What Is Linkbait?
Linkbait is the process of publishing a remarkable piece of content others can’t help but link back to. The most common forms of linkbait are:
- Infographics (some examples of these here, here, and here)
- Niche Resource Guides (examples of these here, here, and here)
- Ego Driven Content (example here and here)
- Negative Content (example here)
- Incentive Driven Content (example here )
How Do I Do Linkbait Right?
Linkbait can be considered a tactic, but this is only a short term perspective. When thinking of any strategy as simply a tactic you throw up blinders that deter the campaigns ability to fully capitalize on the specific approach. Linkbait should be a heavily integrated part of your content strategy. The difference between the two will lie in quality and delivery of the content. Because of these two distinctions, and the partially jaded personality the term “linkbait” has taken, I’ll refer to this strategy as “link attraction.”
Creating content that is not only useful but attracts a lot of links can be difficult. To ensure you are doing it right, start by asking the right questions:
What is our overall goal?
The most common goals in content creation will likely consist of one or more of the following:
- Boost rankings for a keyword
- Establish domain authority
- Establish brand authority on a subject
- Provide useful content to visitors
While the key factors of creating link attractive content will remain the same no matter the KPI, knowing the metrics that will be tracked to determine success can alter particular aspects of the content creation and push.
How much time and funding do we have?
Often creating link attractive content is a design heavy process. Content must be both useful and beautiful to attract a high volume of links. Understanding where your schedule and funding sits for a particular project will determine the difference between quick one off’s, like an infographic, or intensive niche guides.
How large is our sharing amplification right now?
Knowing not only who your major audience consists of, but understanding how large it is and how large your access to that audience is becomes key, especially when determining how to best push your content to initiate that link attraction. Your two key sources for kicking off link attractive content will be your email list and social networks. Make sure you are strategically integrating these two assets into your content sharing process.
- Strong amplification = Not-so-unique subject but amazing looking.
- Weak amplification = Extremely unique in order to get sharing going.
Also, when your audience amplification is weak it is ideal to integrate other strong websites and networks outside of your brands into the push process. Often this can be done through strategic partnerships in linkbait like incentive driven content (joint giveaways) or even publishing your infographic on another website rather than your own. There are many ways to piggy back off others strong following in order to create your own for the future.
Link/Share Considered a Conversion
The last factor to consider with link attractive content is to understand links or social shares should be considered a conversion of it’s own kind. This means that with every piece of content developed majorly for the purpose of acquiring links should be designed in a way that this is made as simple as possible. To do this you may consider doing the following:
- Treat as landing page with one purpose = sharing.
- Remove navigation
- Have sharing buttons
- Have embed codes
What other questions do you have about linkbait? Do you have any other ideas for link attraction you would like to share? Please comment below, and let’s continue the conversation.
Do you have a question about SEO, internet marketing or social media? If so, post your questions on the SEO.com Facebook page, Tweet us, or leave a comment on the SEO.com Google+ page. For Twitter and G+ use the hashtag #SEOCOMFAQ. Maybe we will use one of your questions in a future video.