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Understanding Linkbait

Aug 17, 2007
The term "linkbait" is being bandied about on the Internet these days as an innovative marketing technique that's new and controversial to some. For those who understand Internet marketing, however, it's merely a new word for a simple but effective concept that will drive more traffic to your website.

The more links to your website you have, the more business you'll generate. There are many ways to get links that are very effective, including providing content rich pages, submitting articles and press releases to various distribution sites and trading links with other sites that will be of interest to your customer base, but none are quite like linkbait.

Linkbait is essentially content created specifically to generate enough interest for others to voluntarily create links back to your website without you asking them to do it. Much like a viral video, linkbait can spread around the Internet at the speed of light. It generates buzz, creates new links and spreads continuously to new sites without you being aware of it.

The key to linkbait is generating quick interest of the type that will induce people to either post your link on their own websites, pass along the link to others or both. A few techniques for creating this kind of interest include:

Controversial opinions
No matter what industry you are in, there will be subjects that lead to heated debates. A blog entry that firmly establishes you in one camp or the other can certainly stir things up as readers alert others to what you have to say and then additionally will visit your website.

Sensational stories
If you sell mountain climbing gear and a long-time customer has recently scaled Everest, interview him. If a client's child was saved because she was in an infant car seat purchased from your website, write an article about it. These kinds of amazing and miraculous tales capture the hearts and minds of readers and often end up being the subject of emails to friends and family.

Give something away that the public will want. There's nothing that people like more than a perk. If someone can write an article relating to your product that includes free information, tips or even a way to get a free service, that link will become very popular. This is perfect linkbait.

Everyone likes something that will brighten their day, so if you have some humorous stories, funny pictures or anything else that will generate laughter it should be posted on your site or blog. It doesn't even have to relate to your company's business. Once people have clicked to your humor page, they will probably stay and look around a bit.

Interesting and odd facts and figures are great linkbait because these often end up on other people's blogs. If you take a look at MySpace, you'll see lots of pages where people have posted favorite links to unusual tidbits they found elsewhere on the Internet.

Contests and Games
Once word gets out that you are looking for "the worst Halloween costume ever made" or "the world's ugliest cat," and are posting pictures of the entries, your site will end up with lots of incoming links. These kinds of links sometimes become so popular that major Internet news sites pick them up.

You may not have time to develop new ideas on a regular basis or you may come up with great concepts and not know how to flesh them out. In either case, working with a good Internet marketing specialist is the answer. Internet marketing companies can take your ideas and information and fashion them into finished products. They can also develop linkbait from the ground up that will explode the growth of links to your website.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for Vertical Measures. Vertical Measures offers SEO and link building services including creating quality linkbait content that can increase website traffic. Visit Vertical Measures at http://www.verticalmeasures.com/quality-link-building.html .
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