This post from caught NetScope’s attention because it actually testing in real world examples, in other words case study with data, the results of one such tool. A link building tool, Zemanta?
Some great insights here. As with many of the interactive or digital tools that have proliferated (and continue to do so), the bottom line comes back to the knowledge of the marketers on your team. Platforms are just platforms, people that know how to use them is definitely a key that you should look at when deciding on digital partners. The tool is only as good as the user but you have to start with the performance and service of the tool. At that intersection is where you can begin to achieve marketing value and optimize ongoing results.
One of my favourite talks from SearchLove London 2013 was Hannah Smith’s ‘23, 787 Ways To Build Links in 30 Minutes’.
Among Hannah’s tips for sustainable link building, she mentioned a neat tool that helped her pick up 257 links at around $14 per link.
This tool was Zemanta, a seemingly fantastic way of providing scalable outreach.
We are always looking for ways to improve our outreach process so I was very eager to give Zemanta a try, especially after hearing what the company had to say.
Their pitch was very promising: Our content would be placed in front of bloggers who were just about to write related posts, and the better the content the more links we would get. What is more, the case studies featured some outstanding links from big sites such as Forbes.com, Wall Street Journal, etc.
When I read Moz CEO Rand Fishkin’s quote, I was sold:
I’m not just a fan, I’m a believer – Zemanta is a remarkable way to build great links.
We decided to test Zemanta with 10 infographics that we knew had already done well during ‘cold outreach’ to see how many links we could get.
10 infographics, 30 days, $1,318.72 investment: the results
Total Earned Links: 21 (as reported by Zemanta)
Cost Per Link = $62.79
Although the results weren’t quite the ‘under $20 per link’ I had imagined, at first glance didn’t look that bad. Managing the outreach for our outreach campaigns in house, I know all too well the importance of quality links. So I decided to take a deeper look.
In exploring the links further, I was shocked. I found that nearly 20% of the links were out of action. Two blog posts had been removed, One site was offline and another site was 301 redirected.
21 links has now been reduced to 17
I then checked how often these blogs were updated. After running the report, I found out that the last posts made by four of the blogs were over six months ago.
17 links has now been reduced to 13
I then pulled these links in order to remove any blogs with a citation flow of zero. Shockingly, five more links were crossed off the list.
13 links is now eight
I then explored the eight remaining links as ranked by Moz Rank:
The average link from this campaign had the following characteristics:
Majestic Citation Flow = 14
Majestic Trust Flow = 5.5
Moz Rank = 3.70
5 of the sites posted within the last 3 days
3 of the sites last posted over 1 month ago.
Total cost for one of these links = $164.84
Maybe I at this stage, I shouldn’t have expected anything more, but there was not one editorial link.