Earning high quality links is difficult but it’s something we all know we have to do. To get such links we have to offer value in three 3 distinct ways – provide value to the end reader, provide value to the publisher we want a link from, and not least provide value to our own company or client.
If you’re able to do all 3 of these, your chances of getting those valuable high-quality links will be so much higher.
But how can you offer such value to three audiences that are so obviously different?
In this post, we’re going to look at some examples found through scanning Majestic results, and show how the companies that earned the links managed to provide great value across each of these three pillars. We’ll take one from an entrepreneurial beer company in Scotland, one from a small business in Australia and finally one from a large commercial bank in the USA.
In February 2016, this beer company made a highly unusual announcement. They released recipes of all of their beers – over 200 of them – to the public. That was especially attractive to those who wanted to brew their own versions at home. This was, of course, a highly unusual move – such recipes are usually closely guarded secrets.
But the release attracted many links including this one from the American Homebrewers Association. Majestic results show us both the source URL and the target URL – having a quick look at these pages is a great way to understand what value is being given.
Here’s the page on which the link sits (the source URL), Brewdog Releases All Beer Recipes for Homebrewers:
So why was the idea so attractive to the American Homebrewers Association?
Let’s highlight some of the text used on the page – Brewdog used language that would be attractive to homebrewers:
Look at the phrases used in the copy and quotes from the company – “our home brewing days”, “a small homebrew system” and “paying homage to their home brewing origins”.
These phrases are not part of a general news release – they are clearly aimed at homebrewers and by taking the time to use them Brewdog are tailoring their message and emphasising the company’s relevance to the Association.
What value did the reader get?
So in this case the reader was spoken to in their own language and they got a ton of free recipes to use in their own brewing. Brewdog are working hard to provide real value.
And the publisher?
The publisher, the American Brewers Association, got great content that was clearly targeted to their readers and of great value to them. So the publisher also gets great value.
And what value did Brewdog get?
Sure, they got a very valuable authoritative link – that’s great, but there’s much more.
Let’s look at the target URL, https://www.brewdog.com/diydog to see the additional value that Brewdog got from the exercise:
The page contains a short video and there is an obvious link for people to download the DIY recipes.
But look at the links in both sidebars and under the video – “equity for punks”, “expansion plans” and “investing in Brewdog”.
Clearly, the page is designed not only to give people the free recipes but to directly attract new investors to the company.
So we can summarise the values generated in this value matrix:
We can also do a quick analysis of the URL of the video in Majestic and we can see that this exact page attract links from 163 referring domains:
Small business example
Now let’s look at another example – this time from a telephone consultant Roger (the phone guy).
Roger, like many people, got fed up with nuisance cold calls on his phone. Rather than just get angry he created an app that let people have revenge on the spam callers by routing the incoming sales call to a robot – who would engage the cold caller in a wasted ‘conversation’ with the robot.
The page, http://jollyrogertelephone.com/how-to-send-your-telemarketers-to-this-robot/ got links from 86 referring domains:
Typical was this one from PC World.com, Tired of Telemarketers?:
Here’s how the Jolly Roger fits into the value matrix:
- The reader gets a bit of fun because they could redirect call and then listen in on what happened. It doesn’t stop the calls of course but it does give the user a little bit of revenge.
- The publisher gets a rather quirky story, that included a video recording demonstrating the service in action. Plus they were able to encourage their readers to take part by linking to the spoof site.
- Roger Anderson, the man behind the site got a lot of high quality links and relevant publicity – he also demonstrates his abilities in managing telephone services in a practical, memorable way.
Bank of America’s Merrill Edge
Now let’s look at the final example – an online tool from Bank of America’s Merrill Edge called Face Retirement.
The purpose was to motivate people to save for their retirement. The tool took a photo of the user with their own webcam – after getting permission of course! Then they could use a slider to see what the image was like when ‘aged’ by 10 years, 20 years, 30 and so on.
It is rather creepy to see yourself as you’ll probably look in 40 years time – but it is strangely compelling.
So the reader gets a compelling experience – who could resist having a sneak preview of how you look as you age? It’s also a tool that people would have fun sharing and talking about.
The publication, in this case a blog from AmericaSaves.org, while they don’t promote the service other than by linking to it, use it to reinforce their own message:
“Saving may be hard, but being broke is even harder.” And if you’re in need of some motivation have a look at your future fierce today!
Again the campaign takes all three boxes and it gets links from the highest number of referring domains in our examples. Majestic shows 345 referring domains linking to the tool:
And finally, the bank gets great value from the campaign – links, publicity and of course a high number of prospects for its retirement products.
Analysing links in this way gives great insight into the value each link campaign offers. Creating your own value matrix, even briefly, will give you insights into how you should plan your campaigns. Here’s the simple matrix created in a PowerPoint: