Specifically, linkbait is used to attract visitors to your website whether through interest, anger or knowledge seeking. Linkbait is content that is specially written to either educate, entertain or inflame your readership and prospective readers. These articles create buzz, and the buzz spreads virally from site to site in the form of links and comments that others make about what is written on your site.These inbound or back links are used by search engine algorithms to rank a website. The higher the rank, the higher the listing, the more traffic that arrives at your website. More visitors create more buzz which in turn creates more visitors. Linkbait creation is a marketing campaign on steroids and falls under the task of link building. Its sole aim is to increase the quantity of high-quality, relevant links to a website.
Search engine optimized on a specific keyword phrase, linkbait comes in two flavors: specific, helpful, useful content written by an authority in a niche market or content that will incite discussion and sometimes argument on a niche subject. Either way, linkbait articles attract visitors to your website.
Here’s the difference. Your content is supposed to generate links from other website, right?. That is the goal. You want people to like or hate your article/post/rant enough to write about it on their website and post with that follow-up a link back to your site and page of where the content is sitting. This is basic viral marketing in that visitors don’t just read your material, but webmasters who find you are either riled up enough to rant about your post/article on their website or love it enough so that they quote it and refer to it. This becomes a never-ending source of links back to your site.
What happens with backlinks or one-way links from other sites? The search engines keep a count of how many sites link back to your website giving you love and higher listings in their search engines which translates to more traffic for your website. This form of viral marketing is used successfully by many; however, a lot of webmasters are overlooking this very easy method to boost their natural search engine listings. Natural search engine listings are the ones you don’t pay for, that help your website naturally improve and hang around in search engines for long periods of time.
Looking at linkbait, there are essentially a few different types. Let’s go through those, and then look at the best, always guaranteed to attract forms that’s been used since the term was invented.
Informational: If you provide information that educates and informs your readership, they will always return and use it as reference. Copyblogger and Problogger often provide these types of articles.
News: Keeping up with the breaking news on the web and around the world is followed by readers who want to know, in capsule form, what’s happening.
Humor: Funny stories, bizarre pictures or videos, cartoons and jokes are always a winner. People love a chuckle and references or collections of these are always a traffic attractor.
Controversy: Rant and rave on something or someone in a negative fashion and people will love to stop by and dispute your view. It will always yield a ton of attention. Writing something unpopular gets and keeps readers who want to air their views on your views. They will also rant about your unpopular views on their sites and link back to yours so that others can follow suit.
Resource: One of the best forms of linkbait is building a resource list. A good list will not only be indexed and listed, but will be passed by word of mouth and links on other sites. It creates a great deal of credibility for you and your website in a particular niche, and will become a reference work. Creating a niche specific list is an invaluable resource for people in that particular realm, and will not only make your readership loyal. If you have a great resource page, it is literally gold. You can have hundreds of other pages of content, but what will steadily attract people and cause them to return and refer others is a good resource in their niche.
One of the best examples of the resource type of linkbait is Smashing Magazine, a blog devoted to nothing but lists of resources that draws a continual stream of visitors and is referred to by all who visit. It has everything and is not only an extremely interesting read, but one of the best resource link sites around. As a result, folks quote it, refer to it, use and love it. The resource lists are quality content, and that’s the big difference between success and failure in this form of marketing. If you create a lousy linkbait article, it will fail. Further, your credibility will suffer. First impressions count on the web and with only nine seconds to convince the arriving traffic that you are worthy of them sticking around, you need to deliver quality content, astound resource lists and consistent high levels of content that is valuable and entertaining.
All in all, you really need only remember one thing when starting this type of marketing campaign: provide quality content that is useful, interesting and entertaining. Deliver it in a professional style and make it as user-friendly as possible. Optimize for search engines, and folks will find you. Allow for comments on your material and traffic will come.