Creating Link Bait: Do a Little Brainstorming

Do inherently boring topics exist? Probably – and if you need to do SEO on a website featuring one of these topics, I wish you well. But I’ll let you in on an important fact of life: what’s boring to you might be exciting to many others. And that is your secret weapon.

This subject came up recently on our SEO Chat forums when one of our members sought some help with building link bait for a client in a rather industrial line of work. The company in question offers wholesale goods in the electrical field. How, exactly, does one make home wiring interesting? What kind of electrifying material could this SEO use for link bait?

Answers from other members came lightning fast. Respected forum member Egol pointed out that his best resource was his own client. What are their customers’ most frequently asked questions? What are some of the funniest stories involving the use, misuse or failure of their products? What was the most unexpected use of their product? What are some of the most important safety tips when using the product? Any client “has a hundred stories to tell,” notes Egol. A good SEO learns how to draw them out of their clients and listens.

Another member turned to Yahoo Answers to find out what kinds of questions people asked that might be connected with the website’s topic. She noticed that someone asked if they could buy a single roll of electrical wire from a wholesaler. Thinking about that question, it occurred to her that “creating a calculator to help people determine how much electrical wire they would need for their job” might attract interest – and links. Taking it to another level, the calculator could include other supplies that one might need for such a job – and include links to other suppliers, if they’re connected with the SEO’s client. How hard would it be, then, to get these suppliers to include that calculator on their own websites – with a link back to the SEO’s client, of course?

Yet another of our forum members proved to be quite knowledgeable about this topic, and came up with a whole list of educational article topics. They included everything from how using inferior products can affect electrical connections to how to understand electrical panels. He did note that the company’s target market made a difference as to article topics: “These are more for the DIY than electrical contractors, and if the supplier is only after the contractors, [the article topics] may not be helpful.”

Yet another member came forward to suggest looking at the approach of another website in a somewhat related field. That particular site caters to woodworkers, and features lots of educational link bait, including videos as well as articles. The SEO’s client wouldn’t want to copy anything exactly, of course, but there’s nothing wrong with looking for inspiration. For example, an article on building a deck (woodworking) might inspire the SEO or his client to create a piece – or a whole miniature series — on safely wiring an outdoor deck for electricity.

Using humor creatively can lend a charge of interest to what might otherwise seem a boring topic. One of our members linked to a delightfully silly YouTube video that garnered more than a million views. The topic? Mattresses. In this case, it was an “attempt” at the world record for mattress dominoes.

Maybe you aren’t currently trying to do SEO for an electrical goods wholesaler. Perhaps the client that makes you pull your hair out sells pool supplies or concrete. If so, don’t panic; try instead to look at it as an opportunity to find a fascinating side to something that looks mundane on the surface. Ask your client some questions to help you get ideas; use Google; even nudge your friends for their thoughts. You never know what will light a spark. Good luck!

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