Link building is a complex and tedious SEO activity that requires expertise and time.
41% of SEO experts believe link building is the most challenging part of search engine optimization.
Besides being challenging, link building also needs to be done cautiously because Google penalizes unnatural inbound links. Paid links, user-generated spammy links or PBN (private blog network) links are some that lead to Google penalties.
In this guide, I will cover the significant benefits of outsourcing your link building and how to choose the best link-building agency.
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What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring quality inbound links from other websites to your own website. The goal of link building is to increase the visibility and authority of your website in search engines and improve your rankings.
When any site on the web adds a hyperlink to your website, it is counted as a backlink. Backlinks can be:
- Nofollow, links that do not pass link equity (ranking power) to the website they link to
- Dofollow, links that do pass link equity (ranking power) to the website they link to
Hence, dofollow links from trusted, authoritative and high-traffic domains are best for SEO.
Remember, though, that not all links are equal: high-quality, relevant links from reputable websites are more valuable than low-quality, irrelevant links from spammy websites.
Different Types of Links
Links fall under different categories, as explained below:
- Internal Links: Links that connect one web page to another web page within the same website are called internal links. Both internal and external links are crucial to give a boost to your search engine optimization strategy. You can easily control internal links, and the number of internal links pointing to your target landing pages is a vital factor in the search engine ranking algorithm.
- Editorial Links: Links placed naturally within the body of an article due to the link’s relevance and usefulness are known as editorial links, natural links or organic links, and are not paid for.
- Guest Posting Links: These are links published on other websites when you contribute as a guest blogger as part of your content marketing strategy. The idea is to create quality content and add your link naturally within the content to acquire relevant link equity.
- Free Tool Links: These links are acquired by creating valuable and relevant free tools related to your niche. People love free tools and often link to them, which helps you build a valuable backlink profile to your domain.
- Testimonial Links: These links are included within a testimonial or review of a product, service or website. Testimonials often have links pointing back to the website of the testimonial writer. You approach businesses looking for testimonials to offer them a positive (and honest) testimonial for their product or service.
- Infographic Links: Links included within an infographic, which is a visual representation of information or data, are known as infographic links. They are often placed on other websites or social media platforms and can be a highly effective way to build backlinks.
- Press Release Links: Under this type of link, you publish an official statement about your company or its products and services with a link back to your website within the contact information. You can use several PR services to distribute your press release content. Press release links help gain backlinks from relevant media outlets.
How Links Impact SEO and Search Engine Rankings
Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, confirmed that backlinks are one of the most vital ranking factors that Google uses to rank a website in organic SERPs.
Search engines use “relevancy” and “authority” as key metrics to judge the importance of a link:
- Relevance refers to how closely related the content of the linking page is to the content of the linked-to page. A backlink from a highly relevant source is more valuable than a backlink from an unrelated source.
- Authority refers to a website’s trustworthiness and credibility, which is calculated by PageRank (PR). If a higher PR page links to your website, higher authority will be transferred to your website.
PageRank is an algorithm named after Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google, and is based on the concept of “link equity.” PageRank assigns a score to each web page based on the number and quality of links pointing to it:
Pages with more and higher-quality links are considered more valuable and are given a higher PageRank score, which can help them rank higher in Google’s search results.
Why Outsource SEO Link Building?
SEO link building requires specialized knowledge and skills that many businesses may not have in-house.
When you outsource link building to an experienced link-building agency, SEO agency or consultant, you can tap into their expertise and benefit from their knowledge of link-building best practices.
Here are the significant mistakes that most businesses make when acquiring backlinks – and thus why it makes sense to outsource your linking building for SEO:
- Focusing on quantity rather than quality: To acquire a lot of backlinks, businesses try to build links from all kinds of websites, including those with a low, rather than high domain authority score. Link-building agencies consistently assess the quality of links before acquiring them, which keeps your domain safe in rankings.
Having links from non-relevant or low-quality domains can penalize your website by search engines and decrease your rankings. It can even hurt your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness. Hence, it is essential to get backlinks from websites that create high-quality content and follow all the ethical practices of SEO.
- Purchasing links: Paid links that pass PageRank violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. However, most businesses opt for paid links without realizing that this action could lead to a manual action Google penalty. Specialized link-building companies understand how paid link-detection algorithms work and the impacts of paid link building, so they take proper steps to acquire links naturally that benefit your website SEO without the risk of penalties.
- Not diversifying link building: Links should always come from various sources. Expert SEO link-building services always use a variety of channels to build links to keep your link profile natural. Companies managing link building on their own often need more time and resources to diversify their efforts.
