One of the best ways (and in my opinion, the best way) to earn top-quality links is to create your own studies, surveys, reports, etc., and pitch them to online publishers. This is what we do at Fractl, because it’s a tried-and-true way to elevate organic growth:
Over the years, we’ve received a lot of questions about what results to expect. Sure, everyone wants links now, but where does the real growth come in, and how long does it take? And in either case, people want to know what wins they can report on to their superiors, even in the short-term.
There are so many benefits to this combination of content marketing and digital PR, and I’ll walk through what you can realistically expect, and feature examples and data from our experience working with Porch.com.
It’s true that content marketing is an investment, which I’ll explain properly in the next section. But there are certainly short-term wins you can celebrate and report on, and that can have an impact on your business.
We started working with Porch.com in early 2018. We created 4-5 content projects per month for them back then, and I’m going to show you two of our early wins — a small win and a big win — so you can get a sense of what’s possible as well as what’s probable.
This project was my idea, so naturally I think it deserved way more coverage. It was during the heyday of “Fixer Upper” featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines.
We secured top-tier coverage for it on Apartment Therapy, and while I would’ve liked to have seen more media coverage, there are still plenty of wins to identify here (and elements for you to keep an eye out for in your own content):
So, even in one average-performing project, you can get some great links and brand exposure.
Okay, “big” win is kind of an understatement. This campaign was a huge win and remained one of our top-performing projects for Porch.
We surveyed people of all ages to determine their cooking skills and confidence, and then broke the results down by generation. People found the results fascinating, and all-in-all, the project garnered about 50 dofollow links.
In measuring this project’s success, you can look at the same qualities I mentioned for smaller wins: brand mentions, link quality, and audience relevance.
But here are some other considerations for bigger wins:
There are plenty of short-term wins to this kind of work, but odds are you’re looking for sustained growth. That’s where the long-term benefits come in.
On our site, we have a full content marketing case study that details the impact of the work we did for Porch.com in the span of a year.
That includes building links from 931 unique linking domains and adding 23,000 monthly organic visitors to the site.
This is the kind of long-term growth most people are looking for, and the key is that all of this work compounds.
Building authoritative links is critical to off-site SEO, as Google views your site as more of an authority, which subsequently means 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, again signaling that you have quality content.
This is our philosophy on things:
And this doesn’t even include the brand awareness aspect that I mentioned before. Which is why, to really assess the long-term impact of a content marketing and digital PR investment, you can look at the following:
We ended up working with Porch.com for longer than a year, from about January 2018 to March 2020. In total, we earned them 1,894 dofollow links and the brand mentions and awareness that accompanied all of that media coverage.
But I want to show you what it looks like to get to this place of growth, and how it’s not by going viral on a monthly basis. It’s about sustained, ongoing work.
This is what it looked like for our work with Porch:
As you can see, we had some projects that earned a very high number of dofollow links. This often occurs when you’re producing a high volume of content over the course of many months.
However, the bulk of your content will fall in the average. Most of our work earned somewhere between 1 and 50 dofollow links, with top performers in the 50 to 100 range.
To see this spread, you have to keep doing the work. You won’t get all of those projects that earn 50-100 dofollow links right off the bat and in a row, and even if you did, while you’d get a big boost, it wouldn’t last you forever. You have to demonstrate your ongoing effort to provide value.
It’s true that content marketing is a long game, at least in order to see significant growth for your company. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t wins in the short-term. You can absolutely see a lift from a high-performing project and at the very least start setting up a stronger foundation for brand awareness and backlink building.