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SES SJ: Link Baiting and Viral Search Success

This is the first link baiting session at any SES conference.

Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz.org

Linkbait is content that targest a link-friendly audience. Goals is to approach this audience, get their attention and get them to link to you.

Research a Sector’s Link-Worthiness

Market size, online activity, how many blog or read forums and newsgroups. What has been done recently that has gotten attention.

Target the tagging services. Select a content focus. Meld your brand with the viral elements. See what is most popular and find brilliant ideas.

Be sure you have the right kind of sight. Have the right look and feel. Pre-launching something can often help gain exposure.

Be ready to have people talk negatively about you and be careful not to get sucked into a useless argument.

Keep updating your content.

Cameron Olthuis, Advantage Consulting Services

Creating your buzz and tracking your buzz are two different things. It’s important to track your buzz so you can help control it. Subscribe to RSS feeds and track the right terms, company and personal names, websites, etc.

If people are talking good or bad you should join the conversation. Not only will it keep the conversation and exposure going but it will generate some links and shows you are active.

If buzz is bad, embrace it but try and change the direction of the conversation to something positive. If it’s good, embrace it and keep it going.

Track backlinks, brand image, trends, new customers.

Track with Yahoo Site Explorer, blog engines, Google trends, Opinmind, Analytics

Most important thing is to be original. Learn form the concepts but don’t copy.

Jennifer Laycock, Search Engine Guide

How to pull off link baiting without hiring additional staff.

The cost is the idea not the marketing. Can’t be just any idea, it’s got to be link worthy. Once you have the idea, the cost is minimal.

Good link bait creates brand evangelists giving people a reason to talk about your product. Link baiting is driven by passion, creating a personal endorsement which is more valuable than traditional advertising.

Be aware of the downsides. Link bait isn’t always about selling something but about creating brand awareness. Targeting your link bait demographically can be excellent marketing.

Once negative buzz begins it can spiral out of control.

Creating ideas: what hasn’t been done before, what sparks passion with customers, how will it benefit users.

Ideas spread because they are important to the spreader, not the originator. Good ideas work through relationships.

Other ideas: Give away products or services, make it easy to spread the word, be ready if things really take off.

Exploit motivators: people want to be cool, use that to your advantage. Go to where your customers are, take advantage of other People’s resources.

Understand impact of good vs. bad post.

Arouse people’s desires. Be interested in others. Respond to others, admit when wrong.

Chris Boggs, Razorfish

Can’t just put the bait on the hook, you have to throw the hook out. In other words, bait it and they won’t come, you have to let others know its there.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to SES SJ: Link Baiting and Viral Search Success

  1. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    I think everybody did great. I tried to avoid making any judgements here good or bad. There were a few sessions that I went to where I simply didn’t report anything because I didn’t get anything out of them, but even still, they may have been great for everybody else. This was my first SES and I came away wanting to go to another!

  2. Cameron says:

    Stoney, very good coverage, thanks. Hope you enjoyed the session. It was first time speaking at SES so I’m glad you didn’t rate each of us 🙂