A link-bait is any useful content or feature hosted on your website primarily to gain attention and attract links from authority websites, bloggers and other webmasters within your niche.
It is a completely white hat method of getting hundreds of links, mentions, likes and shares. No Small Business SEO strategy can be complete without a few, targeted link-baits thrown into the mix.
While, link baiting is one of the most effective link-building techniques, it is also one of the toughest. The first consideration in developing a successful link-bait is great idea. Following is a rundown of nine proven link bait ideas that work well in almost any industry.
From a to-do list to a grocery list we all create a several lists every week, so how about creating a useful list for your industry! For inspiration, you can check out Fortune-500. Remember you can list the best, the worst and everything in between. Even this article is sort of a list of link-bait ideas.
Big names have big followings and if you publish an exclusive interview with a popular personality, you can be sure that their fans will share it and link to the relevant page from their own website. The main challenge with this technique is approaching authority figures in your niche and getting some time out of their busy schedules. However, if you are enthusiastic enough and your social skills are up to scratch then you should be able land some great interviews for your website.
Case studies and systematic analysis is always a good link-bait idea. All of us want to know what works and what does not or why something works and why something does not. Case studies help people make decisions and by helping people make informative decisions you can earn valuable links and mentions.
Similar to case studies, research studies are a safe link bait idea. If you have the resources to carry out your own analysis, you can publish your own research study and make it available to the public. Other webmasters who cannot conduct a thorough research on their own will then cite your analysis and findings, bringing in valuable links.
Review, Compare and Contrast
Yet another ‘study’ commonly used as a link-bait is a compare/contrast study or a review. Here you take two or more of the most popular products, services and solutions offered in your niche and review them side by side. You can also review an individual product but it does not offer the same value as a detailed X vs Y comparison. These types of studies will attract links and attention from the customers of the products or services reviewed in the study and sometimes even the respective vendors.
Free Widgets, Add-ons and Apps
Offering useful freebies is a great way to attract links to your website. The freebie could be a simple BMI calculator or a widget that displays the location of the last 10 visitors to your website. This technique is perfect for small business internet marketing as most businesses can afford to offer free apps and widgets for marketing purposes. Awesome free tools that are regularly updated and upgraded will attract tons of back links over time.
Tutorials and How-to Guide
Make no mistake, tutorials and guides are popular – just ask ehow.com. People use the web for information and DIY style help. When done correctly, a tutorial gives the website authority in the given niche and provides immense value to the end users many of whom will bookmark your website and share it in their social circle.
The easiest way to obtain a large number of back-links is to create some controversy and debate. This could range from a bold prediction to a brand bashing rant. The idea behind this technique is to take a controversial view on an issue or situation and thus invite debate. You will not believe how easy it is to get blogs, forums and webmasters talking about your website albeit in negative light. This technique must therefore be used with great care and only if you have run out of ideas.
Reference Material and Data
Data is at the heart of any thoughtful analysis. By collecting valuable data and providing it free of charge, you encourage others to carry out their own analysis and credit you with the original data. Similarly, creating a reference section full of useful information such as definitions, descriptions and explanations will help you attract hundreds of links to your website from other webmasters who utilize that information.