Linkbaiting is all about highly relevant attention grabbing content. You need more than a worm or a cricket – you need something special to use as bait and reel in the people you want attention from. You are mostly interested in important bloggers, journalists, or even your competitors sitting up and taking notice. You can broadcast your message with article marketing, press releases and Squidoo lenses, but for viral traffic and links, link baiting is the way to go.
Linkbait should be controversial, fun, insightful, entertaining, informational or even just ridiculous. Whatever your hooks are, you need to research and slant the material in such a way that it becomes an angle for approaching link acquisition targets for your business.
There are many different types of hooks. You can use news, incentives, appeals to ego or sense of humor, contrary views or attacks, or simply resources that people are attracted to because they fill a need. Even something created merely for fun can end up going viral:
You will need a strong, attention grabbing title with good SEO value. Study direct marketing headlines and sales letters as well as popular blogs and viral posts on social networking and bookmarking sites. Use high quality keywords in your anchor text since the title will be used as the link in many cases if you do manage to get your linkbait to go viral. You should know what will appeal to your niche audience and concentrate in that area.
Linkbaiting is focused on getting links while viral marketing is about branding and exposure, but the two can work together very well if you hit the right combination at the right time. Exposure is beneficial and branding is important, but without a large quantity of high quality backlinks it is all worthless, you need to measure your campaign’s success with analytics and tools and recognize each link’s value to your site. Direct value in the form of link juice and higher SERPs rankings and indirect value in the form targeted traffic from search engines and social sites is the goal.
Using a linkbaiting service can be great if the firm you select doesn’t go overboard. Lyndon Antcliff, a controversial SEO ‘guru’ and shady linkbaiter caused his client (a major UK financial institution) no little embarrassment last year when he posted a fictional story as ‘news’ on their website as linkbait – the story was picked up by major news sources as fact and uproar ensued when the truth came out, with many online news aggregators feeling taken advantage of and the public denouncing Antcliff’s scheme.
Good linkbait can be a picture, a video, a widget or tool, a giveaway, a contest, or any number of things. Top ten lists are linkable. So are funny stories. Just don’t get carried away and start making things up – that can backfire! Concentrate on coming up with good content that has a hook, or retain a Linkbaiting services company to help you manage your content and come up with good, honest linkbait for additional links and traffic.