If you are a regular reader of popular SEO blogs, you must be undoubtedly aware of link baiting. Still, I find many questions on discussion forums like what is link baiting. Many webmasters are still unaware of this SEO term. In this post, I am sharing my experience on link baiting and how to approach it as a webmaster.
Why link baiting?
The first question which will come to your mind is why one should go for link baiting? It is just one way how to get links from good websites. This can be easily done by buying links from authority niche websites. To answer this, I will need to take you a few years back. Blogs are not a very old concept. Apart from a few, I have not seen any blog which was made before 2005. The reason why it is important is the blog owners spammed the web to dead. Link buying and selling became so popular that you could see websites publicly offering to buy links.
This is the reason which forced Google to penalise websites or blogs supporting link buying and selling. People started making blogs only to earn money. Putting content and then making money by placing links. This became the mantra for many blog owners. If you are not aware, then you should know that Google now has a manual team which monitor websites and blogs promoting link buying and selling. Not only this, if you find any site involved in such activity, you can also report it to Google by clicking here.
Perhaps you look at it like this, if I am working so hard to write content for my blog, do not I deserve to make some money out of it? Why is Google so strict? Here are two answers:
Answer 1: Google is not against placing links in a blog unless and until you make it a nofollow or sponsored link. This is to prevent any page creditability transfer from your webpage to the advertiser’s page.
Answer 2: Google is also a company, and they are here to make money. They have almost monopoly in the search market, they assume that a webmaster will never do practices which will be penalised by Google. Google is strict with paid links, but there is an option for advertisers to opt for Google Adwords and AdSense. Google is a service provider, and you have to obey the rule.
Let’s go back to my original question of why a webmaster should consider link baiting approach. Google gives weight to links placed on high authority websites. For example, if by any means you can get a link from bbc.com, your website will benefit greatly in terms of SERP ranking. But is it possible to approach bbc.com for having a link? The answer is NO.
The only way you can place a link there is by publishing decent news item. This is the basic definition of link baiting “produce useful and quality content that websites and bloggers can place the content on their webpages, giving you a backlink”. This is the most natural way of getting links from high authority websites. It also helps with branding as the number of visits on these webpages is very high, giving great exposure to your news item and hence your link. Thus link baiting revolves around quality content.
Tips for link baiting
If you go and search for tips for link baiting, you will find millions of results. Some methods are challenging to follow, here are 10 tips for link baiting we found easy to perform.
Tip 1 – Present your idea in a unique way
It is not easy to produce unique and new content every time you publish an article for your blog or website. But the existing topic can be tweaked in such a way that it becomes a topic of discussion. For example, a card-making company wanted to run some promotional campaign for Valentine’s Day. So they published an article on “14 Horrible Moments in Valentine’s Day History“. This article received great appreciation giving the company a viral promotion. Almost all the top news sites promoted the article, and as a result, it helped a lot with branding awareness for the card maker.
Tip 2 – Reports and research data
If you are running a blog or a discussion forum, you can conduct polls and surveys related to your product or business. After an ample amount of data is collected, make a press release of the statistics. The numbers used in a post or a press release gives more exposure. Don’t work with assumptions. If you have conducted a survey of 100 consumers, clearly mention it in the post. This is very important as high authority websites will never give you a link back unless and until you prove the data are credible.
Tip 3 – Interviews
Whatever is your niche, you can definitely find experts in your niche. Try to contact them and conduct an interview. Not only you can submit podcasts of these interviews. If the person whom you are interviewing is famous among your target audience, you will definitely see an uplift in your business. You can develop a separate section of your website for interviews or podcasts.
Tip 4 – Financial tools
People love free service. If you provide any free tool like the tax calculator, budget planner, BMI calculator, etc., you will surely get following. The reason why I have mentioned financial tools is that we have excellent experience with financial tools. I placed such tools on one of my travel sites, and I have received an overwhelming response.
You can target any type of tool, preferably it should be related to your website. One useful way to get backlinks using such tools is to allow other blog owners to use the tool on their site. You can give an HTML code for the tool which can be used by other bloggers or webmasters. This will give you a backlink from these websites.
Tip 5 – New Discussion
Always remember that if you start a topic which gets popular, you will be the one who will benefit the most. With the increasing number of news portals, the good innovative topic can get viral fast. As most of the news channels are very popular, they are usually a source of authority links.
Always make sure to have a discussion related to your niche and present yourself as an expert in the field. A Germany based windmill company once started a discussion on their forum with the topic of “innovative ways to make corporate green and eco friendly“. They received a healthy response, and soon they had enough innovative ideas to publish PDF. Hence, a general but meaningful discussion resulted in a reasonable amount of information for the company.
Tip 6 – Create controversy
By controversy, I do not mean that you should start a campaign against your competitors. Here controversy means to start a topic which supports your niche in comparison with other forms of similar products. For example, suppose you are an e-commerce company which sells stuff online. You can raise controversy related to offline showrooms selling the same product. It may also go negative for you, but will surely earn a lot of high-quality backlinks for you. Please ask a legal expert before publishing anything about anybody or any product.
Tip 7 – Free giveaways
People love free stuff. You can distribute tools, PDFs, multimedia content etc. Promote such campaigns on social media sites to get more exposure. There will be blogs and websites promoting your effort and hence, in turn, giving you a backlink. But make sure you do not create a squeeze page for such stuff. Google is stricter with squeeze pages, and consequently, you can be penalised for this. Many marketers give freebies to collect user data like email id, name etc. So it is advisable to run such campaigns only for the sake of getting backlinks and not for increasing your database.
Tip 8 – Running promotions
Running promotions on your website also increases the attention of bloggers and website owners. Never try to make the situation more complex by providing strict guidelines for the publicity. For example, if you are a USA based financial website, you can start competition like “tell us about a situation where you faced a money crisis and how you got out of it”. You have to promote this event using social media and press releases. Running email campaigns to your customers is also not a bad idea.
Similarly, you can have Christmas related promotions like “how do you plan to make your Christmas debt-free?” If you promote these campaigns well, surely you will get a lot of traffic and backlinks for your website.
Tip 9 – Humor element
It depends upon the type of business you are running, but still, if you can start a somewhat funny marketing campaign, it can generate a satisfying amount of backlinks for you. For example, some people may have entertaining experiences with their banks. I faced a situation when the bank statement I received had my age printed as 83 instead of 23. I submitted two documents to prove that I am just 23 and not 83. Such incidents will make your readers smiling and can provide a nice amount of exposure for your website.
Tip 10 – Use facts and figures
This approach work for us in affiliate marketing really well. Based on data, if you write a blog post with the title “10 ways to save money online” then it is going to be more popular as compared to a general topic like “Tips to save money online“. I do not know how beneficial it is for ranking, but our data says people have a high tendency to click on such articles or posts.
- 10 ways to make money online
- 25 easy steps to make your Christmas more enjoyable
- 14 tips to get your ex back on Valentines day
- 30 points checklist before your holiday plan
- Learn SEO in 30 days
Likewise, you can find many such examples. If you search for “SEO Tips” in Google, the first results show webpages which have numbers in their title. Though I do not want to draw any conclusion, but numbers can give you more credibility.
Try to do things in such a way that the backlinks you get out of it are natural. Establish yourself as a strong brand, industry expert, publish content to solve your audience real problems.