Local Outreach Research and Evaluation

By The Black Fin Team

Posted:

Category: Random


What is it?

Oftentimes, a simple donation or sponsorship to an organization can get you a link back to your site. Most organizations have some form of donor recognition page where they will either list names or display donor’s logos with a link back to their websites.

Why it’s important:

Backlinks play a HUGE factor in your site’s SEO. And Google views links coming from certain sites as being more valuable than others. Finding THE best opportunity to sponsor in your area not only makes your investment more valuable, but will also have greater impact on your rankings.

How to perform local outreach research:

Before you seek new opportunities, first think of any causes you might already give to and if you’re not being recognized with a link back to you, just ask! Many times organizations are happy to do this, especially if you are an existing donor. If you are a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, this is great too. Make sure they have your firm’s url and take a moment to verify your information is correct and that you have a link back to your site.

If you’re ready to seek new opportunities to sponsor or donate locally, there are a few key steps to take:

Before you begin, create a Google Spreadsheet that you can use to compile your research.

Categories in your spreadsheet should include:

  • Organization Name
  • Homepage URL
  • Description
  • Location
  • Recognition Page URL
  • Trust Flow
  • Citation Flow
  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority
  • Notes/Cost/Contact
  • Move Forward? Yes/No

Getting Started:

Perform a simple Google search to find opportunities in your area. All of your searches should be local so including your city and state with each search is important to get relevant results. A simple search like “Event Sponsorships City, State” is great to start with. Other recommended searches to try in place of event sponsorships are: festivals, events, professional organizations, non-profits, music festivals, art festivals, etc.

Begin clicking through your results and the visit organizations’ websites.

Look for a donor/sponsor recognition page. Many times sponsors are recognized on the homepage.

If you find a donor recognition page, verify that the names or logos are linked back to the donor’s website. If they are, great! We will document this opportunity as viable. If it does not link back to the donor’s site, it is still a good idea to put this under a non-viable tab in your spreadsheet so you know you’ve already looked into it.

Document Your Results:

For the viable opportunities that do include in a link back to the sponsor’s website, begin filling out your spreadsheet with the relevant information. Sometimes organizations will have set sponsorship levels or tiers that they will list on their website. If you find this information, note down the cost to sponsor in this column for you to reference later.

It’s also helpful to search for contact information and document that in your notes area of your spreadsheet. This saves time and avoids having to revisit the site when you start going through opportunities and decide to reach out to them.

Check the Metrics:

At this point we want to check the Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Domain Authority and Page Authority of the opportunity you just found.

Begin by checking Trust Flow and Citation Flow by visiting majestic.com. Majestic is a tool used in previous modules that you should already have a free account set up with. If you don’t go ahead and take a moment to create a free account now.

Enter the url of the donor/sponsor recognition page (might be the homepage) in the bar. We use this url because we want to evaluate how Google views the exact page that your url will sit.  If you link would appear on the homepage AND an inner recognition page, use the homepage url to check the metrics; the homepage will often have higher metrics than an inner page so you will want an accurate idea of the true value of a link coming from the site.

After you’ve entered the url and clicked “search”, the Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics will appear below. Enter these into your spreadsheet.

Next, visit moz.com where you should also have a free account set up from previous modules. Once logged in, navigate to the Open Explorer tool.

Again, enter the url of the donor/sponsor recognition page to find the metrics for Domain Authority and Page Authority. Document these numbers in your spreadsheet.

Build Your List:

Continue this process of performing different local searches, checking out an organization’s website and documenting basic information as well as the metrics in your spreadsheet until you build a list of at least 10+ opportunities.

Evaluate your Findings

Before you can begin evaluating your findings, it’s important to have all information regarding the cost of sponsorship documented in your spreadsheet. This may mean that before you evaluate your findings, you reach out via email or phone call to inquire about sponsorship and request that the organization send you information on becoming a sponsor. This will give you an idea of how much of an investment each opportunity is going to be.

After you’ve documented all pertinent information, it’s time to find the BEST opportunities within your budget.

If you have a set budget, sort your results so that all of the opportunities within your budget are grouped together. Skip this step if budget is irrelevant.

Next, search through the column labeled “trust flow” to determine which opportunities have the highest TF score. The goal is to acquire the highest TF possible within your budget. This can mean investing in one or more opportunities to reach the highest cumulative trust flow within your budget.

Example:

  • Sponsorship A has a trust flow score of 44 and costs $800
  • Sponsorship B has a trust flow score of 26 and costs $450
  • Sponsorship C has a trust flow score of 20 and costs $300

In this example, Sponsorship A has the highest trust flow, BUT combined, Sponsorship B and C have a cumulative trust flow that is greater than sponsorship A and costs less money. Provided they are all annual opportunities where the link will stay up for one year, sponsoring B and C would be the best choice.

If you have several opportunities with very similar trust flow scores, then you will need to look at the other metrics we documented. The higher the metrics, the better the opportunity.

When choosing an opportunity, Trust Flow is the single most important metric to look for. Any opportunity with a Trust Flow below 10 is not worth the investment. If you find an opportunity that scores below 10 or that produces no results when entered into majestic.com, move this to your non-viable tab in your spreadsheet.

Also, consider the length of time that your link will remain live. If some opportunities are annual, while others will be live 9 or 10 months, you will want to consider this when deciding what to invest in.

In Summary:

Evaluating the best opportunities can seem somewhat objective. There are many variables to consider: budget, length of time the link is live, Trust Flow score, other metric scores.

Trust Flow is the first and most important of these factors that needs to be top-of-mind when choosing an opportunity to sponsor or donate to.

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