Getting backlinks is crucial to ranking your startup or new website on the first page of Google. So in today’s video, I’m going to be sharing with you how to build tools that will naturally get you backlinks from your prospects, as well as your customers. By the end of this video, you’re going to see two clear examples of startup companies that are doing this exact tactic so that you can start to learn from them and master this for yourself.
Tactic for today: Build tools that solve your prospect’s problems
Digging right in, the tactic for today is to build tools that you solve your prospect’s problems. When you think about the niche that you’re serving, I want you to ask yourself what people are often trying to figure out. Whether it’s some sort of question or some sort of calculation, these are the sorts of things that make for great tools and it’s these exact problems that you’re going to want to solve with the tools that you create on your website.
An extra bonus for you is when you’re thinking about this, what I want you to consider is how that tool relates to what your business or website does. If you can connect a way in which you are solving your prospect’s problem while also helping them understand where your business intersects with that problem, then you are potentially going to make that into a lead gen tool for your startup.
Example 1: Hootsuite
For our first example today, we’re going to be looking at Hootsuite in case you don’t know what HootSuite does they’re essentially a social media calendaring app. So they allow you to connect things like your Facebook, with your Instagram and your Pinterest, and essentially plan out your entire content calendar.
This means that the most likely customer that they are serving are social media influencers, as well as potentially directors of content or marketing teams at different startups who want to make sure that they are growing their presence on these different channels. So naturally that leads us to the question of whether or not social media marketing is even something that can generate an ROI.
Tool: Social ROI Calculator
And that leads us to the tool for today that Hootsuite team has created. What they’ve created is a social ROI calculator. So right off the bat, we know that this is going to be effective in their respective niche because Hootsuite is all about social media calendaring. And so in this situation, they’re directly solving a particular problem that people in their space often face in which they’re trying to answer questions, like, is it worth it for us to be posting five times a week on Instagram?
Now what’s cool about this tool is that Hootsuite has made it super interactive. So what you can see here is I can change things with this slider where I can change it to like 25% landing page conversion rates. I can change my close rates to maybe 70% and all of this is leading to a change in my calculated return on investment. And so this is really cool because then if I am a marketing manager going to my head of marketing, trying to pitch a particular ad campaign of mine, I can actually tell them what that potential ROI is for that campaign.
Another thing I really like about Hootsuite is that they’ve made it really easy to share this exact result. So if you scroll down on this page, there’s this one click to copy option in which you can actually share the exact result of the thing that you’ve manipulated in this calculator. Aside from just this one click to copy link, they’ve also made a great as a lead conversion opportunity because right after they have calculated the ROI, they are sharing with the potential person on this page a solution to them being confused about how to think about this ROI.
So you can see here that they have a link to their social ROI toolkit. And if I were to imagine, if I click this, it is indeed a lead gen page. And so this is a landing page conversion form in which from here, this is generating leads for Hootsuite’s business. If you see my recent video in terms of the importance of landing pages, then you know why this page is money for them, because it means that more people are going to come into this page, and they’re going to use this calculator for free and then convert from this calculator to becoming a qualified lead for their business.
How does this relate to backlinks?
the thing about these tools is that these tools are always going to be great backlink opportunities. And the reason why is because these naturally lead to tons of people being interested in the outcome of the calculator and wanting to share those results with others.
So what you can see here is that when I put this particular URL for the ROI calculator of Social from HootSuite this particular page, or this widget has already generated 454 backlinks, 77% of which are do follow links. So right off the bat, we know that this is valuable to Hootsuite because it’s generating tons of backlinks for their business.
And aside from that, you can see how there are 106 different referring domains of those 454 backlinks. So this is clearly a working strategy for Hootsuite because tons of other domains have found it valuable enough to link back to this particular resource.
Example 2: WordStream
For our second example today, we’re going to be looking at WordStream in case you didn’t know, WordStream sold a few years ago for $150 million and their founder, Larry Kim has actually shared this exact strategy in different growth conferences in the past. And so what you need to know about WordStream is that essentially what they do is they help make online advertising easy. And what that means for you with context to today’s video is that we should be looking at some sort of tool related to online advertising. And that is actually exactly what WordStream’s team created.
Tool: Google Grader
They created this tool that they called the Google Grader. And so this hero section essentially says, how are your Google ads really performing? And this is a great provocative question because it’s a question that anybody that has ever spent any money on paid acquisition has asked. They’re always wondering whether or not their Google ads are being performed.
And so this is a tool in which the WordStream team has made it super easy for you to figure out exactly how your Google ads are performing. And what you can see here is that they make it really easy to check out a sample demo of what this tool is going to give you. So within a click, I am able to start to demo some of the result that might be generated from this particular tool. And so this is really helpful because this essentially gives me insights that might be either harder to come up with with respect to Google ads as dashboards, or it’s just something that I’m not actively thinking about when I’m working on my ads right now.
So you can see things like the performance metrics, the size of the account, wasted spend which is a great data insight. The reason why insights like wasted spend is really interesting is because these are the sorts of things that people are not going to often be able to conceptualize when they’re view data.
When it comes, especially to data, people often struggle to identify the relationship of trends to overall outcomes. And so in this situation, what this tool is doing is they’re making it super easy to see some things that might not necessarily be really transparent when you just look at it with the naked eye.
And so this is a really cool tool because you’re essentially able to get meaningful advice on the performance of your Google ads. And just like we saw in the Hootsuite example, as we store away down on this page, they have other ways in which they are converting on these folks in which they are having them request a call at the footer page, as well as just having another call to action for this tool.
How effective is this tool for backlink building?
So you may be wondering how effective has this tool been for WordStream and its backlink profile? Well, the answer has been super effective. In fact, when I ran this through the backlink checker, this particular tool has generated 10,407 backlinks, 91% of which have been do follow links and over a thousand different domains have linked back to this site.
So what this tells you is that this definitely hit on a particular pain point in the niche that the WordStream team helps solve for. And what that should tell you is the power behind these tools in which what you saw in the first example from Hootsuite was a tool that had generated several hundred backlinks. However, what you see in the second example is something that’s even 10X that particular result in terms of getting over a thousand referring domains for this particular site.
In case you haven’t connected the dots yet, these tools are super valuable for these businesses because they not only serve as lead gen opportunities in which they’re solving a particular prospect’s need, but they also signal back to Google with all these backlinks that this particular business is really good in this space.
So it serves two functions, which means that it’s a leveraged opportunity. And whenever you’re building your business, especially in early stage startup or a website, you want to create opportunities for you to have leveraged. It’s only by doing something once and getting results twice that you’re going to be able to move faster than your bigger incumbents or competitors.
So to apply this for your own business or whatever, thinking about some common questions or calculations, people are often asking and how they connect it back to your own business or site, and then distribute that particular tool and start to get some backlinks for your website.
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