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I’ve been a fan of link bait, and I must say, “Not all link baits are bad!”.

Yes, you read it right. 🧐

While the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in a link bait is defined by how you use it. When done correctly, marketers can drive significant traffic to their content without alienating their audience.

In this article, I’ll help you understand link baits: what they are, how they help, and what goes into creating a high-quality link bait for your website.

Link Bait is an invaluable piece of content designed to attract attention and encourage other website owners to link to it. 

Long answer short, link baits get you backlinks, except that this time, you’re not the one asking. Other sites are doing it for you, and voluntarily! 

The nature of the content to tempt websites into linking back is what coined the term ‘Link Bait.’ The entire process of creating link baits and generating backlinks is known as ‘Link Baiting.’

But – what makes any content a delicious ‘Bait’ for other websites?

In my opinion, a good link bait should be:

  • Fresh and Unique
  • Shareable
  • Attention-grabbing
  • Thought-provoking
  • And, Interesting!

However, these elements shouldn’t be there for the namesake. They should be deeply embedded into your content, making it valuable, relevant, and authoritative for both – readers and search engines.

Benefits of Link Baiting

Link baiting is extremely beneficial for marketing. In fact, here are three good reasons why:

#1. Competitive Advantage

According to Ahrefs, 66.31% of pages don’t have even a single backlink, while 26.29% have links from three websites or less.

If you wish to outrank the competition – knock, knock ✊! Link bait to your rescue. 🦸

Link baiting strategy can help earn not one but hundreds of valuable backlinks while also adding high-quality, authoritative content to your website. 

Both ways, it’s a win-win deal for you!

#2. Increased Search Rankings

I hate to rehearse the same mantra found in almost every other SEO article, but there’s really no alternative: Backlinks do help you rank higher in Google!

In fact, they are one of Google’s primary off-page ranking factors.

And link baiting, as we know, is an influential source of backlinks. Hence, it is an effective way to increase your organic search rankings.

Not to forget, link bait content is high-quality. So even if backlinks only comprise a little of a factor, quality content will surely help you rank up the SERPs.

#3. More Reach and Visibility

Shareability is a crucial characteristic of link bait content. And with great shareability comes a level of ‘Virality.’

Because this is so, link baiting has enough potential to expose your brand and content to entirely new audiences.

#4. More Traffic and Conversion Opportunities

The correlation is clear: the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it generates from Google. Because 🥁

  1. Pages with backlinks rank higher
  2. Bait content is original and unique, thus stays longer on Google’s top results

And the more people visit your page, the more chances you have to convert them into leads and customers. 

The condition is whether or not your link bait is optimized for conversions. A way to do this is by using call-to-action for your top marketing offers within your blog and top/sidebar(s).

That said, let’s check out the different types of link bait you can create.

Types of Link Bait With Real-world Examples

#1. Original Research

First-hand data, research, and studies are link bait fuel. Why?

First, these research studies satisfy users’ curiosity. 

And second, they attract millions of other websites that couldn’t afford to do in-house research and mostly rely on others to do it for them. 

This Search Traffic Study by Ahrefs is an excellent example of link baiting from publishing first-hand research and statistics.

As a result, Ahrefs gained a whopping 12,000 backlinks from over 3.5k referring domains.

#2. Comprehensive Resource

An in-depth guide to doing something is the most valuable thing users link to. And it’s the second-best type of linkbait after original research. 

Taking a topic in your niche and publishing the most comprehensive post about it online (or at least attempting to) can make all the difference.

It doesn’t matter if others have written about it, too. If you can write it better, jump on it!

HubSpot’s step-by-step guide on ‘How to run Facebook Ads‘ is a sought-after resource to learn Facebook advertising.

And since it’s really comprehensive, it acted as an excellent link bait for the software company, harvesting over 3.4k backlinks.

#3. Controversial Content

As I mentioned, linkbaiting is the science of sparking curiosity or emotion to make the content attractive and shareable. What’s a better fit here than controversial content? 

Controversy, for ages, is known to spark heated discussions and attract significant eyeballs. Be it Area 51 or UFO sites – we’ll love talking and sharing our opinions about them.

And you don’t have to go down all the way. Sometimes, all you need to put is a question mark in your title and your personal opinion beneath that.

For example, Search Engine Land posted this SEO piece while this question was red hot in the market.

As a result, it caught eyeballs, got shared, and earned 2.8k in backlinks.

#4. Visual Content

I’ve read in many articles that visual content must be an infographic or image-only to be considered good link bait. However, that’s not the case.

