What is link bait?
Link bait is a term used widely in the world of SEO and online marketing – what is it? Essentially link bait is any element of a website or web page that is likely to encourage website visitors to link to that page. It can and should be an integral element of your online marketing strategy.
Links are an essential element of any SEO campaign – website owners rack their brains looking for links; negotiating new links; creating content on external sites purely for links and even purchasing links to assist in driving traffic to the sites. Not many businesses consider the link bait element of their website – what is link-worthy in what you publish on your site or blog?
If you are producing quality content worth linking to, you may not need much more in terms of your linking strategy – get this right and you could save countless hours in link work as the links come naturally to your site.
Consider the ‘hook’ of your link bait
The hook element of your on-site content is the part of the content that is likely to prompt visitors to link to your site. Ideally, the hook should distinguish your content from whatever else is on the web. It can happen as a result of strategy or even by accident. Consider these questions:
Are you the first to publish news? Have you produced thought-provoking commentary? Is what you have published particularly witty? Is it controversial and likely to lead to debate? Does it add value to an existing conversation in your industry or on a related topic?
These are the kinds of questions you need to to be thinking about when publishing content regularly online. They should be considered as part of a content strategy – before you compose the content, rather than as an afterthought when you have already published it.
Who is the target audience for your link bait?
With quality content, you should have a quality audience in mind – reader’s who are likely to find your content relevant and willing to pass it on through blogs, their own websites or through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
There is no point publishing ground-breaking industry news if nobody is reading it. Your website strategy should think in terms of creating a relationship with your target audience, encouraging them to return to you for more, quality insights.
A deliberate approach to creating link-worthy content will have a positive impact on your SEO strategy in general. Referral traffic from these links presents a direct value from the content strategy but the indirect impact it has on improving rankings can be enormous.
Google looks to relevance as a key factor for rankings, especially in 2011, so creating link-worthy material now and into the future will have a consistently positive effect on your SEO campaign.