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Unanswered demand: How a single listicle received over 64 relevant backlinks
When my friend Daniel told me that he wanted to invest in SEO, I was, of course, all ears. His vision: To boost the visibility of his newly founded agency that specialises in no-code development.
In early 2020, the no-code movement was just gaining traction, and Daniel knew that he wanted to be at the forefront of it. A key part of this meant being visible for important keywords around no-code to become a thought leader in the space.
The challenge: Most SEO tools only showed very little search volume for queries around no-code. It was confusing to both of us how everyone on social media and in online communities was talking about no-code, but keyword tools showed only a few hundred searches at most.
Instead of waiting for a better opportunity, we decided that we couldn’t just rely on keyword tools, but had to take a leap of faith. We made a bet that the search volume was already present, but it was not accurately reflected in these tools.
So we got started by pairing his customer insights with general trends on social media platforms like LinkedIn and X (then Twitter) and online communities like Reddit to get a deeper understanding of what content people were looking for.
Daniel’s target audience consisted of solopreneurs and small startup teams that just started out and wanted to build a first prototype. And while they were definitely interested in tools, templates, and how-tos, many were also looking for inspiration. Specifically, they were seeking case studies and examples of successful companies that had done before what they were about to do.
There weren't many good resources at that time, so we conducted some more research, reached out to Daniel’s network, and compiled a list of interesting no-code startups. We then turned this information into a listicle, named the 10 most impressive startups built with no-code.
No one had done this properly before.
And so the article quickly picked up traffic.
More importantly: It got 64 organic backlinks from 29 different domains.
And this is the great thing about being first: We didn't have to invest much into promotions or manual outreach. It was all about capturing unanswered demand.
Sure, it was a gamble to some extent — but it paid off.
And of course, this wasn’t the only article we published, but our most successful one. And the beauty of it was that all other articles benefited from the links that this one listicle got.
What does this mean for you?
Think outside the box: Don’t just rely on search volumes provided by SEO tools. The data might not be accurate and/or lagging. Use as many internal and external sources to guide your decisions, brainstorm together, and find new topic ideas.
Make strategic bets: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. But at the same time, don’t just play it safe either. Create content that you know will be effective, but also go after some riskier opportunities with the potential for significant rewards if you succeed.
Create something new: A lot of SEO content just regurgitates what’s already out there. By creating copycat content, you won’t attract links, and you generally will have a hard time driving traffic. Because everything you say has already been said before. Always look for gaps and provide value (information gain) when you can.
PS: The initial article was moved from no-code.ch to huggystudio.com as part of a larger website relaunch and consolidation effort (see 301 redirect in screenshot) but still creates value for Daniel and his agency, HuggyStudio, to this day.
PPS: Want to achieve similar results? Book a free consultation now.