Published on: 07 May, 2021
Link bait is any piece of content that naturally gets a lot of backlinks.
It is distinct from your average guide or article that may have just been created to cover a simple topic in that it has specifically been designed to attract links. This is usually because it provides so much value to its intended audience that readers can’t help but want to share it with others.
Link bait has a number of desirable effects in any marketing strategy. These include:
- Builds high authority links at scale — Link bait is powerful content that has the potential to attract and gain powerful backlinks passively from high authority and highly relevant domains.
- Passes link equity throughout a site — With good internal linking, the high authority links that boost link bait’s search rankings spread their link equity to all other pages across a website, increasing overall domain authority.
- Widens the top of your sales funnel — The popularity of link bait increases the visibility of your site, pulling more visitors into the top of your sales funnel.
What Makes Effective Link Bait
Link bait can take on multiple forms, but the most effective will have one or more of the following traits:
1. Comprehensive Content
Content that tackles a topic as extensively as possible can become valuable resources. This is why whitepapers, exhaustive listicles and other forms of long form content are some of the most reliable forms of link bait.
For one of our previous clients, a Bristol based video production agency, we produced a 10,000-word guide on creating a video marketing strategy. Set across nine chapters, tt was a key project driving their content strategy that with the right kind of promotion and activation has resulted in a lot of traffic.
2. Engaging Visuals
Content that can be consumed and understood easily has a lot more potential to be shared and linked to than content that is hard to parse. Visuals help make content digestible.
Images can be used to explain complex concepts, present a lot of facts and figures elegantly, or simply break up the monotony of reading paragraphs of text. Infographics are the perfect example of visually engaging link bait.
Stylish design can also elevate text-heavy content into far more appealing link bait.
3. Statistics and Studies
The internet is the go-to resource for quick statistics and fact-checking so online publications that produce major studies relevant to their audience often see a lot of traffic as a result. Similar to creating comprehensive content, conducting studies and surveys takes a lot more time and investment but with a developed sales funnel and the right promotional tactics in place, the long term ROI for these projects is often extremely high.
4. Trending Topics
People will often talk about current events and hear others’ thoughts on them and social media has only amplified this desire. As such, quality content that is timely can catch on and garner a lot of clicks.
5. Useful Tools
Content that provides utility provides value and can act as powerful clickbait. And what can be more useful than content that gives readers the actual tools they need to solve a problem?
From mortgage and salary calculators to code generators and Google Sheet templates, the internet is littered with tools and some of the most useful are shared and linked to thousands or even millions of times. The costs associated with development of tools can often be extremely high but again, with the right market research and marketing activation, the ROI can be huge.
Being able to elicit an emotional response increases the chances of content going viral, and controversy almost always draws out people’s feelings.
Whether it’s out of surprise or anger, people who see controversial content feel the need to share it with others. They want to share their outrage or find others that might agree and enlighten them on the topic.
Controversial link bait doesn’t have to touch on sensitive subjects. It can just be taking a contrary stance to a popular opinion. Obviously going against the grain, can be a risky tactic, especially without the right market research. There have been countless examples of where this kind of clickbait has ended up losing a business credibility.