First of all what is it? Well link bait is a tactic that; if successful will create lots of links back to your site; link bait can take a variety of forms but basically the creator is trying to capture the imagination of the audience in the hope that they will pass this piece of content on to friends via e-mail, social media and other forms of sharing, thus creating lots of links back to your website.
You will stumble upon examples of link bait from time to time and you will, no doubt, pass send the odd one on, helping the viral spread of the content and associated links.
So what forms can link bait take?
- They can be instructional. If you want to go down the ‘useful’ route, as opposed to the ‘humorous’ then a good list of tips or set of instructions, when targeted towards the right audience group, can spread and become successful.
- The top ten list – whatever, whenever and for whoever. Make it relevant to a particular audience group (the key to all good web content) and a top ten list can be a good way to spread information
- Quizzes are a classic form of link bait. A good quiz can be easy and quick to create but incredibly effective. Make it easy for the user to opt into – so make it a bit of fun that doesn’t take a great deal of time to complete and share – and you could be on to a winner.
- Slide shows can also be popular (if you happen to have a Hotmail account you will no doubt have looked at at least one of MSN’s many slide shows after logging out one day. They have them to cover every topic and they have them often. They do this in the hope that you will pass the link on to other people.
What Will Make My Link Bait ‘Go Viral’?
Unfortunately there is no winning formula and nobody can predict the next phenomenon but we can tell you that is often amusing, engaging or informative – if not more than one of these things. It is, more often than not, short, snappy and easy to engage with, not taking up too much time or presenting any complicated task.
Most of the time, successful link bait will have been the product of trial and error. If you don’t hit success first time then keep going – keep investment low and keep baiting the hook to see what bites!