It’d appear like a comparatively commonplace submit, however we strategically created it to draw hyperlinks from an outreach marketing campaign.

And it labored. We despatched 515 emails and received 36 backlinks from 32 web sites.

The submit now ranks #1 for “website positioning stats”:

1 seo stats ranking

In this information, you’ll study:

Why did we create a statistics web page?

You’ve in all probability heard of the Skyscraper Method. It’s a hyperlink constructing tactic the place you discover a web page with numerous hyperlinks, create one thing “higher,” then pitch your new and improved useful resource to these linking to the now inferior web page.

It may work for any kind of content material, however we had a concept that it’d work notably nicely for statistics pages as a result of:

  1. Statistics pages are likely to have quite a lot of hyperlinks
  2. Statistics pages are sometimes outdated
  3. Statistics are sometimes sloppily up to date

Let’s delve a bit deeper into why every of this stuff matter.

1. Statistics pages are likely to have quite a lot of hyperlinks

Each ‘skyscraper’ marketing campaign begins with a web page or pages which have tons of hyperlinks. And in the event you search Google for statistics pages about any in style matter, you’ll nearly all the time see that the top-ranking pages have tons of backlinks.

Simply have a look at the outcomes for “youtube statistics”:

2 youtube statistics serp

There are a number of pages right here with hyperlinks from 1000’s of internet sites.

This normally occurs as a result of bloggers and journalists usually cite statistics from these pages of their posts.

For instance, have a look at this submit from Shopify about beginning a YouTube channel for your corporation:

3 stat shopify post

The author cites two statistics within the first paragraph and hyperlinks to his sources, certainly one of which is a curated checklist of YouTube statistics. It’s extremely possible that he got here throughout this submit whereas doing analysis for his article, discovered a helpful statistic, then cited and linked to the supply.

2. Statistics pages are sometimes outdated

Most statistics pages are not often up to date and sometimes characteristic outdated and inaccurate statistics because of this.

Right here’s only one instance:

4 outdated statistic

If we have a look at the supply of that statistic, it takes us to YouTube’s Press web page. Right here, it says there are over two billion month-to-month YouTube customers as an alternative of the cited 1.9 billion.

That’s a difficulty as a result of it leads bloggers and journalists to quote outdated statistics.

For instance, if we examine the Backlinks report for this web page in Website Explorer, seek for “1.9 billion” within the hyperlink anchors and surrounding texts, and toggle the “one hyperlink per area” swap, we see 55 web sites citing the outdated statistic and linking to the web page.

5 outdated statistic links

3. Statistics pages are sometimes sloppily up to date

Even when folks do replace their statistics pages, they don’t all the time do it nicely. One of many frequent errors they make is eradicating outdated statistics from the web page with out changing them with up to date ones.

The issue right here is that when statistics get eliminated, the citations and hyperlinks stay.

For instance, let’s examine the Anchors report for the checklist of YouTube statistics in Website Explorer. Many referring pages cite a statistic about YouTube being the third most visited web site on the internet. Nevertheless, if we search the web page itself for that statistic, it’s nowhere to be discovered.

6 outdated statistic anchors

That’s as a result of the creator up to date the web page and eliminated that statistic.

You may have already got a tough thought the place we’re going with this. If that’s not the case, don’t fear. We’re going to undergo all the course of beneath.

Right here’s what we did:

  1. Discovered a profitable matter
  2. Discovered hyperlink prospects
  3. Narrowed down the hyperlink prospects
  4. Created the statistics web page
  5. Discovered contact info and vetted prospects
  6. Wrote and despatched outreach emails

Step 1. Discover a profitable matter

From the beginning, we knew we needed to create a statistics web page about website positioning or on-line advertising as a result of that’s what our web site is about. Nevertheless, we didn’t but have a definitive matter in thoughts, so we first wanted to do a little analysis.

To start out, we searched in Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer for key phrases associated to our enterprise like website positioning, SEO, content material advertising, and many others.

7 keywords explorer seeds

From there, we went to the Phrase match report and used the “Embody” filter to seek out key phrases containing phrases like statistics, stats, information, and figures.

8 keywords explorer include stats


 Ensure that to toggle the settings on the “Embody” filter from “All” to “Any” when doing this. 

This gave us a bunch of concepts, however we wanted to slender them right down to these with top-ranking pages that had numerous backlinks. For this, we used the Key phrase Problem filter to exclude all low-difficulty key phrases.

9 keywords explorer kd

For those who’re questioning why we used the Key phrase Problem filter for this, it’s as a result of the metric is predicated on the common variety of referring domains to the present top-ranking pages. If a key phrase has a excessive KD rating, it normally means the top-ranking pages have hyperlinks from many web sites.

