Link Building with Google Ads: Results from $1,245 in PPC Ads [Ep. 3]

So we spent $ 1,245 on Google Ads to see how many backlinks we could get and to see if PPC advertising is a viable link, building strategy. And if you want to see the process and results, then stay tuned.

, [, music, ]. What's up everyone? Sam, Oh here with Ahrefs - and this is the final part of our 3-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 1. I showed you how we created our SEO stats page. At face value. It looked like any other stats page., But we strategically chose the data by looking through our competitors'backlink profiles.

And in short, we were looking for link-worthy and outdated stats., And this led us nicely into part 2, which was all about link building through Email outreach.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 3 link building with Google ads. And how appropriate is it that we finish off with this tutorial Afterall? This entire case study started with a PPC experiment to build backlinks.

. 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 a study to find out how many new backlinks 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 a concept called & quot the vicious circle of SEO & quot, and it looks something like this. People search for something and read the # 1 result.. Some of them will link to that page from their own websites.

And because of the new links that # 1 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 intent, but from my experience they & # 39.

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 Ahrefs'Keywords.

Explorer and searched for & quot stats & quot and & quot statistics. & quot. Next, I went to the Phrase match report.. Finally, I wanted to see which queries had ads in the SERP., So I clicked on the SERP features, filter and selected & quot Adwords top.

& quot From here. I searched 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 have tracking parameters in their URL. I wanted to find a common footprint.

And the one I found was GCLID, which stands for & quot. Google Click Identifier. & quot, So to see if this page had actually earned some backlinks from ads. I took that URL to Site Explorer and pasted it in.

. Next I went to the Backlinks report. And finally, I entered the & quot gclid & quot 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 & quot remote work, statistics & quot and saw Harvard Business Review's article.. I clicked on that, took the URL and did the same thing I did before in Site Explorer.

, And 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 of the domain's.

Backlinks and 142 of them included the gclid footprint some that aren't bad at all.. Now it's, important to note that the majority of people will actually clean up the URLs before linking to them. The fact that there was a good chunk of links that included the ugly URL 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 & quot link-intent queries.

& quot. 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 1 of this series.

So I've, linked that up in the description., Alright. So in the first experiment I didn't want to create new content, because I felt we could validate the idea with a data study we had already published.

, So I created a duplicate version of this post and just like for our outreach campaign. I noindexed the page to make it completely invisible to everyone except those who saw and clicked the ad.. Then I set up a simple search campaign in Google ads and basically just added a list of queries like & quot, digital marketing, statistics & quot & quot, seo, statistics & quot & quot, seo, facts & quot and so on as phrase matches.

. So the ad ran from the week of February 24th, up until March 30th, 2020. And in total we had 447 clicks to our page, with a CTR of 7.05 % That works out to an average CPC of 1.69 Singapore Dollars. And the total ad spend for this Campaign was 754 Singapore dollars, which works out to around $ 540.

83 in USD.. In total, we got 13 backlinks from unique websites., That's, a cost average of $ 41.60, which is really cheap in my opinion., And if you do the math, that means that 2.9 % of people who clicked the link were actually linking to this Page.

, That's, bananas. Now, if you think these were a bunch of blogspot links, you'd. Be wrong.. Here are 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 WPAstra, which has a Domain Rating of 91.. In fact, five of the 13 websites have a DR 50 or higher.. Now it's, important to note that two of the 13 links were scraper links.

, Meaning a couple low-quality websites, just republished the article from WPAstra.. One has a DR 31 and the other has a DR 0.. So our true count from ads is actually 11 referring domains which would bring our cost per link to $ 49.

17, which is still super-cheap.. Now let's. Look at the 11 linking websites'domain- level traffic in Ahrefs'Batch Analysis tool., And we're left with seven websites that had at least 100 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 $ 77.26. 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 half weeks to three months.. As I already mentioned, we started the campaign on the week of February 24th 2020 and ended the campaign around a month later on the week of March 30th.

. Now, if I sort the backlinks report by First Seen, you'll, see that Ahrefs found our last link on May 22nd 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 backlinks, then don't expect to get instantaneous results., Alright. So overall, my first PPC campaign went very well., So I messaged Josh on Slack and I was like… & quot Yo.

This campaign is working out, pretty well. & quot And he was like ... & quot, Not bad… & quot, And I was like… & quot. If we had a list post of SEO 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 search, intent.

& quot, And he was like… & quot, I think it would work super well for a list of stats actually.. So why don't? We test it with a page that makes sense & quot 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 1 and part 2 of this series. So fast forward, and we now have an SEO stats page strategically, designed to build links.

And a huge difference with 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 PPC ads.

. 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 timeframe as our first campaign.

, And in total we had 1,217 clicks, which is 2.7 times more than our first campaign.. We had a CTR of 10.31 %, which worked out to 0.81 Singapore cents, which is less than half the CPC of our original campaign.

, And the total cost for our ads campaign was around 983 Singapore dollars, which works out to $ 704.96 in USD.. So we spent around $ 164 more on this campaign, but got way more clicks.. Now the total number of referring domains… Just 9 .

