How to Create Content That Attracts Organic Backlinks

This is a guest article posted by Anurag Kanojia.

In a competitive niche market, you can barely rank without creating backlinks. They remain one of the most significant ranking factors even in 2024. 

You can watch the correlation between backlinks and rankings in this case study published by Outreach Monks last year. They were struggling to get 1000 visitors to their website.

Therefore, they started focusing on link-building campaigns. As a result, you can see their clicks reached almost 10,000, increasing their organic traffic by 10 times.

(credit: Outreach Monks)

However, the biggest challenge with creating backlinks is 


And it all comes down to the method you use to create backlinks. Let’s understand them.

How to Generate Backlinks

There are two traditional methods of building links:

  1. Manual outreach
  2. Organic link building

Manual outreach involves guest posts and niche edits. But it is hard to scale as the response rate is barely 2-8%. And that is just the response, not the end result.

On another note, organic links can be earned more efficiently by executing the right link-building strategies.

With the advancement in artificial intelligence and technology, we now have a third method of building backlinks. You can automate link building campaigns by effectively utilizing tools, such as Serpzilla

It allows you to create backlinks at scale with nearly 1/10th the usual link costs. However, we will discuss this in detail later in the article.

For now, let’s continue with actionable steps on how to create content that attracts organic backlinks without the need to send thousands of cold emails. Let’s get started…

Understanding Your Audience

To create link-worthy content, you must begin by developing a deep understanding of your target audience. You must learn their pain points, interests, preferences, and expectations.

You can conduct buyer persona research and utilize analytics for your research. However, one of the best things you can do is ask the audience directly. 

Brendon Hufford from Growth Sprints has achieved remarkable results in SaaS SEO. He does not use old keyword research strategies. According to Brendon in his LinkedIn post, instead of keywords, you should focus on getting raw data directly from your customers and ICP.

How to do that?

  • Conduct interviews with your existing customers and ICP to understand what they like and dislike 
  • Conduct surveys if you want specific data 
  • Hold events and let your target audience speak their heart out about your niche

You must learn their intent and behaviour for doing a particular search. What’s in their mind when they are looking for a specific something on Google? 

You must answer that.

If you craft content based on this data, it will resonate more with the audience as seen in many of Brendon’s case studies.

(Pic Credit: Marketing Powerups)

Doing all this is not easy and takes more time and resources than just using a third-party tool to conduct keyword research. However, audience insights can be the X-factor in an SEO strategy, and as David Farkas from The Upper Ranks said:

Creating a truly ‘linkable’ resource isn’t easy or cheap but is an investment that will earn dividends in the short and long term.” —David Farkas, Founder & CEO: The Upper Ranks

Types of Content & How to Create

1. Listicles

Now that we covered the basics, let’s start with the most obvious one: 


Listicles are blog posts that contain lists (as the name suggests). These lists could be your top 100 movies, top 10 winter accessories, or top 25 productivity hacks. 

List posts have proven to attract backlinks as they are easy to scan and provide many data points in a single place. 

You can refer to this post about the top 30 horror movies from GamesRadar+. They are already getting 489 backlinks from 177 referring domains.

They even got links from Wikipedia.

How to Create a Listicle:

  • Start with finalizing a topic. 
  • Shortlist a few keywords that are relevant to your niche. 
  • Do a SERP analysis to check which ones have listicles ranking for them.
  • Now pick one topic that you are most confident about.
  • You have to use stats and claims to make your content more reliable.
  • Add your personal opinions and experience to structure the content logically and to add a unique perspective.
  • For every list item, you can include action steps, takeaways, pros and cons, etc.
  • Add real-world examples and case studies to make them more link-worthy.

Hunter has utilized this tactic quite well. They created listicles like ‘top X tools’, ‘best alternatives to X’, etc. In a short span of 3 months, they landed 96 links as described in this awesome case study by Irina Maltseva.

2. Statistics-Oriented Posts

Original data and research studies are some of the best ways to land links from multiple authoritative sources. Such posts get organic backlinks because people need original data sources to cite for various statistics. 

For instance, even in this blog post, you can see links to various case studies and statistics posts. To incorporate credibility, you have to provide credible resources. 

By creating a statistics-oriented post, you become a credible source. For instance, this link-building statistics post from uSERP has generated 683 backlinks from 487 unique websites. 

A statistics post can be about any type of data useful to your users, such as the latest trends, case studies, and market research analysis. Charts and graphs allow easy references to link to. On the other hand, case studies show real-world examples of whether a particular strategy worked or not. 

