Link building is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO), nonetheless, it is frequently overlooked or misunderstood by business owners. Even if a link-building strategy is in place, it is often assumed that the success will come after lots of links lead to your content. However, it’s only the relevant links that matter.
Besides that, some believe that link building doesn’t require lots of experience or more than one person on the task, which is also far from the truth. An experienced backlink provider knows where to look for possible collaborations, how to conduct outreach uniquely, and ensure a stable flow of meaningful links.
Not all teams are up to a complicated matter like this and that’s where outsourcing comes in as an option. Let’s go through why you should outsource link-building services, how to find the right vendor, and what benefits SEO links can bring to your business.
Link Building 101: How SEO Linking Works
Obviously, one of the reasons for outsourcing any services is the need for expertise. And although you don’t have to be an expert in that given field, you should know enough about how link building works to choose the best vendor.
What is link building?
The link-building process is a part of SEO outreach that ensures an exchange of valuable link references from one website to another. A link to your content placed on high authority sites can help search engines to determine it as trustworthy and make it rank better, display higher in the search results, and ultimately bring you more sales opportunities.
Ensuring the exchange of links between the websites is a task of a link builder. Such a person (or a team) is responsible for researching appropriate websites, choosing which ones you’d like to collaborate with (in the form of guest posting as well), reaching out to those resources in a personalized way, and filtering the links that enter your website.
Why is link building important?
Did you ever catch yourself opening one article and then a few clicks later ending up on an absolutely different website? This is the power that a good link-building strategy has. It guides readers toward your content and brand, and if the resource is trustworthy enough, it transfers some of its authority to you.
Link building works to promote your content, raise it above search engine noise, spread your thought leadership through the industry, build meaningful connections and partnerships, and elevate your brand awareness.
How do you gain a link?
There are many ways to acquire a link; however, these three ways are among the most effective ones:
- Editorial links: Most of the links on the internet were not requested by someone but rather put in place due to their relevance to the material. Those are editorial links. Getting an organic editorial link is much easier for bigger companies that rank well since their content is already read and shared.
However, if you feel that your content can be a valuable addition to someone’s article, you can reach out and influence editorial linking yourself.
- Guest blogs: The concept of guest blogging is like an exchange of wisdom: The host gets a piece of quality content for their blog and you get a promotional opportunity and an inbound link to your site. If done correctly, your brand name can get featured on the top-ranking resources. This tactic should be a part of your marketing efforts by default.
- Link for link: This method is when you reach out to request a link placement, and offer one in return. This tactic is not encouraged by Google and could cause penalties (if done in bulk) but it’s still widely used. It should be researched properly beforehand and used in addition to other link-building strategies.
What makes a link good?
According to Google Search advocate John Mueller, one good link from a relevant website can be more impactful than millions of low-quality links. Some vendors focus more on the numbers; however, quality should be their main objective.
A good link has at least one of the following characteristics:
- Positioned on a website with high domain authority
- Has a good link juice (the PageRank value you get from a backlink)
- Is a do-follow link (as "no-follow" tag signals search engines not to pass link juice to your website)
- Placed within the content of the article (not in the footer or the sidebar)
- Has appropriate anchor text (it indicates to Google what the page is about)
Benefits of Outsourcing Link Building
Before we get into specific reasons why you should outsource link building, let’s get down to its immediate value:
- It’s convenient. Why do people outsource in general? Simply because it’s easier. You don’t need to master the art of link building; instead, you can hire experts to do this for you so you can focus your energies elsewhere.
- It saves time. Link building is a tedious and time-consuming process. Research, outreach, trying out various strategies, and getting to an expert level take time. If you want results to be appearing sooner, outsourcing is the way to go.
- It saves money. Although it may come as a surprise that hiring a contractor saves you money, it really does. Outsourcing is usually cheaper than paying a salary for a full team, tools, and ramp-up time.
- It brings in accountability. With someone else doing the job, you get to monitor the progress, demand results, hold the vendor accountable for mistakes, and guide them in the right direction. Also, knowing that professionals are handling your matters can bring you peace of mind.
5 Top Reasons to Outsource Link Building
You should consider outsourcing link building if you have good content in place, a general understanding of what you expect to get out of this, and of course, a budget. If that checks out, here are five reasons why you should invest in outsourcing:
1. Your content ranks but not as high as you want.
It all starts with a good content strategy in place: Your content team works well and produces high-quality pieces yet they do not rank as high as you’d like them to or they are still a bit behind your competitors. If your content is appreciated by search engines but you feel like you need a little push to achieve your goals, outsourcing link-building services could be the perfect option.
