How do you get other websites to want to link to yours? By providing what we call “bait;” content of various forms on your websites that is so enticing or interesting that other website owners just have to link to you.
Here’s a list of link baits that work consistently well…
Run Contests – The key here is to make your contest vote-based. For example, you ask entrants to submit their best answer to a question, and then you allow readers to do the voting. Not only can this become viral – those who enter are also likely to blog about it to their readers, thus providing links to your website.
Egobait – Appealing to the ego of others is a dynamite way to get links. Consider making a list of top movers and shakers in your industry, much like the Forbes 500 (only perhaps not quite that long.) Then contact each person on the list to let them know they made the cut. Odds are every person on your list will then link back to you.
Interviews – Again we’re appealing to the ego, only this time it’s on a one to one basis. Ask for and publish interviews from the influential people in your niche and you can be almost certain you’ll get not just a link from them, but from other websites as well.
Business Links – Join places like the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau because they will link to you. Then get your business partners and other non-competing businesses to link to you as well. Anyone you do business with as well as any association that you’re a part of will likely place your link on their website.
Infographics – A good infographic will pay for itself in links back to your website. The key is to make your infographic timely, relevant and above all interesting. Check the resources section of this newsletter for 20 different infographic resources – everything from building your own periodic table (perhaps the periodic table of online marketing?) to creating typography infographics (such as word clouds, only better.)
Stories – Who doesn’t like a great story? Whether it’s written or on video, keep it tight, succinct and above all, interesting.
Drawings, Cartoons, Artwork, Amazing Photography, Etc. – Anything that visually pops can be a backlink magnet.
Videos – Okay, this one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it. But what makes people want to link to a video? The number one thing is humor. After that, great info conveyed in less than 5 minutes can work well, as can anything strange and unusual. Also, if you employ the element of surprise, so much the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you show a tranquil scene and then have a scary screaming zombie-like face flash in front of the screen – just do the unexpected and you’ll increase the odds of getting backlinks.
Example: If you’ve got 10 dynamite tips on how to do something, deliver those tips in 60 seconds while standing on your head. Or deliver the tips with a timer running, and if you don’t get the tips covered in the time allotted, something surprising happens.
Use Social Media – The more tweets you can get on your content, the more Google Love you’re likely to get. And the more likes you get on Facebook, the more Bing will appreciate you. What’s the best way to get tweets and likes? First, create great content. Second, ASK your readers to like and tweet it.
Compile Content – There are several ways to do this. The oldest and perhaps easiest is to make a list of the best blog posts and articles you read this week. Another method is to aggregate content on a specific niche. You’ll want to be timely and comprehensive in doing this because it will make you the “go-to” site for that topic and you’ll get backlinks like crazy.
Cosmo-type Quizzes – Ladies, you know what we’re talking about. Guys, inside Cosmopolitan magazine you’ll find a quiz. It’s maybe 3 to 10 questions long, it’s fun to take, and the answers reveal something about the person taking the quiz. If you can make it interesting enough, people will want to share their answers (and the quiz) with others.
Submit Your Site to CSS Galleries – If your website has a great CSS design (or if you’re ready to get one) then you might want to submit your website to CSS Galleries. http://thecssgallerylist.com/ will submit your website to 100 galleries for $20, and those galleries that accept your site will of course provide you with a quality backlink.
Were any of these a surprise to you? Link baiting isn’t hard, it’s simply a matter of keeping your eyes open to the possibilities. Always be thinking, “How can I get great links?” Or when you see a site you want your link on, ask yourself the best way to go about it. Sometimes it really is as easy as ASKING for the link.