How To Create Linkbait Content
You have surely noticed that some web pages attract links naturally and do it much better than others. Why does this happen? Why does certain content work like links magnet?
In professional SEO slang, this phenomenon is referred to as linkbait. And in this article, I’m going to tell you what linkbait actually is and cover main principles that make it successful.
Ok, let’s start with the definition.
What do we mean by linkbait?
Linkbait is content that is created specifically for attracting links. This content is so cool, valuable and unique that no industry blogger/influencer could resist the temptation to link to it. These links help to improve the rankings of the website in search engines.
Actually, any type of content can be linkbait, but it will sooner be one of the following:
- In-depth guide;
- Interactive content, like quiz or calculator;
- A niche-specific side project.
Links help to grow the overall website authority helping the site attract more traffic from organic search but linkbait rank excellent for many related terms as well. As you understand this drives a ton of traffic to the linkbait itself.
Side Note: Here is a quick guide on driving traffic to a website. You will find a decent collection of images (some of them are free) there either.
How To Make a Piece of Content Linkbait?
Have you heard about psychological principles that make people share content? They are called “share triggers”. The same principles lead people to link to content.
Well, according to the above-mentioned principles people are eager to share/link to things that:
- Help them look better or back up their own standpoints;
- Stir emotions - anger, awe, happiness/laughter, whatever.;
- Attach them to the trending/hot stories and current events;
- Offer practical value - something really useful, a good reference on a particular topic, like a study;
- Have already been shared/linked to by many others - people generally follow the crowd.
Usually, a successful linkbait adheres to one or more of these principles. That’s why a detailed guide with custom imagery, neat formatting, and a unique angle may become a linkbait. But, at best, you can encounter an entire “side project”, where somebody effectively creates a small product with the goal of attracting links.
Are you going to create linkbait? Think how you can build in some of the triggers below to ensure that it corresponds to at least some of the principles above:
1. Make sure that your piece of content offers true value
How do you understand the concept of value? Do you take content length/depth, word count, and other arbitrary attributes as a measure of value? Don’t be mistaken.
I don’t want to say that these things are not important, but you need to remember that value is relative. In other words, what is valuable to one person may have no value to another at all.
Speaking about SEO and marketing world, people there see a lot of value in case studies and other extremely in-depth content.
But if we use Backlink Cheker tool from Ahrefs and look at the backlink profile of any popular web design blog, like Creative Bloq, for example, we will see that people in the design niche value information about HTML, CSS, responsive web design, and so on much more.
The takeaway is that linkbait is about creating content appealing valuable to your target audience, not everyone and anyone.
Please don’t get me wrong here. You don’t necessarily need to make your content longer or more in-depth. You can make it valuable covering the topic from some unique angle and adding something new to the conversation.
2. Spice your content with humor or at least try to invoke some emotions
What do you usually do if somebody told you a funny joke? You tell it to all your friends, don’t you? People like to share funny stuff. They do it verbally in the real world and share humor on social (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) or their own sites online.
If you make something both topical and funny, it’s almost a surefire way to get a ton of links.
If you prefer not to use humor for some reason, try to appeal to another emotion. It may be awe, surprise, excitement, anger, etc.
3. Don’t forget about visuals
Photo by Javier Bosch on Unsplash
Before someone actually links to your piece of content, the following four-step process should occur.
- “See” — the potential linker stumbles upon your linkbait for the first time;
- “Consume” — they click and consume the content;
- “Enjoy” — they strongly enjoy the content and it makes a lasting impression on them;
- “Link” — they take the bait and link to the content.
What happens if your linkbait is not visual enough? This four-step process gets broken somewhere between “consume” and “enjoy”. Users never get to the stage where they’re likely to link.
Why does this happen? Because visuals help people consume and process content much quicker and easier. It’s safe to say that visuals increase the probability that a person will enjoy consuming that content so much that they will eventually share/link to it.
4. Make your content “newsworthy”
Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash
If one of the goals for creating your content is obtaining links from big news websites, you need to include some newsworthy elements to the article.
Actually, there is an entire list of strategies applying which you can make your blog post newsworthy. I am not going to recap all of them here. However, I can’t help mentioning one tactic. It’s newsjacking, which makes almost any kind of content newsworthy.
So, what is newsjacking? Newsjacking is leveraging trending news in order to elevate your brand’s message.
In simple words, newsjacking is a process of masterly combining a trending story or topic with your brand’s business.
To make a long story short, linkbait is not just creating something unique or visually appealing.
You’ll need a bit more if you want your linkbait to be a success. Success is measured in the attracted links. In fact, you’ll need a combination of quality content, a well-defined audience that has the power to link to you, and a smart promotional plan.
Even the best content needs promotion. How will people get to know about it otherwise?
Hope you feel inspired enough to start creating your linkbait content. I advise you to do a thorough keyword research after you choose the trending topic. Watch this cool video in case you are not sure how to do it right.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope you’ve got the clue of how to make your content a linkbait. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.