Only Quality Content Creation can Fetch Quality Backlinks
It would be safe to say that the two most important factors considered by Google to rank web-pages are Content and Quality Links. Quality link building is an organic process. It takes its time. There is no short-cut to building links. Hence, the most important factor that you can control in this game of ranking higher is developing high-quality content. High-Quality content creation helps you rank higher for specific phrases or keywords. Another benefit of Quality content is that such content is often referenced by quality websites and bloggers. While referencing, they usually give a hyperlink to your content. As more and more hyperlinks from quality sources are directed to your page, your page's probability of ranking higher increases.
So, for a Marketer, the mantra is to create, publish and distribute high-quality content consistently. A relevant question here can be - "what do you mean by quality content creation?"
Let's try to focus our energy here (on quality content creation). Later, of course, we will talk a little bit about distribution and some of the right ways to get quality backlinks. But, first, let us discuss the most important factor, i.e., quality content creation that attracts quality backlinks.
Quality Content Creation that attracts Quality Backlinks
Before Google, there were two major search engines - Yahoo and Alta Vista. They used to rank their research result totally on the basis of the content of the web-page. With Google, things changed. Google brought into the picture a new algorithm that analyzed how many people linked to a page. Till today, after over 20 years, links are an equally important component of Google's algorithm to rank web-pages.
Initially, when the criteria to rank were content, sites started stuffing their web pages with keywords. So, backlinks became a differentiator to rank. Sooner than later, though, sites started farming links (a black-hat technique) to rank higher. Links were being bought. Links were being exchanged. Google addressed this issue with its update (named Penguin). This update ensured that link quantity doesn't remain as important a criteria as the link quality. That means links from authoritative websites (e.g., NYTimes.com) would gain more importance than a link from just any website. In fact, links from websites with a poor reputation (e.g. spam websites) would impact the page ranking negatively.
Now, this seems to be working. This is a strong differentiating factor. Unless you really have compelling content, no authoritative sites would reference your content. This, in turn, means that only quality content can fetch quality links.
Examples of Quality Content Writing
Quality content in any form or format is an asset. It helps search engine rank you high in search results, generates leads for you, builds authority; and attracts backlinks.
As our focus in this article is backlinks (or inbound links), we will focus only on the role of content creation in attracting quality back-links.
As I said, consistent content creation is always the key. However, if the focus is to attract backlinks from content, some content formats work better than the rest. Visual digital assets, list posts, original research, and deep-dive guides, for example, are some of the key digital assets that work better than other content formats. Let's explore each asset type a bit more.
Readers have a low attention span. A visual asset (such as an image, a diagram, an infographic or charts, etc.) can tell a long-story more effectively without using words. So, readers prefer such graphics. Website owners would love to share your images to strengthen their write ups. Sites that use your images or infographics can either embed your digital assets or give credits (and link back to the original source).
In 2015, BuzzSumo, along with Moz analyzed shares and links of over 1 million articles. They discovered that list posts generated more backlinks than any other content format (even more than infographics and videos). Websites prefer to link to such content pieces because list posts usually present a lot of information in a few bullet points.
Original Research and Data
Original research takes time. Companies conduct research to sell data. If you are willing to share your research data with other websites, you will surely attract dozens of quality backlinks. The only expectation of you would be the quality of your research work. If your website is not trustworthy, good websites would refrain from referencing your site.
So, ensure that you present your research in the most professional manner. If you are relatively new to content creation, try not to spend too much time in this one. There is a possibility that you may not get the desired return on your efforts in the beginning.
People love to reference such guides. Quality guides are really hard to come by. A lot of companies are pushing promotional content in the name of white papers, ebooks, and in-depth guides. Their goal is to collect contact information through gated content. If you are able to create a genuinely relevant and comprehensive guide that can educate your audience, go ahead and create one. Websites and niche bloggers would love to link to your content.
Keep producing quality content and distribute them through relevant social channels. Email niche blog owners and influencers. Share your content. It is more important to spread awareness about your content within your target ecosystem. Even if your content creation is great but if no one knows about it, no one would link to it or reference it. So, do not leave any stone unturned to promote your content. At the end, my suggestion to you is to keep doing this religiously for a sustained period of time. As I said earlier, this is an organic process and it takes time. As more and more of your content is referenced, you will see an increase in your domain authority (as well as in the page authority). And gradually, you will keep moving up the ranks!