranging from raw statistical data along with conclusions, all the way to philosophic breakthrough or unorthodox point of view.

Align any of these to both nature and intent behind your core purpose and you’re on the right track.

Of course, just as with politics, how you say something can have a greater impact than what you say in the first place. Thus said, wrapping your work in pain-point oriented copywriting is the cherry on top that closes the deal.

Conceptualize and produce authentic, playful, and useful content conveyed with copywriting based on psychology, and what both engagement plus backlinks pile!

Ronnie Edwards - Geek Powered Studios

Building blog posts and content pieces around “frequently asked questions” is one effective content marketing strategy that generates solid links and engagement/visits. Most businesses and organizations are already aware of the questions that they get from potential customers surrounding their offerings.

Combining that real-life understanding with keyword research from tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can provide search marketers with a comprehensive insight into the questions that people ask about their industry or field.

Building content around those questions and providing valuable answers to users can go a long way in organic search, as long as the appropriate keywords are targeted.

However, these types of content pieces can provide visibility in more than just Google search results. Tapping into a larger perspective and the curiosities of potential customers can make blog posts perform better in organic social posts, email newsletters, and even paid media advertisements.

Performance in all of these channels, in combination with a solid outreach link building strategy, can lead to a significant increase in backlinks.

All in all, forming written content around “frequently asked questions” is a free, effective way to leverage existing market behaviors and fill gaps in areas that people are already looking into.

Andrea Paul - Health Media Experts

Create list-based content

The readers mostly love the list-based articles, and so have more engagement on social media.

When more people share the content, it will be noticed by famous authors who will in-turn backlink your website in one of their posts.

While creating the list-based content, make sure that it is relevant to your audience or is industry-specific. When you have decided a topic, stick to it and explore more and more about it before writing it down.

If you want to be noticed by your desired authors and companies, make references to them and link their websites in your content. The relationship-building efforts will then help you get the best organic backlinks.

Post original research

On a single topic, you will get to see many pieces of research, but what different points of view do you have should be the main focus.

It is not necessary that if you have a different perspective about anything and when you did the research you got to know that you are also right with your point then do not hesitate to talk about it. With the valid point of objections, you can prove your point in your content.

Doing so people will look at your content differently.

Because your content would be different from others, they will share to more audience to let them know what they were missing and so you will continue to get backlinks for your original piece of content.

Patrick Garde - ExaWeb

If you want your content to generate engagement and backlinks, make sure you are making an impressive content. Since there is more content published now than in the past, make sure your content will stand out.

 Create content that is comprehensive, in-depth, and basically something classic that will stand the test of time.

To start with, you must find a topic that people are searching for. Use keyword research tools to help you choose topics that potential visitors would likely be looking for.

Next, make the right type of content. If you want to rank, the type of content should match the search intent of the users. You can check the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and look at the top-ranking results for your topic / query / keyword. The most common content types for blog posts are either list type or guides (detailed content, for beginner, step-by-step or tutorials).

Then, improve your content design. Make sure you are using visuals (images, infographics, videos, charts, screenshots, etc.) as it makes your content easier to digest and more engaging.

If possible, focus more on quality over quantity. Make use of your time and effort by using original data, research, or survey results. You can also share your tests or experiments, or case studies of your successful clients. If you provide content that comes with original and research-backed data, high-authority sites would likely link back to you as well.

Thereafter, you can also collaborate with experts. Add an interview, quote, or a roundup from authority sources. This will add credibility to your content as it will increase the chance of acquiring high-quality backlinks.

Lastly, promote your content. This is not like the quote from the movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.” There are millions of blog posts published daily, it will be hard to notice your new post if you will not put it in front of your target market’s eyeballs.

Angela Ash - Flow SEO

There are many aspects to creating content, specifically when you’re ensuring that it’s optimized to rank on the search engines. But what if you want to attract more readers, initiate engagement and score more backlinks?

To get started, your topic must be one that will start a conversation. Writing about the same boring things will not provide a reason for anyone to engage. Do a little research and get an idea of what’s currently trending..

Next, prepare your content in such a way that it actually inspires engagement. Pose questions to your readers, and offer two sides of every topic, making it primed and ready for debate in the comments or on social media shares.

And to be sure that your readers are educated enough to voice an opinion on the subject, include plenty of statistics, research, links to resources and eye-appealing infographics.

This type of content will also be appealing to those looking for sources to link back to, or content curators hoping to provide high-quality posts to their readership.

