Backlinks remain one of Google’s top three ranking factors. In addition to researching and creating content, it’s important to promote content and help it rank well by acquiring backlinks. Generally, search engines recommend taking a natural and organic approach to link building. With the addition of Penguin 4.0’s real-time modifications to Google’s core algorithm, spammy link building could result in a significant decline in the value of your domain over organic search results. That’s why SEO experts recommend using content that earns links naturally. This cornerstone content can serve as a starting point for putting your brand on the map. So, what should your content creation team focus on if they’re trying to naturally build links? Here are six types of content that are the best at naturally earning links. Start with Audience Research and Competitive Analysis If you want to build links to your content naturally, you need to create content that users want to consume and will link back to naturally. That means offering something of unique value. So where do you start? The best place to start is by leveraging your analytics, keyword research, and competitive analysis tools to find out what users in your industry are searching for, consuming, and sharing. Competitive analysis tools, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs, can provide a comprehensive analysis of how many links a specific URL has earned, and who is linking back to them. This can help you focus on new topic ideas and content mediums that will help you earn links because they are in-demand throughout your industry. Social media platforms offer great audience tracking tools that will allow you to segment audience segments by psychographic and demographic data to create buyer personas. While the goal of our content may not be to sell anything, it’s still a valuable step in understanding the needs of your industry. Link-worthy content distinguishes itself from competing content because it fills a need within society. It answers important questions and offers unique insights that are valuable – so valuable, that they compel readers to share it with their audience. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at six ideas for content that earn links naturally and are always in demand. 1. Infographics Visual media quickly grabs people’s attention, making it extremely effective. In fact, using visual content is often thought of as one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded digital landscape. Interactive graphics are extremely effective because they are able to use the success of visual media and combine it with interactive content. Interactive media and visual media are a match made in heaven, as the visual aspect catches the user’s attention while the interactive aspect keeps them engaged. Not to mention that this amazing combination is quite easy to share on major platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Use infographics to tell a narrative or present original research in a highly engaging format. Not only are infographics link-worthy, but they also offer an improved potential for going viral. 2. Original Data and Research Posting data and research is an amazing way to garner natural links. When people write pieces on your research topic, they will likely link back to their source. As more and more people begin discussing your research, it’s visibility will improve, and people will begin to use your site as an authoritative source of information. Although creating strong research backed by data may be difficult and time consuming, it is a great way to naturally earn links and establish credibility in an industry. 3. eBooks and Whitepapers One of the best formats to provide original data is through an eBook or whitepaper. Partnering with an independent research organization is a great way to provide new insights on trends and theories that are bound to affect consumers in your industry. Of course, eBooks and whitepapers are great for showcasing the latest industry theories, prototypes, or business opportunities that you are actively engaged in. If your title is catchy and your content is buzzworthy, assuming it is promoted effectively, you can earn organic links by the truckload. 4. Authoritative Blog Posts Blogs have been around for a long time and are still a great way to earn natural links. A blog can be extremely diverse, covering topics ranging from a snack box delivery review to political opinion pieces. Blog articles can also be easily shared and easily talked about. In fact, some blogs intentionally post controversial pieces just to stir conversation and direct traffic to their blog. The key is in the Header: be authoritative. Offer value and a fresh perspective on a topic in your industry that hasn’t been covered yet. While backlinks are important for search engine rankings, they are not essential. A long-form blog post can rank highly on its own and begin to collect backlinks naturally that help it move the needle even further. 5. Videos Video content is another great way to naturally earn links. Humans spend billions of hours each day watching YouTube, which is only one video sharing site. Videos are a great form of content as they are usually unique. Video content is also easily shareable throughout the various social media platforms, and even has entire platforms solely dedicated to video content. A lot of quality content can be packed into videos, making it one of the best candidates to be shared and earn natural links. 6. Free Tools Last, but not least, offering free tools is a great way to get some much-needed traffic to your website and earn links naturally. Links can be earned in the form of referrals and advertising, or from businesses that mention your tools in tutorials and informative blog posts. Conclusion Link building is a valuable strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked by any organization. What many people don’t realize is that the value of link building extends beyond manipulating your organic ranking in search engines. Backlinks provide an excellent source of organic traffic and can significantly extend the visibility of your brand across the web. Marketers and do-it-yourselfers should view link building through the lens of brand building – extending your organic visibility across the web. Only then can we push back against the bad press associated with link building and pursue more white hat strategies.