Link building is essential to improve website authority and search engine rankings. However, it can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for small businesses or individuals with limited resources.
One solution to this problem is outsourcing link building.
More than 60% of businesses outsource their link building to SEO freelancers and agencies to save their time and effort.
By delegating link building tasks to a reputable agency or freelancer, you can save time and resources and still reap the benefits of a strong backlink profile.
In this article, I will explore the benefits and challenges of outsourcing link building and provide tips on how to do it effectively.
Importance of Link Building
Here are the top advantages of link building:
- Increases organic rankings: Link building is crucial to rank your website at the top of the organic search results for your target keywords. Search engines use backlinks to determine a website's relevance and popularity. When your website has quality backlinks from authoritative websites, search engines are more likely to rank your website higher in search results.
- Improves domain authority: A higher number of links from top-quality websites helps to increase the domain authority of your website. Sites having higher domain authority are seen as trustworthy by search engines. Therefore, link building can improve domain authority by establishing your website as a credible source of information within your industry or niche. Building a solid backlink profile takes time and effort, but the benefits of higher domain authority can lead to increased search engine visibility, traffic, and conversions.
- Leads to higher organic traffic: When a website appears higher in search results, it is more likely to attract clicks and organic traffic. A higher search engine ranking leads to an increase in organic traffic to your website. This traffic is valuable because it is targeted and can help to generate valuable leads.
Image source: LinkedIn
- Opens opportunities for networking: Link building can also open up opportunities for networking within your industry or niche. Some of the top opportunities include co-authoring blog posts, creating infographics or videos, or hosting webinars or podcasts together. When you reach out to other website owners or bloggers to request backlinks, you can build relationships and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- Increases referral traffic: Referral traffic refers to visitors who visit your website through a link on another website rather than a search engine. When users click on a backlink and land on a website, they may explore it further and engage with the content. If they find the content valuable, they may share it with others, leading to more referral traffic.
- Improves brand awareness: Backlinks from high-quality and relevant websites can increase your website's credibility and authority within your industry or niche. This can lead to more brand awareness as people begin to recognize your website as a credible source of information. Moreover, link building can also lead to brand mentions, where other websites mention your brand name without necessarily linking to your website.
Benefits of Outsourcing Link Building
Outsourcing link building can offer several benefits for businesses that want to improve their search engine rankings and online visibility.
Here are some of the key benefits of outsourcing link building:
- Provides access to expertise: Link building is a challenging and time-consuming process that requires a certain level of expertise and experience. When you outsource link building to a specialist agency, you can gain access to their expertise and experience, ensuring that your link building strategy remains effective and efficient.
- Focus more on core business activities: By outsourcing link acquisition, you can free up more time to focus on your core business activities, such as product development, customer service, and marketing.
- Saves cost: Outsourcing link building can be a cost-effective solution for businesses because there is no need to hire a full-time link building specialist. Also, doing effective link building requires the use of several paid link building tools which agencies and freelance link builders already have access to. Hence, you don’t have to pay for the tools.
- Helps in scaling efforts: Link building is an ongoing process requiring consistent and sustained effort over time. Outsourcing link building allows you to scale your efforts depending on your link needs.
- Provides faster results: Link building can take time to produce results, especially starting from scratch. Link building companies already have partnerships with web admins, and they help you acquire links within a short span of time. Hence you are able to achieve faster results and improve your search engine rankings more quickly.
Drawbacks to Outsourcing Link Building
Here are some of the drawbacks to outsourcing link building:
- Quality and relevance of links: When outsourcing link building, ensuring that the acquired links are high-quality and relevant to your business can be challenging. Most link building providers use private blog networks or PBNs to create links that might have high domain authority but are counted as low-quality links.
- Risk of penalties: Outsourcing link building can also increase the risk of penalties from Google if the acquired links are deemed manipulative or violate Google's Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines). This can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings and online visibility, so it is essential to work with a reputable agency or freelancer that follows ethical and transparent link building practices.
- Lack of control: Outsourcing link building can also result in a lack of control over the link building process. This can make it challenging to ensure that the links being acquired align with your business goals and objectives and can result in a lower level of transparency and accountability.
- Cost: While outsourcing link building can be a cost-effective solution, it is crucial to consider the overall cost of the service, including any ongoing maintenance or monitoring required to ensure that the links remain high-quality and relevant over time.
Image source: LinkBuilder.io
How to Outsource Link Building
Here is a step-by-step plan to follow to outsource link building:
Step 1: Define Your Link Building Goals
Before outsourcing link building, defining your goals and objectives is essential because it will assist you in the onboarding process when you decide to hire a link-building agency or freelancer.