Even informational content containing infographics, illustrations, or high-quality images – can constitute a good linkbait, too. 

The fundamentals of understanding color theory by 99designs back my statement. 

Some mind-boggling visuals back the bait content, each dedicated to making it easy for readers to understand design and color schemes. 

Similarly, templates are another great type of link bait. This landing page template by Unbounce is a live example.

This link bait alone got 66 backlinks from 20 referring domains. And Unbounce has 100s of such templates.

#5. Tools

Tools are not written content, but they are a promising lead magnet – and thus a great link bait. 

Free tools (effective ones) always find a spot in top blogs.

For example, Neil Patel is famous for his tool, Ubersuggest. And it has generated a whopping 180k backlinks! 🤯

Additionally, I can find an entire list of tools that act as excellent link baits for companies.

My point is that bloggers try to offer solutions to readers’ pain points. And if your tool can solve it, they are more than happy to link back to you.

Best Practices for Creating High-Quality Link Baits

#1. Make Your Link Bait Practical

Making your content practical means creating something that the reader can use right away. There are two ways to do it:

➡️ Create ‘how-to do something’ content

A piece of content that directs users into doing something constitutes great link bait. It’s a win-win for both parties:

  • It helps readers perform a task they are struggling with (adding real value).
  • It helps publishers reduce the practical process by simply linking back to you.

Let’s say a publisher is creating content around ‘Clickable Headlines,’ and you have an already published high-quality piece on ‘How to optimize headlines,’ they may simply link to your content at some point if required, rather than writing the entire process into their blog.

➡️ Use Interactive or Quick problem-solving Baits

Another way around this is to create something that readers can use right away. Examples include tools, calculators, templates, checklists, and cheat sheets. 

They provide quick solutions to readers’ pain points. Plus, bloggers love to link to them.

Let me ask: which sentence is a quick problem solver?

“Use an SEO tool to perform keyword research.”

“Use Ubersuggest to perform keyword research.”

There you go!

#2. Use a Mix of ‘Originality + Uniqueness’

An uncompromisable part of link bait is originality and uniqueness. Creating original, unique content that offers first-hand insights can attract websites to you.

No wonder companies like HubSpot, Ahrefs, and more spend time and money conducting market research and creating comprehensive reports. 

Even if you don’t have $$$, include insights and quotes from SMEs to make link baits sound authoritative and original.

#3. Add Visual Elements

Digital content containing high-quality images or visuals receives 94% more views than those without.

Similarly, visual-rich content attracts readers and publishers at large. And there’s human psychology behind it.

You see, before someone links to your content, a four-step process has to occur:

  • First-click – The potential “linker” stumbles upon your link bait for the first time.
  • Interest – They click and consume it.
  • Desire – The content makes a lasting impression on their mind.
  • Action – They take the “bait” and link to it.

If your link bait isn’t visually appealing, this process gets cut off between “Interest” and “Desire.” This is because visuals help people consume content quicker and easier, increasing the likelihood that someone will enjoy the content and, thus, link to it.

#4. Strategically Place Call-To-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action is used to let users take your desired actions. Be it signing up for the newsletter or using a template – CTAs can help get a task done from readers.

If you are creating link baits to drive conversions, CTAs can be the dealmaker.

Usually, CTAs are added in between content or at the end. Put simply, add it where context lies and where clicking on it makes sense for readers. 

#5. User-Friendly Design

No matter how unique or valuable your content is. Websites won’t link back to you if your content/page structure or design isn’t user-friendly. 

I follow this checklist to ensure my content provides great readability and is pleasant to the eyes:

  • Analyze search intent
  • Create eye-catching titles (with keywords)
  • Divide content into headers and subheaders (don’t overdo it)
  • Use lists and bullets to make content scannable
  • Include high-quality images at scroll depth
  • Choose an attractive font for writing content (Roboto, Serif, and Lobster, to name a few)

Remember I started by saying link bait can be ‘good and bad,’ depending on how you use it?

Well! Manipulative link baits can be very bad. Typically, this kind of link baits include:

  • Using false headlines to get clicks
  • Using spammy links in content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Dwelling in link exchange schemes

However, the strategies and methods mentioned in this article are free from such black-hat practices.

Next, check out the best backlink tools to spice up your SEO strategy.

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  • Archit Shukla
    Archit has over 04+ years of experience in content/copywriting and marketing. When he’s not crafting captivating stories, you can find him on the cricket pitch, hear him belting out tunes with his melodious voice, or move to the dance rhythm….

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