What is Link Baiting? [+ 7 Types of viral content to generate more links]

Link baiting is a series of techniques used to attract backlinks to web pages. This practice increases the chances of being linked to other websites.

Updated: November 19, 2021
What is Link Baiting? [+ 7 Types of viral content to generate more links]

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The main idea of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to achieve the best positions on search engines and get backlinks from websites with authority, powerful links, and good branding.

To achieve this goal, you must strive to get the attention of the owners of those websites. That’s what link baiting is all about!

Throughout this post, you will see:

    What is Link Baiting?

    Link baiting is a strategy for creating pages and digital content that attract natural, high-volume backlinks to a domain. 

    This practice increases the chances of being linked to other websites.

    In addition, as it is a good SEO technique, it improves search engine ranking, allowing you to reach a higher volume of users and, thus, a large number of potential customers.

    Right now, you may be asking yourself: “How much will this cost me?” The answer is: nothing!

    Paying for promotional content, after all, does not guarantee effective achievements and often results in wasted time and money. 

    The idea of link baiting is to be able to make the most of the opportunities that are presented organically.

    Later, we will show examples of successful link baiting strategies that you can apply in your business.

    However, the main idea is to create pages that generate value for the user until they say: “Okay, this content has highly qualified information and deserves to be shared with the world”.

    Link Baiting vs Link Building: What are the Differences?

    If you search for information about link baiting, you will certainly find another related term: link building. However, these are not the same.

    The goal of both concepts is similar: to be linked. 

    However, link building is responsible for seeking them “actively” through actions such as guest posts, partnerships with influencers of a particular niche and promotion on social media.

    In other words, link building requires an active effort of website owners to be linked by other external pages.

    Link baiting does the same but in a “passive” way.

    It is based on the virality of the content, generating information, exposing creative ideas, and creating innovative and unique content that meets the buyer persona’s needs.

    This way, it attracts the target audience’s attention, who will share or link to the content because of their affinity with it.

    However, these techniques are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, if you use them together in a Digital Marketing strategy, you will have better results.

    Knowing their differences and how they complement each other is fundamental.

    How to Create a Link Baiting Strategy?

    Every link baiting strategy is different, as it depends on the type of link you want to achieve. For example:

    • Do you want to go viral? Ask users to share your content on social media.
    • Do you want more authority? The best option is to get a referral within a corporate blog.

    So, how do you achieve an effective link baiting strategy? Here are two tips to get you started.

    Statistical analysis

    In Marketing, statistics are everything. With them, you can:

    • Analyze keywords using SEO tools — for example, SEMRush — for which you want to receive backlinks.
    • Investigate the competition to produce original content that outperforms them. You can also use the SEMrush tool, suitable for this type of task.

    Defining the goal and format

    It all starts with a goal. Do you want to:

    • Attract?
    • Entertain?
    • Inspire?
    • Educate?
    • Convince?

    Once you’ve defined your goal, it’s time to establish the appropriate format to spark the buyer’s interest. 

    For example:

    • Pillar articles: these are extensive contents that cover a topic in a complete, in-depth manner. They are usually used as references in blogs in the same area, so they must contain helpful and valuable information.
    • News and interviews: perfect for getting backlinks from social networks and traditional media.
    • Controversies, comparisons, or debates: these have high levels of visibility and consequently generate many backlinks.

    In general terms, you should focus on an attractive idea with a well-detailed purpose and a visible and interesting format.

    In link baiting, the value is in the content itself which is responsible for creating the audience or target audience. This, in turn, contributes to the creation of content and adds value to brands.

    Following this, you can plan the content promotion which starts with identifying the type of content that will work for your business.

    Want to learn some examples? Keep on reading!

    7 Examples of Successful Content for Link Baiting

    In this section, we will list 7 types of content that work very well for link baiting with practical examples.

    1. Interactive content

    Before planning a Digital Marketing strategy, we all ask ourselves the same question, “What is the best format to attract and retain users?”

    One of the most accepted answers today points to interactive content.

    It is an innovative and original way to generate engagement through creative content that leads to social media sharing and referrals.

    This type of content enhances user experience, impacting consumers through attractive and optimized visual elements that provide valuable data, leading to conversion.

    Check out some types of interactive content that can help you achieve your marketing goals:


    Infographics are a very good way to direct the lead according to their stage in the buyer’s journey

    An excellent initiative is to work with content designed for the top of the funnel or awareness stage.

    It is fundamental that you know that this material usually does not get a high conversion rate. However, it is educational and contains valuable information for the consumer.

    Here is a great example of an interactive infographic by Veracode, in which they share relevant data about the importance of security mechanisms in web applications:


    Ebooks are one of the most efficient and creative strategies in Content Marketing.

