Link bait is a general term for any type of content that can generate a large number of inbound links to your website. Some common link bait examples are infographics, tools, widgets, resource library, etc. however, link bait can really take many different forms.
There are a few key things that a piece of content needs in order for it to have a chance of being successful for generating links. These include:
- A Need or Problem: Just like when a product or service is created for sale, a link bait piece of content must help address or solve some sort of customer problem or need. By answering this problem or need it will get customers excited and eager to consume and share your content.
- Educational Value: The content must have stand-alone value in itself. The more educational and information a piece of content is with little to no sales messaging, the more likely people will consume the content. A piece of content filled with banners, sales or branding is more likely to turn the consumer off. Remember, the goal is to generate links and interest, not necessarily directly generating leads.
- Actionable: It is very important that your content is very actionable and has subtle call to actions for the users. In the example we give below, we have social media sharing buttons, voting icons and badges for users to place on their website. We carefully created the copy to excite and drive action from the users on the page.
- Something New: Although not required, if you can create something new to your industry it has a much higher chance of exciting users and going viral. The other option is to look at what's already out there and make some sort of new improvement to it in order to make that content more valuable.
Now that you have a general understanding of what types of content can be considered link bait, let's examine an example that was created by our company, Savvy Panda. We operate in both the Inbound Marketing and Joomla CMS web design industries. Joomla is a content management system in which you can build robust and customized websites from. The platform itself is fairly basic, however, the Joomla community has developed over 10,000 different add-on extensions that you can install to give your Joomla website a much higher level of functionality.
The problem is, with so many extensions with many competing in functionality, it can be very difficult to determine which extension is the best or most preferred for a specific functionality. This leaves the average Joomla user fairly confused and lost when trying to pick extensions.
To solve this problem, our company created the "Top 100 Joomla Extension Chart". This chart was an informative and interactive list of what our company values as the top extensions available. Additionally, we allowed the general public to vote on each extension to give it a 1-5 star rating.
This new resource for Joomla users generated a great deal of attention from different Joomla blogs and news sites, gaining free publicity and generating a good number of links. Additionally, we created an embeddable badge that the companies who made the list could add to their website. By adding the badge, it helps build their extension's credibility and also brings in new links to our site from a creditable site.
To date, this Joomla resource has produced over 300 links all from quality for our website. Overall this link bate resource has been a complete success and continues to grow in links every month.
We also plan on updating the list every six months to reflect new extensions and the ordering of the current extensions. This should also help generate new links in the future once updated. Keep this idea in mind, your link bait doesn't have to be a "one and done", it can be revised and improved and launched again.
This is just one example of how you could create a resource library for your industry and push to get inbound links. There are many different ways to create valuable content to help generate links. Keep the top bullet points in mind and review your industry to try and find opportunity in creating link bait opportunities.