The Art of Link Bait: Proven Strategies to Build Links

What is link baiting?

Ever come across a catchy headline that you couldn’t resist clicking? That, my friends, is a classic example of link baiting. In the simplest terms, link baiting is the art of crafting compelling content with the aim of attracting backlinks from other websites. It’s like baiting a hook with a juicy worm to catch a big fish, but here, your bait is irresistible content and the fish are those much-coveted backlinks. 

Now, you may ask, why is link baiting so darn effective? Well, it’s all about creating value and sparking interest. When you create high-quality, interesting content, others naturally want to share it. They link to your website from theirs, thus boosting your visibility and credibility in the vast ocean of the Internet. 

“The best links are not the ones you ask for. They are the ones that you earn.” – Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s web spam team.

And there’s the beauty of link baiting. It’s not about begging or bargaining for links, it’s all about earning them through the power of your content. So, ready to dive in and reel in some big backlinks? Let’s get started!

Interesting news articles

The first step to generate links to your website is to create a useful resource that people trust and rely on.

There is no easier way to do this than by providing up to date news and information targeted towards a particular industry.

If people see your website as an authority within your industry (or at least a useful resource) because of the news and information you provide then you will begin to generate incoming links, not only from forums and blogs, but from other highly respected websites who wish to source information (such as the BBC).

Controversial news articles (aka news baiting)

Controversy will always kick up a storm.

By writing a news article that directly disagrees with someone or something or by publishing something no other website would dare to write, you can quickly attract attention to your own website and again have other websites linking into your own.

It is a fine line when trying to get this right without over stepping the mark, you could easily end up with egg on your face if you get it wrong, potential customers may think you have gone crazy or, at worst, you could even end up with a court battle.

But if you get it right it will quickly generate a lot more links that a regular news article ever would.

Website tools (especially the free ones)

Can you as a company or individual provide something that no other else can? Develop something new and exciting, something that is unique to your market.

Can you create some kind of calculator which generates positive results (example: that will not only attract visitors but will encourage other websites to link to you because it is a useful resource?

Offer these tools for free on your website, encourage visitors to use them. The more unique these tools are the more links they will generate.

Try to figure out what issues searchers have into online that can be fixed right there on the web. The quickest way to find that is with keyword research. Once you’ve got that down, why not hire a freelance coder to whip up a solution for you?

Usable scripts or design templates

Similar to the above but this time allow other websites to freely use scripts and/or design templates created by you or your company.

Again this could be a simple calculator which you could allow webmasters to add to their own websites by simply dropping in a line of code, or it could be template designs for popular content management systems such as WordPress or eCommerce.

The trick is to offer these items for free but require that a simple text link be added from their website to your own website to acknowledge the original source.

Competitions & games

Everyone likes the chance to win stuff so running competitions will always attract attention. By making the competitions regular and by offering interesting and industry relevant prizes, you can quickly build up interest in your website.

Really good games created in something like Flash can in some instances become bigger than the actual website itself (thinking back to the coptor game), add a scoreboard and make it competitive, allow the option to invite friends and create banner links for other webmasters to add to their own website.

Again target the market that your website is aimed towards, for an IVA website could you create a IVA/Debt Management game that asks visitors to play out their own real life situation, ending in a positive solution?

Lastly, make it easy

Offer text links, banners etc. on your website. Encourage visitors to link to your website by simply adding some text such as “if you like our website, link to us with the following code…”, provide the HTML code so that it is simply ready to copy and paste.