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Your Link Bait Isn’t Getting Links: What Went Wrong

Your Link Bait Isn’t Getting Links: What Went Wrong

by ibuz6hhuret August 11, 2021

Since the dawn of SEO, we’ve been told to use link bait – those tasty morsels of content which bloggers just can’t help linking to – for backlink building. Taking the advice to heart, you hire a badass designer to make an infographic or get the geek squad on board writing up some uber-factual report.

Now, you just post the content and wait for the backlinks to flow in, right?

Sometimes, link bait is as easy as “build it and they will come”. But, in many cases, your link bait will sit there dormant and gather dust instead of the metaphorical bites you hoped for.

The Catch-22 of SEO

One of the rather annoying things about SEO is that it has an inherent Catch-22: You can’t get traffic without rankings. To rank, you need backlinks. To get backlinks, you need traffic. If your website doesn’t have much traffic yet (which is why you are using link bait, right?), then no one will find your link bait.

Identify Potential Linkers Before You Make the Bait

Alex Webb over at Zoom Spring SEO recently had a great article about a failed link bait project. They wanted to make link bait for an ecommerce website which sells casters (those things which hold wheels to chairs). Casters is obviously a pretty tough niche for link bait, but they came up with the clever idea of making absurd fake products like “diamond encrusted casters” and even wrote great product descriptions for them. In theory, the link bait could have worked wonderfully because it is so funny. They even took a proactive approach to getting linkers by making humorous gift guides which included links to the fake products. But they forgot to think about the type of people who would realistically link to this sort of content. It turns out that there weren’t any linkers! As Webb says,

We should have considered that crossroads way back at the start when we were brainstorming products. Had we decided (as we did) to be proactive, we should have begun compiling an extensive list of websites and blogs to reach out to before we ever had the products created by a graphic designer. That way, if we found that there weren’t a lot of sites that were interested we could have changed our direction or scraped the experiment entirely without incurring the cost of a graphic designer and additional time. By finding your potential linkers in advance, you can develop a relationship first, such as over social media or email. Then, you can craft content for their tastes and casually share the link bait with them. Think of it this way: When you go fishing, you first identify the water, the type of fish in those waters, and what type of bait they like. You still might not get any biters with your bait, but your chances are a heck of a lot better if you find out where the big fish hang out and what they like to eat!

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