This narrowed down issues fairly considerably, however there have been just a few concepts left, probably the most related of which was “website positioning statistics.”

Lastly, we checked the SERP overview to make sure that the top-ranking pages had been largely curated statistics pages. It was fairly simple to inform if this was the case from the web page titles.

10 seo statistics serp titles

Step 2. Discover hyperlink prospects

If we had been operating a “shotgun” marketing campaign right here, discovering hyperlink prospects could be easy. We’d simply obtain the total checklist of backlinks to every competing statistics web page, write any outdated submit, then blast out the identical outreach e mail to everybody.

This is able to possible say one thing generic and imprecise like “Hey, noticed you linked to this stats web page. Ours is best. Possibly swap out the hyperlink?”

That is the standard “Skyscraper” strategy, and it’s not one thing we like. We’ve all been on the tip of some of these outreach emails earlier than. They’re spammy, unhelpful, and annoying.

So right here’s what we did as an alternative:

First, we went again to the SERP overview for “website positioning statistics” and appeared for the curated stats web page with probably the most backlinks.

11 seo statistics serp most backlinks

Second, we analyzed this web page to see which statistics had been answerable for probably the most backlinks.

To do that, we opened up the Anchors report for the web page in Website Explorer and appeared for incessantly talked about stats. Immediately, we noticed quite a lot of hyperlinks referencing how 93% of on-line experiences start with a search engine.

12 seo statistics 93 percent

We recorded this in a spreadsheet after which continued trying by means of the report till we had just a few in style statistics.

13 popular linked stats

Subsequent, we needed to tick off two checkboxes for every statistic:

  1. Are there sufficient folks linking due to this statistic?
  2. Can we justify an excellent purpose for them to hyperlink to us as an alternative of, or along with the present web page?

To do that, we first went to the Backlinks report for the web page, toggled the “one hyperlink per area” filter, then looked for every statistic within the hyperlink anchors and surrounding texts.

For the “93%” statistic, over 700 web sites had been linking to the web page.

14 backlinks 93 include

That’s the primary field checked.

Subsequent, we wanted to see if there was an excellent purpose to contact these folks, so we opened up the stats web page and went by means of this course of:

03 link building case study

For the “93%” statistic, we noticed that it wasn’t even talked about on the web page.

15 no stat on page

For many of our different statistics, they had been nonetheless on the web page, however once we checked their sources, we seen that many had been outdated and outdated. Wherever this was the case, we scoured the net for an up to date statistic.

Every little thing was then recorded in a spreadsheet to present us one thing that appeared like this:

16 statistics sheet

  • Column A: The URL of the statistics web page (the place we discovered the statistic).
  • Column B: The variety of linking referring domains citing the statistic (we additionally linked this to the filtered report in Website Explorer for simple entry).
  • Column C: The statistic itself.
  • Column D: The unique supply of the statistic (if we might discover it).
  • Column E: The age of the statistic.
  • Column F: The newer statistic (the place relevant).
  • Column G: The supply of the brand new statistic.
  • Column H: The age of the brand new statistic.
  • Column I: Notes and pitch angle concepts, akin to whether or not the statistic was outdated or lacking from the web page.

Subsequent, we repeated this whole course of for the remainder of the top-ranking statistics pages till we had 1000’s of prospects based mostly on eight statistics.

17 stats prospects list

Lastly, we downloaded all the related prospects for every statistic and web page from the Backlinks report, then imported them into Google sheets and labeled every URL in response to their section.

18 explorer segmented links19 site explorer export

In complete, we had 1,986 unvetted URLs.

Step 3. Narrowing down hyperlink prospects

Regardless of having a purpose to achieve out to 1,900+ prospects, we didn’t need to attain out to low-quality web sites for apparent causes. So our subsequent activity was to wash up our checklist of prospects.

Step one was to deduplicate URLs from the identical area since web sites might probably be linking to a couple of statistics web page. And we didn’t need to attain out to the identical web site twice.

This was simple sufficient to do. We simply added a column for the referring web site and used a instrument like this one to extract the basis domains in batches. Then we pasted them into our sheet.

We then used the built-in performance to take away duplicate domains.

Screen Recording 2020 07 17 at 05.24 pm

The second step was to take away prospects linking to the statistics pages with nofollow, UGC, or sponsored hyperlinks. To do that, we filtered the “Kind” column and eliminated the rows.

Screen Recording 2020 07 17 at 05.29 pm

The ultimate step was to exclude web sites with out quite a lot of visitors. To do that, we pulled domain-level visitors for all prospects utilizing the Ahrefs API and the script editor in Google Sheets.

