Link Bait Strategy Tips #1 – Defining Content Constraints

Jimmy McCann

Head of Digital Strategy

Technical SEO

Many link bait posts offer good advice for coming up with link bait and give advice to the type of things that work. Through my experience there are other factors and obstacles that we can sometimes come up against, meaning that there is more to link bait than creating quality content and ‘launching it’. I felt that there was need for a much more detailed post explaining exactly how to strategise and formulate linkworthy content for larger organisations.

Originally I intended to write this complete ‘linkworthy content strategy’ type post, but after starting it, it has grown and morphed into a huge beast and something that will take a lot longer than I anticipated.

So we are led to this post, which is the first in a series of posts that I will produce, giving a number of small takeaway tips to help overcome obstacles you may come across when coming up with linkworthy content.

Find Out Content Constraints

Marketer: I have the world's greatest idea! It has sooo many possibilities and will get us a billion and a half links! 'Explains idea...'.

Marketer: I have the world’s greatest idea! It has sooo many

possibilities and will get us a billion and a half links! ‘Explains idea…’.

Decision maker: Yes, that is a truly great idea, possibly the greatest ever.... but it will never get through legal.

Decision maker: Yes, that is a truly great idea, possibly

the greatest ever…. but it will never get through legal.

Marketer: Doh!

Marketer: Doh!

The first step is to know exactly what you can and can’t do in line with company policies and marketing tone.

Find out exactly what you are actually allowed to say and do with content on your target website. Many larger companies in certain verticals (eg finance) have to adhere to stringent legal guidelines. Check whether or not the type of content that you want to produce will get through any red tape internally.

There is nothing worse than coming up with a great link bait idea and plan for something that doesn’t get going past the key decision makers.

The key to getting your ideas approved by the client / decision makers is to both:

  • Tailor your approach to fit in with policies
  • Educate the decision maker

The client / decision makers need to be educated in full as to how this type of content can acquire links and the subsequent benefits to the website and the business as a whole.

Takeaway Tip #1 – Set up a content strategy meeting ASAP

First of all, before embarking upon any brainstorming or link bait planning sessions, you will need to set up a meeting with the key decision maker / whoever approves the content. The aim of this meeting is to fully understand what their content policies are and educate them what the point of the content is.

Using examples and plenty of data to back it up, include:

  • What types of content attract links
  • What you are trying to achieve and the benefits it will give them in terms of both –
    • Brand visibility
    • Potential for juice passing links
    • Social network exposure (and links)

The aim should be to find out exactly where the rigid boundaries are, absorbing them into your content strategy. The less definitive boundaries are there to be brokered and widened if at all possible, through the method of educating decision makers.

The more content freedom you have, then the more creative you can get and this can often impact on the success of your content.