One of the best (and in my opinion the best) way to get high quality links is to create your own studies, surveys, reports, etc. and share them with online publishers. We at Fractl do this because it is a proven way to increase organic growth:
Over the years we have received many questions about what results can be expected. Sure, everyone wants links now, but where does real growth come in and how long does it take? In both cases, people want to know what profits they can report to their superiors at short notice.
This combination of content marketing and digital PR offers so many advantages. I'll go over what you can realistically expect and provide examples and data from our experience with Porch.com.
It is true that content marketing is an investment, which I will explain correctly in the next section. But there are surely short-term profits that you can celebrate and report about and that can affect your business.
We started working with Porch.com in early 2018. We created 4-5 content projects for you each month at the time, and I'll show you two of our early wins – a small win and a big win – so you can. Get an idea of what's possible and what's likely .
The small win: "Fixer Upper" by numbers
This project was my idea, so of course I think it deserves a lot more coverage. It was during the heyday of "Fixer Upper" with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
We have secured first-class coverage at Apartment Therapy, and although I would have liked more media coverage, there are still many benefits to be identified (and elements to look for in your own content):
- Brand names: Veranda is mentioned four times in the article (six times if you count photo credits). Every time your brand is mentioned, you increase your brand awareness.
- Link quality: The article is linked to our project three times in a row! (Bonus: more links mean a higher likelihood of referral traffic.) The website has a domain authorization of 90, which makes it a very high-quality, well-deserved link.
- Audience relevance: Porch is about connecting people with house renovation companies. Her audience is likely to have a lot of overlap with the home therapy audience and is probably interested in improving the look of their homes.
- Readership of the publication: This is about the statistics of the publication, which can help you get a feel for the potential reach. SimilarWeb is used by tools such as Cision and Meltwater to highlight the readership of publications. In this case, Apartment Therapy ranks 17th in the Home Garden category and has an estimated 9.16 million monthly visitors.
Even in an average performance project, you can get some great links and brand awareness.
The big win: "Cooking Nightmares"
Okay, "big" win is kind of an understatement. This campaign was a huge win and remained one of our best performing projects for Porch.
We interviewed people of all ages to determine their cooking skills and confidence, and then broken down the results by generation. People found the results fascinating, and the project received around 50 Dofollow links in total.
To measure the success of this project, you can look at the same traits I mentioned for smaller wins: brand names, link quality, and audience relevance.
But here are some other considerations for bigger profits:
- Scope of coverage: The project went wild and received media coverage via Washington Post, USA Today, Bustle, Thrillist, MSN, Real Simple, Southern Life, Better Homes & Gardens and more. This reporting meant higher quality links and significantly higher brand awareness, also for a more general audience.
- Type of brand mention: Where and how is your brand mentioned exactly? For example, they mentioned Porch.com in the Washington Post reporting and the thrillist in the second sentence. Bustle included a description of what Porch.com is: "An online resource for connecting homeowners and contractors" that not only publicizes the Porch name, but also explains what they do.
- Author Connections: The more authors are happy with the pitching, the more likely they are to open your next email. Any secured media coverage is a win in this way, but an important element that is often overlooked.
There are many short-term successes in this type of work, but chances are that you are looking for sustainable growth. This is where the long-term benefits come into play.
Visit our website for a full content marketing case study detailing the impact of the work we did for Porch.com within a year.
This includes creating links from 931 unique link domains and adding 23,000 monthly organic visitors to the website.
This is the kind of long-term growth that most people are looking for, and the key is that all of these work relationships exist.
Creating authoritative links is critical to off-site SEO, as Google sees your website as more of an authority, which means that your on-site content is more likely to rank higher. And when people see your brand mentioned in the media because you've completed these interesting studies, they're more likely to click on your content when they see it later because they're familiar with you, which in turn signals that you're over qualitative high quality content.
This is our philosophy regarding things:
And that doesn't even include the aforementioned brand awareness aspect. To really assess the long-term impact of an investment in content marketing and digital PR, you can look at the following:
- Condition of the backlink portfolio: High-quality, relevant links are always appreciated, even if they are older. However, newer links can signal Google that they remain relevant and continue to actively offer added value for the audience.
- Mentions of organic brands: If your brand name is consistent in the media, it increases the likelihood that people will know who you are. Are your brand searches increasing? What are people looking for in connection with your brand? Do you often appear organic in content?
- Organic traffic: This is the most important metric that many focus on because, as mentioned earlier, collecting brand coverage and links from top publishers means strengthening your authority, which improves your chances of ranking on Google and the audience to trust everyone what effects on your organic search numbers.
We have worked with Porch.com for more than a year from January 2018 to March 2020. In total, we earned 1,894 dofollow links and the brand names and awareness that went with all of this media coverage.
But I want to show you what it looks like to get to this place of growth and how not if you go viral every month. It's about sustainable, continuous work.
This is how it looked for our work with Porch:
As you can see, we have had some projects that deserve a very high number of dofollow links. This often occurs when you produce a high volume of content for many months.
However, most of your content falls on average. Most of our work has earned between 1 and 50 dofollow links, with top performers ranging from 50 to 100.
To see this spread, you need to continue working. You won't get all the projects that immediately earn 50 to 100 dofollow links in a row, and even if you did, you wouldn't take forever, even though you would get a big boost. You need to demonstrate your continued value creation efforts.
It is true that content marketing is a long game, at least to achieve significant growth for your company. But that doesn't mean that there are no short-term victories. You can see an upswing from a high-performing project and at least start to build a stronger foundation for brand awareness and backlink building.