Link bait is content on your website that is so valuable to readers that they have to share the link to it with their friends and family.
But the definition of the term is far easier to understand than how, exactly to use the tactic. How do you create content that earns those all-important links and brings you the traffic of your dreams?
While there’s no single perfect answer, there are a few tips you can follow to give your content the best possible chance of becoming link bait.
First, create great content
It should go without saying, but in order to get people to link to your website, you have to create content worthy of linking.
What constitutes great content?
It should be informative, educational, and/or entertaining, and it should be easy for people to find. This means optimizing it so it shows up in search (without stuffing it full of keywords so that it’s useless to human readers).
Your content should provide readers with actionable steps they can take to fulfill some need, solve a problem, or just get a laugh. If it provides real value to readers, it’s great content.
Post original content or data
If your company creates or has access to original data about your industry that no one else is talking about, then posting the information and adding your analysis can create a buzz.
This is true whether your report supports or debunks an industry trend or tenet. Provide a unique insight that your readers won’t find anywhere else, and you’re likely to see your inbound link rates go up.
Be a little controversial
People love controversy — look no further than typical news headlines for proof.
Do a lot of people in your industry hold a common belief or assumption that you disagree with — and can provide data to refute? By weighing in with an opposing viewpoint, you can get a lively discussion going, and get lots of people linking to you to either agree or vehemently disagree with your position.
Be careful with this one. If you go overboard with your controversial post, you could create a major backfire and alienate your readers or customers.
Give them something to look at
Got some interesting data to share with readers? Instead of just reporting on it, create an infographic.
Going to an industry event or trade show? Post a slide show of photos on your company blog.
Planning a how-to post to go with an upcoming product launch? Create a video instead — and add some entertainment value to it.
Visual content is easy for people to absorb, usually presents information in a fun or entertaining way, and tends to get a lot more links than plain text.
Link baiting can be a great tactic for getting more traffic and repeat visitors to your website.
If you focus on great content and make sure you’re always providing real value to your readers, you should see your inbound links improve.