Building Backlinks for Homes.com
via City Ranking Campaigns

A Content Digital PR Case Study

The Goal

Homes.com, one of the largest real estate portals in the U.S., sought out Go Fish Digital to help with the following goals:

  • Diversify their backlink profile
  • Improve visibility in search results
  • Increase brand exposure and awareness
  • Drive more organic traffic to their site

Our team knew that focused link-building campaigns could help achieve these goals and more, so we incorporated them as a key piece to their overall digital marketing strategy.

To attract links from top-tier publications, our team developed a plan to center Homes.com’s content on topics that would pique the interest of real estate writers and also incorporate a local element. This way, we could generate valuable backlinks from both high-authority national websites as well as local news sites and resources.

The Strategy

City Ranking Campaign Graphic
the 10 best U.S. cities for millennials
the 10 best U.S. cities for generation X
the 10 best cities for baby boomers
which cities are the best and worse for millennials?
which cities are the best and worse for generation X?
which cities are the best and worse for baby boomers?

For this link building campaign, in particular, we wanted to create a piece of content that uniquely ranked cities on a number of different factors. We researched relevant topics in both pop culture and the real estate industry and found that generational comparisons are hot topics across many news organizations. As a result, our team created the “Best Cities for Each Generation” link-building campaign. We connected this topic with Homes.com’s brand through the angle of the home search.

In order to execute this campaign, we created a city ranking for each generation based on their needs and preferences. City ranking is a common content format, but our team put a spin on it by creating a unique city ranking for each generation.

The generations and calculation data points were:

  • Millennials: Median home price, entry-level jobs per 100,000 people, and percentage of the local population that is part of the Millennial generation
  • Generation X: School quality, management jobs per 100,000 people, and percentage of the local population that is part of the Gen X generation
  • Baby Boomers: Retiree tax-friendliness, doctors per 100,000 people, and percentage of the local population that is part of the Baby Boomer generation

The resulting graphics were created to appeal to news sites and encourage social shares. The Go Fish design team created map graphics that plotted the top cities based on our criteria and included detailed tables containing the full datasets used in the rankings.

We focused our campaign outreach on three main beats: local/regional, real estate, and general lifestyle sites.

We split up each local pitch by generation and targeted local news sites that were cited in the campaign as one of the best U.S. cities in our research. We also focused on national publications and writers who cover topics relating to real estate.

The Results

1
links and citations
1
unique visitors to the site

Coverage Outlets

This campaign was successful in a number of ways. During the promotional period, the campaign:

  • Earned over 20 links and citations including coverage from highly authoritative sites such as The New York Times, Fox Business, Yahoo, and Reader’s Digest
  • Drove over 4,000 unique visitors to the site

Since completing outreach on this campaign in April 2019, we have seen additional successes such as:

  • Continued coverage on real estate sites and blogs, with the backlink total growing from 20 to 44.
  • Continued organic traffic to the landing page, with sessions now over 6,200

This campaign proved to be a valuable link building opportunity because it increased the number of high authority websites linking to Homes.com. Additionally, this content piece served the target audience of Homes.com’s blog. Some SEO campaigns are just for link-building, whereas this one stands on its own in providing useful information for the Homes.com community.

This campaign continues to be a valuable post on Homes.com’s blog, and we expect it to continuously bring in additional organic traffic as the keyword rankings continue to improve with the backlinks generated to the page.

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