Link baiting is one of the best SEO strategies where you try to create unique, provocative content to attract links. When you create content, your m To make the most out of this method, you should combine it with outreach.
Although many people glorify link baiting as a surefire method to build your online brand, the process is much harder than you might think. In fact, creating these articles takes a lot of time and money. If you don’t make it work, it can completely drain your budget and demoralize you.
In this article, we’ll talk about the link bait practice and share a few examples.
What is link baiting content?
During the link baiting process, you try to create incredible posts that publishers, journalists, and even your competitors can share. For an article to be considered successful link bait, it should gain dozens and even hundreds of backlinks.
Unlike some other link building strategies, where you try to promote an individual post, link bait articles are made to boost the overall authority and reputation of the website. You’re not necessarily trying to rank a specific keyword in Google. Instead, you’re trying to gain indirect benefits through powerful external links.
In that regard, this practice isn’t only great for your search engine optimization but also for increasing brand awareness as a whole.
In theory, your target audience will be so overwhelmed with the content quality that they would have no choice but to link to it. Of course, things are a bit more complicated than that. Given that website owners aren’t that emotional, they’re actually linking to these posts for their own benefit.
When you implement this SEO strategy the right way, you can earn enormous numbers of backlinks and increase organic search visibility. And the more popular the article becomes, the more links it will get.
How does link worthy content affect Google’s algorithms?
Google and other search engines use various signals to determine the quality of a post. As it can’t “read” the content, it uses factors such as time spent on a web page, bounce rate, click-through rate, and, most notably, link quality and relevance.
According to Google’s guidelines, the company does its best to deliver high-quality content to its users. They support organic link building practices where people willingly link to other articles on the web. In that regard, creating high-quality articles is the best way to adhere to these policies.
However, there’s much more to link baits than meets the eye.
The practice has such a negative connotation to it, almost sounding dirty. But the fact remains that you’re providing something valuable and unique with these posts. Furthermore, these practices are a fantastic way to attract attention to your blog, thus increasing its market positioning.
Effective link bait is, first and foremost, valuable to the readers. The reason why other website owners link to it in the first place is so they can enrich their posts. Depending on the type of article, they might even add it at the bottom of the page as an additional resource.
Business owners need to have a strong inclination to do so. Ultimately, it would be much better if they just linked to their own posts. Here are a few types of content used for creating a good link bait:
- Various interactive assets
- Free web tools
- Graphic solutions
- Studies, research, and statistical articles
- Ultimate guides and How-To’s
- Controversial content
Most of these work under a similar premise. Controversial content is the only form that is slightly different, as it might lead to short-term and long-term consequences for your brand. Then again, it’s probably the easiest one to execute.
Why does link bait work?
Here’s a logical question: If everybody understands that a particular piece of content was written just for link building purposes, why do sites still link to it?
Simply put, the link bait works because owners benefit from featuring this blog post on their websites.
Occasionally, bloggers create wild pieces of content meant to provoke controversy. In some cases, these articles were made to create public outrage. Other websites will start linking to this piece, furious with its conclusions, while simultaneously trying to uncover the writer as a fraud.
Heavily data-driven articles are also fantastic for link baiting. Even better, you can use them to gain backlinks from your direct competitors as long as the content focuses on industry-related topics. The links you get from these pieces of content are often extremely relevant and of high quality.
However, creating link worthy content is much harder than some people think. Studies and statistical articles demand enormous dedication and time spend researching a particular topic. You also have content like infographics where you have to hire a graphic designer aside from collecting data.
Worse yet, what if the article flops? What if all your efforts are for naught and you don’t get any backlinks from this approach?
This is perhaps the scariest thing of them all.
Examples of link baiting
Looking to create a great link bait? Here are a few ideas:
As the name implies, this article revolves around the world’s most powerful people and companies.
The whole article is built on two awesome images. The first one shows the 24 biggest companies in the world and assesses when they will become worth 1 trillion dollars. In the second image, there’s a prediction of how the world’s 11 most powerful men will increase in value in the next 30 years.
There’s a good reason why people were so enthralled with this study. Most of us are interested in powerful companies and entrepreneurs. Some of these figures are astounding, creating a “Wow! effect” in everyone who reads them.
However, there’s also a small bit of controversy hidden between the lines. The graphic also breaks down Jeff Bezos’ increase in earnings during COVID. In other words, not only is this study interesting and jaw-dropping, but it also has a bit of intrigue to it.
Even better, people can easily copy-paste these images and share them on social media. Although this wouldn’t increase the article’s power, it can still increase awareness and referral traffic.
The reason why this particular article succeeded is that it’s timely. If you were to create the same post some 20 years ago, it would probably get a mediocre response. However, as more and more people are now climate-conscious, they become interested in topics such as energy efficiency.
Aside from being timely, the post is well-presented and comprehensive. In fact, if you wish to learn more about water saving, this is probably the only thing you’ll ever want to read.
The post is presented in the form of a grid list with numerous boxes. There’s a snippet for each tip, making it easier to choose the one you’re interested in. When you click on each one, you’ll see two, three line explanations making the content quick and to the point.
