Link Building Case Study: Working With

Jessica Thiefels on Thursday, June 14, 2018

link building case study

As it often happens, and I didn’t immediately connect to get started with link building. I reached out to them to submit a guest post for their blog, FounderU. I do a lot of personal guest posting, especially in the marketing and business space, to maintain my online presence in the industries that I’m focused on (which is why you should be doing it too).

What started as a conversation about my contribution to their site, ended with a long email thread. We discussed my link building services and how we could work together to drive traffic and SEO to their top pages. As I dug in, I was excited to see that they had truly valuable content that was applicable in a wide range of industries.

This is important because, as a writer and link building expert, my main goal is always to provide value above all. The quality of the links we’re using (and the content within those links) is a crucial piece of that.

With these details in place and their preferences and needs nailed down, we started work.

More: The Importance of Backlinks in SEO: A CMO’s Guide

The Details

Our Plan

  • Timeframe: October 1 to March 31
  • Monthly link goal: 4
  • Topics and industries: Business, entrepreneur, marketing, ecommerce
  • Total Selz links targeted for placement: 13

Our Results

  • Total links achieved: 16 links
  • Average Domain Authority (DA) of placement site: 60
  • Weekly organic traffic increase: 99%

The Link Building Value They Saw

Our efforts came to an end after five successful months of working together. I was very happy to hear that the work we did was not only effective in terms of volume of links delivered, but in relation to their traffic as well. Their Content Manager, Kristen DeCosta, told me:

“Our visitor numbers, sign ups, and sales are all averaging at an all time high right now. All of the backlink work we did together made a HUGE impact on this! Our organic numbers are STILL rising and our posts are still being impacted by the SEO juice we’re still seeing from many of your links.”

But that’s not all. They had hard data the proved the value of our work together:

“From the beginning of October to now (since we are still seeing the effects of the backlinks play out), there has been a 94 percent increase in average weekly unique visitors to FounderU, and a 99 percent increase in average weekly ORGANIC traffic to FounderU. WOAH!!”

As I read and re-read those results, I kept thinking about two important details:

Link Juice: You may see the results of link building (and the “juice” your site gets from those links) for months and years after our work together ends. As sites increase in DA and their traffic grows, your link gets more and more valuable.

This is also why it’s important to work with high quality sites that are likely to appreciate in authority—rather than small, poorly maintained sites that are likely to be hit by the next Google algorithm update. Your link value will tank along with it.

Link Building and…: Link building wasn’t their only content marketing effort. They were regularly creating great content and promoting it successfully. While link building is valuable, it’s just one piece of the whole content marketing landscape. It’s most effective when paired with other marketing efforts.

More: How to Boost Your Backlink Strategy With Legitimate Guest Posting

What Went Right

The plan is for every link building engagement to end this way—and my job is to make sure that happens. Still, there were a number of things that went right in our engagement. Here are a few that stand out to me:

  • We were aiming for four link placements each month. A single monthly placement won’t do much in terms of traffic. If that’s your goal, you have to open your budget.
  • Their Content Manager was always extremely communicative. She was very open to ideas and regularly updated their target link list to ensure we had plenty to work with. This allowed us to maximize our efforts together.
  • We had a clear plan in terms of what key phrases to use and how the links would fit naturally within the content I was creating.
  • Much of their content is thorough, and provides a lot of value to the reader. This made it easy to point to links as resources, rather than burying them in text; the latter of which I always try to avoid. This is where the traffic magic happens.

While link building has a long, storied history in the eyes of Google, it continues to be a valuable way to drive traffic to your site, boost SEO, and stay relevant in your industry—if you do it right. If you’re ready to see the same results, get in touch. Let’s work together to meet your rigorous content marketing and traffic goals.

Get started with link building!

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