SEOCausal in practice: Making a case for link building for a leading online health brand

In my last blog post on our SEOCausal tool, I walked through how we were able to accurately and precisely measure the impact of link building for a digital PR campaign. It’s an exciting evolution in our reporting offering, with many brands keen to understand how link building specifically can impact their organic performance. 

Demonstrating the true value of digital PR can be a daunting task, but reporting insights can serve as a guiding light to highlight the tangible outcomes of link building. 

In this piece, I’m excited to present a new case study for one of our clients where we’ve used our innovative SEOCausal tool to once again highlight the value of link building in addition to our typical, well-used reporting tools.

The campaign

In this latest example, our client, a market leader in the remote healthcare service world providing treatments from registered doctors, was looking to re-establish itself as the number one choice provider for online medicines across the UK. At a time when the NHS is under increased pressure, their services provide an ideal solution for those looking for convenience and discretion, with the credibility of real doctors. 

Through two content campaigns, we needed to reach target audiences in the places they turn to for information and cement the brand’s authority in health and wellness with a focus on key products – namely STI kits. 

The solution 

Our audience was 25-35-year-old digital natives who proritise convenience, speedy delivery, and discretion when it comes to getting medication. To start, we needed to identify trends that would resonate with them and that could be tied back to the product offering. 

Research uncovered that our audience was so digital-centric that they had a tendency to turn to unreliable online sources, like social media, for information on health concerns – especially sexual health, which can be a sensitive topic that people don’t even like to talk to their peers about. 

This put our client in an ideal position to be the source of truth, destigmatising STIs and providing an accessible source of reliable information and services from real doctors. 

To be successful, the strategy highlighted the need for the campaigns to have unique, ownable data, so we commissioned two surveys combined with desk research and commentary from our client’s doctors to add credibility. 

The research was brought to life by our copy and creative production teams, showcasing our methodologically sound data in an eye-catching and headline-worthy way. Our two campaign URLs linked to our target product pages, allowing customers to purchase relevant products and funnelling link equity to where it was needed most. 

We successfully built over 85 high-quality, relevant links directly to the two campaign pages, with many links from health and lifestyle publications regularly visited by the target audience. 

Building on these results, we provided ongoing monitoring through our interactive reporting dashboards and weekly reporting calls to stay on top of the latest updates and progress, tapping into current news trends and working with our client to spot new opportunities for growth. 

But, we also turned to our SEOCasual tool to understand exactly what impact the links we’d built had driven…

What are we testing?

Our hypothesis was that by building high-quality external links to the campaign pages on our client’s website, we could enhance the organic visibility of our client, boosting performance. Through the use of SEOCausal, we unequivocally validated this hypothesis.

How did we test this? 

The test measured the impact of all 85+ links targeting the individual campaign pages and the resulting impact on the internally linked target product pages. We then proceeded to measure the impact against a control set of other pages across our data warehouse. 

Test group

For better analysis of the results, we divided the impacts into two groups as follows:

Control group

We filtered through thousands of pages to find a small set of the best predictors. This control group then served as a guide for the model to simulate what would have happened if no links were built at all. 

For the final model, we selected the best predictors for each metric tested out of 163.5k possible matches, retaining 98% accuracy but returning results 80% faster.

The results? 

We ran the SEOCausal model on two different metrics to quantify the uplift of link building on the targeted pages, analysing impressions and position.

SEOCausal was able to look at the target page behaviour after the links were implemented and return a statistically significant measure of uplift.

Below, we can see how SEOCausal measured the impact of link building across our two groups for both metrics:

What does this tell us?

By using SEOCausal, we successfully demonstrated the positive impact our two campaigns and link building work had on our client’s performance. As the test achieved favourable outcomes across various groups, our confidence in reporting the value generated from link building increased significantly.

This serves as another prime example of the benefits SEOCausal can offer in showcasing the impact of links, and how it can be used to garner support from stakeholders for this type of activity.

If you’re interested in further understanding the many use cases of SEOCausal, want to try out a fresh test for any of your own properties, or simply wish to share thoughts on this post, please don’t hesitate to contact our team! 

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