For those who’re following alongside and don’t have an API subscription, you need to use our Batch Evaluation instrument as an alternative. Simply paste in as much as 200 domains at a time and set the goal mode to area with all its subdomains.

Screen Recording 2020 07 17 at 05.31 pm

You’ll be able to then export the file and run a VLOOKUP towards the basis domains.

By the tip of this course of, we had 902 prospects remaining in our sheet.

Step 4. Create the statistics web page

The fact of statistics pages is that it’s powerful to make one which stands out from the group. Nevertheless, we did three fundamental issues to make ours the “greatest” website positioning statistics web page:

  1. Included in style statistics from different pages
  2. Included different fascinating statistics
  3. Grouped statistics by class

Let’s undergo why this stuff are essential.

Together with in style statistics from different pages

We included every statistic that helped different comparable pages earn numerous hyperlinks in our submit. If the statistic was outdated, we discovered and added a newer one.

A part of the explanation we did this was to tie our web page again to our hyperlink constructing marketing campaign. Nevertheless, we additionally realized that these had been the statistics folks discovered most helpful. How do we all know? As a result of they’re those that bloggers and journalists incessantly cited of their posts.

Together with different fascinating statistics

The statistics on our web page didn’t all tie again to our hyperlink constructing marketing campaign. We made an effort to seek out and embrace others that appeared fascinating.

Nevertheless, we didn’t need to embrace any outdated statistics, so we made an effort to search out the unique supply for every statistic we needed to incorporate. If we couldn’t discover the supply or realized that it was outdated, we appeared for an up to date one.

This may sound like a small factor, but it surely’s really an enormous concern with most lists of statistics.

For instance, the “93%” statistic we discovered earlier comes from a 2006 report.

Grouped stats by class

Individuals don’t eat lists of statistics like they’d a daily weblog submit. Most are simply in search of curated info so as to add to their posts to help their claims. For that purpose, we wanted to make our submit organized and straightforward to digest.

To do that, we grouped the statistics into classes and added bounce hyperlinks to the introduction.

20 seo statistics page grouping

We additionally listed probably the most cited website positioning statistics below the “prime website positioning statistics” part at first of the submit. This made it simpler for folks to seek out probably the most incessantly cited and fascinating statistics.

Step 5. Discover contact info and vet prospects

Having printed our checklist of website positioning statistics (and noindexed the web page), we had been nearly able to do some outreach and construct some hyperlinks. However first, we wanted to seek out contact info for our prospects.

For those who’ve learn our information to hyperlink constructing at scale or watched our video on the identical matter, you then’ll know that we’re followers of utilizing APIs and automation for this.

With that in thoughts, right here’s what we did:

  1. We ran all of the URLs by means of a customized instrument to scrape as many creator names as attainable. It was removed from excellent, however we ended up with 741 names nonetheless.
  2. We took these names and ran them by means of Hunter’s API to seek for an e mail deal with. Hunter despatched again 452 e mail addresses. That’s round a 60% hit charge.
  3. We ran these e mail addresses by means of NeverBounce’s API to see which ones had been deliverable.

After round half-hour of automation, we had 168 legitimate emails, 92 catchalls that wanted some handbook intervention, and 178 emails that weren’t deliverable.

01 link building case study

For legitimate emails, all we needed to do was examine that the pages had been of first rate high quality. Vlad, certainly one of our staff members, dealt with this course of. He spent just a few hours every week vetting prospects and discovering lacking contact info.

Right here’s a simplified model of the vetting course of he went by means of:

02 link building case study

He then tagged all prospects within the spreadsheet, which left us with 515 websites able to pitch.

He additionally made a observe of what the linking pages had been about.

21 page topic notes

Step 6. Write and ship the outreach emails

Earlier than hitting ship, the ultimate step of the method was to jot down our outreach templates and create personalization fields for every prospect.

Our thought right here was to personalize emails based mostly on the statistic referenced by every prospect.

Right here’s what we got here up with:

Hello [First name],

I noticed you talked about how [Stat] in your web page about [Page topic].


We printed this and some different contemporary website positioning stats right here:

Unsure in the event you’re actively modifying posts, however could be price an replace in case you are? No strain 🙂


The primary three personalization fields had been easy sufficient as we already had this info in our spreadsheet.

For the pitch, we wrote eight customized paragraphs based mostly on the talked about statistics.

22 custom pitches

Lastly, we put all the things collectively in a single sheet and imported that into our outreach instrument: PitchBox. The outcome was a easy and personalised e mail for each prospect.

