With over 20 years in the janitorial and maintenance supply business and a dedicated passion to protecting the environment, Source Supply sought another philanthropic effort. While continuing to give back to the environment with their many green and eco-friendly products, Source Supply also wanted to give back to students and educators by offering discounts and scholarships, which not only helped the community, but also led to an influx of backlinks to their website.
The biggest challenge to overcome in a scholarship or discount link building strategy is legitimacy. Scams have become prevalent in these strategies. There are companies who promote a scholarship in the pursuit of gaining backlinks but never actually follow through in choosing or paying a winner.
Discounts. The first strategy promoted 10% off purchases to students, alumni, and educators. The client created a coupon code and our team developed a pitch to send out to schools and universities, targeting their discount pages.
Scholarship. Each year we come up with a new scholarship topic and ask students to submit a 1,000-word essay. Topics typically relate to the environment and eco-friendliness. These scholarship topics are included in a pitch that is sent to universities to be posted on their scholarship pages.
Once the deadline for the scholarship arrives, we read the entries and choose one lucky winner to receive the $1,000 scholarship to help them in their next semester. We also write press releases announcing the winners of each scholarship and share that news over a wire service as well as with local publications for coverage.
In the first year we implemented this strategy, the SEOM team contacted over 100 schools to inform them about the Source Supply scholarship and discount. Because of that outreach, over 50 different universities and colleges published the information on their scholarship and discount pages. These edu links drove over 2,600 visitors to the Source Supply site and helped with their search rankings- because backlinks from an edu site hold more credibility with the search engines.
backlinks from .edu websites in year 1
referral visits from those .edu links in year 1
scholarship pageviews over 2 years