Amy Annetts - Amy Annetts Marketing

Good Marketing

As with all marketing, start with the audience in mind. Who are they and why would they read or engage with your content? Good content is born from a solid content marketing strategy that understands the audience.

Attracting Backlinks

To attract quality backlinks, write content for another website to serve their audience. Have them credit you with a link as the author, for example.

Or, reference other businesses or websites in content that sits on your own website – in a way that these businesses will be excited to link to and share with their audience.

Examples of this are case studies, expert advice that co-exists nicely with other offerings, how-to’s, reviews.

Promotion

Regardless of where the content sits, promotion is key so that you get people to read and engage. This step is all too often missed. If you are collaborating with another business, the both parties should promote the content to their audiences.

Engagement

For engagement, invite the audience to do something and be clear on what your goal is:
• Ask a topical question and invite response
• Get them to talk about themselves
• Be controversial and ask for feedback
• Create a quiz and offer something in return
• Be helpful and offer advice, like a guide or checklist and ask for their email address, or to share
• Make it easy for people to share in a range of ways

Bibi Lauri Raven - Bibi Buzz

A lot of marketers assume that you need mindblowing content to earn backlinks. And while ultimate guides of 30k words or giant interactive infographics sure are impressive, they’re not always necessary.

Even worse, in some cases you splurge your entire month’s writer budget on an epic piece of content, only to hear crickets and a polite “we’ll have a look and maybe get back to you” from your outreach targets. And no natural link earnings in sight.

A true linkable asset can be as simple as a look-up resource, or a definition piece. Something valuable that’s missing, or something that’s already there but can be improved upon or given an update or a fresh angle.

If the niche allows, I love using social shares for that, and especially Pinterest as it’s basically a curated library of blog posts and images. With the most successful specimens floating on hundreds of thousands of repins.

To find winners or get inspiration for new angles, I just add a topic into Ahrefs Content Explorer, and filter in social shares. It’s a really simple way to find proven content and get ideas for your own.

If you don’t have an Ahrefs subscription there are plenty of free marketing tools to use for finding proven content. Even if I can’t find anything useful for one niche, I use popular posts in another niche to apply their angles and graphics for a new piece.

Samantha Slabyk - High Voltage SEO

When creating good content, I often see one very important component swept aside — the appearance of the content. It’s crucial to produce content that is attractive, readable, even beautiful!

The hard truth is that how the content looks is often more important than the content itself. If we’re being realistic, most people visiting your amazingly researched and highly optimized piece of content aren’t going to read every single word — at least on their first visit.

That’s why it’s crucial that the content captures their attention with its presentation: paragraphs should be broken up and evenly spaced, and there should be plenty of gorgeous photos throughout.

Check out what competitor content looks like — and seriously improve on it. This may take some time, money, and resources, but if you want to create sustainable content that will generate strong backlinks for months, possibly years, you have to make the investment!

Take it up a notch with flashy infographics or even informational videos to mix up the media. If possible, remove ads or anything promotional — you want the content to feel removed from your business enough that the reader doesn’t feel as if they’re being sold something.

The irony is that they will appreciate this effort, and therefore be more likely to check out what your business has to offer.

1. Visual Graphics or Infographics

Infographics make a huge difference because nowadays, people aren’t much interested in reading long articles. Precise, descriptive, and attractive infographics are quite helpful. Also, the infographics can be included in social media posts to invite people onto your blog/post. The same goes for other visual graphics like videos, vectors, and so on.

2. Adding Expert Advice

When you add expert advice, quotes, etc to your content, it informs the readers that your content is legitimate.. There is also a chance that the expert’s audience might get diverted to your content. I have seen this happen. Maybe, a small podcast could also help. Give it a try, invite, or include 2-3 minutes of expert advice audio in your article.

3. Sharing Case Studies and Success Stories

Case studies are important, but they should be shared in a minimal approach. What I am trying to say is, one should not completely include the case study, as this will make your content lengthy. Rather, share a particular portion and add a link to the complete case study. The same applies to success stories.

4. Detailed Content

The content should be precise, step-by-step, and readable. The language should be kept as simple as possible. I have seen many articles that include heavy or rather difficult words. This creates a sense of ambiguity among readers.

5. Point to Point Content

Honestly, nobody has the time to give their extra minutes to your content. Never go round the hill when there is a straight way up to the top. Stay point to point and keep in mind, the search intent of your visitors. Serve what they have asked!!!

