How CIENCE Built a Cutting-Edge SEO Strategy for Hirebook

SEO Outreach

Hirebook Case Study

About Hirebook

Hirebook is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that aims to engage employees in performance review processes through fast and efficient weekly check-ins, simplified one-o-one communication with management, and cascaded OKR (objectives and key results) tracking to increase productivity and boost team’s performance. It was established by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs in Toronto, Canada, in 2020. 

Apart from its inventive approach to performance management and deep knowledge in OKR’s, Hirebook stands out from its competitors because the solution it offers provides constant training to employees within the same subscription plan. This feature is something that normally comes at an additional cost.

During the short time Hirebook has been on the market, it has achieved great success in its niche. Its list of clients includes companies like Nike, IBM, Helpware, Oracle, Pfizer, and many others. 

Wesley Knowles
Wesley Knowles

The Story of Hirebook

CIENCE's collaboration with Hirebook began in January 2021: As a client of Hirebook, CIENCE was utilizing its outstanding performance management software for internal communications to connect its rapidly growing teams. 

During this time, CIENCE was planning to expand its services beyond lead generation outreach to help others build its SEO strategies. CIENCE was searching for a company with an outstanding product, unique content, and great potential for SEO growth to become its first backlink outreach client and an example of what CIENCE’s team can achieve in SEO. Hirebook fit these criteria perfectly. 

Daniel Trujillo, CIENCE’s backlinks expert and the person in charge of Hirebook’s account from day one, said: “The expertise Hirebook’s CEO Brett Knowles can provide and the great quality of content they share on their blog is incredible." 

"These factors, along with the innovative SEO strategies—aggressive yet targeted backlink building we wanted to implement for the company—became the formula to achieve staggering results,” said Trujillo. 

The goal was simple—making Hirebook’s website more visible in Google Search. This meant ranking for more targeted keyword phrases and growing the domain rating (DR) and domain authority (DA) of the domain—all leading to far greater organic search traffic on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. 

Before CIENCE, Hirebook didn’t have any internal or external SEO nor backlink building teams working on its strategy whatsoever. Its website ranking was based just on its current marketing strategies, produced content, shares on social media, and product reviews, and therefore was quite low. 

Challenges & Scope

Despite a high level of Hirebook’s team domain expertise in all things OKR, employee engagement, experience in marketing, and a great software product, it was struggling to achieve the online visibility level it needed to grow the company. 


When CIENCE reached out to Hirebook with an offer of managed backlink building as a service, its Ahrefs domain rate (DR) was 10 (on a 100-point scale). This is common for start-ups like Hirebook, even ones with great content. That superlative marketing content remained mostly invisible to online users largely because of Hirebook’s low domain rating. To overcome this challenge, Hirebook urgently needed to boost its DR and this became the main task for CIENCE’s team.


To overcome the challenge of low domain rating, Hirebook felt it had to boost its online presence immediately. It needed to release its untapped SEO potential that would build new opportunities for business growth. The best tactic to achieve this was to increase the number of high-quality backlinks through a mix of targeted link exchanges, requests for backlinks, and guest post content strategies.  


By collaborating with CIENCE, Hirebook was expecting to improve its SEO metrics, and consequently, get more organic traffic to its website and more attention to its product. This would eventually result in an increased number of closed deals and higher revenue for the entire company.  

To give Hirebook an opportunity to improve its Google search ranking positions, CIENCE chose a white-glove yet unconventional SEO omnichannel outreach approach, which included reaching out to appropriate contacts at targeted domains (with high domain ratings for their sites) through different channels simultaneously: cold emails, cold calls, and LinkedIn. Besides that, Daniel Trujillo was the one to create a completely new external outreach channel in Slack. No other SEO outsourcing companies offered this solution. 

As Trujillo explained, with a comprehensive channel mix, CIENCE could bring together aspects of the community, including webmasters who had access to thousands of websites all over the U.S. 



CIENCE has proven to be a top expert in lead generation: Its internal team had the skills, ability, and knowledge of how to target prospects, get appointments, close deals, and grow the company (817% between 2017 and 2020). CIENCE’s approach to link building included getting all the unique lead generation strategies it gained over the years and merging them with SEO knowledge to drive success. 

