link bait

5 Sure Fire Tactics to Promote a Business Blog

Relevant, Consistently Updated Content + Flawless Technical Functionality & User Experience = Perfect Blog Launch

What’s missing from the equation above? You guessed it: blog promotion.

Creating a glitch-free blog with informative content means next to nothing without attracting readers.

Start promoting your blog today with these five effective tips:

1. Involve influential industry bloggers.

By linking to popular blogs, you can gain the attention of both the influential blogger and his or her readers.

But your blog won’t be the only one to benefit. You’ll be giving the other blog a little link juice – and be paying them a compliment at the same time.

Try out a few of these ideas for leveraging other blogs:

Session: Beyond Linkbait Getting Authoritative Online Mentions

Alan Webb Brian Turner Mikkel deMib Svendsen

SES London 2008 – Beyond Linkbait: Getting Authoritative Online Mentions

Link building is crucial, but linkbait tactics that worked this year may not be as effective next year. This session focuses on the underlying quality as well as ingenuity needed to get other websites to link to you early and often. It will also explain how you should approach journalists, bloggers and other authoritative sources to enhance your company’s online reputation, whether or not you get links.

Moderator: Anne Kennedy, Manager, Managing Partner, Beyond Ink
Speakers: Alan Webb, CEO, Abakus Internet Marketing, Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Creative Director, and Brian Turner, Director, Britecorp, Ltd.

First up is Alan Webb from ABAKUS.

Link building is a chicken/egg situation. To get the links you need content but to get the content found and linked to, you need the links.

Session: Linkbait – Chumming for Traffic on Social Media Sites

Linkbait session

Drop a viral video into a sea of young and old, democrats and republicans, men and women and voters of all ages (with access to the internet, of course) and you have one of my favorite linkbait videos of the year.

So what is linkbait anyway? Cameron Olthius, CEO of Factive Media, defined it for the audience as content or a feature on a website that compels others to link to it from their website.

Linkbait can very quickly increase brand awareness and can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. In order to do this, however, you need to make sure the content you are about to promote is link-able.

Session: Link Baiting – Viral Search Marketing

Link Baiting & Viral Search Success

Day 3 at SES San Jose found me assigned to cover the session “Link Baiting & Viral Search Success.”

Those who’ve read my previous posts should find it as no surprise that my level of excitement for this session superseded any residual aches and pains left over from last night’s “decadence based in relevance” superbash Google Dance.

(Personal Note: None of the stories you’ve heard regarding the TopRank team at this event are accurate. Except the one about how we met up with AC/DC’s tour bus afterwords and partied with them all night – that one’s true**)

This session, moderated by SES co-chair Chris Sherman included on its panel:

  • Chris Boggs, Search Strategist, Avenue A
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor-In-Chief, Search Engine Guide

Link Bait vs Digg Bait

There are two perspectives on creative link building that I’ve been thinking about lately involving creating content and resources that offer value and the sensationalism of content promoted through social news communities. My take is that link bait focuses on creating unique, useful and provocative content that people respond to by linking to it and sharing with others.

Digg bait, which is not limited to Digg but all social news and bookmarking sites, focuses specifically on the interests of social communities and what they respond to. With Digg bait, the power is not in the usefulness and value of the content, but the title and description of the news item, sometimes bordering on the sensational. Think tabloid style writing, “Elvis gives birth to alien baby”.

Place Your Votes for Hat Bait

(I’m crazy for hatbait)
On the tails of the Drink Bait promotion during WebmasterWorld Pubcon in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Li from Search Marketing Gurus ran a very interesting “Hat Bait” promo during the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference. I believe she has the largest single collection of labeled SEO photos anywhere!

Everyone from Danny Sullivan to MC Detlev posed with one of Li’s funky hats. Now’s your chance to vote (via comments) on which photo of a search marketer wearing a silly hat is your favorite.

I think some other creative variations for “bait” that include some social media could be:

Song Bait – Video SEOs singing a particular song. Everyone sings the same song and views vote on their favorite.
Smile Bait – Vote for best smile.
Joke Bait – Video SEOs telling their best jokes.

Viral Marketing or Linkbaiting?

SEO is constantly changing, but at the same time, the more things change the more they seem to stay the same.¬† Yesterday’s viral marketing becomes today’s linkbaiting. Despite changes in SEO tactics and nomenclature, the fundamentals stay the same: content and links. In order to keep up with these kinds of changes, smart online marketers are continuously revising tactics and execution to provide companies with a competitive advantage.

One of those tactics focuses on both content and links by promoting unique content that propagates virally through social news, blogs and network sites. This viral online marketing tactic is more commonly called “linkbaiting”. Regardless of what you call it, companies are starting to allocate marketing dollars to these tactics and search marketers are responding with new services.

The Power of the Link

Last night a PR manager from the New Yorker emailed me about the Terry Semel interview, so I watched it and put up a link to the actual video. I emailed a few SEO related bloggers about it and thought nothing more. (other than the interview being great insight into Yahoo).

While the bloggers I emailed did not mention the video, a few other sites did link to the blog post I put up about it including (front page right now) and the Financial Times.

While I’ve had other things hit Digg and grow traffic as part of a SEO program, this was 100% natural. There was no suggested email to a large network of friends with digg accounts or anything like that. Not that I would ever do THAT.

T-Shirt Link Bait

The Search Engine Journal “Search Engine T-Shirt Contest” will be announcing winners soon. Be sure to check out the entries in the comments section of this post.

This contest is a good example of clever link bait. It also shows some of the creativity on the part of SEOs in the industry.

Spreadshirt is providing the shirts, RustyBrick is providing the design and the judges are listed here. I’d share some of my favorites, but since I’m judging, I’ll wait on that until after Loren announces the 10 winners.

SEO and Interactive Marketing

“Why Media Buyers Must Understand SEO” by Tessa Wegert over at ClickZ addresses how blogs and viral marketing are effective linking tactics and therefore important for search marketing.

Increasingly, I am seeing the creative aspect of search marketing growing in importance. SEO grew out of IT because so many technical issues existed causing sites not to rank well. Now search engines are better at indexing a wider array of file formats and more sophisticaed urls. Off page factors such as links are just as or more important as technical SEO.

Viral marketing and link bait are pretty much the same thing and it’s the creative side of search marketing that will generate the most value as the industry matures. Great content is the best linking strategy whether that content exists on your site or somewhere else and links back to you.