With all of the recent talk about “linkbaiting” and this mention of several excellent ways to bring traffic and natural links to your site, I’m reminded of the old days (OK, it wasn’t that long ago) way back in 2000 when my first online business, Surreal Web Design, was in it’s prime.
The site really didn’t offer a whole lot in the way of information to visitors, but what it did offer was an easy way to receive a quote for web design as well as flash website templates that could be customized online, right from the visitor’s browser. We received many inquiries and sales from the site, but one thing really set us apart from the competition. We also offered several flash website templates for free, and it created a buzz with those new to Flash or looking for a simple website to just get their company online. We had great natural rankings and links to our site because we offered something useful for free, and sold custom sites and templates to those that needed more than what our free templates could provide.
Since picking up my first book about web design in 1998 and buying Dreamweaver 1.0, every piece of advice I have read on building a site has pointed to one rule: create a resource that naturally attracts visitors. I didn’t really pay attention to on-page optimization and links (although obviously they were factors back then), because we didn’t need to. Internet marketing was something we didn’t know much about and therefore never offered as a service to our customers in the beginning. All we knew is that we had great rankings because we gave away free flash website templates that visitors found useful.
It used to be called creating “buzz” for your website, defined as anything which made people talk about your business, in a cult like fashion, producing tons of free publicity. I guess that pretty much made me an accidental SEO, since I would view our site’s rankings from time to time but didn’t actually put the effort into reading about search engines and how to effectively market websites until our rankings dropped some time later.
Linkbait or Linkbaiting really means providing something that end-users enjoy, for whatever reason. There are literally thousands of ways to go about creating something that hasn’t been done before and making sure others find out about it, so I won’t attempt to list those here.
What I will do however is offer some suggestions for linkbait inspiration:
By conducting a quick search of the web I’m sure you’ll find better and more creative ways to generate buzz…err…I mean linkbait for your site, but hopefully the suggestions above will at least get you started down the right path.
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