Right here’s an instance of the ultimate outcome:

Hello Josh,

I noticed you talked about how 93% of on-line experiences start with a search engine in your web page about ecommerce website positioning.

That stat is definitely 14 years outdated. Newer analysis (2019) means that this quantity has gone right down to 68%. I believe it’s decrease as a result of social and different sources now account for round 1/3 of visitors.

We printed this and some different contemporary website positioning stats right here:

Unsure in the event you’re actively modifying posts, however could be price an replace in case you are? No strain 🙂



Now all that was left to do was hit ship.

In complete, we despatched 515 emails. 473 had been delivered, and 42 bounced.

Primarily based on deliverable emails, that places our conversion charge at 5.71%, which means that 27 of the web sites we contacted linked to us.

Nevertheless, two different cool issues occurred:

  1. We received hyperlinks from 5 websites that we didn’t contact. That is possible as a result of some folks discovered our submit from others that linked to us and from the odd social shares. In complete, we had 19 shares on Fb and two on Twitter.
  2. Some web sites linked greater than as soon as. This was from each new and outdated pages.

If we take these issues into consideration, our marketing campaign introduced us a grand complete of 36 editorial hyperlinks from 32 distinctive web sites.

However, in fact, amount is barely half the sport. What about high quality?

Let’s break issues down by Area Score:

04 link building case study

9 of the 32 referring domains had a DR of 70 or higher. 12 had a DR of 40 to 69. And the remaining 11 had DR values of 4 to 39.

If we do the identical for estimated natural visitors, right here’s what we get:

05 link building case study

1 web site will get over 1,000,000 month-to-month search visits. 6 get between 10,000 and 1,000,000. 6 get between 1,000 to 9,999. 16 get between 100 to 999. And 4 get no search visitors.

Judging by standard website positioning metrics, then, a lot of the hyperlinks we received had been high-quality. After all, metrics like these aren’t foolproof, however having checked each hyperlink we earned by hand, I’d echo this conclusion.

Might we enhance these outcomes?

Regardless of having success with this marketing campaign, some may argue {that a} 5.71% conversion charge is nothing particular.

5 years in the past, that may have been the case, however outreach is getting more durable and extra individuals are asking for cash or one thing else in return.

That mentioned, there are two methods we might nearly definitely have elevated our conversion charge.

1. Negotiate with prospects

The conversion charge for our marketing campaign was 5.71%, however the reply charge was 17.55%. Meaning 83 folks responded to our e mail, however solely 27 linked to us (plus two folks we didn’t attain out to).

Whereas a few of these had been “thanks, however no thanks” kind responses, many had been requests for hyperlink exchanges and different issues.

Right here’s a fast breakdown:

  • 8 folks requested a hyperlink alternate;
  • 6 folks requested one thing else in return (e.g., free Ahrefs account, to share their content material on social media, and many others.);
  • 3 folks requested for cash

Shopping for hyperlinks is towards Google’s Webmaster Tips, so it’s not one thing we might ever do or suggest to others. However even when we exclude these folks, there have been nonetheless 14 individuals who appeared prepared to barter. With a little bit of backwards and forwards, we possible might have come to a mutually helpful settlement and satisfied these of us to hyperlink to us. That may have introduced our referring domains depend to 41, which is an 8.7% conversion charge.

2. Ship follow-ups

In accordance with Authority Hacker’s research of over 600,000 outreach emails, sending three follow-ups at the least doubled their outcomes. Nevertheless, we didn’t ship any automated follow-ups as a result of we didn’t need to hassle folks.

That can sound loopy to most hyperlink builders, however we solely ran this marketing campaign to check our tactic. Our purpose wasn’t to get as many hyperlinks as humanly attainable. That’s why we solely adopted up with individuals who mentioned they’d hyperlink to us however didn’t achieve this inside two weeks.

If we adopted Authority Hacker’s recommendation and despatched three follow-ups, our hyperlink acquisition charge would possible have been at the least 11.42%.

Ultimate ideas

Provided that we put quite a lot of effort into this marketing campaign and solely got here away with backlinks from 32 web sites, you may query whether or not blogger outreach continues to be well worth the effort. Fortunately, the reply to this query is easy: in fact it is.

Backlinks are nonetheless an essential rating sign, and there’s simply no different approach to construct high-quality white-hat hyperlinks with out outreach. Though we executed this marketing campaign over just a few weeks, it’s additionally price noting that it wasn’t all that difficult to arrange. If we had been to do it once more, assuming that we had somebody vetting prospects and discovering contact info, we expect we might arrange all the marketing campaign in a single working day.

Acquired questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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