Link Building Use Cases

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The client was with us for 9 years through an agency partner. Large multi-state personal injury firm solely reliant on DR (direct response) advertising on TV, billboards, and PPC. Client was spending north of 200K a month on these efforts. The client was certainly achieving results, but paid media spend was producing less and less ROI as other PI law firms entered the space and upped the bid.

These terms below (in 2017) we’re north of $70 a click depending upon the SERP. This is a large law firm consisting of over 200 lawyers. However, their entire marketing ideology was skewed towards direct response. Again, this is a large law firm competing for KWs in large cities. Link building was going to be a long term investment, just like on page SEO should be. .

This is just a sampling of what they were bidding for 10 years on PPC (include other major metro areas like Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego and Orange County)

  • Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
  • Car accident lawyer Los Angeles
  • Truck accident lawyer Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles car accident attorney

On-page SEO had been implemented for 2 years without much traction. Blogging about ‘news’ and lengthening / optimizing on-page content produced little change in the SERPs. 

Our long-time agency partner, in conjunction with our off-page knowledge, created a strategy that started slowly and accelerated over time.

The client was apprehensive that link-building would work. Scalefluence helped our agency engage the client in 3 ways:

  1. To educate the client on how many leads were available in these markets from search
  2. To give estimates in time and spend to achieve KPIs
  3. To give a 6 month, 12 month, and 18 month strategy to follow for link-building goals

The original spend was $1500 a month. As you can see below, in the middle of 2017, zero presence in the SERPs. Despite a large national presence on TV & radio. 

Chart showing presence in the SERPs.

Here is the original break down of link spend:

  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 25 to 30
  • Total links / month =   10
  • Average cost         =   $150 per link
  • Total spend            =   $1500 / month

The target page & anchor strategy for the first 6 months consisted almost entirely of branded home page links that would spread link juice across the entire site. As one of many thousands of personal injury law firms, the site had nearly zero links prior to engagement.

Lawyers don’t get naturally given links because of great “car accident lawyer” websites. 

This strategy was maintained until service & location pages started appearing in positions 40 to 60 in high-value SERPs. 

Once we noticed that Google had started favoring certain pages, a new strategy was employed. 

Specifically, target service and location pages using a 30/30/30 approach of 

  • Brand / Naked URLs
  • Brand + Phrase match anchors 
  • Exact match anchors. 

As you can see below; starting in the beginning of 2018, the site was still not attracting much traffic. However, in context, with nearly zero SEO value, this was a marked improvement, especially considering the SERP value was high; as we targeted very high value queries (averaging over $50 CPC) in order to obtain bottom of funnel leads. 

Chart showing organic traffic at 723.

Client continued at this pace of lower authority, higher volume link-building approach for a whole year into the start of 2020; then the client dramatically increased the budget to $5000 per month starting in January 2020.  

We continued the pace of link building (between 10 and 15 links a month) but started including much higher authority. Same target URL and anchor strategy employed.

  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 40 to 60
  • Total links / month =   15
  • Average cost         =   $300 per link
  • Total spend            =   $4500 / month

This is where the client really started to take off.  

By year’s end they had achieved a 15,000% increase in traffic and a 3000% increasein personal injury / car accident leads. As reported to us by our agency partner. 

Chart showing organic traffic at 15629.

The client again increased the budget to $7500 a month in January of 2021. 

The same strategy was employed, however, they had purchased two law firms in NYC and we were now targeting 5 major metropolitan areas:

  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • San Diego 
  • Manhattan
  • Orange County (in California)
  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 50 to 80
  • Total links / month =   25
  • Average cost         =   $300 per link
  • Total spend            =   $7500 / month

By year’s end, the client was starting to rank nationally in the top 3 for the term “personal injury lawyer” and other broad match, highly competitive phrases. 

SEMRush search value was over $4 MILLION monthly.  

They also ranked in the 3 pack for terms like  “car accident lawyer Los Angeles / Manhattan / Oakland” etc. 

Many of these phrases are north of $100 CPC bid. This translates to approximately a $1000 lead and $5000 acquisition cost (if using PPC solely).

Chart showing organic traffic at 95238.

Inextricably, the client thought they “knew better”  than our agency partner at the end of 2021 and took search marketing in-house. Link-building ceased production, and lots of internal changes were done without our SEO partner’s knowledge. 

Communication ceased between our partner and the client after they cut ties. 

While the client still enjoys solid rankings, site structure & design have since changed, and link-building stopped at the beginning of 2022. Our team reached out to our partner to show a 70% decline in overall rank. SEO partner is now engaged in talks for a win-back strategy.  


This is a client in loan origination and lead generation for larger lenders. The client has been with us for 8 years. One of the few clients where we work directly with the brand (and not through an agency). 

Our client at first was just trying to get leads to sell to mortgage origination companies.  Now they are one the largest reverse mortgage brokers in America.  

The client started slowly with us as his brand was just starting out in 2016. We suggested mostly homepage links with branded anchor text to distribute link juice equitably for the entire site. This strategy is commonly known as “link equity”.

Equitably distributing link juice to each of the top navigation pages when Google’s spider comes from the blog to the destination URL (in this case, the home page).

This strategy was employed for around 9 months.  

