What Happens When a Major Blog Links to Your Site?

Mike McGrail Managing Director, Velocity Digital

Posted on January 8th 2014

What Happens When a Major Blog Links to Your Site?

10244854655_86486478f1_z On July 16th, 2013, the rather splendid Buffer blog linked to our blog within this article. I was pretty happy about that as I knew that their blog is very well read and hoped that this would lead to new traffic. Of course, there are the SEO advantages too, however, I looked at those as secondary - I was really interested in attracting a new audience.


On 10/01/13, I took this infographic from iStrategyLabs and popped it up on the Velocity Blog with some commentary. It was a pure piece of content curation and I knew that over time, it would send traffic to the blog. I paid particular attention to the headline and meta data (this is still very important!) but also ensured I added some text with key facts around the graphic as this not only adds value for the reader, but helps Google match search queries to the blog post. As I thought, the blog post did attract a lot of traffic over the year, and has been linked to many times. But it was when Buffer linked to it that cool things started to happen...

The major links increased...

The Buffer article was written by Belle Beth Cooper. Either Belle or Buffer must have a content syndication deal in place with a number of big blogs/websites, as Belle's article spread across some key players in the marketing/tech publishing arena and in-turn, generated links back to Velocity:

But did this achieve the new traffic I wanted?

  • The Buffer link has attracted 357 visits to date. 87% of those visits were new visits with a bounce rate of 72%
  • The Fast Company link has attracted 151 visits to date. 85% of those visits were new visits with a bounce rate of 80%
  • The Huffington Post link has attracted 77 visits. 89% of those visits were new visits with a bounce rate of 75%

While the actual number of visitors doesn't blow me away, I'm happy that it has generated a new audience (during this time, new email subscriptions to the blog has been at its highest) and the data tells me that people who landed on the blog/site from one of these links have gone on to visit other pages within the site and has generated 12 completions of the contact form on the site. These type of links are likely to continue to generate visits to the original blog that held the infographic. Since Jan 1st 2014, 18 visits have been generated by the four links.

What are the key takeaways here?

4550549518_eaa393d856_z Curation can be a very powerful when done correctly. The link back to the Velocity site isn't a piece of our content. To get a link like this back to one of our original posts would be excellent! The thing is, it took me 20 minutes to write up some blurb about that infographic, optimise and publish it. Now get this - the post on our blog with the infographic within it is the number one visited page on our entire site in the past year (over 16,000 page views)! It has driven serious traffic and has actually led people on to many different areas of the site. If this wasn't happening, I wouldn't be happy, as this would be very low-quality traffic. The fact is that the second and third most visited pages within the site are key pages in my funnel, again something that I'm glad to see. So, that curated bit of content has been a major attraction tool to our site, but has also generated these great links.

You need to understand the traffic to your site. I'm a Google analytics addict. I go to meetings, but it just doesn't help. If you aren't versed in looking a bit deeper into things, you can become delusional about the success of your site content. If I was only happy that the original post had generated over 16k page views, I'd think that my curation efforts were truly awesome - but I'm not happy to stop there, I want to know what those page views generated in terms of visits to other areas of the site, and if they led to any 'goals' being completed. That's simple analytics, but without looking at those metrics, then you're really not aware of what your content is achieving.

I hope that was interesting folks! Have a great 2014!

Photo credits - Fish and Chips images used under creative commons and via http://www.flickr.com/photos/livepine/ on Flickr. Chain image used under creative commons and via http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattimattila/ on Flickr.

Original article 


Mike McGrail

Managing Director, Velocity Digital

I'm Mike McGrail, founder of UK based digital marketing and communications consultancy, Velocity Digital. We offer social media, content and digital marketing services, with a focus on measurability at all times. Follow me on Twitter and Google Plus.


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Posted on January 8th 2014 at 12:17PM

Thanks !! Great

Posted on January 8th 2014 at 10:34PM

You're welcome!

Randy Milanovic
Posted on January 8th 2014 at 2:36PM

My colleague Lyndsay Peters' article on Google Helpouts got picked up in StumbeUpon and so far has brought 3,888 visits along with roughly 60 from the usual social networks. 

The 60-ish "other" brought significantly better quality visitors to our site. 

Spook SEO
Posted on February 5th 2014 at 7:46AM

Hi Mike! Congratulations! That's great :) It is so nice to know that you have generated new audience. I know for a fact that many SEO would love to experience what you have experienced. You are indeed very lucky. Good luck!