Create Viral Linkbait Content Tactics That Build Links

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June 3, 2024

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Create Viral Linkbait Content Tactics That Build Links

The Secret to Going Viral? Embrace Your Inner Egoism!

You know you’ve created the best content when people share your content, because they want to, not because someone asked them to. If people perceive your content as useful, helpful, relevant, entertaining or attractive, it has the potential to be shared and re-shared until it goes viral. This content is called link bait, and it’s the holy grail for any SEO agency worth its salt.

When brands get more links to content on their website, their search rankings improve and they earn more traffic. Link bait is a type of content designed to encourage other websites’ linking to that content. Link bait attracts visitors, so even if they don’t convert, they can be added to a sales funnel using an email marketing autoresponder series. There’s no right or wrong kind of link bait. It could be an infographic, it could be a video or it could be a slideshow. There is, however, a reliable formula to making it work.

Infographics: The OG of Linkbait

Some types of content lend themselves particularly well to viral link bait. The most common by far is infographics. Content creators should keep in mind that there’s a definitive list of infographic no-nos! Infographics have to tell a story. They can’t just grab data from an article and repurpose it. They should stick to a color palette and not overwhelm the viewer. Consistency is the key, not just with the color schemes but with the fonts too. Infographics should be easy follow and stick to brand guidelines. And in my personal opinion, they should never incorporate humor that isn’t universal.

As Marcela de Vivo points out, “You know you’ve created the best content when people share your content, because they want to, not because someone asked them to.” Infographics have that special je ne sais quoi that makes people want to hit that share button.

Ego Bait: Flatter to Attract

Another way to earn links is through ego bait. Ego bait does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s designed to play with the egos of those who you’re hoping to link to your website. Link bait can be a list that includes your target or simply a mention of your targeted website in an article. When using ego bait, it’s critical not to overplay your hand or you’ll come off as a sycophant.

As the team at Linkbuildr notes, “Anything that provides value or rides a wave of momentum from a trending topic can attract high-quality links. As previously mentioned, slideshows and videos are common hooks, but link bait isn’t limited to traditional content. Freebies, expert interviews, how-to tutorials, eBooks, guest posts, quizzes, free tools or pure entertainment all have the potential to go viral.”

The Anatomy of a Viral Linkbait Campaign

Link bait can be a competition hosted on your blog. Competitions work especially well when they require votes, because when contestants need help from their friends, they are far more likely to promote the contest on their own social media networks, which brings us to the next point.

The greatest content in the world will never go viral if it isn’t seen. Amplification should be incorporated into early planning, but if you’ve already created your killer link bait, that’s fine — just to work on outreach before you go public. As David Melamed points out, “Content that can be updated in a value add way is great for building long term credibility and getting repeat links. On top of that, outreach efforts take a lot of time, and any time you can leverage those relationships into more than one linking opportunity, you will start seeing outreach pay off in a big way.”

Create a list of targets in your niche area or industry and build a spreadsheet or other kind of database containing all your link prospects. Although you should scour sites on your own, use tools to help you gather prospects, including:

  • Screaming Frog to search your competitors and see what kind of links they’re getting
  • Technorati to find the best blogs in your niche
  • TweepGuide to search social media for potentially helpful journalists to contact

Sort your prospect into categories from high priority to low, and then, begin your outreach campaign.

The Checklist for Killer Linkbait Success

Link bait must be well planned and backed up by data, meticulous audience research and SEO. It has to be built according to a process, it has to be well designed and it has to be amplified through a coordinated outreach campaign. When it works, however, your hard work will pay off when your infographic, contest, video or interview goes viral and breathes new life into your site traffic and Google rankings.

As Ann Smarty puts it, “Any inspiration tips to share? Share them in the comments!” I’d love to hear about your own linkbait success stories and the tactics that have worked best for building high-quality links to your SEO agency in Manchester, UK. The key is to keep experimenting and never stop learning.

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