How to Build .EDU Links from Scholarships and Discounts

.EDU links are some of the most powerful links on the web. But unless you run a non-profit organization, getting links from .EDU sites is a challenge. Fortunately, you can tap into something all .edu sites love to write about, college scholarships and University discounts, for easy and powerful .EDU backlinks. This video will walk you through the entire process.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up everybody, it’s Brian Dean from Quick Sprout. In this video I’m going to show you one of my favorite link building techniques. Building links from edu sites, using scholarships and employee discounts. But first let me just give you an idea of the potential of this link building strategy. As you can see, this one search string here, site, colon, dot, edu, and quote scholarships, brings up 22 million results. Now obviously, a lot of these pages aren’t what we’re looking for, it’s more general information about scholarships. So I’m going to show you some more search strings that are more specific, but as you can see edu sites just have a propensity for obvious reasons, to talk about scholarships and to link out to scholarship related information.

Now, we’re going to get a little more specific, so we have the same site .edu operator in the front, which limits our results to only .edu sites, and instead of just using scholarships, we put scholarships links. And similar to resource pages, we know that these are pages that link out to other resources on the web. It’s important to have the SERP Overlay open, using the Moz SERP Overlay, ‘cuz this way you can determine if the page authority is worth chasing, so page authority 27 – not bad, 27 – not bad, 17 – not very good. Here we go, page authority 42. Now this is obviously one that you might even want to create a scholarship around. Just for this page.

Or a scholarship information. As you can see, this is more of a resource page that just links to further information. It’s not necessarily links to actual scholarships. So this is an example of a page that is actually a resource page, but you wouldn’t be able to find using the resource page search strings that I discussed in an earlier video. So, no matter what your niche is in you should always try to create some sort of scholarship related information. As I pointed out, these edu sites just tend to have a lot of pages like this, that link out to scholarship related information.

Now if you want to get really specific I found this search string to work really well, site, edu, outside agency scholarships. Because there’s a lot less false positive. This is exactly what we want. ‘Cuz these are link out to outside agency scholarships, which would be the scholarship that you can set up. And then, as you can see, like most edu sites, the page authority of the page your link will be on is pretty good. 48, 31, 29. Now let me show you an example of one, here is an outside agency scholarship listing from UC Davis, and the first thing I look at is to see whether or not they link to commercial, for profit site.

This is really important because if you see a page like this, where it only links out to sites like, the American Chemical Society, the American Council of Engineering Companies, non-profit organizations, it’s going to be really hard to get your for-profit site on there. But as you can see, American Muscle is on here, and Aspiring Nurse.com, so they have a propensity to link out to commercial sites. Which in my experience makes a huge difference in how your scholarship is received, so once you have found a page like this that looks like it has a propensity to link out to commercial sites, you need to contact that person.

So what I like to do is make sure I click the contact area. Go to the contact area of that specific part of the site. And like resource page building, if you were just to go to the UC Davis home page and contact the person there, your message likely wouldn’t go to the right person, so I always make sure I’m in the right section of the website, so I look at this little breadcrumbs navigation, and see that I’m in the financial aide area, which sounds perfect. And if you click on the contact link here, you’re taken to this area which shows you who you should contact for scholarship related information, which is perfect, you have their email and their phone number if you want to call.

It is very important that you reach out to the right person, because I’m sure the guy who runs that muscle site that we referenced, American Muscle, if he was just like, hey I’m from American Muscle, UC Davis general secretary, will you forward this to the person, it’s not going to happen. If you contact the right person it makes a huge difference. Now what do these scholarship pages on your site have to look like. Well, they come in all shapes and sizes, but this one I’m going to show you, to make sure you’re not intimidated by this, it’s something that you can make over a weekend very easily.

Obviously you have to have money involved, but in term of creating the scholarship page, this is basically what one looks like. It gives you the details of the scholarship here. It talks about how much money is going to be involved, and I recommend giving out at least two five hundred dollar scholarships, but the more the better. So,as you can see KrillOil.com gives out two one thousand dollar scholarships. And all you have to do is give a little bit of detail to make sure there’s some criteria, to make it look like you’re running a real scholarship, which you should be. And then they usually have to submit some sort of essay or statement about why they want the scholarship, and then they give some originality and creativity, and some criteria they’re going to use to judge the essay and the scholarship applicant, and then who to reach out to.

So this is nothing amazing. It gives some pictures of the people that won previously, which is important for establishing legitimacy with your scholarship, but you can see this is no big deal. This is not like, an amazing page, and it’s on an obviously commercial site. Another one I saw that is a great example to use is from Dynadot.com. They give out one $2,500 scholarship, which obviously a lot of people would like to apply for, and they have a nice graphic at the top, and some very simple criteria. Remember you don’t want to overwhelm the students who are going to apply with criteria, because you do want to award the scholarship to somebody.

Because once you’ve awarded it, and show a picture, then you can start leveraging that for a lot more links later on because your page looks a lot better. But I just think it’s nothing here, just a couple steps, and in terms of the application, they actually use Google Doc to create it, which is very easy. So you just have your title here, the information they need to put in. And if they need an essay you can have them copy and paste it into here or load it via Google document, and that’s it, it’s very simple. You can leverage this scholarship page for links over and over again, and you can either use this as a way to build up domain authority on your site. Or you can use this to link specific pieces of content that you’re trying to link.

Next we’ll talk about student and employee discounts. And the search strings here are just really simple. You just put, site.edu, student discounts, employee discounts, things like that. But you have to be a little bit careful about the pages that you’re trying to get your student discount on. Let me show you what I mean. So here are the results, 29,000, just a ton of results, and the only way your student discount is going to work is if it’s specific to that university.

So you know, Carrington.edu here is not going to link out to you general college student discount. It has to be specific to that university. So to go through all the effort of something like that, you want to check the page first and make sure they have, do follow links out to other websites. So in this case, these are plain text, these are not links. So this is not the type of page that you would want to go after. You’d want to skip and move on to the next one. On the other hand, the employee discounts page from Drexel Uiversity has links that are followed, let’s just double check to make sure they’re followed. Yep, sure enough, they’re followed to all different commercial websites. Including, this is a link to an internal page that discusses the employee discount, which obviously will increase the likelihood that you get your link.

But they also have a little author bio area, about this Corrigan moving system is an award winning agent for United Van Lines, they’re the largest household’s goods carrier, and this is just a link to their home page. So imagine the authority, this is a page authority 49, from a domain authority 87 site linking to your home page. This is an incredible link, and without this employee discount it would be very, very difficult to get.

Now how can you create an employee discount, well you don’t have to be a local business, although that obviously helps, but you can just create different coupon codes on your site for each university. So you could have a coupon code that’s like, Drexel 55, and they get 10 percent off every order for your site that sells s porting goods, or something like that. So as you can see, this is a great way to get links on authority pages on authority sites. Without having to create content, or do anything special like link bait. You just have to create a scholarship , be willing to invest the money to pay out to the students, and then reach out to the right people. So, thanks for watching, I’ll see you in the next video.