Expert Interview 018: Linkbaiting Tips with Chris Dyson

chris-dyson

One way to get the attention of your targeted audience on the web is linkbaiting. There are already tons of resources discussing this matter. But today, we can learn more about this topic from a recognized SEO expert, Chris Dyson.

chris-dyson

Who is Chris Dyson and where did you get the name “TripleSEO”?

I’m Chris Dyson, SEO, affiliate marketer and co-founder of Link Club. I live in Leeds, UK with my partner, two kids and senile old dog.

I’ve been a student of SEO for almost 7 years and I’ve been blogging about SEO and link building for just over a year.

The name TripleSEO came from a meeting with a former client who said:

“Hey, Chris d’ya know what would be better than SEO… double SEO”

I decided I’d go one better 😉

Who are your influencers when you were just starting out your career in SEO?

When I first started out in SEO I spent quite a bit of time following people such as Eli Aloisi, Aaron Wall, Todd Malicoat, Rae Hoffman, Michael Gray and Dave Naylor.

These days I associate with a collection of super smart folks /misanthropes and I am currently testing out my magnetic content skills in Lyndon Antcliff’s Link Bait Coaching

tripleseo

How should linkbait be used as a branding tool (one that can increase brand visibility and awareness)?

It’s important to remember that linkbait is just another part of the publishing tool set. Customers stick to what they know, they like familiarity, they trust what they know or what their peers recommend.

Linkbait can be used to get you in front of your target audience again and again.

Based on your experiences, what are the types of linkbait that are proven to be successful in the search industry?

The fortunate thing about the search industry is we appreciate the value of a link, and there is a very high percentage of people blogging either on their company sites or they have a personal site.

The basics work well such as tossing the {Insert Strategy} is Dead grenade, writing a comprehensive guide, curating a big list of useful stuff or doing egobait group interviews but these tactics have been done to death and often get passed over by many people.

The good thing about SEO’s is that they enjoy laughing at themselves and I think Emma Still got this down to a fine art with her SEO dude post and I got lucky with SEO World Problems. There are of course the usual tactics

The flip side to the coin is that the SEO community is quite small and built on the fact people help one another quite freely, everyone knows everyone, which means a lot of content that is aimed at discrediting someone or being incendiary against a group can get you links but it can also make you an outsider which isn’t great for future business opportunities.

It’s time to try some new things out, get out of the bubble and create content with a wider appeal than just other SEO’s

Can you show us a walkthrough process on how you create a linkbait for your blog or client’s site?

As with any type of content production I follow a very formulaic process.

Plan, Develop, Outreach, Measure

The planning phase involves looking at the target audience, the format/media of the content and most importantly the hooks you can use.

Then it’s a brainstorming phase, I often take the time to get away from the computer, switch off my phone and disconnect. I find the creative juices flow better when I am not plugged in to the matrix and my subconscious can do its thing. After that it’s a case of thrashing out the ideas and coming up with a great headline.

Only once I have a very good idea of the headline does the development process begin.

My skills are best placed in the outreach and planning phases so I normally manage the content creation element of the project by working with writers and designers who I know are capable of following the requirements.

Before we begin the outreach I normally have a list of contacts lined up, some will be warm leads, others will be cold leads. Prospects are segmented based on relationship and authority, templates for each segment are written and sent.

After the event it is important to assess the project and learn from it.

Linkbait isn’t a guaranteed way of getting links, a lot of baits will fail to hit the mark at first but only by creating, learning and adapting will you develop the skills necessary to make content that will land more frequently.

What are the things that a content creator should avoid in creating his/her linkbait?

When you are coming up with linkbait ideas it’s important to let your imagination run wild, forget the rules and let your mind wander go to the weird places because that’s often where the best hooks are.

But obviously once you have some ideas you need to go back to the client guidelines, if you don’t have clients to worry about then you can probably push things a little further.

  • Don’t plagiarize
  • Don’t slander
  • Don’t take advantage of tragic or controversial events
  • Don’t use the same Twitter account to send the same tweet to 100 different people in the space of an hour

What metrics do you use to evaluate your linkbait success?

The primary goal of linkbait is the links you earn, however it’s also important to look at social media shares, traffic, offline mentions, sentiment/perception and if you’re lucky you might pick up a few direct sales or email sign ups too.

All of these types of metrics will help you to understand what worked, what didn’t and help you to understand why.

For example if you got a lot of people sharing an infographic but no links why is that?

Did you offer an embed code on your site, did you not add the embed code to your outreach emails, did you not do enough outreach, was it the call to action, did you target the wrong people, was the content not up to scratch?

Just because you didn’t go “viral” did the increase in goal completions offer a positive ROI?

How do you look for link prospects?

I’m a big fan of Scrapebox and more recently Link Prospector, both link building tools allow you to scrape search results on a large scale and at a very low price.

Another method I use is looking at content that has already performed well within a niche, or perhaps underperformed, and go one step better with it. Both Brian Dean and Jon Cooper have written a lot on this type of tactic.

I quite like Brian’s analogy of calling it the “Skyscraper technique”, as architects and developers compete to make their new building x% higher than the last record holder; you are trying to make your content x% better than the previous one too.

What are the factors that make a linkbait go viral?

Going viral should never be the goal… it has as much to do with luck than judgement, sometimes you might launch on a quiet news day in the niche, other times you stumble across an unknown piece of data or get picked up by an influencer who can amplify your reach, there are so many variables that you can’t control.

The most important factor of any linkbait is the hooks you use… if you get the strategy right, have the right content on the right platform, a solid outreach plan, with an amazing headline you can almost guarantee that you will achieve your deliverables.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years?

In the next 5-10 years… that’s a long time in internet years.

Hopefully I’ll have finally got around to setting up my parasol and deck chair hire business on the beaches of Southern Spain.

However, I have a feeling I’ll still be working out ways to make sure mine and my client’s digital properties are making lots of money one way or another, probably in PPC.

If you liked this interview, feel free to share it to your friends. Subscribe to my blog and follow me on  @venchito14.




digital-philippines-ebook

Get the Link Building Starter Kit

  • Six month link building plan for new and established websites
  • Actionable tips to assess and analyze your backlink profile
  • 11 solid ways to find ideas for your content
  • 11 outreach templates from the world's best link builders

Subscribe and get this awesome ebook today!

2 Comments

  1. 1

    Awesome interview. I totally agree with Chris about letting your imagination run wild when conceptualizing the hooks and the specifics of your link bait. With how everyone’s been using the same strategy over and over again, most webmasters think that the ones doing the outreach is spamming since the method of outreach seems very familiar.

    When you think of something out of this world, you are able to catch the webmaster’s attention and pitch your cause strategically

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

You May Also Like