Over the last few months, we’ve been showcasing some of our partners here on the blog. They’ve each been providing expert tips and advice on subjects they specialise in.
Next in line, we have James Taylor, a freelance SEO consultant who provides bespoke strategies for clients of all sizes. Working with both agencies and commercial clients, James uses a data-driven SEO approach to ensure organic growth.
The post is full of tips and advice on how you can create your own statistics pages for link building, and also includes 5 examples of businesses that are already doping this really well, so you can draw inspiration. So what are you waiting for!?
Read on below:
Link building is somewhat of a dirty word in digital marketing.
It’s often associated with private blog networks, blatant link farms, and low-quality vendors who all give the strategy a bad name (and rightly so!).
If anything though, this should encourage you to do link building properly, and understand that more often than not, it’s only associated with poor-quality practices because good link building is hard!
It takes time and effort to get it right.
So, having said that, where do you start when it comes to ‘proper’ link building? And, what if you don’t have the budget for a large-scale digital PR campaign to get the attention of a journalist or industry publisher?
Well, one of the best approaches I’ve found (that almost any site can do) is to become the niche resource for providing statistics and data on a topic that relates to your website.
Journalists and publishers often need data in their articles, and this is your opportunity to be the website to provide that information.
For example, if you’re at position one in the SERPs for ‘SEO statistics 2022’, you’re no doubt going to attract some natural backlinks via a ‘source’ quote from any website that uses your data.
In this guide, I outline 5 examples of websites with amazing statistics pages and then take you through the process of how you can create a statistics page that’ll generate backlinks yourself, without breaking the bank.
*Note that the estimated traffic for a lot of these pages will be low, but traffic isn’t our main goal here.
We want to use these pages to attract links, so they essentially become their own internal ‘hub’ of authority for your site.
Then, you can utilise internal links to spread that authority to the types of pages that wouldn’t naturally attract links e.g. your category or product pages.
5 Websites with Amazing Data Resource Landing Pages
Exploding Topics is the perfect type of site to use as a leading example of data and stats landing pages.
I’ve used this page as an example, but literally just check out any of their content and you’ll find long-form data pages that attract backlinks consistently.
This site has gone with the ‘shocking statics’ angle, but also put together a side menu that makes navigation for each section incredibly easy (which means you’re making the job of a potential journalist or publisher much easier to find your data!).
Tech Jury combines text-heavy data with quite possibly the world’s largest infographic! Not typically something that you see a lot of.
Saying that, Infographics can still be a fantastic linkable asset, and also contribute to the depth of any data-rich page.
As you can see, it has an impressive 1.65k backlinks from 508 referring domains. Pretty good!
This page is interesting because it’s not too text-heavy, and it also targets a specific country rather than providing global data.
As part of your research, make sure to look at country modifiers to see whether a particular country has much higher estimated volumes and traffic for a certain type of stat or data than another (you could then create one main data ‘hub’ for that industry, and split it out by separate country pages too).
This final site is another example of how simply laid-out data can be incredibly effective as a linkable asset.
The data is clear as you navigate throughout the page, and there are also bespoke images with stand-out statistics which can also be used as ‘link bait’.
How Do You Know What Will Work?
The best way you can find out what will work is to research your competitors, and to go a little broader within your niche.
For example, this could look like:
- Blog about Xbox games > Broader console gaming statistics landing page
- Cleaning service provider > Data & stats page about hygiene and germs in the workplace
- PPC Freelancer > Broader digital marketing industry statistics page
If you’re not looking outside of what may well be a specific niche of operation, then you’re going to struggle with both obtaining data for your statistics page, and potentially running out of websites to contact.
For example, in the above list, you wouldn’t want to just create a PPC statistics page when you could create a digital marketing statistics page with a PPC section.
You could always create a PPC one in the future if the data suggests that the PPC section is the section of interest, but it’s hard to do this the other way around if your data page only includes one aspect of a broader industry subject.
Start by searching for these broader topics, then take the top ten results from the SERP.