  • 30% = Branded anchors (domain name stripped of www. & https://)
  • 30% = Naked URLs (
  • 30% =
  • 10% = Exact match for the canonical KW (reverse mortgage)
  • Average authority =   DA / DR 30 to 40
  • Total links/month =   15
  • Average cost         =   $200 per link
  • Total spend            =   $3000 / month
Chart showing organic traffic at 2572.

The strategy shifted in late 2017 as the client doubled the budget after seeing promising results.  

30% of links were still targeting the home page while the other 57% were broken up into “how reverse mortgage works” and “reverse mortgage calculator” pages and a few other content silos to balance out the link profile (in terms of target pages).

Distributing juice into content silos surrounding the main service / product pages with top-funnel content internally linked back to the bottom of the funnel, which again, internally linked back to these lead gen pages of “calculator” & “how it works” pages. Backlinks were deployed to the lead gen pages directly

For the service pages, a 30/30/30 approach to anchors was employed. As usual, links showed significant progress for these pages. 

Chart showing organic traffic increase to 17737.

Keep in mind that the client is competing with HUD, FHA, FTC, and various other large financial institutions for these spots. Not to mention large publishers (doing lead gen or affiliate) for these terms. Competitors include Nerdwallet, Money Geek, Forbes, WSJ and more.

Competition is extremely high, and leads are valued north of $3000 in some SERPs.

For the year of 2020, client spend was $6K per month.  Targeting now over a dozen pages; including the home page. 

  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 50 to 80
  • Total links/month =   20
  • Average cost       =   $300 per link
  • Total spend =  $6000 per month

The calculator page alone is now driving over 10,000 visits per month and delivering approximately 300 leads per month. The client has done his own KPIs internally and given reports that the value of each lead is over $700.

This single page is delivering over $20K in value every month.

These are high-intent, bottom-of-the-funnel leads.  Users that more likely to convert since they want to calculate the costs of a reverse mortgage.

Here’s the result of the client’s calculator page after a year of pointing links (from real sites) with properly optimized anchors. He is in the top 1 to 5 positions for these phrases. 

Chart showing mortgage phrase rankings.

Fast forward to 2022. We have slowed down somewhat on targeted anchors and focused on acquiring brand links from extremely high-authority sites. All this is done through organic, white hat outreach, and HARO pitches.

Here’s a sampling the client has allowed us to share. 

The links below have an average Ahrefs DR rating of 79.5 and traffic of over 6 million visits a month. We acquire 2 to 3 of these links a month for the brand. 

The client is also the beneficiary of journalists now reaching out to him directly for interviews on highly targeted industry publications.

A list of links published averaging AHREFS DR at 79.5 and traffic at 6.7 million.

Then finally, the client has enjoyed solid growth over the last 5 years (in high value / high competition SERPs that are north of 80 KWD according to SEMRush).  The client also enjoys abundant leads that would cost north of $80K per month to drive this much traffic through PPC.

Instead, the client now spends $3000 a month on new content and $7000 a month on links. An equivalent 800% ROI compared to paid media.


This client is a publicly traded software development company. They sell rapid development APIs and security packages for large-scale development teams (in bundles called code libraries) for companies wanting a better solution than Docker. 

Microsoft and Google are among their highly valued clients.  

The client was with our SEO partner for over 4 years. They first tested our content capabilities since they have such a highly technical product line. Our team delivered since we have several full-stack developers on our team who then coached technical writers with deep knowledge of how coding applications work. 

The client started link-building in September of 2018. This is an international client. So pay attention to where they started and the global numbers now, not just America. We did quite a bit of offshore domains because of this aspect. 

Chart showing organic traffic just over 44k.

The client already had a significant web presence and a very strong link profile as they had a truly unique product market fit for giant applications on the internet. They also had a very successful IPO and received tons of links from press outlets like CNBC / CNN / WSJ.

Beyond that, the links listed below were often to their own published Gitbook and Knowledge Base. Very few links pointed to any service pages. This is just a small sampling of some of the very authoritative links that Scalefluence did NOT deliver. These were existing links before the project started.

We use AHREFS here because the link crawl is superior to SEMRush.

Chart of a domain list with no commercial pages or optimized anchors.

The client started with this budget:

  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 40 to 70
  • Total links / month =   20
  • Average cost       =  $250  per link
  • Total spend =  $5000 per month

This budget was apportioned by the pages:

  • Home page  =  20%
  • 4 service pages = 80%

This strategy & budget was maintained for approximately 9 months.  

Targeted traffic growth grew by 300% and overal traffic by 50%. 

Chart showing organic traffic of 64500.

The client then doubled the budget after the Q2 2018 review with our SEO partner. 

We assisted our agency partner to close more budget by providing KPIs, reporting, and page-level analysis for existing pages as well as the new pages they wanted to target.

New budget and targets adjust to:

  • Average authority  =   DA / DR 40 to 90
  • Total links / month =   40
  • Average cost       =  $300 per link
  • Total spend =  $12,000 per month

This budget was apportioned by the pages:

  • Home page  =  10%
  • 8 service pages = 90%

As you can see below, the targeted traffic positions grew by an astounding 500% in the two years since the budget increase.  ROI & correlation was demonstrably provable. 

Chart showing organic traffic at just under 245k.

In 2022 the contract ended as they acquired a new CMO and focused new efforts in acquiring large enterprise agreements through outbound initiatives.

Regardless, the company now FIRMLY outcompetes Docker and company revenues have soared from $105MM to $240MM in just 3 years (confirmed from their public 10-K filings).