2. Maintaining an internal team is too expensive.
Link building for agencies can be especially pricey to handle in-house, specifically if you are aiming for the highest results.
According to Glassdoor, an average junior specialist in California gets a minimum base pay of 55K per year. If you want someone more experienced (four to nine years) get ready to pay up to 90K per year. This price doesn’t include tech stack, hiring, and ramp time expenses, plus it doesn’t take into consideration your specific link-building goals.
And remember, it’s just one person. If you need things done quicker, you’ll need a team, and that requires an even bigger budget. For instance, CIENCE’s SEO and link-building team consists of twelve people including outreach managers, junior and senior backlink specialists, and an SEO manager.
3. You need to scale quickly.
Although the quality of links should be the priority, good links should be coming at a steady pace and volume (around ten links a month) to bring in results. That definitely takes time, notably when you have a bunch of objectives to reach.
Outsourced link-building specialists (good ones) that have been in business for some time usually have a bunch of tactics and tricks up their sleeves to effectively scale your activities as soon as possible. They should be able to quickly regroup if something doesn’t go as planned and offer a personalized approach for every client. Don’t expect results on the first day, but expect them to come faster than from an in-house team.
4. You require link-building expertise.
Link building is a tricky concept; besides dozens of types of links, tons of parameters to consider, and a bunch of tools to track, the rules to the SEO game change all the time. According to Moz, Google’s guidelines and algorithms change around 600 times a year.
Besides keeping a hand on the pulse, an expert brings their past experience and wisdom to you. If you’re outsourcing link-building services to complete your in-house team, it can be a great chance to fill in existing knowledge gaps.
5. You have a specific goal to fulfill.
Do you want to outrank your biggest competitor? Collaborate with the biggest names on the market? Attain links that are hard to get? It’s awesome to have ambitious goals, but it can be a challenge to fulfill them.
Outsourcing a specialist for a specific project can take a load off your team and bring you results much faster. Plus, when you have a clear task in mind, it’s easier to track success and manage your expectations.
How to Find a Trusted Outsourced Backlink Provider
One of the risks of outsourcing link building is getting yourself an unqualified vendor. A mistake like that can cost you money, time, and what started it all—links. Here are five best practices to help guide you in the right direction:
1. Review case studies.
There can be lots of talk about what a vendor can do for you, but actions speak louder than words. Case studies are a great way to see what kind of projects they’ve done, how they overcame challenges, and if they worked with the industry or niche you are in. A good case study will include info on the strategies used and goals achieved, and also state names and links to websites (which you can double-check too).
1. Check out company ratings.
Checking what people say of the company on the internet is a must. Do they have a good rating on Glassdoor or G2? That’s a good sign. What do the reviews say? Personal experiences of other companies that hire your vendor are like case studies told in person. Additionally, if someone you know vouches for this service provider (a.k.a. gives a referral), that should add some bonus trust points.
3. Go for transparency.
We’ve already established that link building is not easy, but besides that, there are a lot of companies out there that will try to offer you some shady deals (we’ll talk about that in a bit) or that don’t actually tell you how they get their links. As a client, you have the right to talk about these details. Ask about their strategies, processes, and where they get those links. If they are legit, they won’t withhold any of this information from you.
4. Look for quality over quantity.
Of course, numbers are important for results. However, consistency, predictability, and quality are more important. If their packages offer 50, 100, or 500 links per month for you to choose from, there’s probably not much focus on the quality. Likewise, try to avoid vendors that make their links sound magical—overpromising is just as bad.
5. Watch out for shady schemes.
So, there are lots of link-building schemes out there: excessive outreach (giving spammy vibes), any automation (if there was a way to automate link-building efforts, everyone would be doing it), an extra cheap price, or anything that looks suspicious can be a part of a black hat SEO, and you don’t need that.
Best Tips for Outsourcing Link Building
Once you’ve done your research and didn’t detect any red flags, you can start settling down for your vendor. Here are a few tips for you to ensure that your link-building plan goes smoothly:
1. Ask the provider about their services.
Ask a lot of questions and let them voice their professional opinion. Talk through what your company needs and what you expect from your collaboration with the provider.
2. Pace your expectations.
Remember that you are here for the quality and expertise, not for a hundred links in the first month. Plus, Google might find it suspicious and that’s the last thing you want.
3. Don’t put all your linking eggs in one basket.
Outsource Link Building to Scale Faster
Okay, what did we learn so far? Link building is important but can be tricky to nail on your own. Outsourcing link building can be a great way to save money and time and drive those resources elsewhere. It can enhance your existing team, bring you faster results, and overcome your current challenges. It’s convenient, has an excellent long-term perspective, and might be exactly what your marketing needs to scale your efforts effectively.