Link Building with Google Ads

So we spent one thousand two hundred and forty five dollars on Google ads to see how many Balcones we could get in to see if PPC advertising is a viable building strategy. And if you want to see the process and results, then stay tuned. What’s up, everyone, Sam, here with us, and this is the final part of our three part series on creating a stats page and actually building links to it. So if you’re new to this series or just like the sound of my voice, then let’s go through a quick recap. In part one. I showed you how we created our stats page at face value. It looks like any other stats page, but we strategically chose the data by looking through our competitors background profiles. And in short, we are looking for a link worthy and outdated stats in this. Let us nicely into part two, which was all about link building through email outreach. And in this video I showed you every last detail of our link building campaign from our process to the email pitch and of course, the results. And here we are today in part three link building with Google ads. And how appropriate is it that we finish off with this tutorial? After all, this entire case study started with the PPC experiment to build backlands. So today I’m excited to share the results from two PPC campaigns that I ran to generate links. Now, before I show you the campaigns, it’s important that you get some context as to how this whole series began. About a year and a half ago, we published the study to find out how many new backlog’s top ranking pages get over time. And in that study, we wanted to find out if top ranking pages rank high because they get lots of links or do they get lots of links because they rank high.

So Tim introduced the concept called the Vicious Circle of SEO. And it looks something like this. People search for something and read the number one result. Some of them will link to that page from their own websites. And because of the new links that no one page stays at the top, creating a virtually endless loop of total domination. Now, when I read this, a lightbulb immediately went off. If people are actually linking to top ranking pages simply because, a, it’s the first page they clicked and B, the content was good enough to satisfy their immediate needs, then why not just focus on creating great content and pay for ads to be at the top? Sure, Google doesn’t show ads for every search query, especially those that lack commercial content. But from my experience, they’ll still show them enough to get decent exposure. But hey, I didn’t want to just burn through money on an unproven concept. I needed to find enough proof that these ads would lead to links. So I went to Keywords Explorer in search for stats and statistics. Next, I went to the phrase match report. Finally, I wanted to see which Cori’s had ads in the survey, so I clicked on the features filter and selected Edwards top. From here, I search for one of the queries in Google that would show a typical stats page and then I clicked on the ad. Now, since Google ads always has tracking parameters and their other URL, I wanted to find a common footprint. And the one I found was G, C, D, which stands for Google Click Identifier. So to see if this page had actually earned some backlands from ads, I took the other outside explore and pasted it in. Next, I went to the back support and finally I entered the GC ID footprint in the include filter and sure enough, they had gotten three links as a result of their ads, but not from very good sites. So I searched for more queries like Remote Work Statistics and saw Harvard Business Review article I clicked on that took the euro and did the same thing I did before. Insight Explorer in this page had six links, three of which looked pretty decent. Now, the question is, how many links would an entire website like Harvard Business Review have that we can confidently attribute to Google ads? Well, I looked at all the domains backlands in one hundred and forty two of them included the GC ID footprint, some that aren’t bad at all. Now, it’s important to note that the majority of people will actually clean up the rolls before linking to them the fact that there was a good chunk of links that included the ugly. You, Earl told me that there was something here and I had to explore further. So a quick side note before we continue. You can’t just create any page and expect to get links from ads because other pages did. You don’t know how much people spent to get those links. The main purpose of the first experiment was to test this theory on so-called Lincolnton Quarry’s. The fact that people were actually linking to the same type of content where we could confidently attribute it to Google ads was just the icing on the cake. And I talk more about the power of keyword intent in part one of the series, so I’ve linked that up in the description. All right. So in the first experiment, I didn’t want to create new content because I felt we could validate the idea with a data that we had already published. So I created a duplicate version of this post. And just like for our outreach campaign, I noindex the page to make it completely invisible to everyone except those who saw it and click the ad.

