Many SEOs believe that link bait always has to take a long time to research, create and launch. Whilst I can see why this is, I know that there are a range of link bait ideas which are applicable to many sites online and can be launched pretty quickly. I'd like to give you some examples of these ideas below so that you can go and use them within your own industry.
The only thing to bear in mind is that for these ideas to work, you need a decent following and level of traffic already. These ideas aren't going to go viral on their own and bring tons of new traffic to your site, however they can generate a buzz if you have a community already.
Top 10 Screensavers or Wallpapers
This is a dead easy one and can be used in most industries. There are loads of websites out there that list 1000's of wallpapers in various categories. All you need to do is take a small screenshot of each one and provide a link. Nice and simple.
Top 10 Websites in your industry
This is a great one which can get you some good quality links. The idea is that you choose a range of websites in your industry and allow users to vote on which one they feel is the best. Where this works really well is in contacting the websites on the list, then asking them to encourage their own visitors to vote for them. This usually means linking to you from their own blog.
If you can do this for say 25 blogs, you are going to get a good amount of top quality links for a relatively small amount of effort. You can use a quick and easy poll tool like Poll Daddy which makes gathering the votes easy.
This idea really can apply to most industries, check this out from a garden shed supplier who look to have got decent links from this competition last year:
Once again, not totally original but these can pull in long tail traffic for a long time and it can attract links as a result. There are loads of ways to use this in many industries but if you truly are stuck for ideas, try some of these advanced search queries to help get inspiration -
These can bring back results which are how to guides that have been converted into PDFs or Word documents. This can help with your research and find ideas for where gaps in the market may be for this type of link bait.
Industry Stats and Figures
People love easy to digest graphs and charts. Many industries will have some kind of stats associated with them and you can get some good links from authority blogs by providing these. A great example of this is Auto Blog who publish monthly industry stats:
If you can't get hold of these stats yourself before anyone else does, why not take the stats and make them prettier? Sometimes just chucking them into Excel can be enough. If you owned a website to do with parenting, you could spend some time making the survey on this page look a lot nicer. As you scroll down the page, there are loads of survey results but all of them are in sentences as opposed to graphs.
We've all seen pictures and videos in our industry that have gone viral and lets face it, these are hard to produce. However a compilation of the funniest ones can get a lot of attention and links. An example of this was this collection of Facebook fails which was essentially just a bunch of images of funny Facebook status updates.
This can be a tough one but if you are looking for link bait ideas it is worth casting an eye over breaking news on Google or setting up some Google Alerts for your industry. Jumping on one of these stories first can often bring lots of traffic and links.
Here is an example of a search term that is probably about to go hot on Google. As I write this post, its a couple of days until the start of the fall in America. So I could knock up a post that talks about the fall starting on September 22nd in America and try to capture traffic as it goes really hot.
Tools for Link Bait Generation
Here are a few tools that can help with the process of creating link bait and coming up with ideas. This is sometimes the part that people struggle with so hopefully these tools can help.
Link Bait Generator - Give it a keyword and it will give you link bait ideas
SEOmoz Top Pages - Use Open Site Explorer to see which pages on other sites have got the most links and work out why