22 types of SEO content to grow traffic and links

Written By Fraser McCulloch

Traditional marketer specialising in keyword research, SEO content plans, and content briefs. Has-been Scottish golfer. 

If you’re looking to build links and drive traffic, you need to know what types of content are most effective.

This post will look at 22 different types of SEO content that will help you grow traffic and links.

Content goals

The type of content you select depends on your and your audiences’ goals.

And there are 2 main SEO goals:

  1. Earn organic traffic by creating content for search engines and your target audience.
  2. Earn links by creating content for link intent.

Think of SEO content as a toolbox.

Each content type has been described, its purpose, and how to create it.

Pillar Page

A pillar page is essential in your site’s architecture and contains everything a visitor needs to know about a topic related to your business.

For example, I have a pillar page about SEO called SEO Beginners Guide.

This page covers everything known about the topic and then branches off to other pages covering related subjects in more detail. 

Objective

Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Identify a broad topic related to your products or services.
  • Explain the topic’s importance.
  • Explain complicated terms or things people need to know.
  • Discuss the pros and cons.
  • Provide examples.
  • Show users how to do something related to the topics.
  • Provide other resources or links.

How-To Content

A how-to guide is a piece of content that teaches users how to do something.

It may include step-by-step instructions or an explanation of what makes this particular task more straightforward than others.

According to Orbit Media, a how-to article is the most popular content marketers create.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic
  • Earn links

How to create

  • Identify relevant keywords containing “how”.
  • In your content, explain what the keyword is.
  • Map out each sequential step with instructions.

List Posts

A list post is an article that lists many tips, resources or products that help a reader.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic
  • Earn links

How to create

  • Identify relevant queries containing “list”, “best” or “top”.
  • Under each item on your list, explain what it is and how to use it.

Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of data that take up less space than traditional text articles.

These graphics are easy to understand and share because readers do not need to read long blocks of text.

In addition, they are more likely to get shared by others.

Objective

  • Earn links

How to create

  • Decide the key data points you wish to illustrate.
  • Use a template from Canva or Vizzlo.
  • Brand it with your logo.
  • Share it with your audience or on social sharing websites such as Visual.ly and Scoop.it and Flipboard.com.

Video

According to Advanced Web Rankings, over 18% of search results contain a YouTube video result.

Creating video and written content can help you reach your audience on two search engines; Google and YouTube.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Find keywords with traffic potential.
  • Check YouTube results appear in the SERP for that query.
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Add a description and tags; that match the keyword you are targeting.
  • Embed your video on your website or blog.

Original Research

Original research is powerful because it’s based on actual data and is more likely to be shared and linked to.

For example, an old client updates a salary guide that earns their website traffic and links every year.

All they do is survey their job candidates.

Salary is at the core of this recruitment business, so the topic is relevant.

I’ve produced a few pieces of original content using 3rd party data.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Identify a topic relevant to your business.
  • Create around 10 to 15 data points.
  • Find a data source; your customers or 3rd party data.
  • Collect the data and analyse it.
  • Write up your findings and use charts to illustrate key findings.
  • Share with your industry and customers.

Product Review Articles

These articles review products from a variety of perspectives.

They include detailed reviews of the product, comparisons to similar products, user feedback, and expert opinions.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Identify product keywords containing “review”.
  • Pick a product you’ve used.
  • Describe the product and its benefits.
  • Outline whom the product is aimed at.
  • Describe each feature and its benefits.
  • Include actual proof in video or images that you’ve used the product.
  • Include any ratings or reviews.
  • Provide alternatives to this product.

Comparison Articles

A comparison guide compares two or more products or services so readers can decide which they prefer.

For example;

  • iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12
  • Ahrefs vs Ubersuggest

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Use a keyword research tool to identify queries containing “vs” or “comparison”.
  • Make a list of all similar features.
  • Under each feature, compare the pros and cons of each.
  • Conclude your article by recommending which product is suitable for a particular task or budget.

Beginners Guides

A beginner’s guide is an overview of a particular helpful subject to someone with little experience.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Identify relevant queries containing “guide” or “beginner” or “for.”
  • Your page title or introduction usually includes the phrase “ultimate guide”.
  • In your content, explain what the keyword or topic is.
  • How to get started.
  • Outline steps. 
  • Include answers to common questions.