    After the user’s first contact with a particular topic, it is expected that their interest will increase and they will want to receive more content in the future.

    The interactive digital book is the most viable option to meet the need for deeper knowledge on a particular topic.

    In this context, Interactive Marketing plays its role by guiding the reader through the topics they consider most relevant and about which they have doubts or interest.

    As an example, we chose the interactive ebook that 24 Hour Fitness made with the Ion software

    This provided its audience with a comprehensive magazine about the benefits of healthy lifestyles:


    This type of content greatly impacts the audience because it allows users to make calculations on topics that interest them in a more personalized way.

    An example is the calculator we’ve created to show you the value of interactive content in marketing strategies.

    It is useful material and therefore encourages users to mention and share across a variety of channels.

    2. Surveys and market research

    Performing a market evaluation with our own resources allows us to generate reliable and relevant information about the company’s sector.

    Brandz understands this very well. They created an excellent report on the most valuable Latin brands, promoting the region’s development through relevant consumer data on certain companies in each country.

    This content piece is worthy of being used as link bait. This report is an accomplishment for Brandz as it profiles pertinent and relatable data.

    3. News and materials with updates

    To start, you should find a current topic that fits your niche and be one of the first to publish content with your expert opinions.

    This type of link baiting content is effective if you know how to find authentic information quickly.

    This way, you can arouse curiosity about something new and position yourself ahead of your competition when it becomes a trend.

    Let’s consider the geek universe, for example, with the successful smartphone application Pokémon Go. A few years ago, it has changed the way Pokémon lovers see the world.

    The first ones who wrote about this phenomenon received countless mentions and shares.

    This is also a common strategy in more specific sectors of economic activity. 

    4. Lists as an informative resource

    The effectiveness of lists is related to our ability to choose any subject and turn it into a list. 

    The best part is that those titles usually have the most impact, sparking the reader’s interest and encouraging them to click on a link and read the article.

    This technique is common at Rock Content. 

    To give you an idea, here’s an example with our list of 14 Content Marketing metrics that you should track for a successful strategy.

    5. Digital tools

    Properly understanding and assimilating the buyer persona is an essential aspect of any strategy.

    For this, you should know that buyer personas are:

    • The semi-fictitious representation used in Marketing to embody the company’s ideal customer and what your business can offer them.
    • Essential to create more precise Marketing strategies and get clear insights on how, when, and why to talk to the customer.

    By the way, did you know that it is possible to create a “persona model” digitally with Rock Content’s buyer persona generator?

    It is a digital tool for you to use as many times as you need. 

    One of the advantages of our generator is that it saves the information in PDF format for you to print and distribute to your entire team. This way, everyone will be aware of your buyer persona.

    Don’t you think something like that should be on most blogs that talk about Content Marketing? That’s exactly how the link baiting strategy works.

    6. Maps

    Maps? Yes, maps! 

    They are a new format for getting backlinks naturally. Although graphically they are very similar to infographics, they are actually different.

    The image size doesn’t require much scrolling to observe it in its entirety, allowing the user to focus on the important data on the map.

    The engaging Ahrefs blog explains this format. There are even several didactic examples of how you can develop this idea of data on maps.

    This type of content is not oversaturated, so it is a fascinating opportunity to get excellent results.

    One example of a map that has gained a lot of backlinks in recent weeks is Google News’ COVID-19 feed.

    7. Relating topics that are not similar

    This doesn’t mean to change subjects abruptly, but to be inclusive by linking two unrelated topics.

    For example, HubSpot’s social media and sex post generates interest in curious audiences and gives rise to content that will be shared and linked quickly and easily.

    At the beginning of this post, we said you should get creative, remember? 

    Imagine how you can make a difference by using creativity.

    Wrap Up

    Today, you learned about a new topic: link baiting, a set of strategies that can give your website visibility, authority, and engagement.

    Let’s review some of the most important points. You must:

    • Do a thorough study of the niche you intend to enter.
    • Define the objective, the format, and the type of content to be developed.
    • Create your buyer persona (and you can do this with our generator).
    • Produce valuable and differentiated content whenever possible.

    Also, don’t forget interactive content. This strategy is part of Interactive Marketing and should not be left out.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to be creative. Sparking the public’s interest is not an easy task, but there are many ways to do that.

    If you are innovative and original, you will undoubtedly fulfill the proposed objectives in your Marketing plan.

    And remember: in addition to link baiting, there is also link building. It is no secret that within Digital Marketing this is one of the most valuable and powerful SEO tools.

    Want to keep on learning about SEO? Then check out our SEO Guide!


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