18 December 2006

Link Baiting defined

I have mentioned link baiting before - to end any confusion, here is the accepted Wikipedia definition:

Link bait is any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites. Attempts to create link bait are frequently employed in the overall task of search engine optimization.

'You may have heard the term link bait discussed in search engine optimization circles. In SEO speak, link bait is content that attracts natural incoming links from other blogs and websites.

Link bait is content that people want to link to, and share with their own readers.

It all starts with your blog content. If you are serious about getting more links to your blog to gain more visitor traffic, and higher search engine rankings, it takes great posts. There is no other alternative as powerful for receiving inbound links than interesting and informative original content. Simply put, if no one finds your posts of value, no one is going to link to them. Of course, that's not you.

The question then becomes one of developing and writing great posts to attract those one way incoming links. The best course of action on your part is to stick to your main blogging niche.

If your blog theme is crochet, then write about crochet topics for the vast majority of your postings. As a result, other craft blogs and sites in general, and crochet themed blogs and sites in particular, will link to many of your posts. Write material that no other bloggers provide, and your blog becomes an important information source.

Sidebar: I mention crochet blogs in the example because they are my Mom's favourite craft blog. She is a life long crochet practitioner. The house is filled with her handmade crochet items.

Another powerful link bait tool is to offer something for free to your readership. A website tool, an ebook, pdf whitepaper, or a contest with prizes are all well known link attractors. Bloggers are generous and heavy linkers.

As a result, your free items are very likely to receive, at the very least, a few inbound links. More likely, the amount of new links added will be quite high. For both traffic building, and for blog SEO, the added links are extremely poweful.

Targeting your blog to the desired reading audience is the best course of action if you want to develop link bait. Along with the links to individual posts, your blog stands a very good chance of also being added to the blogger's blogroll, providing a permanent link to your blog.

For SEO rankings, long term links from theme related are especially good value, as the search engines consider web pages receiving permanent links to be important sites for that theme. Staying power has its advantages.

If you are serious about receiving some linky love in the form of incoming links, it's essential that you create great posts. This is especially important if you are a new blogger who lacks a long term network of blogging friends and associates.

The way to establish your reputation, as a good blogger within your blogging niche, is through your writing. Natural one way links to your blog won't happen any other way.

Great posts are link bait for other bloggers to find and follow.

Write a great post today, offering information of items of value to your readers, and some linky love is sure to follow.'

by Wayne Hurlbert

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