Paste them into Ahrefs ‘Batch Analysis’ and see how many singular referring domains are pointing to each page:
Batch analysis of the top ten pages for ‘SEO Statistics 2022’
What we’re looking for here are sites with:
- A high number of individual backlinks from singular domains
- A blend of anchor texts from referring domains citing their statistics data
- Pages that also have estimated traffic and actually rank (or are at least somewhat visible) for keywords related to the statistics page in question.1,000+ in the traffic column is the goal, but keep in mind that this is just a traffic estimate from Ahrefs… True organic traffic numbers are likely to be higher
For example, in the image above, we can see that the ImpactPlus URL has over 3,500 keywords in Ahrefs, with an estimated 673 monthly visits to the page (likely to be much higher).
If we click into the 3,594 value, we can see that it is actually statistics-related keywords that the page ranks for above all:
Repeat this process for all competitors in this bulk analysis.
If you’re seeing similar instances of statistics and data-related keywords actually ranking and driving traffic to the page then you’re on to a winner.
You’ll quickly be able to see the authority you’re up against in terms of competitors, and also the actual volume of links you can expect to get from a well-put-together and researched page.
Use your judgment on this. If you have a brand-new site and your research shows that the level of competition is too high, that’s when you can start to get a little more specific with your stats page.
Start broad and work backwards so that you can justify how broad (or how niche) you need to go based on your own site authority, and that of your competitors.
If you repeat this process for your niche and don’t see many results, or you see stats pages with little to no backlinks, think about why that is.
Is the data you’re looking for simply too niche to justify a statistics page?
Does the research suggest that your original topic would be better off as part of a wider piece of research?
Creating a long-form piece of content like this takes time, so make sure that you’re going to have both the readily available data and potential outreach audience necessary to justify your time investment upfront.
Ask yourself three questions:
- Are the pages just too new to be picking up any links?
- Is anyone actually looking for statistics in this niche?
- Or, is there volume and interest, and you’ve just stumbled across a content gap area in relation to your direct competitors?
Make sure to do your research at this stage before spending the time to put an extensive page together. You need to make sure that there is already interest in relation to search volume and for your page as an evergreen outreach asset before going ahead.
Make sure that you actually see ‘Traffic’ and ‘Keywords’ present when doing a batch analysis of competitor data pages in Ahrefs, and look into what keywords they’re actually ranking for.
If you see that ‘xxx + statistics’ and ‘xxx + statistics + year’ pages are primary traffic drivers for the pages, then it’s clear that the interest is there from an organic perspective alone.
If anything, competition is good for a page like this, and means that you’re on the right track!
Where to Find the Data
In the interest of keeping your page as low-cost as possible you can use the sites or methods to listed below to get data and statistics for free (or, at least, much cheaper than if you tried to obtain it yourself via a paid survey):
- Manually search for “Industry + Stats + Year” – Are there any non-competitor sites with unique data that you can quote?
- If you have an audience – Share Twitter Polls and Google Forms directly with them
- Quote individual articles in a summary section and attribute with a nofollow link if you really don’t want to pass any of that ‘link juice’ on
How to Get Backlinks to Your Page
So, you’ve published your statistics page, but how do you get those much sought-after backlinks?
Here are some of the methods I’d recommend:
- Reverse-engineer the websites linking to similar competitor pages. Is your competitor’s page outdated? Do you have more unique data? Reach out to the publisher (you can use a tool like Hunter.io to find their details) and let them know your page is better!.
- Look at the broken backlinks of your competitors in Ahrefs > Broken Backlinks. Are any websites linking to a competitor stats page that is now 404’ing? Let them know and send them your resource to be updated!
- Look for pages still ranking for ‘Stats + 2021’ and so on… Are sites linking to them? If so, let the publishers know they’re linking to an outdated resource!
- Reference your own data when doing outreach. Are you writing a guest post, and it’s contextual to mention your data? Take the opportunity to do so!
- Run a PPC campaign to the page to attract visitors (and possible links) in the early stages
Over time, the goal of your stats or data page is for it to become a passive backlink asset. If you can rank for ‘Keyword + Statistics + Year’ then you’ve already won half the battle.
The other half is active outreach to get it to where it needs to be, and also to keep the page updated so that you’re providing accurate data (and solidifying your resource as the #1 in its industry).