Just what is link baiting? A link bait is an online marketing strategy that attracts links from other sites to your great website content.
Sounds like something that would earn a frown from Google, doesn’t it?
But that has turned out not to be the case. Link baiting is one of the most natural tactics for drawing incoming traffic to your site, provided you create original and absorbing content that offers serious value to your audience.
Creating link bait is not an easy job. It takes strong motivation and a well-thought-out plan to achieve success. Winning the link baiting game has become one of the dreams of every SEO. Because if it’s successful, link bait can achieve amazing results for your traffic figures and search ranking.
With just one effective link bait, you will be able to develop natural links: high-quality links from relevant sources, perhaps a massive number of links if you’re lucky, social media interactions, a flood of traffic, and, inevitably, great conversion.
But how do you devise a powerful and effective link bait? First, you need the right mindset. You need to ask yourself certain questions to get into the right frame of mind.
The following questions will help you frame how you go about brainstorming your link bait ideas. These are key questions that will help you cook up ideas for your link baiting plan.
What’s the end result? Ultimately, it’s the links that count. But the underlying question about your objective would be: What sort of links do you hope to attract? Are you looking to beef up authority links that point to your site? Do you need to nail quality links? Or would you prefer to gather massive amounts of links from relevant sites?
Also, what are the keywords that your site is targeting?
Asking questions that help you focus on your ultimate objective will get you started into fast-tracking your site for link baits.
To identify the type of link you might be lacking, use a backlink analysis tool such as Majestic SEO to find out how your current link portfolio is stacking up, and whether it’s healthy or not. A good way to determine the health of your link profile is to find the following:
Links from relevant sites
Links from high-quality and high-authority sites
Anchor texts based on brand, product, or URL (varying types of anchor texts)
What sort of budget do you have? Consider your budget. Ask yourself if you want to create a team of SEO and social media marketers, or if it would be better to opt for a freelancer that will help you churn out the content you have in mind.
Who will approve your link-baiting ideas? This is important. If you are running a one-person operation and all decisions rest on you, it’s fine. You can go ahead with as many content ideas as you like. But if you’re running a company or working for a company, it’s crucial to determine who will give your ideas the green light.
That’s because time is rarely on our side. The longer an idea has to linger in the system without getting uploaded, the later into the game you’ll come in. You could miss out on timely topics that would have made great link bait.
Now that we’ve addressed the initial questions, let’s get down to our main topic: How do you come up with cool link-baiting ideas?
If you are worried about having to come up with original ideas all the time, worry no more. The great news is that you don’t have to be particularly inventive when it comes to attracting links to your site.
All you need to do is search for inspiration around the Internet. A professor of mine put it this way: “As a journalist, you don’t need to know everything. All you need is to know where to get everything.”
You can start by checking on your competitors. What are they up to? What sort of content are they putting out in order to pull in readers and links? Let’s be clear about this: I am not advocating plagiarism. All I’m advising you is to keep track of what’s happening in your industry to find inspiration.
You can also Google timely topics that relate to your niche. Another method for coming up with ideas is to use appropriate web tools to see which topics are attracting massive amounts of interest. The following are examples of tools you should consider taking advantage of:
StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a massive collection of bookmarked sites. Here you can find interesting content organized and posted by Internet-savvy users. The great part is you can sort of measure how popular a piece of content is by the number of stumbles each gets.
Reddit. Much like StumbleUpon, Reddit is home to knowledgeable users of the Internet who share interesting and effective content. As with StumbleUpon, you can browse through Reddit for any content related to your niche and see how many votes each gets for a measure for its popularity or timeliness.
Google. And then there’s Google. As the largest search engine of all, it’s home to tons of data that can prove valuable to you. Search for forums or sites that discuss topics related to yours and see if you can find some questions to which you can provide valuable answers. You can easily fashion them into the form of a blog post for your own site.
Keep on brainstorming for ideas. Like almost anything else, brainstorming is a numbers game. The more frequently you brainstorm, the more likely you will end up with a good number of ideas, perhaps enough for you to go on for weeks.
And of course, you can consult with your colleagues. Share your ideas with them and ask for their input.
You can also take advantage of your social media connections. If you have a Facebook or Twitter page set up for your site, you can post questions that ask your audience what sort of topic they would like for you to cover in your next posts.
Conclusion Creating highly engaging content with link baiting as your primary goal is not a walk in the park, but with the right frame of mind, the right people to consult, and the right tools, there’s no reason you can’t pull it off.
If you’ve got questions on how to create link-baiting content for your marketing campaigns, talk to us today and find out about your options.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.