Link bait. It sounds like something out of a black hat SEO strategy guide.
But no matter how it sounds, it’s an important part of today’s SEO strategy.
Link bait is the process of creating exceptional content on your blog so that others will find it useful and want to reference it or link to it from their own resources. Link bait can be anything from pure entertainment to a helpful guide that deems you to be an expert in your field.
While any content can qualify as a highly linked resource, link bait is slightly different: it was created for the specific purpose of being a well linked piece of content.
Creating link bait can be magical for your website. Imagine the boost in traffic you can get from something people love to share.
And if you do it the right way, you won’t have to go out looking for lots of links – they’ll come to you instead. You will become the resource people go to in your industry. And what can be better than that?
Are you ready to create link bait content for your site? There are a few things to keep in mind while creating it. While you don’t need to use each of these for every post you create, the more aware you are of the ideas, the more you’ll use them during the creation process. You’ll find it’s easier to improve every piece of content you do create, whether you choose to focus it as link bait or not.
It should provide value
Every piece of content should start with a simple question: Why should someone care about this post?
If you’re doing it strictly for SEO, the reader will be able to tell. If you stuff paragraphs full of content solely for the hopes of gaining search engine ranking, visitors to your site will quickly disappear.
And that’ll never work as link bait.
While you should always start each post with the knowledge of why someone should read it, with a link bait post, ask a couple more questions.
- Who is my target reader?
- What benefits will that reader walk away with?
If you can’t answer those questions even before you sit down to write, it’s probably not worth writing.
You should never write something for your blog just to fill space. If it doesn’t add value to your target audience’s life, why put it there in the first place.
Giving value means giving a little of yourself to everyone who stops by your site to check out your information. If you don’t, someone else will.
It’s not just copy, visuals work too
How well do you know your audience?
According to a survey by Moz, all three generations – Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers like getting their information from blog posts best. Second in line are images.
No matter who you’re targeting with your content, you can’t ignore the fact that people like to mix up how they read and learn. Visuals stimulate. They get rid of miles of copy that tends to look a little boring. To keep them reading, throw in a few visuals to keep enticing. Luckily, there are many ways to do it.
- Add in a few photographs. Just make sure they’re royalty-free images, We like Shutterstock, but there are many.
- Screenshot something to showcase something you’re working on with your laptop or mobile.
- Try creating infographics that display your statistics or content in graphic format.
- Add a few graphs or charts to show ideas in a different display.
- Videos always work well; try a how-to video.
Make your reader form an opinion
The last thing you want is people to leave your site and have them forget all about you the moment they leave. You want them talking about your content the rest of the day.
Ask yourself a question before you write: How do you want the reader to feel?
Do you want to make them jump for joy? Laugh out loud? Cry with empathy? Get mad and want to take action?
We don’t recommend creating a post about anything too emotional – politics, religion, or anything of that nature is usually best to avoid. Unless that’s your business. Then write away.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t cross the lines within your industry. There are always two sides to the story – which side do you take?
But keep it relevant
Which also brings us to the advice that you should always keep within your industry and stay relevant to what your business does. If you’re trying to sell cars, you shouldn’t put a post together about the latest street fair.
Relevance works in a variety of ways. You should stick to your industry. You should also stick with seasons, and the news that’s breaking at specific times of the year.
It’s time to create link bait
Now that you know a little bit more about the purpose of link bait, let’s get into how you create the content.
The easiest type of post to create is a list post. You see these all the time.
- 10 Ways To Plan The Perfect Vacation
- 8 Mistakes You’re Making Before You Buy A New Home
- 7 Easy Home Maintenance Projects Every Plumbing Technician Hopes You Never Learn
Quite motiving, right?
Plus these types of content are the easiest to produce. If you know you will be writing about 10 ways to plan the perfect vacation, you think of your 10 tips before you type out your first word. You find things relevant to your industry. You come up with ideas you can feed in that showcase you as a leader.
Of course, that’s not the only type of link bait material.
Guides are always good because people assume it will be filled with great information. A basic guide gives people a starting point. An advanced guide provides details.
We’ve already mentioned infographics too. Instead of creating a comprehensive post, try creating an infographic instead. Showcase your statistics, ideas, or content in a meaningful way, using pictures. Just make sure your information is always accurate, and up to date.
Are you creating link bait content?
Do you have a content strategy?
If not, maybe it’s time you did.