Visually, the page looks incredible. The designers thought of everything by combining different shades of blue and green.
For a while, infographics were all the rave on the web. You can best see this with “Color Psychology: How it’s Used in Marketing,” which was published in 2018. Interestingly enough, infographics were first introduced back in 1626 and were completely different from what we have today.
The best thing about this content form is that it’s visually appealing and easy to understand. This makes it especially fantastic for younger generations with shorter attention spans.
Infographics are mainly used for complex data or topic breakdowns. They are often statistical in nature. In this particular post, you can see an explanation of how colors affect our brains. In particular, the authors explain how each color affects (or is used) emotions, marketing, politics, and chakra.
Like most other infographics, there isn’t much text on the page. The post relies on visuals to deliver value to its audience. One thing that made it better was videos that further explained the importance of colors.
As mentioned, you can use just about anything as link bait as long as it provides value. Tools and interactive content are good examples of that.
Although web games are not necessarily a good choice for link building campaigns, they can work in specific cases. Emergency Stop Game is a fantastic example of that. The game was made by a company that produces parking apps, so it makes sense their content relates to driving.
The brand has created an emergency stop game that measures your reaction times. Basically, you’re driving a car down the lonesome road. At one moment, the game tells you to brake and, according to your reaction time, puts you in a specific age group.
Even if you never played games, you can definitely have fun with this one. People can easily share a link to this post, and you don’t need any installation to access the content. Once you get your scores, you can compare them with friends and have a laugh about it.
Like many other good link bait posts, this one is suitable for all demographics.
Nowadays, there are lots of social debates regarding sex, weight, and other physical features. Superdrug Online Doctor has taken advantage of this, creating the “Perception of Perfection” interactive infographic.
The company has made a comprehensive study evaluating tastes in men and women. They compiled data from numerous countries, examining the culture’s perceptions of ideal beauty. Then, the brand used the same female and male models, slightly altering their features according to countries’ preferences.
In the images, you can see the same girl with different hair colors, body shapes, heights, and weights. Similarly, men have different physical characteristics according to female preferences. It’s a cool visual representation of how different cultures perceive beauty.
As you can presume, this post blew up all over social media. People were so intrigued to see how countries perceived their perfect male or female. Of course, this also came with its fair share of controversy.
Anyway, the post was a major success in every category garnering numerous links for the company.
People have always loved doing online quizzes. It’s a cool pastime that allows you to unwind after a long day at work. This makes them incredible link baits if done right.
“Why You’re Procrastinating?” is an incredible piece of content that gained massive online traffic. It’s a short test where a person is asked a series of questions, and they answer with a number from 1 to 5. When they finish the quiz, they get the results and possible solutions to their procrastination issue.
Once you click on one of the possible solutions, you’re sent to a new page that thoroughly explains how to help yourself. This makes the post extremely valuable for people who’re suffering from this problem.
While this post might not be as entertaining or visually appealing as some others on the list, it still provides value.
Creating link bait doesn’t always have to be hard. The job can be much easier if you have the required know-how and the right tools. This is best seen with this AhRefs post.
The marketing agency used its own tool to perform a massive study. Given that the software has a good reputation within the community, users can be certain that the statistical data is relevant and trustworthy. They added a few nice screenshots and pie charts, and voila!
You’ll instantly notice that the company used a lot of stats to back up its findings. The use of numbers and percentages increases the value of the post. It’s easy to determine how certain practices affect certain results.
And while this post might not have garnered the same attention as some other articles on the list, we can certainly categorize it as a piece of link bait.
The thing that separates viral content from a regular post isn’t the flashy visual solutions or provocative titles. It’s creativity.
When Reviews.org created this page, they were looking to garner as much attention as possible during the COVID crisis. Most people were stuck in their homes and had nothing to do with their free time.
The company organized a competition where participants could earn $200 and a year of Disney+ subscription. If you’re one of the lucky 10, your only task is to watch one of the movies. So, although the contest was phrased as a job, it was everything but.
Anyway, the company received a lot of traffic and inbound links during this period. There’s even a chance they teamed up with Disney+ for the promotion, meaning their costs were minimal. Whatever the case, this is a good example of how everything can work if you package it and promote it the right way.
Ego posts, such as expert roundups, are an effective link building tactic. Even if you’re a small company with limited resources, you can garner a lot of attention with these articles.
When making roundups, your task is to invite as many experts as possible as your guests. They need to provide an opinion or advice on a particular subject topic. Once the article is done, you send them a link to the post and hope they link to it.
Basically, you’re hoping that influencers would share your article on social media and their website. Roundups could be great for bragging rights if you were published on a large site.
This Huffpost content is a good example of a Roundup featuring numerous professionals from the marketing industry.
Here’s an example of a nifty tool.
By using Investment Calculator, you can determine how much money you need to save until retirement. Users can input various financial data such as current savings, salary, and expenses. After that, the tool will use these figures to make an approximation.
The cool thing about this page is there are additional resources and suggestions meant to help the users. The company used nice visual solutions to entice visitors. Furthermore, anyone can use the software, which increases its ability to go viral.
If you need professional B2B SEO services, such as creating viral link bait content, make sure to contact Miromind!