As we’ve discussed in the past, the most important factor to any website is the “link-ability” element. It’s simply not uncommon for many website owners and webmasters to as the question? “What is this link bait I keep hearing about?” when trying to figure out how to promote their site for outstanding organic search rankings.
Link bait in it’s purest form, is something of value to your target audience or industry. That you provide on your website that is designed to entice another Webmaster or site owner to link to that document or tool. Typically, link bait is:
i.e. an industry white paper written by a recognized authority.
An article designed to create industry buzz (whether negative or positive) covering important current market issues.
Free or Paid Services – Something that provides an extraordinary benefit at X cost factor typically not presently available anywhere else.
A Free or Paid Tool
Something unique that offers significant benefits to the target audience that is again, typically not readily available or as advanced as what is offered.
It’s that simple?
Well, yes, it’s that simple. When developing a strategy for implementing inviting “link bait” tactics, it can be a hit or miss thing, but the concept is straightforward. It comes down to what you are offering or doing, how it’s done and whom you are targeting. Yes, you then have to promote this to strategic industry sites to get the “Buzz” flowing and hope someone with a broader reach doesn’t steal the idea and beat you to the final punch.
In the old days, we had a motto. Bad press, i.e. online talk, was just as effective as good press, i.e. online chatter. Why? Because both lead to citations from relevant documents to your website. That’s link bait. When you give someone a reason to cite your website. Whether that reason is negative or positive. The result typically leads to relevant citations, increased document authority and a lot more traffic.
Now, from a purely business standpoint, we certainly wouldn’t want to find our website promoted under “negative” circumstances. That can be just plain bad for conversions. Just know, that it does work to help promote a site, however, depending upon the negative publicity. It can put you right out of business as well, so caution is the best course of action when it comes to promotion strategy.
Marketing Your “Link Bait”
Given the spirit of search, I believe there are two ways of marketing in general. Artificial (SEO) and Natural (Internet Marketing)
I am a huge fan of natural techniques to attaining organic rankings. They work the best and traditionally shield you from the effects in “algorithmic” factors associated with organic search positions.
Natural is good for search engines. It’s good for users and it’s good for any business or entrepreneur that makes money via the Internet. The Ones who usually abuse search are those who are short-sited about the future value search traffic represents to a long-term business model. They’re the quick buck mentality and usually, they only make a few bucks for their efforts.
Deliver consumers quality search results and those consumers will come back for more quality results meaning more Internet businesses have a broader opportunity to make money.
One need only look at PPC. And the damage delivering crap sites via paid marketing has done to PPC CTR, PPC conversion rates and the revenue of every site owner who markets via PPC. Consumers got tired of it, wise to it, and began ignoring paid advertisements in greater number due to the poor quality of the results delivered by search engines. The fast buck crowd got their way in PPC and legitimate business paid for it with fewer consumers.
Regardless, now is not the time where I will address proper Internet marketing techniques for great results that actually help search engines deliver the right sites. That’s better served for another blog post.
So let’s start with examples of what I call “artificial” marketing techniques that can harm your overall objectives. And help you to waste lots of peoples time and energy. You can read proper marketing steps in an upcoming article on solid Internet marketing processes for stable organic rankings – sorry, I need to have other quality posts you know lol.
What value will 1000 duplicate copies of an article you wrote promoting your new content/tool have to the search engines? None! That’s right, none! All you’ve done is now contribute to the billions & billions of worthless documents that saturate the search engines. Hooray For You!
Massive PR Distribution: Submitting to multiple free PR sites is like pissing in the wind, eventually you’re going to smell like a toilet bowl. It’s all about targeting the right outlets, not just blanketing every outlet.
You know it, I know it, using forums without actually participating in them with anything of substantial value makes you a spammer no matter how valuable you believe your “Link Bait” is to the target audience. This is a dual-edged sword. Used properly, it’s fantastic you can make relevant site owners aware and get valuable link citations. Using it improperly, you’re again pissing in the wind and pissing off major players in your target industry. The best bet is to target on or two authority moderators privately and professionally within relevant forums and let them determine the value of your information. If they think it’s all that, they’ll share it and you will be doing it with respect & class.
Yep, again, same thing as Forum spam. No value for you, and you’ll be again pissing off major players who can help you reach your target audience. Face facts, comment spam while trying to “make someone aware” of your “Link Bait” is active blog spam no matter how innocent the intent. There is a constructive and destructive path to every process. Think constructive. If you’re not an active well-regarded member of a blog community. You need to reach out to targeted authority industry bloggers privately! If what you’re promoting has value, they’ll promote it for you, helping you to get the link citations you’re looking for.