- Over-optimizing anchor texts: Over-optimizing your anchor texts is a part of black hat SEO and should be avoided. A higher percentage of exact-match anchor text can lead to a Penguin penalty. Outsourcing your link building to experienced link builders ensures that the anchors leading to your website remain natural so that your site is safe in the organic search results.
- Acquiring links from irrelevant sites: If you are a law firm with a link from a recipe website that talks about preparing cakes, then such a link is considered irrelevant. For a law service, links from law websites are considered the most relevant. Link-building consultants ensure that your links remain relevant so that you get the maximum benefit from your outsourcing link building.
- Excessive exchanging of links: When you exchange links with a business in your niche but not your direct competitor, it is considered a good SEO strategy for acquiring links. However, creating resource pages with hundreds of exchanged links can violate search engine guidelines and lead to penalties.
- Focusing only on dofollow links: Once businesses find out that dofollow links are best for SEO, they tend to only focus on acquiring dofollow links to their website. But when you outsource link building to expert digital marketing agencies, they ensure a mix of nofollow and dofollow links to keep your dofollow link ratio natural.
6 Benefits of Link Building Outsourcing
Here are the top reasons to outsource your link building:
- Access to Expertise and Experience: Link-building agencies have competent link builders with specific experience building niche-relevant and authority backlinks. They understand the search engine algorithms and can adapt to the ever-changing updates. Link-building experts combine their expertise with automation to give you the best results faster.
- Saves Time and Resources: Most link-building agencies have specialized tools to manage the link-building process, such as link prospecting, outreach and relationship management. This can save time and reduce the need for manual labor. The time saved by backlink outsourcing can be utilized in other areas of marketing, leading to more customer acquisition opportunities.
- Offers Scalability: It takes a lot of time for businesses to gather high-quality links due to a lack of awareness about the latest tactics and sources to acquire links. SEO agencies and consultants often offer a range of link-building services that can be customized to the needs of their clients. This allows businesses to scale their link-building efforts up or down depending on their needs without worrying about hiring and training new staff.
- Improve Relationships: Link-building agencies and freelancers have years of experience in the SEO industry. Hence, they have a strong network of industry experts, bloggers, writers, marketers and influencers from various niches. Collaborating with the top link-building services helps you acquire links from a variety of content written by reputable bloggers and industry experts, which helps increase your website’s organic rankings.
- Provides Consistency: When a business builds links, it becomes difficult to maintain consistency. However, you can expect consistent results when you outsource link acquisition because SEO agencies and freelancers have a specialized system and process that promises timely outcomes. Most link-building services have a transparent reporting system and share weekly, monthly or quarterly reports showing the number of backlinks acquired along with crucial metrics like DA, organic traffic and link type.
- Reduces Cost: Outsourcing link acquisition is cost-effective compared to using in-house link builders. When you manage the entire link-building strategy yourself, you will need to hire additional experts which means additional costs, such as salaries and SEO link-building software. An agency will have access to a number of tools, meaning you can save on link building tool costs without compromising link quality.
How to Choose the Right Link-Building Agency
Here are the steps to choose the best link-building agency for your business:
- Set Your Goals: Before looking for a link-building agency, it is crucial to know the goals you want to reach, what you expect from the outsourcing company, what kind of links you want to acquire, and what methods you want them to adopt. Whether improving your search engine rankings or brand authority, it should be well-defined in advance. It makes it easier for the agency to act when they are given a roadmap and destination to get links.
- Define a Budget: You can have as many links pointing back to your website, but every link comes with a cost. Hence, you should always have a clear budget in mind as this will help you get the best returns on your investment.
- Prepare a list of top agencies: Use different channels such as search engines, social media platforms and freelancing sites to gather information about the top link-building companies. Curate a list based on their services, package pricing, client testimonials, past case studies and overall brand reputation.
- Evaluate the shortlisted companies: Once you are ready with the list, it’s time to check the background of the link-building agencies as to whether they are using white hat techniques and how good their portfolio is. Choose the best agency on various factors like link diversification, quality of the links, client testimonials, past track record, level of transparency, pricing and accessible communication.
- Have an initial consultation: Before putting your money into a link-building agency, schedule a consultation call with them to understand their working style. Ask all the necessary questions to avoid any discrepancies after you’ve signed a contract.
We’ve done some of the legwork for you! Check out this guide for a top link-building agency: Best Link-Building Agency: Top 6 Picks for 2023
Link-building campaigns have a lot of elements to handle, which, if done without experience and expertise, could lead to severe repercussions from search engines.
With so many benefits that outsourcing link building offers, it is clear why businesses should invest in an experienced agency that matches the above criteria, keeping your SEO goals and budget in mind.
Outsourcing will help your brand gain improved digital visibility within a specified time, overcoming the challenges you currently face with link building.