I have previously shared my thoughts on creating lists for link bait. The main premise behind that post is: no matter how people might be tired of seeing lists of top tools/ site / blogs, lists still work – they are highly effective for both link and social media bait.
Today I am sharing my ways to build killer lists that both will be useful for people and generate links for your site.
Step 1: Find a tool / resource to base your list on.
To create a cool list you need at least one component of it to start with. Where you find it is up to you: it depends on your list topic and niche. I for one browse through SEO forums to see what question webmasters ask each other and what tools they would be interested in. Reader comments can be another constant source for list inspiration.
Step 2: Search Google for other similar tools / resources.
Once you know what your list will be about and already have one list component to start with (let’s call it “base component”), you can now expand your list using the most obvious tool: Google search:
- Use [related:] Google advanced search operator to find tools / resources Google considers similar to yours. Related:examplewebsite.com search returns other sites that have backlinks from the same domains and pages as examplewebsite.com. Example: if links to website1 and website2 appear on the same page a few times, Google knows that website1 and website2 are most likely to be related to each other and have similar topic.
- [Obvious] Use keywords that describe your list topic the best way plus Google advanced date range search to find most recent relevant resources. (A note aside: if you are like me and use this advanced search option daily, you might want to be able to access it from Google home page: check out this list of Greasemonkey SEO scripts to learn how to do that).
Step 3: Use social media to find similar tools / resources other people recommend and bookmark.
- Delicious tag search is an awesome way to find similar sites: first use URL search to find out what your “base component” is tagged with. Then use these tags to find other popular resources of the same type.
- Use Digg advanced search to look for most popular resources. Set the search parameters to “Title, Description and URL”, “Front Page Stories”, and “Sort best Match First”:
- Use Twitter advanced search and tools to find recently discussed sites on your topic. Quick tip: [keyword filter:links] search will return Tweets using your search term and containing an URL.