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Finance / Forex B2B Case Study – PR SEO and Custom Outreach Link Building

Dan Fries
Last updated: Jul 09, 2020

Our client, a forex broker and publisher of finance news, was struggling to find high-quality link placements in their industry.

The Forex niche is notoriously ultra-competitive, making it a challenge to build unique, strong, and high-quality links. They reached out to us in the hopes of increasing brand awareness and organic traffic along with it. Most people working in FinTech and finance already knew of their brand as a go-to Forex broker. However, few people knew that the client  also provides high quality educational resources and tools used by countless traders and investors.

We knew that the quantity of links to the client would not be sufficient to reach their goals. To be successful, we needed to earn links from reputable finance sites so that the ideal target audience knew about our client and their products & services. Only by securing these strong, reputable media mentions within the Forex industry, and more broadly the growing FinTech space, would we be successful.


This B2B SEO/link building case outlines our overall strategy, and subsequently the results of earning high-quality finance backlinks in arguably the most competitive SEO niche on the internet today. Getting these links may look easy here, but there are a lot of moving pieces under the hood that make it work.

Organic Traffic Graph

The first thing we had to do when planning this campaign was throw out conventional SEO wisdom around “what makes a good link,” and instead think using first principles. Also keeping in mind that links – and more broadly, media mentions – help with many other goals, such as social media growth/distribution, brand building, more direct referral traffic, and so forth. Simply getting strong links – by SEO standards – wasn’t going to cut it.

How did our client’s traffic skyrocket only months after we started the campaign?

Here’s how:


1. We Researched What Finance Publishers and Audiences Want

After conducting several months of preparatory market research, we had a good sense of the ideal target for our outreach campaigns. Further, we were able to calibrate the pitch – and the target – based on the responses to our pitches (or lack thereof).

This ongoing research was revealing: it showed a consistent pattern in the cadence of outreach – and types of content – which appealed to our points of contact at the target sites. What we quickly realized after starting the campaign was this: our client’s content had to hit on a deep emotional trigger in order for sites to want to run the story. It did not matter how informative, how well-designed, how actionable, nor how data-driven the content was; the only thing that 100% of our successful pitches had in common was that it struck a chord.

After the first month or so of our outreach marketing campaigns (and our own hands-on experience — we’ve done more than our fair share of forex trading), we ascertained that the most-beloved financial content that quickly demonstrates new tactics that allow you 1) make money, or 2) save money.

It’s also worth mentioning that our short- to medium- length pitches fair better than highly customized pitches (approximately 63% of positive responses to the first pitch were shorter, more direct, and more conversational in tone — counterintuitive to our own assumptions, and to previous experience in other niches).

In other words, get to the point quickly and succinctly; financial publishers know that their readers have short attention spans.

As mentioned, we’d emailed hundreds of editors and journalists using highly-personalized emails that focused on the emotional, actionable elements of the clients’ content. After some small iterations, the rate of positive response started to go up, indicating that we were finding our groove. Take a look at some of our responses (this one from the Wall Street Journal):

Reply from WSJ

As this response shows, finance and business publishers are thrilled when they get data-driven, well-researched content that actually matters to their audience (ie, is topically and emotionally salient to their lives). When you put in the work to create amazing content, editors not only welcome you with open arms but are often grateful.


2. Our Outreach Marketing Team Accommodated Unique Requests

When it comes to doing outreach marketing, we like to think that our team is the best in business. When we start email outreach campaigns, they write hyper-personalized pitches that not only match the content but also the editor to whom the email is addressed. (You’d be amazed at how personal we get with the pitches.)

If – and when – the editor replies, they typically request more specifics about the content. Or, if we’ve done our job well and chosen a topic they are likely to cover, they will find a place to include it in one of their upcoming columns.

reply from FT Editor

It’s worth noting that we as PR SEOs and content marketers have little control over exactly how an editor chooses to include our client’s link. However, the end goal is the same: securing the mention (and link); so long as that’s achieved, we’ve done our job.


3. We Land Strong, Reputable Media Mentions

All in all, our client was thrilled by the success of the campaign. Experts at SEO and PR in their own rite, they knew just how difficult it was to link to a major forex platform from big finance sites — many of whom target the exact same keywords!

By working closing with our client’s SEO team, and getting buy-in from their management, we were able to land some truly incredible media mentions on sites that eclipsed their previous 3-4 years of link building work.

cnbc,wsj,bloomber,FT and Barrons logo

And the only way to get there was through carefully crafted outreach and content research, done in a way that cuts through the noise of an editor’s inbox and creates a clear, unique signal.


RESULTS

Each step in the process outlined above was necessary to achieve the results for our client. Done individually, the campaign would likely have not achieved the same level of success – or any success for that matter.

Organic traffic growth:

cnbc,wsj,bloomber,FT and Barrons logo

Each step in the process outlined above was necessary to achieve the results for our client. Done individually, the campaign would likely have not achieved the same level of success – or any success for that matter.

First page keywords:

top organic keywords as shown in graph

At the end of the day, organic traffic is still the highest quality digital marketing traffic channel. When SEO traffic increases, keyword rankings go up, and our clients make more money.

Traffic value increase:

Increased traffic value shown in graph

The important takeaway is this: we’ve built a repeatable and predictable process for high touch, high-value link building that not only works for finance/forex websites, but any online B2B business seeking to grow its organic traffic.

Our research

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