Then I set up a simple search campaign in Google ads and basically just added a list of queries like digital marketing, statistics, statistics, Equifax and so on as phrase matches. So the ad ran from the week of February, twenty fourth up until March 30th, twenty twenty. And in total we had four hundred and forty seven clicks to our page with a city of seven point zero five percent that works out to an average CPC of one sixty nine Singapore dollars. And the total ad spend for this campaign was seven hundred and fifty four Singapore dollars, which works out to around five hundred and forty dollars and eighty three cents in us. In total, we got 13 backings from unique websites. That’s a cost average of forty one dollars and sixty cents, which is really cheap in my opinion. And if you do the math, that means that two point nine percent of people who click the link were actually linking to this page. That’s bananas. Now, if you think these were a bunch of blog spot links, you’d be wrong here. The links we got to the page from the ad, all 13 links were from pages about SEO or content marketing. And our best link was one from WP Astra, which has a domain rating of ninety one. In fact, five of the 13 websites have a D-R 50 or higher. Now it’s important to note that two of the 13 links were scraper links, meaning a couple of low quality websites. Just republished the article from Astra. One has a dark thirty one and the other has a zero. So our true count from ads is actually 11 referring domains, which would bring our cost per link to forty nine dollars and 17 cents, which is still supercheap. Now let’s look at the eleven linking website’s domain level traffic in batch analysis tool. And we’re left with seven websites that had at least one hundred monthly organic search visits to their site. So assuming that these are the only seven links that would really do anything for our site, the cost per decent link works out to seventy seven dollars and twenty six cents. Still super cheap, considering it was a fully passive and ethical link building campaign. Now, there was an interesting thing I learned from this experiment. The time for someone to actually link to us took anywhere between two and a half weeks to three months. As I already mentioned, we started the campaign on the week of February, twenty fourth, twenty twenty, and ended the campaign around a month later on the week of March 30th. Now, if I sort the backlands report by first scene, you’ll see that has found our last link on a twenty second around three months after the campaign had ended. And our first link was found on March 12th, which is around two and a half weeks after our campaign had started. So if you plan to do any kind of advertising hoping to earn back links, then don’t expect to get instantaneous results. All right. So overall, my first campaign went very well. So I messaged Josh on Slok and I was like, yo, this campaign is working out pretty well. And he was like, no, but and I was like, if we had a list post of CEO or content marketing stats instead of a unique data study with just one stat, it’d make a lot more sense, especially since we’d be matching sturgeon. And he was like, I think it works well for Snapp’s actually. So why don’t we test you with the patient? Make sense. And of course I was down for that. And so it began and I won’t go through how we created the post and actually built links to it, since that’s in part one and part two of the series. So. Fast forward, and we now have an stats page strategically designed to build links and a huge difference, but this page is that it now matches search intent. So both Josh and I were extremely optimistic about this campaign, considering the results from the first one. So basically, I did the exact same thing with the PCTs. I loaded up some keywords, threw some money into it. And here are the results from our Google ads campaign. So the ad ran from the week of April 13th to the week of May 11th. So the same time frame as our first campaign. And in total we had one thousand two hundred and seventeen clicks, which is two point seven times more than our first campaign. We had a staff of ten point three one percent, which worked out to eighty one Singapore cents, which is less than half the CPC of our original campaign. And the total cost for our ad campaign was around nine hundred and eighty three Singapore dollars, which works out to seven hundred and four dollars and ninety six cents in US dollars. So we spent around one hundred and sixty four dollars more on this campaign, but got way more clicks. Now the total number of referring domains, just nine, meaning we spent seventy eight dollars and thirty three cents per referring domain, which again is pretty good. But as you know there could be some scraper links, low quality pages, et cetera.

So the number of decent links we actually got was four. And in my opinion, these four links are way worse than the links we got in our first experiment. So that brings the cost four to one hundred and seventy six dollars and twenty four cents, which I’d say is still kind of cheap, depending on who you’re talking to. Now, the question is, why did our links cost two point three times more for our optimize page? Now, while I can’t say that my answers are statistically sound here, my best guesses, number one, visitors to our page, we’re linking to the source rather than to our article, as I mentioned in part to at least five people. We contacted Link to the original source rather than us. And these are people who actually responded to us telling us that they link to someone else. So there were probably actually more than five people. So I think it’s reasonable to say that a good chunk of people who clicked our ad links straight to the source rather than to us, especially since we were targeting more or less the same keywords in our ad campaign. On top of that, we made links to the source extremely accessible and no regrets there because they deserve that recognition. Now, the key difference with our first experiment is that we used our own data, so we were the source. And the second reason is just good old lady luck. While it’s easy to think that most people searching for causes like statistics are dying to find a page to link to, that isn’t necessarily true. It’s a numbers game. And because we don’t know exactly why each person clicked on our ad, the most reasonable explanation is that we had some worse luck compared to our first campaign. Now, what I recommend running ads specifically to generate links. The answer is it depends. It’s impossible to truly measure the impact of our ads campaign, for example, that someone read our stats post, then read some of our other posts linked to them and maybe decide to become a subscriber to our software. What about the people who click through to our post and signed up for our newsletter? What’s the value of a newsletter subscriber? Basically we were paying for exposure and the result of that where some links at a reasonable cost average. So would we do this again if we had a topic that will be worth getting exposure and could potentially generate links? Absolutely. So if you’re currently paying for links in a way that could be frowned upon by Google, it might be worth experimenting with ads and targeting queries with so-called link content. It’s completely in line with Google’s webmaster guidelines. And from our small but mighty sample of links, the quality has been quite good compared to great links I’ve seen in other marketplaces.

So of course, we’re going to redirect the pages to combine our links. And in total we got around forty three solid referring domains to our stats page, which I think will be enough to land us a top two to five position for our target query as soon as those links are given credit. But who really knows? Now, I’d love to hear what you thought about our case study. And if you’d like to see more content like this where we share real practical experiments and processes with you, let me know in the comments and make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials.

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