How to Write a Statistics-Oriented Post

  • Find a keyword or search term with ‘link intent’, which means searchers are looking for a source to cite.
  • To qualify a keyword, you can do a SERP analysis to check if the articles ranking on the first page are getting lots of backlinks. 
  • Review the link placements to check if the links are from blogs and news websites citing them as the source.
  • Now, set up methods to collect original data such as developing surveys and analyzing results. 
  • You can also compile industry data from various sources to create a data-oriented listicle in a shareable format. 

Pro Tip: To improve your chances of getting links, you can create beautiful infographics showcasing your findings. Infographics are conveniently shareable and display data in an easy-to-consume format. Any blog or website using that infographic will link back to the original source for credibility. 

Using original data and research points in their post, SparkToro received backlinks from 1,710 referring domains. The links they received were from some of the most authoritative publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times. All the links were received on that single URL.

(Pic Credit: Brendan’s Post)

Similarly, they published a Twitter analysis for fake followers. The post got more than 500 press mentions and 23,000 pageviews on the same day.

(Pic Credit: SparkToro blog)

  1. Guides

Complete in-depth guides have always been considered a way to display authority. If you can create a complete guide about a certain topic, you automatically become an expert at it.

For instance, if you write a guide about keyword research and mention every single detail related to: 

  • Keywords definition
  • Types of keywords
  • Search volume
  • Search intent
  • Keyword clusters
  • Keyword difficulty
  • SERP analysis 

Your post becomes the go-to post for everything related to keywords. And therefore, it attracts tons of backlinks.

For example, this Hubspot post about ‘how to keyword research’ has garnered about 9,700 backlinks from 3,000 unique domains.

How to Create a Guide that Attracts Backlinks

  • Find a broad topic from your niche that is yet to be covered or hasn’t been covered much by your competitors. 
  • Create an outline by including subheadings that cover every small detail of the subject. For instance, if I’m writing about link building, some of the main subheadings could be –
    • What is link building
    • Why is link building important
    • Types of link building activities
    • How does link building work
    • how much does link building cost
    • How to do link building in SEO
  • Once you’re sure that all subtopics are covered in your brief, you can write the guide.

Pro Tip: Provide actionable advice and break down complex tasks into steps. For headers, instead of using keywords with the most search volume, use common questions relevant to those keywords. You can also create an ebook and make it available for download to read later. This may look like a bad move from a search perspective, but it helps you land backlinks.

A great example of creating a guide that attracts backlinks is this ultimate link building guide by Brian Dean. It enabled him to get links from HubSpot (DR-93), Neil Patel (DR-91), and Conductor (DR-78). 

He also added a downloadable ebook on the blog post that landed links from high authority sites like Mangools (DR-81).

Brian received links from around 1,800 unique websites and it is still ranking on Google’s first page for keywords like ‘link building in seo’.

Tools to Complement Your Link Building Efforts

Link building is one of the most important yet one of the hardest SEO activities. As per a study by Prestige Links, the average cost of a backlink was $300-$500 in 2021. 

However, a startup or small business might not have enough budget to support link-building campaigns. In such scenarios, you can utilize link building tools like Serpzilla.

The competition is stiff in 2024. Enterprises are pouring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to remain on the top of Google SERPs. To ensure your content is getting recognized, it must get in front of the right audience. 

With Serpzilla, you can create 10 times more high-quality backlinks with almost 10 times less costs. And these links work.

A remote development team recruitment website lost a significant part of its traffic in 2023. After creating links using Serpzilla, they nearly doubled their organic traffic in a span of 2 months. 

Serpzilla allows you to build multiple types of backlinks and also helps you diversify the anchor text distribution. It reduces the $300-$500 average cost of each backlink to almost negligible.

All you have to do is just visit their website and register to start your next budget-friendly link-building campaign.

Is Backlinking Still Important in 2024? 

Backlinks are still considered by most marketers as one of the top three ranking factors on Google. Google itself admitted to it here. Most experts agree that quality links are mandatory to rank in highly competitive niche spaces. 

As you have seen in many case studies mentioned above in this article, backlinks can change the game entirely. You can rank for terms where you were not ranking before instantly if you have a lot of backlinks from authority websites. 

As manual outreach is not scalable without a team and investment, organic links are your best bet to rank on Google. Natural backlinks may require significant effort to build but they pay long-term dividends in brand visibility and organic growth.