.., Meaning we spent $ 78.33 per referring domain, which again is pretty good. But as you know…there could be, some scraper links, low-quality pages, etc. 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 per link to $ 176.24, 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 2.3 times more for our optimized page? Now, while I can & # 39, t say that my answers are statistically sound. Here are my best: guesses. # 1. Visitors to our page were linking to the source rather than to our article.

, As I mentioned in part 2 at least five people. We contacted linked to the original source rather than us., And these are people who actually responded to us telling us that they linked 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 linked 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 deserved 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 queries like & quot seo. Statistics & quot 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. Would I recommend running ads specifically to generate links? The answer? Is it depends.

? It's, impossible to truly measure the impact of our ads campaigns.. For example, did someone read our SEO 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 clicked 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 were some links at a reasonable cost.

Average.. So would we do this again if we had a topic that would 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 & quot link-intent.

& quot. 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 grey-hat 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 43 solid, referring domains to our SEO stats page, which I think will be enough to land Us a top 2-5 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.

. And if you haven't watched the other two parts, then I highly recommend doing that. Now. Thanks for watching and hope you enjoyed this series., so we spent 1 245 on google ads to see how many backlinks we could get and to see.

If ppc advertising is a viable link building strategy - and if you want to see the process and results, then stay tuned, what's up? Everyone samo here with ahrefs - 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 seo stats page at face value. It looked like any other stats page, but we strategically chose the data by looking through our competitors, backlink profiles and, in short, we were looking for link worthy and outdated stats, and this led 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 backlinks.

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 backlinks 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 number one page stays at the top, creating a virtually endless loop of total domination.

Now, when i read this, a light bulb 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 intent, but from my experience they & # 39.

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 ahrefs keywords, explorer and search for stats and statistics.

Next, i went to the phrase match report. Finally, i wanted to see which queries had ads in the serp, so i clicked on the serp features, filter and selected adwords 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 in their url.

I wanted to find a common footprint and the one i found was gclid, which stands for google click identifier, so to see if this page had actually earned some backlinks from ads. I took the url to site explorer and pasted it in next.

I went to the backlinks report and finally, i entered the gclid 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 reviews article i clicked on that took the url and did the same thing i did before in site explorer, and 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 backlinks in 142 of them, including the gclid footprint, some that aren't bad at all.

Now it's, important to note that the majority of people will actually clean up the urls before linking to them. The fact that there was a good chunk of links that included the ugly url 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 link intent, queries 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 talked 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 study we had already published. So i created a duplicate version of this post and just like for our outreach campaign.

I no index the page to make it completely invisible to everyone except those who saw 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, seo statistics seo facts and so on as phrase matches.

So the ad ran from the week of february 24th, up until march 30th, 2020 and in total we had 447 clicks to our page, with a ctr of 7.05 percent that works out to an average cpc of 169 singapore dollars and the total ad spend for this Campaign was 754 singapore dollars, which works out to around 540 and 83 cents in usd in total.

We got 13 backlinks from unique websites that's, a cost average of 41.60, which is really cheap. In my opinion, and if you do the math, that means that 2.9 of people who clicked 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 are 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 91.

In fact, five of the 13 websites have a dr 50 or higher. Now it's, important to note that two of the 13 links were scraper links, meaning a couple low quality websites, just republished the article from wp astra one has a dr-31 and the other has a dr0.

So our true count from ads is actually 11 referring domains which would bring our cost per link to 49.17, which is still super cheap. Now let's. Look at the 11 linking website's domain level, traffic in ahrefs, batch analysis tool and we're left with seven websites that had at least a 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 77.26 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 24th 2020 and ended the campaign around a month later on the week of march 30th.

Now, if i sort the backlinks report by first scene, you'll, see that ahrefs found our last link on may 22nd 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 backlinks, then don't expect to get instantaneous results alright, so overall, my first ppc campaign went very well, so i messaged josh on slack, and i Was like yo, this campaign is working out pretty well and he was like not bad, and i was like if we had a list post of seo 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 search intent and he was like. I think it works super well for a list of stats. Actually so why don't, we test it with a page that makes 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 seo stats page strategically, designed to build links and a huge difference with 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 ppc ads. 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 1 217 clicks, which is 2.7 times more than our first campaign. We had a ctr of 10.

31, which worked out to 81 singapore cents, which is less than half the cbc of our original campaign, and the total cost for our ads campaign was around 983 singapore dollars, which works out to 96 704.

96 in usd. So we spent around 164 dollars more on this campaign, but got way more clicks now the total number of referring domains just nine meaning we spent 78 dollars and 33 cents per referring domain, which again is pretty good.

But as you know, there could be some scraper links, low quality pages, etc. 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 per link to 176 dollars and 24 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 2.3 times more for our Optimize page now, while i can & # 39, t say that my answers are statistically sound.

Here are my best guesses number one visitors to our page were linking to the source rather than to our article, as i mentioned in part two 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 linked 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 link 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 queries like seo. 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. Would 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, did someone read our seo stats post then read some of our other posts, link to them and maybe decide to become a subscriber to our software? What about the people who clicked 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 were some links at a reasonable cost average.

So would we do this again if we had a topic that would 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 intent, 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 gray hat 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 43 solid, referring domains to our seo 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 and if you haven't watched the other two parts, then i highly recommend doing that now, thanks for watching and hope you enjoyed the Series


digital marketing pays

The Latest E-Business & E-Marketing News and Reviews!.