How a Small Travel Service Grew Their Authority Through Thought Leadership Link Building


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Inseev Interactive is a digital marketing agency originating from San Diego, CA. The agency started as a link-building service and has since grown to a 65+ person team specializing in multiple digital marketing channels. 

Inseev’s current link-building department consists of 22 outreach specialists executing services for over 30 clients. The team implements creativity, personalization, and a wide variety of outreach strategies to build high-quality backlinks that support organic growth. 

The following case study on thought leadership link building features The Travel Secret, a membership platform for booking travel at massively discounted rates. Inseev Interactive started a partnership with The Travel Secret in February 2020 to develop a link-building campaign focused on providing expert advice and thought leadership. 

The Inseev team took this approach to the strategy as the client had little existing brand awareness, authority, or backlinks. In addition to no pre-existing organic presence, the client also lacked resources to develop editorial content, limiting approaches that we might have implemented otherwise. Due to these limitations, the most successful approach available was focusing on the expertise of founder and CEO David Adler. David has a breadth of expertise, spanning from travel to business management and development to fatherhood. 

There were three main ways that we leveraged David’s experience for our campaign. The first strategy focused on contributing blog content from David regarding industries that he was qualified to speak on. The second strategy focused on utilizing platforms like Terkel, a knowledge platform that creates community-driven content, to share David’s expert advice across a variety of topics. The third strategy focused on securing interview opportunities for David. 

One part of our strategy that business owners can tackle today is joining Terkel and submitting insights to topics relevant to their expertise. Check out this blog for tips to get started in Terkel

Over seven months, we executed our campaign with a 40-hour dedicated block of outreach and link building per month. The project totaled 280 hours worth of outreach. Our goal was to secure a total of 35 dofollow backlinks for The Travel Secret. 

Over the course of our campaign, we secured 65 dofollow backlinks and six nofollow links, exceeding our goal by 85.7%. These tend to be somewhat tedious tactics but have high conversion rates! The average domain authority (DA) of links earned is 40.3, helping to significantly increase the DA of The Travel Secret. When we started our campaign, The Travel Secret had DA 8. The site’s current DA is now 28. In addition to authority growth, we can see a correlating trendline in Semrush.

While there have been some fluctuations in traffic since the start of the campaign, the client implemented no additional SEO strategy aside from Inseev’s link-building campaign. 

Part of what made our campaign so impactful on the website’s organic presence was focusing on relevance. Relevance is an important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm and continues to be a top priority for ranking competitively. To establish campaign relevance, we focused on placements related to travel, as that was the brand’s niche. We secured impactful links like a feature on Reader’s Digest about things you can and can’t take from planes, adding important authority and relevance signals. 

When looking at the backlinks data from Ahrefs, we can see that the number of referring domains has increased by 2900% since starting our campaign in February 2020. These results tell you all you need to know to start your link-building campaign today! 

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at to answer questions and get published. 

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