Setting link building goals will also help you identify the type of links you want to acquire and the overall strategy you want to follow.
These goals will act as milestones and help measure your future link building results. Consider aligning these results with set goals to improve your outsourced link building strategy further.
Step 2: Ensure You Have Got High-Quality Content
High-quality content is essential in link building because it is crucial in attracting authoritative links to your website. Quality content that provides value to your audience can help establish your website as a trustworthy and authoritative source of information in your niche.
This, in turn, can lead to other websites linking to your content as a reference, citation, or source of information, which can help improve your website's authority and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Link building through high-quality content can also generate organic traffic to your website, as users are more likely to share and engage with content that they find informative, valuable, or entertaining.
Additionally, high-quality content can help create a positive user experience by offering visitors a reason to stay on your site and explore other pages, ultimately leading to more conversions and repeat visitors.
Image source: DigitalGratified
Here are the steps to create high-quality content to improve your website traffic and conversions:
- Understand audiences’ search intent: Knowing your audience and the reason behind their search is crucial to creating valuable content. Your content should cater to the needs of your target audience at the same time as your marketing goals. Before creating your content, make sure the audience relates to it and that it is helpful for them and their queries.
- Improve readability: Keep your content paragraphs short and brief to improve the readability for the users. Formatted content is easy to read by both audiences and search engines. Hence, ensure that all the headings and body of the text are well formatted with no spelling mistakes, proper fonts, bullets, and spaces.
- Catch hold of epic and trending topics: It is essential to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates of the digital world to stay ahead of your competition. Select a topic relevant to your niche and unique enough to win over your competition. You can use tools like Google Trends and SEOptimer to find trending topics and popular keywords.
- Add infographics: Adding pictures, videos, charts, GIFs, and infographics to your content keeps the users engaged and also helps in ranking your content higher on major search engines.
- Include statistics, case studies, and personal experiences: Adding numbers and relevant case studies improves the credibility of your content among your audience. If you include relevant and valuable insights relating to your personal experience, the chances of getting your content shared and referred increase significantly.
Step 3: Determine a Budget for Outsourcing Link Building
Determining a budget for outsourcing link building depends on several factors, including the size of your business, the level of competition in your industry, and your marketing goals and objectives.
Consider the amount of work required to achieve your desired results. This can include the number of links needed, the quality required, and the time frame in which you expect to see results.
Experienced providers with a proven track record of success may charge a higher rate than less experienced providers.
It is essential to choose a provider that has a solid understanding of your industry and your target audience and uses ethical and effective link building strategies.
Step 4: Find A Link Building Agency Or Freelancer
Once you have defined your goals and are prepared with enough high-quality content, consider researching different link building providers to find one that is reputable, experienced, and aligns with your business needs.
You can search for providers online or ask for recommendations from other businesses in your industry. You can also look for online reviews and testimonials from past clients to get an idea of a provider's reputation and level of service.
Look for providers that have experience working in your industry or niche. This can indicate that they understand your industry's unique challenges and opportunities and are better equipped to deliver results.
Ensuring that the provider you choose uses ethical and effective link building strategies is crucial. Avoid providers that use black hat techniques or promise unrealistic results.
Step 5: Make A List Of Candidates Based On Specific Criteria
Before working with a link building provider, review their portfolio and case studies to ensure they have a proven track record of success.
Look at the types of websites and pages the agency has secured links for. Are they high-quality, authoritative sites? Are the links relevant to the client's industry and target audience?
A good link building agency should be able to secure various link types, including guest posts, resource pages, directories, and more. A diverse link profile is important for building a strong and sustainable backlink profile.
The agency should be transparent about its link building tactics and be able to provide detailed reports on the links they have secured. They should also be able to explain their process and answer any questions you have.
This will help you assess their expertise and experience, and determine whether they are a good fit for your business.
Step 6: Discuss Your Link Building Strategy
Once you have identified a link building provider, discuss your strategy with them to ensure they understand your goals and objectives. This will help you establish a clear and effective link building plan that aligns with your business needs.
Before developing a new link building strategy, it's important to analyze your current backlink profile. This will help identify any gaps or areas for improvement.
The agency should develop a customized link building plan that includes a variety of tactics such as guest posting, broken link building, and resource link building.
Step 7: Monitor The Results
After outsourcing link building to an agency or freelancer, it is important to monitor the results to ensure that the acquired links are high-quality and relevant to your business.
This will help you identify potential issues or risks and adjust your link building strategy as needed.
Here are the steps to measure your link building performance:
- Conduct a backlink audit: Auditing your backlink profile helps you locate any spammy links. You can take the help of specialized backlink checker tools like SEOptimer to get an analysis of your backlinks. A backlink audit report tells you about your website’s current authority, referring domains, and toxicity score.
