What Is Link Bait? 10 Most Effective Link Bait Examples
SEO is an ever-changing field with numerous practices for promoting products, content, web resources, and services. For search optimization to be truly effective, specialists need a certain level of SEO expertise to identify the most effective techniques.
Link baiting has emerged as an efficient method for promoting content. With this technique, the aim is to generate large amounts of links and traffic by creating content that is useful and highly shareable. Let’s now focus on what it is and its practical application.
What is Link Bait?
Link baiting is an SEO practice geared at generating backlinks for a web resource, such as a blog post. The links come from relevant external sources, like other websites. More specifically, you create viral content that is willingly shared by strangers on their web platforms (sites, blogs, or social networks).
Posts eligible for link baiting are more than funny memes that quickly spread online out of their sheer wittiness. Having well-researched and unique articles, for instance, presents your site as a credible informational source. Ensuring that you have the trendiest information that is worth citing is another way of creating a linkbait worthy resource. Now, how can you become a sort of Wikipedia or 9GAG in your business niche?
SEO novices mistakenly believe that link baiting just involves regularly adding new articles to their blogs. It is not true. Posting rewrites (even those that are high-quality and unique), or creating articles from scratch doesn’t mean that the resource will be widely popular or earn backlinks.
With link baiting, the goal is to actually create content that’s:
- Highly useful;
- Extremely topical;
- Visually attractive.
Combine these three qualities together and you’ll have something that excites and holds the attention of general users or the niche audience. You require someone skilled for this task and not any ordinary copywriter.
Shortly, we’ll share 10 sure-fire examples of link baits. But first, let’s go over four major advantages of this SEO technique.
Four advantages of Link Baits
Indeed, link baiting is not an easy procedure. Why choose it over much simpler techniques that are less complicated to apply? Well, in comparison to many other SEO methods, link baiting is more helpful because it:
Makes your web resource more recognizable
As backlinks to your site accumulate, it gains popularity even beyond the target audience.
Provides a quick traffic boost
Unique, genuinely useful and relevant content is quickly shared in social networks and blogs.
Establishes useful business connections
It is simple: the more backlinks a resource garners, the higher the position it occupies in search results. Now, it becomes easy for potential business partners to learn about you. They reach out, and you form new connections.
Reinforces brand image online
Obviously, when other trusted sites or influencers cite you, this has a positive effect on your general credibility in the webspace.
Although this SEO method requires resources, it is hard to deny its potential. Now, it is time to learn how it may be applied in practice.
Effective Types of Link Baits: Top 10 Approaches
Use these approaches to instantly implement the link baiting method:
Guides and manuals
Think of the last time you stumbled upon articles like “How to look 10 times younger in your 20s?” Now imagine, every day such trivial links generate thousands of clicks. Even if the article with the sensational headline is actually useful (which is not the case here), out of its sensationalism it may generate an enormous amount of backlinks for the original source.
Indeed, genuinely useful content is a rare find nowadays. It is true even as people suffer from information overload. Therefore, create a high-quality manual, and you are guaranteed to receive plenty of links to the post from external sources.
Let’s consider a successful guide case:
“The Beginner’s Guide to SEO” posted in the Moz blog earned an impressive 98,600 backlinks. It promises to guide beginners on this complex topic, and this is enough to attract and hold the attention of the target audience for the article (SEO newbies). The colorful infographics catch the eye. The information is divided into sections for better readability. There are also many links to third-party tools (readers appreciate it when a single post contains everything they need).
Content that provokes emotion
When was the last time you came across contentious online arguments? In light of the current pandemic, forums are dominated by clashes between conspiracy theorists, believers in “god’s will,” and realists. You may use this to your advantage by publishing an opinion piece reflecting your thoughts on the matter.
Here is a case of a piece that not only elicited real emotions but also generated an overwhelming number of backlinks.
Popular site Upworthy, which is devoted to various melodramatic stories, posted an article that caused quite a stir. A young man named Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with a very rare and, unfortunately, fatal form of cancer. In the last months of his life, despite his condition, he managed to fulfill a number of lifelong dreams. This is what attracted public attention. It is the simple touching stories that spark the interest of the average internet user. The article has so far gained around a thousand backlinks (as of this writing) and his song title “Chorus” has received over 2 million YouTube views
Polls and research results (statistics)
In the early 2000s, people would believe any false media story like “Shock! Christina Aguilera Admits Visiting Mars”. Today, most of us try to filter incoming information. Hence, any fact-based posts require confirmation.
Devote your site to statistics or add data that may be cited. Make sure the stats posts have sensational headlines. For example, the headline “British Scientists Find 76% of Men Have Cheated on Their Partners At Least Once.” It is a magnet for the fairer sex, and as a result, it prompts a new flow of backlinks.
Here is another case that garnered several thousand backlinks:
On this page, the World Health Organization published accurate data on the number of people with HIV and AIDS, which brought over three thousand backlinks. These stats are very important, topical, and they will obviously be cited by multiple websites.
We could not ignore the infamous COVID-19.
The site generated a record number of backlinks. Here, every page is packed with statistical data cited by Forbes, Guardian, and regional online magazines:
Tops and ratings
The game here is to publish top lists or reviews of products, businesses, tools, movies, etc. For instance, posts like “Тop 10 Best Travel Bloggers of 2020” always accumulate a large number of backlinks.
There are two reasons why lists are a hit. With the information overload, they make finding information more efficient. They are easy to skim over without actually reading them.
