Being one of the best metrics we have to measure the quality of links, Trust Flow is the primary metric I focus on when it comes to link building and benchmarking. I’m a firm believer in deciding to work on metrics I can understand and are proven to have a measurable impact on the outcome of my work.
Anyone who’s seen my BuzzStream article on using data to decide if you need to build links will know that I use Trust Flow from the get go. Being a marker of link quality and the equity being funnelled through to a domain or URL, to me, and with everything we know about how links work, it feels foolish to focus on anything else.
So, I recently worked on increasing my Trust Flow for darrenkingman.co.uk and have mapped it over the period of a month. Here’s how it fluctuated:
At the start of this period, my Trust Flow was just 3. My domain was a baby and thankfully, I’d been too busy at that point to focus on marketing my website.
However, with a few projects coming to an end and also wanting to get my teeth stuck into building my domains organic visibility whilst becoming obsessed with my own rankings for a change (prior to being a freelancer I worked in-house and agency-side for 7 years), I got to work.
By the end of the month, my Trust Flow had increased to a peak of 15. That’s a 12 ‘Trust Flow’ uplift in 28 days. Me FTW…amirite!
Tactics to increase Trust Flow
Right at the end of August as I was finishing my client work for the month, I’d started considering opportunities that I know work particularly well in the SEO niche, so focused on two key tactics:
- Guest posting
- PR comments
Guest posting is a tactic that in the past few years has become synonymous with low quality link building and just generally a tactic to stay clear of for any serious link building campaign. If you’ve ever worked on your LinkedIn connections, you’ll know as well as I do that the first thing to happen is your inbox becomes bombarded with blog post specialists. I mean…damn.
However, having posted on Moz previously (and since to publish my data on the best content formats for link building), I knew the power of the domain and platforms like it. Not just from a link building perspective, but what posting and sharing them with those audiences could have on my overall authority online and the number of people getting in touch in general. As a freelancer, that’s what I want.
So I took to guest posting, but only doing it in a fashion where I’m publishing posts as good or better than I’d want to publish on my own domain. Any post I’ve done to impact my own Trust Flow and ability to improve organic performance (directly and indirectly…blog post to follow on that) is one that has taken me between a day and 3 days to complete. It’s a serious slog, but that’s what’s needed to publish material on platforms that can impact your business.
Live link date: 29/08/18. Majestic found it pretty quickly, and this shot my Trust Flow up to the dizzying heights of 8.
Although projects had slowed a little through September, every link I build can’t be a guest post. I’d never leave the computer.
So, this is where PR comments come in. With a strong network, and an artificial one called HARO, (tip: you actually don’t need a strong network at all because of this – it’s like your network on steroids) I started to look for opportunities to provide my highly-coveted expert insight on a topic.
Live link date: 21/09/18. This took my Trust Flow from 8 to 14. I’m up 11!
When providing comments, I still want to make sure that anything I’m offering isn’t a 2 second after-thought, but a considered approach for the topical focus. I want to build my name and make sure people think of me as someone with a decent idea or two.
If you do use this tactic to increase your own Trust Flow, please make sure that you really do consider what it is you want to say and the image it builds of you. This is another touch-point people will have with your expertise, so make sure anything you share is something you believe and hopefully *know* will provide value to someone reading it.
Here, my focus wasn’t particularly to gain links on other domains with a high Trust Flow (although this obviously helps), it was more about the audience. That’s the key idea I’m hoping to get across here. Although I wanted to build my Trust Flow and increase my ability to drive organic traffic, I was also considering the referral traffic and where my name would appear. A good audience is the result of a platform that already provides great content and has proven to engage people. If you focus purely on Trust Flow, you might miss that critical point. It requires research or knowing the platform already.
Live link date: 26/09/18. Really proud to see my name on URL Profiler’s website after using it for years. This link took my Trust Flow from 14 to 15 on the same day.
The result of my increased Trust Flow
So what was the impact of going from a Trust Flow of 3 to 15? Well, taking into account that links do and can take a little time to factor into your ranking performance (less so today), I wanted to show the changes in my organic impressions in the time during and since.
Caveat – I have continued to use these tactics to build links to my domain, which will be impacting the results here, but it’s important to see the trend and the bumps.
In this time I haven’t published much content on my domain (only small changes here and there). In fact, my last blog post was back in July. Therefore, all of that uplift is a result of my link building work using those two tactics.
Obviously I have optimised for certain keyword groups that I think better highlight what I do and what it is people might want to talk to me about, but with a relatively new domain I wanted to show what’s possible using relatively simple tactics and focusing on using established domains with great audiences to catapult my Trust Flow.
I think these simple tactics often get lost in a large campaign when creative content becomes the pretty much only method of building links and increasing Trust Flow. There’s a real tangible impact I’ve seen using ‘alternative’ link building tactics that can only take a few hours to do, and have certainly played a role in making me more competitive.
I hope that helps you but if you have any questions at all, please do drop me a line or leave a comment below.