Links are the holy grail of any website with aspirations of being ranked in the top 20 results on Google, both in terms of quantity and quality. How you go about getting those links is the area of SEO that sets one site apart from another. Bought, traded or mutual links can only get you so far, eventually you need to take it to the next level and have sites linking to you because you do something so awesome that they want to, with nothing asked in return.
To encourage sites to link to them, savvy site owners create content that is known as ‘link bait’. These are stories, articles, tools, freebies, comment etc that have been created pretty much with the sole aim of other sites linking to them and are so useful, controversial, funny, original or insightful that another website refers back to it and says ‘go here to have a read’. Below are my top 6 examples of link bait (if you know of some other good examples, leave a link below):
Their whole site is littered with link bait (although they are an SEO company, so you would expect that), but this piece stands out for me. An in depth and comprehensive analysis of SEO factors from the industry’s leading voices. You could charge for this and people would buy it.
A great example of a site offering a scaled down version of it’s tool for free. Even this version is good enough for most small to medium sized sites.
I own an iPhone and this was one of the first apps I downloaded. By offering something quirky and original (although the makers of iBeer might question that) with the wow factor, Carling has created a great link bait generator off the back of a branding exercise.
A great resource for anyone writing creative briefs or designing for the web, I would argue at least 90% of this site is link worthy because it offers so much useful content for free.
This site breaks quite a few rules. For example, it looks ugly and the content is updated irregularly, however, when it is updated, more often than not it has something new to say about website usability that anyone can apply to their website, and it is free.
I couldn’t resist adding this one , but I honestly believe it is a good example of using an interview with an industry insider/ leading voice to generate interest, traffic and links. It worked for us!
Do you have any other examples of great link bait? Has anything on your website brought you a ton of traffic? Leave a comment to let us know.