When creating good content, I often see one very important component swept aside — the appearance of the content. It’s crucial to produce content that is attractive, readable, even beautiful!

The hard truth is that how the content looks is often more important than the content itself. If we’re being realistic, most people visiting your amazingly researched and highly optimized piece of content aren’t going to read every single word — at least on their first visit.

That’s why it’s crucial that the content captures their attention with its presentation: paragraphs should be broken up and evenly spaced, and there should be plenty of gorgeous photos throughout.

Check out what competitor content looks like — and seriously improve on it. This may take some time, money, and resources, but if you want to create sustainable content that will generate strong backlinks for months, possibly years, you have to make the investment!

Take it up a notch with flashy infographics or even informational videos to mix up the media. If possible, remove ads or anything promotional — you want the content to feel removed from your business enough that the reader doesn’t feel as if they’re being sold something.

The irony is that they will appreciate this effort, and therefore be more likely to check out what your business has to offer.

Kimberley Maunder - Iterate Agency

Create content that’s adding value rather than ticking SEO boxes. If you don’t find your topic interesting then nobody else will either.

Put in time, research, and pull insightful facts from your own experience rather than someone else’s – nobody wants to quote someone who has already quoted someone else.

The most interesting articles are the ones that didn’t just take a day to write.

If you can include infographics or videos then you’ll be increasing your chances of being linked to and make sure to put a disclaimer that you’re open to others sharing that content providing they link to your original source.

Another tip is to include direct quotes within your content as these snippets of information are much easier to locate within your article and are a lot more likely to be quoted directly within a cited article on another website.

Coming to the point directly, here are some tips to produce content that creates engagement and attracts backlinks.

David Azar - Outsmart Labs

No matter what industry you work in, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably developed a very particular skill set, talent or expertise that others likely know little to nothing about and rely upon your knowledge for.

Reflect for a moment and identify what that thing is, then create in-depth, easy to understand content around it. This content can take on many forms, from e-books to infographics, detailed step-by-step guides and more.

This next tip is crucial, and may raise some eyebrows. But hear me out. Don’t be afraid to spill some of your secrets. I know what you may be thinking- why would I ever do that?

The truth is, even if you reveal some of your secrets, people won’t just run with them and leave you by the wayside. If they could do it themselves, they wouldn’t have ever become a client, user or follower of yours in the first place, plain and simple.

Once you’ve shared your valuable insights, it’s time to start grabbing people’s attention. To do so, publish and promote your content online using bold and splashy titles and descriptions.

My tip? Don’t be afraid to take a stand, controversial or otherwise. Once you’ve peaked user interest and demonstrated to the reader that you’re a reputable and engaging source, the backlinks will naturally follow. People may say content is king, but really, quality content is king.

David Toby - Pathfinder Alliance

Authentic content attracts an audience – which would in return attract backlinks.

One of the tactics that we have used to produce our own content was to conduct our own unique research. We ran a survey and gathered data around a specific topic – these type of research trends to promote discussion and is often referenced by journalists.

We once did a survey of people who had solar installed, and our findings generated backlinks from high DR places like Gizmodo, Business Insider, The Australia and The West Australian.

If a client’s budget doesn’t allow for us to conduct unique research, we will need curate data from other sources with a statistics page on the site – journalists are always looking for stats to include into the articles that they are writing. If we were to host a page with stats around SEO, it’ll often be picked up and cited as a source.

Minuca Elena - Expert Roundups

The type of content that receives the most backlinks and engagement is an expert roundup. A regular blog post will be promoted only by its author, so only his usual followers will see the new post.

Now look at this post.

With over 100 experts, this article will be shared heavily on social media by everyone that’s featured in it. Through an expert roundup, even a newbie can have his post shared by influencers that have thousands or ten of thousands of social media followers.

A well-chosen topic sparks a lot of discussion, not necessarily contradictory. There are just many professionals that share advice and strategies learnt from their experience.

A roundup is also a great way of connecting and building relationships with other people from your industry. In the last 5 years, I’ve made roundups in many different niches. This form of content adapts well to any type of business or niche.

If you are making a roundup be sure to include real experts, not newbies or amateurs.

Make sure to check all the content with tools like copyscape or duplichecker because some people like to cut corners and send content that they already published on their site and all the content must be original. Remove anyone that sends you plagiarized text.

Pay attention to grammar mistakes and fix any typos you find.

Take some time to create a beautiful design for your roundup. If you want the post to become viral it must be worthy.

Thank you to everyone that contributed to this expert roundup!