Checklists

Checklists include worksheets, tip sheets, and cheat sheets, and you can easily create them by taking the key points from other types of content.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic
  • Earn links

How to create

  • Create a cheat sheet using Google Sheets.
  • Use a tool like Canva to design a cheat sheet.

Service Page

The service page article should provide visitors with all the information about your service and how it can solve their problems.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

A service page should include:

  • The problem your service solves.
  • The details of the service and related sub-services.
  • Further information outlining how you deliver your service and the intended results.
  • Frequently asked questions.
  • Quotes, testimonials and case studies.
  • Why visitors should choose your company to provide the services.
  • How to get in touch with you.

What Is Article

What is a ‘what is” article?

A “what is” article is a short (usually under 2000 words) article that answers a specific question.

For example;

  • What is SEO?
  • What is SEO content?

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Identify relevant queries containing “what”.
  • In your content, explain what the topic is about.
  • Why it is important.
  • Provide examples and tips.

City Pages

Local business owners who want their brand to be seen by more people need to consider using multiple marketing channels beyond just Google My Business listings.

If you want your web pages to be discovered by people searching for locations near where they live, it makes sense to create localised city pages.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Your content needs to include local keywords, local information like bus, train, airport info., etc.
  • URL containing location.
  • Add or embed local customer reviews.
  • Staff quotes or interviews.
  • Local images featuring familiar local landmarks.
  • Local videos featuring local places or things or illustrating unique aspects of serving the community.
  • Embed a Google Map showing the areas you service.
  • Local contact information.

Product Pages

Creating content for product descriptions and product pages should give a clear overview of what your product does, why people want to buy it, and how it will benefit them.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic
  • Earn links

How to create

  • Write down your product’s features, dimensions and specifications in bullet format.
  • Turn each feature into a user benefit.

Tools

Look at the staggering growth of Neil Patel’s website after launching his tool, Ubersuggest.

But you don’t need to spend 6 figures on a tool like this.

Calculators can be beneficial.

Objective

  • Earn links

How to create

  •  Hire a developer on Upwork.

Quizzes

Quizzes and polls are excellent ways to engage your audience and generate inquiries and subscribers.

Objective

  • Earn organic traffic

How to create

  • Decide the outcome you want; leads, test knowledge, entertain
  • Draft a quiz title
  • Create questions and multiple choice answers (use templates from TryInteract)
  • Decide the quiz success rate
  • Communicate results
  • Set up lead generation & integration with CRM
  • Share a quiz with your audience

Collaborative Content

There are 3 main types of collaborative content.

  1. Guest posts increase your authority.
  2. Interviews expand your knowledge base.
  3. Expert round-ups

Guest post

A guest post is written and published on another website.

It allows you to show your expertise while providing helpful information to readers.

Objective

  • Earn links

How to create

  • Identify those in your industry that are likely to accept guest posts.
  • Research and identify topics that would fit their business and help their traffic or link goals.
  • Reach out to them and open a dialogue.
  • Write the content.
  • Share the fully complete article and publishing instructions.

Interviews

The most popular types of interviews nowadays are audio content or podcasts.

They are hosted by someone who is interested in a topic and talks about it with a guest.

Objective

  • Earn links

How to create

  • Research and build a list of prospects.
  • Use tools such as Ahrefs Content Explorer, Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
  • Find their email and pitch them your unique angle or expertise.
  • Be yourself on the podcast without boring the audience.

Expert Round-ups

An expert round-up article is a collection of tips, answers, and insights from many experts curated together by one author.

It provides a convenient way to read through great content in a single place. 

Objective

  • Earn links

How to create

  • Devise a single question to ask experts that your audience would value, e.g., what’s your best tip for starting a career in the golf industry
  • Create an expert prospect list
  • Create a Google Form to collect the answer to your question and their details
  • Use outreach software to invite them to participate in the expert round-up
  • Capture answers; publish answers on a web page.
  • Notify experts that the article is live and share it with your audience.

To summarise

In this post, I look at 22 different types of content that will help you drive SEO traffic and earn links.

SEO is not only about creating good content for search engines but also about creating useful content for those in your industry that can reference your resources.