Overall, if your top lists or ratings are really relevant, it is guaranteed that they will be used by other web resources.
Here is a highly successful case with 10+ thousand backlinks.
Famous movie website, Rotten Tomatoes, created a hot rating of erotic movies – which collected over 13 thousand backlinks. This is hardly surprising, as most content on the subject of sex draws the attention of internet users from around the world. You may also apply this technique if your business niche allows it. Alternatively, choose something more conservative. Today, for instance, health is more topical than ever.
Topical and relevant subjects
This is exactly what the previous example leads to. Website visitors always strongly react to relevant topics (e.g., coronavirus news, upcoming elections, etc.). It makes this form of content well suited to link baiting.
Here is a telling case demonstrating the popularity of the coronavirus topic.
With regularly updated data, the Worldometers site has gained 500+ thousand backlinks because of the coronavirus stats. The site is regarded as a credible information source providing only verified data. It is clear why so many bloggers and average social media users have paid attention to the site.
In general, copywriters are exploiting the coronavirus topic in any way they can. This brings more and more backlinks even for businesses unrelated to healthcare or medicine.
Prizes and special offers
Here is an example that works in 9 cases out of 10. It is common knowledge that everyone likes gifts.
When a desirable gift requires some extra effort from the reader like a few clicks or inserting a third-party link into a social media post, the price paid by them is small. Try playing on your readers’ enthusiasm and offer them something free for every repost. This will help attract wide attention to your web resource and reinforce its position in search results.
Now let’s look at a very curious case. Its success was much better than for most similar giveaways.
Humble Bundle always offers gifts, which is central to its business model. This is how the website earns over a thousand backlinks to posts less than a week old. It serves as a good example for those who need to gain mass links as quickly as possible.
There are a few drawbacks, however. As a rule, the majority of reposts are done through social networks. Google doesn’t favor sites that generate most of their links via social media. If you target top positions in search results, proceed cautiously so that you don’t give away prizes that are more valuable than what you get in return.
Visually attractive content
Content that’s rich in beautiful and unique pictures, infographics, timelines, and interactive lists always attracts large numbers of visitors. People willingly cite it on their web resources, thereby helping you gain many new backlinks.
In particular, link bait works especially well on sites with customized and recognizable graphics.
Here is an excellent example of such a website, the famous WikiHow resource:
WikiHow appeals to users across the board. It’s partly due to its signature images used in every post. The new post deals with how to make hand sanitizer, which is very relevant at the moment. In less than a week, the post collected over 1,500 backlinks.
You may also involve a web designer in the production of linkbait material. They can create a unique and recognizable style for the graphic art.
Content that became viral on social media
Today, social networks act as an effective promotion source. This works when you can share something that will get the public excited. Social media promotion works when your fans find the web resource useful, pertinent, and interesting.
This case was successful but sad:
It is a story on the untimely demise of Chester Bennington, the frontman of the Linkin Park rock band. TMZ was first to publish the news and the post gained over 3 thousand backlinks from Facebook in just a few days.
Undeniably, becoming the original source of the viral news is necessary to ensure that backlinks come back to you. Small businesses may find this challenging. However, they can still regularly monitor world news and find items that are most interesting to social media users.
We all know that content spiced up with satire and irony is perceived with particular enthusiasm. In the past, French satirical political newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, has stood out from hundreds of other printed news publications. Its unique cartoons intelligently ridicule serious topics connected with economics, international politics, and terrorism.
Let’s consider an example of how effectively this works:
Website Сlickhole.com is long-known outside the USA for its ability to make its posts go viral. This is due to its writers’ remarkable sense of humor. Consider this seemingly trivial article announcing interruption of the website operations. Pay close attention to the vivid picture of an insect-infested PC.
And now, here is the data on the impressive number of backlinks the post received.
Useful niche content
If you or your copywriters focus on covering the nuances of a certain industry, this is a perfect basis to create useful industry content. For example, a well-made and detailed review allows you to quickly accumulate a sizable backlink volume.
This is effective because other niche experts will cite your site as the original source. They will do it to be useful to their own target audience.
Here is one of the most vivid examples of linkbait. The authors of the post nailed it:
Obviously, an exclusive product like the next iPhone model was bound to draw attention to TechRadar, one of the most famous themed resources. Thanks to the informativeness and inclusion of a video review, the post gained thousands of backlinks very fast
On the whole, this approach is ideal for online stores that sell novelties. For example, fragrantica.com always informs its audience of new perfumes. It includes original interviews with creators of scents and detailed reviews by perfume experts.
Why Is Link Bait So Important?
We hope that the above-mentioned examples have allowed you to comprehend the specifics of link bait creation and to identify the most effective method for your situation. And now, here is a recap:
“Quality content does not guarantee backlinks”
Remember that regularly updating a website with high-quality and informative content does not guarantee backlinks.
Utilizing link baits is not entirely complex when explained, but it certainly requires sufficient expertise from SEO specialists. This means that relying on a single in-house copywriter is a bad idea.
To gain maximum benefit from link baiting, you need to find real professionals well-versed in search engine optimization and creating viral content.
Obviously, given today’s abundance of web resources, it is not easy to attract users. Prompting them to share a link to your site is even more difficult. Nevertheless, proper link baiting will quickly generate traffic to your site and make it recognizable in the web space. One of the most effective SEO methods, link baiting can push almost any web resource to the top of search results.