Besides that, backlink outreach is all about building strong business relationships with the recipient of your message. CIENCE has helped Hirebook to establish these kinds of relationships with other platforms through creating highly personalized outreach templates.

“Ordinary SEO companies often employ volume-based, spray and pray approaches that give the entire industry a bad name,” said Trujillo.

“With CIENCE’s omnichannel, personalized approach, we can deliver superior results four times faster. Increased organic traffic is then easily translated into more unique visitors per month to the website, based on specific commercial keyword research. Those organic search leads typically convert as well as any other channel in the marketing mix, and thus become clients, which is the whole purpose of any SEO link builder,” said Trujillo. 

Not to be overlooked, according to Wesley Knowles, the co-founder of Hirebook, was CIENCE’s leadership: “They manage the end-to-end process for all SEO outreach. That means finding high-ranking websites where we could get backlinks, reaching out to the right people, pitching ideas, facilitating our team to produce high-quality content, and getting that content published. Any one of those items could have fallen through the cracks at any time, but CIENCE has been masterful in maintaining process excellence.”


The results of this innovative omnichannel link-building strategy, created by CIENCE experts, went beyond all expectations. Neither CIENCE nor Hirebook could have imagined how successful this experiment would turn out. Starting from the beginning of July through the end of October 2021, CIENCE accomplished the following activities:

  • Sent 8,500+ cold emails (with a 20% response rate, which is three times higher than the average cold email response rate of 6.15%
  • Placed 870 cold calls 
  • Reached out to 423 LinkedIn connections, 300 of which were successfully accepted

Thus, in just four months of link-building, CIENCE successfully placed 130 high-quality links to the Hirebook website, including sixty link insertions with DR 30+ to DR 90 platforms, nine guest posts placed with dofollow links included (one of the websites has over one million organic traffic views), and two more scheduled guest posts at the time of this publication.

Beyond these impressive outreach results since the beginning of the campaign in July and until the end of October, Hirebook SEO metrics have also raised drastically:

  • Domain rate increased from 12 to 42 (250% in 4 months). 
  • Domain authority grew from 12 to 24 (100% in 4 months).
  • Ranking position improved from 14,790,817 to 1,396,022.

Besides that, CIENCE has organized a list of eighty-nine free and seventy-three sponsored guest post platforms to help Hirebook establish the budget for the link-building efforts and create an internal team for producing more pitches and drafts for the future link building outreach. 

Most importantly to the business metrics Hirebook tracks:

  • Organic traffic went up from 694/unique visitors per month to 32,691/unique visitors per month.

These are exceptional results, which the CIENCE team plans on keeping up during future campaigns. Hirebook Founder Wesley Knowles added, “The team at CIENCE has quadrupled our organic traffic in a fraction of the time, cost, and total resources it would have taken our internal team to accomplish the same tasks.” 

In addition to that, CIENCE has expanded, quadrupling outreach specialists to keep up with the growing workflow for Hirebook’s link-building campaigns and upcoming opportunities.

“The whole purpose of our work is to target and land the best backlinks possible, not just any link,” said Trujillo. “Our ability to increase organic traffic and the domain rating of Hirebook now means that better Google rankings are here to stay, the inbound gift that keeps on giving new business!” 


Partnership Success

The partnership between CIENCE and Hirebook has driven astonishing SEO results: Both sides have achieved more than they could have expected—CIENCE has strengthened its link-building strategy, and Hirebook overcame its main challenge of a low DR and increased its ranking positions dramatically.

“CIENCE helped us build processes to ensure we get value from their SEO outreach from day one, meaning the ‘ramp up’ period was minuscule,” shared Knowles. “Above and beyond our massive increase in web traffic, our team has been incredibly surprised by the depth of experience within CIENCE’s team.”

The partnership between these two companies is ongoing. At the very beginning of it, the main goal was to rank between 20 to 30 DR in six months. These results were achieved within the first couple of months.

“The goal for the next six months is to keep increasing the DR by 5 to 10 points every month and make the organic traffic go up with the same trend,” says Trujillo.  

This isn’t an easy goal to achieve as Google changes the aspects of how it calculates the SEO metrics all the time. However, by constantly adapting to these new changes and mimicking the backlink outreach success strategy of the first few months of the collaboration, CIENCE can help Hirebook maintain constant SEO growth in the future.