If you’ve been researching ways to organically build your backlink profile, you’ve undoubtedly come across some iteration of the term “Link Baiting.” It refers to the practice of creating a piece of content that other webmasters can’t help but link to or otherwise share without you even asking. Effective Link Bait can draw hundreds or even thousands of backlinks, but those pieces are rare and difficult to create.
Maybe you’ve been looking at site stats, and you’re wondering how one page could draw so many backlinks. Perhaps you’re thinking of creating some Link Bait of your own and wondering whether doing so has any downsides? In this article, we’ll explore the term Link Bait along with the positive and negative aspects of attempting to employ it on your site.
Types of Successful Link Bait
Visuals: Visuals are the epitome of Link Bait. Whether it’s a video or an infographic, visuals that convey a wealth of information will almost always trump text that conveys the same information, with the exceptions being statistics and lists (more on that in a moment.) If you can translate valuable information into some type of graphical medium and publish that on your site, that could be effective of it.
Studies/Surveys/Statistics: Regardless of the industry, easily-accessible stats are generally hard to come by online. Widely sought-after stats are usually either behind a paywall or contained in an opt-in report which isn’t immediately accessible. If you have the ability, through a comprehensive study or even a simple survey, to furnish statistics involving your niche, you’ll likely have a solid piece of Link Bait. If you can convey these stats visually as well as with exact percentages, you’ll be able to attract even more eyeballs.
Comprehensive Guides: Have you amassed a staggering amount of knowledge around a certain aspect of your niche that isn’t available in one place elsewhere on the web? Then it might be worth spending the time to create a comprehensive guide in that area. But the days of half-baked, 500-word guides are gone; if you’re going to do this, people will be looking for a 5,000+ word powerhouse that really does delve deeply into a topic, technique or process. Load it up with photos without going overboard, update it regularly, and you’ll have an unrivaled piece of Link Bait in your industry perfectly positioned to attract backlinks by the dozen.
Timely Information: If you can create a compelling follow-up to a trending news item, that can serve as powerful if temporary Link Bait. The drawback to pursuing timely is the timeliness factor – eventually, interest in this item is going to wane. That’s why marketers generally prefer to put their effort into creating evergreen Link Bait that will remain relevant for an extended period of time.
Controversy: So long as you don’t thoroughly irritate people with how you convey your position, taking a controversial stance on a question or weighing in on an ongoing controversy can make excellent Link Bait. While some controversies fade with time, others, such as the most effective backlinking technique, can continue as algorithms and technologies evolve. Giving your humble opinion on topics like the importance of content versus design could resonate for years as new types of content and design paradigms are created and old ones become obsolete.
Regardless of your particular type of Link Bait, you’ll need to promote it in order for it to gain traction. Obviously, this includes sharing it through social media, but if you want to be sure it gets in front of influencers in your niche, you’ll want to conduct some email outreach to bring them onboard and compel them to link to your content. You’ll have a much better chance of pulling this off if you create the content with their interests in mind.
The Downsides of it
Beyond those videos that go viral through random chance, link baiting is not easy to successfully execute. It takes significant amounts of time and resources to determine the most effective Link Bait, create it, and promote it. If your Link Bait fails, you’ve wasted resources that could have been put toward other link building techniques which offer a steady return on your investment.
Further, if you continue to create content designed to be Link Bait that isn’t picked up by your industry influencers, you’ll develop a reputation for creating spammy content, which can hurt you both with industry influencers and search engines.
Bottom Line: If you decide to create Link Bait, you better be pretty sure your content will in fact work as Link Bait and won’t be shunned or ignored.
The Pros of Effective Link Bait
Take a look at the most linked-to pages on the web today, and you can see for yourself what effective Link Bait could do for you.
- Vastly increase organic traffic;
- Become an influencer in your industry;
- Significantly raise your search engine ranking;
- And perhaps most importantly, elevate your site above typical sites in your industry.
The power of this type of links is undeniable. However, creating it on your own may not make sense depending on your available resources and a candid assessment of whether your content is truly worthy of the term “Link Bait.” Outreach Bee can work with you to determine whether creating Link Bait is a wise use of your link building budget.