How to Get .EDU Backlinks with a Scholarship
If you want to rank higher and drive more organic traffic to your website, then you need to get more authoritative and trustworthy backlinks.
But getting authoritative and trustworthy backlinks is a mysterious endeavor for most companies.
After all, how can you get a significant number of these high-quality links in a legitimate and effective way?
Scholarship link building is a highly effective strategy for this, and will help your site rank higher and get more traffic.
What are scholarship links?
Scholarship link building is a strategy to earn high-quality links to your website. Executing a well-orchestrated strategy around getting scholarship links can yield a high ROI for your business.
Google views .EDU domains as trustworthy and because of their high domain authority, links from .EDU sites improve your website visibility in Google searches and improve your Trust Flow.
While a scholarship link building campaign can create a competitive advantage since your competitors are likely not going to such lengths and making the investment, unfortunately scholarship link building is not for everyone. Why?
You have to first be aware of the strategy, then execute it properly, then have the patience to wait over the course of several months, and perform heavy outreach for it to be effective. But it will pay dividends in the long term.
If you want your company to rank higher and get more traffic with a white hat link building strategy, you might be a good fit for a scholarship link building campaign.
Why are scholarship links a worthwhile investment?
There are a number of factors that make scholarship campaigns a great investment:
- Backlinks from high DA .EDU websites will boost your website’s authority
- Backlinks stay active for long periods of time
- Increase your Trust Flow by earning links from reputable, trustworthy universities
- Giving back to the community and good PR
- Local SEO
Let’s break these down a bit and then look at how to get .EDU backlinks:
Backlinks from high DA .EDU sites
As mentioned before, backlinks from high DA, authoritative .EDU sites will increase your website’s authority to Google. Even a handful of links from .EDU sites will boost your domain authority, your domain rating, and your Trust Flow.
Backlinks stay active for long periods of time
With general link building, it can be disheartening to spend valuable time and resources to write content for sites and do outreach, only to later find out that the links were removed and you’ve lost their link equity.
With .EDU scholarship link building, by renewing your scholarship every year (a $1000 scholarship to one recipient, for example), you can keep these .EDU links continuously into the future.
We should point out that doing it right is of critical importance. Some schools will remove their pages listing scholarships. Our experience with speaking to financial aid departments shows us that there are bogus scholarships out there which have led them to remove their pages. The fact that schools really scrutinize scholarships is why it’s so important to have a strong scholarship page and campaign that demonstrates that you are offering a legitimate, real scholarship. When schools can see you are genuine, they will be much more likely to post your link on their website.
Because you are running a scholarship campaign for an extended period of time, 90% of your backlinks will stay active for the period the campaign is running. Six months is a great start to see how your business benefits from this sort of investment. When you see the improvement in rankings for your site, you will probably want to renew your scholarship every year. Schools are more than happy to re-add your backlink or update the one they have for your next scholarship. You can earn backlinks from new schools too because they can see you have already awarded a scholarship and are providing a genuine scholarship. It’s important to announce the last year’s winner properly as well.
Increase your Trust Flow
Your Trust Flow is determined by the trustworthiness of the other websites that are linking back to you. Backlinks from universities (.EDU’s) are the most authoritative and trusted websites on the web because they are “seed sites”. What is a “seed site”? It’s where Google starts it’s algorithm from.
Google knows that a link from whitehouse.gov or harvard.edu has the highest trust. This is where they start their evaluation of trustworthiness when they crawl the web. Since these sites won’t be linking out to spammy or shady websites, Google gives a very high degree of trust to the websites that seed sites like universities link to. And the fewer degrees of separation you are from a seed site, the more Google will trust you. And the more Google trusts you, the higher you rank in search engine results and the more traffic you get.
When you earn backlinks from universities, you are linked to directly from a seed site. Colleges and universities link directly to your website, which tells Google’s algorithm that you are a trusted website.
Your local SEO is going to see improvement. A solid SEO company running your campaign will know how to sell your scholarship to schools that are in the same state as you. Links to these schools in close locations will help you rank higher locally when people are looking for a business like yours in their area. (As a bonus, local governments will also post scholarships that benefit their local community and .gov links are also a hit with Google).
To note: if localized marketing is a priority for your business, Sure Oak offers additional, specialized local SEO services.
Giving back to the community
You may be running a scholarship as an SEO tactic to boost your organic traffic, but you are also awarding a student a sizable award that will help support their education. You will read incredible essays from students. Helping someone invest in their future is a really humbling experience, and people viewing your site and seeing that you are supporting education will improve your brand’s reputation.
Should you buy .EDU backlinks?
No. Do not buy .EDU backlinks.
Buying links is against Google’s guidelines.
Even if you wanted to buy .EDU links, schools are not “selling” links. They are simply linking out to genuine scholarship opportunities to help their students pay for their education. You are already investing in the scholarship award itself, and that is enough.
If you are investing in something that allows you to “buy .EDU links”, it is the fact that you have to create and offer a scholarship. You have to find schools that would want to link back to it. You have to do outreach, make phone calls, find the right contacts, send emails, and follow up with those emails in order to get those backlinks from universities.