- Evaluate your website’s organic traffic: Measuring your site’s traffic is another way to measure the success of your backlinks. Website traffic directly correlates to the quality and number of backlinks your website acquires. You can use Google Analytics, SimilarWeb, HubSpot, Matomo, and Google Search Console to determine the percentage of traffic derived from the newly created backlinks.
- Measure the ROI of your backlinks: As you have already set a budget for all your backlinks, it is essential to measure the cost of your backlink campaign. To clearly understand where your time and resources are being invested, you can take out the cost of each link consistently for a few months and watch the pattern. If the figures are positive and increasing, keep following the same pattern, but if there is a gap in the scope of improvement, try amending your backlink strategy. Measure the cost spent on backlinks campaigns and earnings to understand your SEO return on investments.
Step 8: Continuously Evaluate And Refine Your Link Building Strategy
Link building is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and refinement.
Regularly reviewing and adjusting your link building strategy ensures that it remains effective and aligned with your business goals over time.
Your link profile should look natural and must contain links from a variety of relevant sources having branded, exact-match, and long-tail keyword-based anchors.
Things to Watch Out For When Outsourcing Link Building
Here are some key points to keep in mind when you plan to outsource your link building:
Black Hat Techniques
Many link builders use black and gray hat link building techniques for short-term results and easy accessibility. Be wary of link building providers that use black hat techniques such as buying low-quality links, using link farms, or doing large-scale blog commenting.
These techniques can harm your website's search engine rankings and online reputation and can result in penalties from Google. Emphasize them to follow the search engine’s guidelines and use white hat link building techniques to ensure that your website ranks high on search engines.
Irrelevant or Low-Quality Links
Ensure that the links acquired by your provider are relevant to your business and are of high quality. Google's EEAT principle emphasizes the importance of expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness, so ensuring that the acquired links align with these principles is essential.
Image source: Search Logistics
The link builders should refrain from acquiring links from a PBN or spammy website as it could work adversely for your SEO, and you might end up wasting your money.
Lack of Transparency
Transparency ensures the acquired links are ethical and aligned with your business goals and objectives. Ensure the link builder you choose communicates with you at every stage. Also, choose a flexible link builder to work and communicate at your convenience.
Avoid link building providers focusing solely on optimizing your anchor text, as this can appear manipulative to Google and result in penalties. Ensure they are not using irrelevant keywords, and using a proper mix of branded anchors to link to your website. Ask them to maintain a balance of branded and keyword-rich anchors, so your website doesn’t look over-promoted.
Be cautious of link building providers that make unrealistic promises, such as guaranteed rankings or a certain number of links in a short period of time. Effective link building takes time and effort, and there are no guarantees in SEO.
Link building is in demand when performing SEO. Hence, you can expect many freelancers and link builders to charge more than needed. Watch out for such agencies and individuals, as it might all go in vain if search engines don’t recognize your website to rank on search results pages. Carefully evaluate how their link building services can benefit your SEO and whether it is worth spending such huge prices for it.
Before investing your money in a link building firm, it is essential to be sure whether your chosen link builder is trustworthy. Perform your due diligence by reaching out to their past clients, reviewing testimonials, and evaluating case studies.
Check out their online brand reputation and look for numbers they have been able to get for their clients. This will help you get to know your chosen link builder in a better way.
When acquiring links for a website, it is essential to be independent of a single source or similar websites. If your link builder follows this practice, make sure you convey to them the importance of link diversification in SEO. Acquiring links from various high-quality websites will help search engines find your website authoritative and relevant.
Ensure they acquire links of different types like a blog, comments, FAQs, guest posts, and social media posts.
Outsourcing link building can offer several benefits, but watching out for potential risks and issues is equally important. By working with a reputable provider, ensuring that the links acquired are high-quality and relevant, and monitoring the results regularly, you can achieve long-term success with your link building strategy.
Outsourcing link building can be a valuable strategy for improving your website's search engine rankings, increasing organic traffic, and expanding your online presence.
However, it is essential to approach link building outsourcing cautiously and follow a structured process to ensure that you are working with a reputable and experienced provider.
By defining your goals, researching providers, discussing your strategy, monitoring the results, and continuously evaluating and refining your approach, you can achieve long-term success by outsourcing your link building activities.
Remember to watch out for potential risks and issues, such as black hat techniques, irrelevant or low-quality links, lack of transparency, over-optimization, and unrealistic promises.
By avoiding these pitfalls and following best practices for outsourcing link building, you can create a sustainable and effective link building strategy that helps your business achieve its online goals.