Those who have read my books on SEO know that I am a strong advocate for creating value content on the web as opposed to what can only be called ‘Traffic Bait’ (i.e. content created for the express purpose of attracting traffic to a website). There are times however when creating traffic bait can be a legitimate marketing move and in that case it helps to know some of the rules regarding the creation of content for high volume traffic.
First, however, it helps to actually examine when you might need to create some traffic bait to begin with. Bearing in mind that a website always does best when it has targeted traffic there are still occasions when a bulk of perhaps less relevant but nevertheless welcome traffic may be required. This is when:
- A new generic product is being launched.
- You are trawling for traffic on your website to get a boost.
- You are launching a competition and want to create a viral publicity wave.
- You are trying to build a list of potential leads to market to.
- You are holding a sale or have special offers and need foot traffic.
There may be several variations or combinations of these. The essential element is that when you need traffic in order to start creating new leads and drilling down to relevant customers you need to have traffic bait.
Rules For Creating Traffic Bait Content For your Website
If you are going to go into all the effort to create Traffic Bait you need to get it right:
1. Talk about something everyone has an opinion about. Religion and politics are a good start but they tend to polarize opinion so it’s best to steer clear of them unless you are really going for noise in which case they are fair game as subjects.
2. Adopt a position which is extreme. You will state that you either love or hate XYZ. By staking out one end or the other of the discussion you leave the field wide open for the world and his wife to leap in and stake their claim.
3. Keep it simple. Technical subjects put people off as they do not feel comfortable commenting without sufficient expertise. Keep it generic enough for their emotional response to kick in however and you suddenly have a really good chance of getting them engaged in a discussion with those commenting which goes on and on and on and on. Make sure you have a social media commenting and sharing system on your post -Facebook, Twitter and Disqus at the very least.
4. Fuel passions. It’s not enough to create the content. You need to fuel the controversy around it with a suitable headline. For instance, ‘Why XYZ will fail’, ‘XYZ never gets it’, anything along these lines produces an instant, initial, emotional response in the reader which then fires them up to go into the post, read it and the comment.
5. Do not overwrite. You need to be careful here to keep the length of your post to about 300 – 350 words max. Any tendency to overwrite will get the readers thinking and thinking readers do not often get drawn into online controversies. What you need here are impassioned comments which will attract more comments so get your readers while they are ‘hot’ with a piece which is long enough to fuel their ardour and short enough to get them while they are all fired up.
6. Remain silent. While engagement, in most circumstances is a good thing and a writer ‘talking’ with those who read his piece and comment on it is perfect, this is not what Traffic Bait is for. What you want is a piece which goes viral and for that to happen you need to keep quiet and let all the readers do the hard work for you. This is exactly what the previous five steps have been for.
Follow this advice and you will end up with the perfect Traffic Bait for your campaign. Use judiciously and with care and you will see rewards when you most need them.