Link baiting is content used on websites that other visitors/sites link to because they want to – NOT because you ask them to link to your site. Your goal – people will like your site’s content so much that they won’t think twice about linking to your site.
Link baiting can really boost your SEO – IF done correctly. Link baiting also reaps big rewards for your site including increased traffic, and high visibility and branding for your company.
How to Create Effective Link Bait
link-baiting1How DO you actually create effective link bait? When you fish, you need bait – a WORM! Think of the content on your page as that WORM. Dangle that enticing bait in front of your visitors. If they aren’t interested in your bait, they aren’t going to bite (and they aren’t going to link to your site either!)
Before you create link baiting content, dig around online and figure out your strategy.
• Research your industry/niche – What is going on in your industry? How competitive is your business? What are people saying? If you can pinpoint your target markets and competition, you’ll be able to figure out HOW link-worthy you are. You want your content to stand out!
• Put on your SEO hat and research keywords. Tools such as Keyword Discovery can track down popular keywords (include these keywords in your content). Research tag sites such as Digg and Technorati to see what people are tagging in your niche/industry.

Common Hooks Used in Link Baiting

link-baiting2A common technique used in marketing is the “hook” – that’s exactly what your content needs. The following hooks should be used when creating effective link baiting content. Remember that it’s all about GRABBING your visitors’ attention. If you don’t, your “fish” will slip away!
Don’t use JUST ONE hook – use a variety of hooks to entice visitors to link to your site.
• Resource/Informational Hook – People are interested in spreading information IF they find it useful and informative. Use helpful diagrams and images to further enhance your content. If content is unique, you have a greater chance of people linking to your site. Cite your references and include blog posts. Helpful hint: bloggers love seeing their name on other sites, and will probably link back to your site if they see their name/blog cited.
• Humor Hook – Who doesn’t love a funny joke or cartoon? Humor is the best way to draw in people. It makes people feel good and puts a smile on their face. Remember to add your URL on the bottom next to jokes/cartoons.
• News Hook – Research hot news topics. What’s going on in the world today? Write content about late-breaking news. News spreads quickly online and acts as an effective hook.
• Contrary Hook – Hot debates always draw in on-lookers! By taking a contrary/controversial stand against another person, you pique visitors’ curiosity. For example, pose a question in your headline to generate interest: “Why Our President is Wrong?”
• Attack Hook – This hook takes the contrary hook one step further and isn’t recommended to use on a regular basis. This isn’t the best hook to use for link baiting because it can backfire on you. If you strongly attack a competitor/another person, you could ruin your reputation. Proceed with caution with this hook!