When Building Communities Isn’t the Best Way to Build Links
Posted by John-Henry
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.
I entered SEO as a link builder. In 2010, my job was easy and my toolset mainly consisted of article marketing software, directory submissions, comment posting and link networks. Fast forward four years >> I now solely create visually engaging content in an effort to scale link building. I didn’t make this career shift because “link building is no longer effective;” quite the opposite: I changed focus from manual to scalable link building because I now work in more competitive industries and my clients generally need 100+ links per asset to move the needle—content helps me meet that demand to acquire large amounts of new linking root domains at once.
Over the past two years I’ve become obsessed with content (and Reddit, unfortunately). I’ve started to keep the companies that are producing the best and most successful digital content on my radar. Two companies that have recently started to stick out are Movoto and Airbnb. Both are scaling link acquisition via content, but they are going about it in entirely different ways. Airbnb is growing its own grassroots community, while Movoto is actively targeting existing and passionate online communities with its content marketing.
Before we dive in, both companies are growing rapidly in terms of organic search according to SEMrush:
Both of these companies are starting to do exceptionally well in the SERPs, primarily due to either growing (Airbnb) or targeting (Movoto) an audience.
Perception, product, and content
Airbnb and Movoto are both trying to rank for extremely competitive terms, however their content marketing strategies couldn’t be further from each other, and that fact hinges mainly on two aspects of these businesses’ models:
- The length of the customer purchase journey
- The probability of repeat purchases
First, let’s think about both of these sites’ customer purchase journeys and their customer lifetime value (LTV). Airbnb is selling rentals, which someone could need multiple times a year. Movoto is selling homes. The price point and level of commitment required from the customer are wildly different. More importantly, people generally only look for a new home during or after a major life event, like marriage, death, having a baby, or getting a new job. On the other hand, you could decide to take a random weekend ski trip at 4:15 p.m. on a Friday and book an Airbnb almost instantly. If Airbnb customers really enjoy their Airbnb experience, there’s a good chance that they will rent another Airbnb and continue to add to the company’s bottom line. However, no matter how awesome a time someone has buying a home, there’s a very small chance that they will decide to repeat the experience anytime soon.
Movoto and Airbnb’s business models differ in the sense that Airbnb is incrementally extracting value out of customers over a long period of time, while Movoto is most likely getting 100% of the customer’s LTV at the first purchase.
For Airbnb, creating their own community is a pragmatic marketing strategy for keeping users engaged. I theorize that’s why most of Airbnb’s content is either about their business, their community of users and hosts, or about their product.
Where Airbnb is winning in content
- Charitable efforts: During Hurricane Sandy, Airbnb community members put up displaced New Yorkers for free, generating 300 linking root domains.
You can read the full article at Moz Bloghttp://seopti.com/when-building-communities-isnt-the-best-way-to-build-links/http://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pnghttp://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pngSEOMOZ