You wouldn’t ask a stranger to manage your friendships or your personal relationships, would you? Probably not. And that’s exactly why many companies don’t like the idea of outsourcing link-building.
As we all know, one of the primary components of a successful link-building campaign is forming, nurturing, and maintaining relationships with blog owners. It’s a sensitive area that many prefer to handle themselves. Of course, on top of the relationship side of things, there are also the technical aspects to consider; unless an outsourcing agency uses good link-building practices, you could be penalized.
But believe it or not, under the right circumstances, there are actually many advantages of outsourcing. ‘Outsourcing’ isn’t quite the 4-letter word that marketers think it is. In fact, when working with the right agency, you could actually save money, save time, and benefit from borrowing someone else’s expertise. Also, if you’re thinking of branching out into other forms of digital marketing, the opportunities, support, and guidance are there to help you get started with new campaigns. But is outsourcing right for you?
When to Outsource Link Building
Although it’s certainly not ‘popular’ in the traditional sense, link building is actually one of the most commonly outsourced SEO tasks, coming just behind content creation and citation cleanup.
It’s estimated that around 15% of marketers outsource link building. The success of outsourcing will depend on the circumstances of the business. In many cases, the following businesses will fare best:
- Small Businesses: The majority of agencies that offer link acquisition and link building services work with small to medium-sized businesses. That’s because small businesses may not always have the available internal resources to successfully manage a full link building campaign.
- Young Businesses: Rapid improvement in online visibility is often one of the most important priorities for young businesses. However, these startup enterprises are typically more likely to be new to link building, and may not have the right skill sets available to them to succeed.
- Growing Businesses: As businesses continue to grow and develop, they will often look to scale their campaigns to meet their evolving needs. Growing businesses may benefit from outsourcing as they begin to scale up, providing them with temporary marketing support as they develop.
So we can clearly see that there are some circumstances where outsourcing link building can be beneficial. However, there is one very important aspect that is essential for businesses to remember: if you’re just looking to save yourself some time, then outsourcing probably isn’t the best option for you.
Outsourcing is not as simple or straightforward as it sounds. In choosing the wrong agency for you, you could actually hinder your SEO campaign, not help it. What many don’t realize is that there is some time and effort involved in selecting the right outsourcing agency and maximizing your chances of success.
How to Outsource Link Building
If you’ve decided that you’d benefit from outsourcing link building, then the next question is: How? Finding the right agency may not always be easy, but it’s certainly not impossible. In fact, you can make the process easier by asking prospective agencies questions that give an insight into their processes:
Importance of Links from High-Quality Reliable Sources
It’s clear that not all links are created equal, and there are many factors that can affect the quality of backlinks. One of the most important factors is domain authority. Google’s ranking algorithms place more value on links placed on high authority websites than it does on sites that could be considered a little ‘spammy’. Ideally, agencies should be publishing content on a range of high-quality websites.
Review Content Creation & Quality
Many agencies use in-house content writers to create articles and content for clients. Content marketing is one of the most popular strategies for growing organic traffic. Then they use these articles to build links for clients.
Before you hire a marketing agency to create content for you, you should read through the content samples created by the agency.
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Do you find the content to be relevant and engaging, or does it look more like it’s been written purely for SEO purposes? Also keep an eye out for black hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content that’s been ‘spun’.
Finding The Right Link Building Partner is Critical
Be very wary of any agencies that promise the first-position ranking. While a first-place rank can happen, it’s something that can never be guaranteed. That’s because there are some factors that are outside of our control that can have an impact on ranking. Spam links on referral domains, for example, are taken into account by Google. Don’t fall for false promises. Instead, look for an agency that keeps things realistic.
In addition to asking these questions, there is one more way to get a glimpse into an agency’s expertise: Look at their own SEO! It’s such a simple observation, yet it’s something that many overlook. If an agency doesn’t have a great online presence, and if their own link-building leaves a lot to be desired, then that’s a major red flag. They should be able to do for themselves what they say they can do for their clients.
How Much to Outsource Link Building?
The cost of link-building services can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the agency’s experience and reputation, the competition in your industry, and the specific tactics they plan to use.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month for link-building services.
The quality of links also plays a huge part in determining the price. The links for high-quality reputable sites take longer to acquire and will cost much more than links from lesser-known sites.
However, it’s important to remember that the cost of link building is an investment in your website’s search engine rankings and overall online presence, so it’s important to choose a reputable and experienced agency that can provide a good return on your investment.
Tips For Finding an Agency To Outsource Backlink Building
Getting the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ right are just two aspects that can help to ensure the success of an outsourced link-building campaign. Here are a few extra tips to help you derive value from your efforts:
- Be clear about your expectations and communicate these clearly with the agency
- Keep in touch regularly throughout the campaign and ask to be kept up-to-date
- Try to secure a short-term contract initially until you are sure you wish to continue
- Stay involved; learn about link building so you can implement an in-house team in future
- Continually measure success; monitor backlinks and keep an eye on traffic and conversions
Questions to Ask SEO Link Building Agency Before Hiring Them
Before hiring an SEO link-building agency, it’s important to ask them about their experience and track record.
You should also ask them about their approach to link building and how they plan to help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to ask for references from past clients and to discuss the cost and terms of their services.
It’s also important to make sure that the agency uses ethical, white-hat link-building techniques, as using unethical or spammy tactics can result in your website being penalized by search engines.
Should I Outsource My Link Building?
If there is a choice between not doing link building and hiring an agency to build links, outsourcing should always be chosen. This is especially true for businesses looking to improve online visibility and expand their reach. Yes, finding the right agency can take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. After all, building links is one of the oldest and most effective forms of digital promotion.
Source: Neil Patel
All marketing experts will tell you that link building is critical to success, with a direct correlation between a number of external backlinks and Google’s highest-ranked pages.
While outsourcing isn’t always seen as the ‘best’ option, there’s no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you don’t have the skills, the resources, or the know-how to benefit from link building, then ask for help! It couldn’t be easier.
Author: Josip Mlinarić
Josip Mlinaric is an e-mail marketing and outreach specialist offering digital marketing services at Point Visible, a marketing agency providing link-building and digital marketing services. He likes to say he has a simple and calm mindset in his approach toward life in general and likes to relax by experimenting in the kitchen or just chilling and listening to music.