In the beautiful white hat world, link bait is a go-to strategy.
But I’m going to be honest… it works really well if you use it correctly.
Let’s jump right in.
What does this super nerdy phrase “Link Bait” mean?
In all honestly, if you brought up the topic of link bait your grandpa or drunk friends they wouldn’t have a damn clue what you were talking about.
Only us nerdy Internet marketers and bloggers can relate, and that’s what make it awesome.
In essence, link bait is content on your site that will naturally acquire links because of how informative, incredible, funny, or useful it is.
13 Link Bait Strategies
There are countless ways to attract links to your content, but these are a few of my favorite.
Remember, the most important part of link bait is the headline.
You must have a solid headline in order to grab your readers attention, and then hopefully lure them into your awesome content.
To understand the importance of an effective headline just think about this statistic: “80% of readers never make it past the headline.” (Moz)
1. List Posts
Seriously, who doesn’t love list posts?
They are easy to read and skim through, and are perfect for those with short attention spans (most of us who use the Internet).
Every headline used in a list post should catch the readers attention and keep them thirsty for more.
List posts are not only one of the best ways to attract links naturally, but they will also provoke a ton of social shares (Google likes this).
2. Case Studies
Niche-specific case studies are one of the best ways to get links.
If your case study has useful information, many bloggers and websites will link back to it as a reference. These case studies can also help establish you as an authority in almost any niche.
An example of this includes my SEO case studies, which contain super helpful information about what optimization techniques are currently working.
Here’s an example of a case study:
Case Study #1: Do Spun Backlinks Still Work Post-Penguin 2.0?
3. How to??
Teaching “how to” do something is always a great way to attract links.
“How to” post should explain the exact steps necessary for completing or achieving some sort of task.
They should be detailed and incredibly helpful because the searcher wants you to solve his or hers problem.
Don’t disappoint the searcher or they may never come back to your site!
A guide is similar to a “how to” post because it details the step-by-step process for learning something you didn’t previously know.
Guides should do exactly what the word entails… it should guide you through a particular process. It should be detailed and full of great resources.
“How to” and guide posts are interchangeable.
Our society thrives on controversy, so there is no surprise that these types of posts attract many links.
There is nothing wrong with being controversial, just as long as you make sense.
Use this tactic sparingly!
Here are some fun ones to get you all riled up:
10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed
Yes, I’m Pro Abortion
6. Comparison Posts (vs.)
A comparison post is always interesting and can attract links. In SEO, there are many possible comparison posts like this one from the homeboys over at Source Wave: Black Hat vs White Hat SEO
If your niche allows for it, comparing two controversial topics is always attractive for users.
7. “Why” Posts
Why this, why that… People love knowing WHY something happens or WHY they should do something.
Well.. give it to them!
Here’s some examples of bait-like posts:
10 Reason Why You Should Grow a Beard
People are going crazy over infographics right now, which is obviously leading to some serious overkill. HOWEVER, a well-designed infographic that provides a ton of value can be one of the best forms of link bait.
Click this to see a good example.
Or here is a hybrid post that uses the “why” with an infographic:
Why Every SEO Strategy Needs Infographics
Although many put me to sleep, technical posts when done correctly, can be serious link attractors. Mainly because these types of posts will include statistics, graphs, and other valuable information that people can use for reference.
Here is an example of technical post:
5 Data Insights into the Headlines Readers Click
10. An Intriguing Question
Sometimes a headline using some type of question can spark debate, and of course, bring you some links.
Ask a thought-provoking question and follow it up with an excellent argument.
Make sure you actually take a side in whatever questions you’re raising because it could lead to more links (Controversy factor).
Here’s an example:
Are You Taking Advantage of Reoccurring Posts?
Are you an online comedian? Awesome, because funny blog posts often become some of the most viral forms of link bait there is.
Websites like The Leek attract links naturally because of their powerful headlines, and obviously, their funny content.
I highly recommend you only attempt this technique, if you are actually funny.
Trying to be someone you aren’t doesn’t attract people in real life, and it certainly will not attract links in the cyber world.
12. Resource Pages
Creating a massive resources page can be a powerful link attractor in any niche.
Here’s a great example:
There’s A Plugin For That: 50+ Best WordPress Plugins Free & Premium
13. Viral Videos
A well-produced video is easily one of the best ways to attract links.
It can be educational, funny, interesting, and or even political.
As long as it’s well-produced, visual appealing, and keeps the viewer hooked, it will undoubtedly attract links from other websites, blogs, and social media.
Here is one of the most viral videos of 2013:
This videos has about 2,500 backlinks from 243 different domains, 9,281 Google+ shares and over 3 million Tweets.
No, your budget probably isn’t as large as Pepsi, but it doesn’t mean you can’t produce an awesome video that people will link to.
It takes planning, creativity, an excellent idea, and a great video producer.
Use examples from the big brands to create something truly epic.
Link Bait in a Perfect Internet World
“Okay Got it.. Just Write Awesome Content and Get Links!” – The Dreamer
Wouldn’t it be amazing if it were that simple!?
Just write ridiculously useful content and BOOM!
Links, relationships, endless traffic, and massive monetization. Ahhh isn’t it beautiful to dream?
Okay, back to this thing called reality. The concept of link bait is great, but how do you acquire links when no one can find your content??
Without Marketing, There is NO Bait
Without marketing your content, your link bait is as good as trying to catch fish in a desert.
Marketing brings the eyes, the interest, and hopefully the links!
Unfortunately, Google does not reward you for the amount of hours you spend creating your masterpiece content. Creating and publishing your link bait is only half of the equation to establishing yourself as an authority within your industry.
I like to call this the 50/50 split and it seems to work very well for me. I spend 50 percent of my time writing quality content and spend the other half marketing.
Yes, marketing is equally, if not more important than content creation.
The more you relentlessly market your content, the greater chance you have of acquiring links (naturally)
Develop link bait is only a small sliver of your content strategy, but it should be used.
Are you using link bait in your campaign? Let me know how it’s working out for you in the comment section.
Thanks for reading!