Looking to improve your rankings on Google?
Outsourcing link-building is the way to go!
By hiring the right link-building partner, you’ll be able to start creating quality backlinks for your website without having to lift a finger.
The key here, though, is hiring the right partner. SEO experts are a dime a dozen, but not all of them are going to be able to improve your website’s rankings.
In this article, we’ll teach you all you need to know about outsourcing link building, as well as how to identify and hire the right outsourcing partner.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Should You Outsource Link Building?
- 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Link Building
- 8 Tips on How to Outsource Link Building
- What’s the Process of Outsourcing Link Building?
Let’s dive right in!
Should You Outsource Link Building?
As a white hat link-building agency we might be a bit biased here, but here’s our take.
Unless you’re an SEO expert with a wealth of experience behind you’re back, chances are you’re better off outsourcing the entire link-building process.
Link building is one of those things that you master with experience.
Sure, the basics of link building are simple – send out outreach emails and build links to your website.
But a professional link builder knows all sorts of minor details that can make or break your link-building campaign.
- What percentage of all backlinks that you build should be pointed toward your homepage?
- What’s the best possible anchor text for a given page?
- How can you make sure that your backlink placements appear as natural as possible?
- When does it make sense to pay for backlinks? How much is a given link worth?
- How can you spot and avoid low-quality backlinks?
And so much more.
By outsourcing your link building, you can skip the first two years of learning and experimentation and start delivering results ASAP.
5 Benefits of Outsourcing Link Building
The five most important benefits of outsourcing your link building are as follows:
- Save Time. If you were to do link building in-house, it would take you a long time to set up operations. You’d need to figure out how to use the tools, which outreach email types are more effective, and so on.
- Lower Costs. It’s cheaper to pay for a professional link-building agency than to hire an in-house team (with all the costs associated with that).
- Better Results. Link-building agencies are already likely to have relations with websites in your niche, so they’ll be able to deliver better results compared to someone just starting in the niche.
- Less Experimentation. Link-building outsourcing agencies know what kind of strategies and tactics work in 2022, so they can spend less time testing things and more time building quality backlinks.
- Fast Startup Time. Since outsourced link-building agencies have established processes, they can start delivering backlinks within a week of starting collaboration. If you were to do link building yourself, it can take you over a month just to set up the right processes.
7 Tips for Outsourcing Link Building
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, picking the right link-building outsourcing partner can make or break your rankings.
There are a lot of SEO experts out there, but not all of them are going to be able to deliver results.
Below, we’ll cover eight important tips you should consider when outsourcing your link building:
#1. Understand What a Quality Backlink Is
Before you can outsource your link building, you need to understand what a quality backlink is in the first place.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell whether the backlinks a link-building partner delivers are legitimate or not.
So, here’s how you can identify the quality of backlinks:
- Website topical relevance. You want to build links from websites in niches associated with yours.
- Good Example: Backlink from a travel blog to your website about cheap flight deals.
- Bad Example: Backlink from a cooking blog to your website about SEO.
- Page topical relevance. The page you’re getting a backlink from should be related to the page it’s linking to.
- Good Example: A link to your SEO keyword research guide from a post about digital marketing.
- Bad Example: A link to your article about personal finance from a post about SEO.
- The number of referring domains. The more quality backlinks a website has, the more impact their backlinks are going to have.
- Rankings on Google. What’s a better way to know whether a site is in Google’s good graces than if they drive a lot of organic traffic?
- Page metrics. If a page that’s linking to you has backlinks of its own, it’s going to have more impact.
- Do-follow or no-follow. No-follow backlinks, in most cases, have zero impact on your rankings, so you should always look for do-follow ones.
- Domain authority (DA). DA is a third-party metric that gives you a ballpark estimate of how strong a particular domain is. If a website has a DA of less than 20, then it’s a fresh website. DA 20-40 is usually pretty good, and most websites are in this range. 40 to 60 is very good, and anything above 60 is extraordinary.
#2. Know How to Spot Link Farms
A link farm is a website that’s created specifically to sell backlinks. Although they may seem like a good link prospect because they:
- Have a very high domain authority
- Drive a lot of organic traffic
- Extensively cover topics associated with your niche
The backlinks you’d get from them would be devalued very hard because they have a lot of outgoing links.
This means that they link to SO many websites, that each of these links has very little value.
Plus, a lot of these websites use blackhat techniques to improve their rankings very fast and make themselves look like good backlink prospects. Within months, Google catches up and tanks their traffic, which also has an impact on the websites that they link to.
Blackhat link-building agencies use link farms to sell links the easy way.
Instead of doing backlink prospecting, personalized outreach, and all the other hard work associated with doing link-building the right way, they simply work with link farm vendors and sell backlinks at a high markup.
If you see that your link-building agency is delivering backlinks from link farms, drop them and find someone else.
Check out our article on link farms to learn how to spot them and avoid outsourced link-building agencies that sell them.
#3. Make Sure You Have the Right SEO Foundation
Before beginning with link building, you want to make sure that your website is built on SEO best practices.
If your website, for example, is not mobile-friendly or takes 5+ seconds to load, you have more pressing concerns than building new backlinks.
Similarly, if you don’t have any content on your website, you’re better off buying SEO content-writing services first and then outsourcing your link-building.
In case you’re struggling with creating quality content, make sure to check out our guide to outsourcing content writing.
#4. Understand Link Building Pricing
Having a good grasp of how outsourced link building is priced is going to help you decide between different vendors.
Usually, most link-building agencies offer up two different types of services:
- Managed Link Building. You work with an agency on a retainer and, every month, the agency delivers 8-20+ backlinks (depending on the pricing).
- Individual Backlinks. You pay an agency a certain fee for each backlink built on a one-off basis. This is usually more expensive than paying a monthly fee.
Now, something to note here is that link building is rarely cheap.
Managed link-building services start at 3,000 USD per month (for 8-10 backlinks), and individual backlinks can cost anything from 150 to 450 USD.
This is because link-building can be a costly process. For the price, you get:
- Link Prospecting. Every month, the link-building agency creates and qualifies prospects that you’d benefit from getting links.
- Outreach. The agency uses outreach software (like Snov.io) to send personalized emails to prospects.
- Lead Communication. The agency communicates with link prospects and ensures link placement.
- Content Creation. If you’re doing guest posting, the agency creates the guest posts published on the prospect’s blog.
- Lead Negotiation. Sometimes, website owners are going to ask for something in exchange for link placement. The agency negotiates with them and gets the best price possible.
- Placement Fees. If the website owner asks for a placement fee for a link or a guest post, the agency covers the fee from their end.
As such, the costs of link building can add up.
If you spot anyone offering links for cheap, 9 out of 10 times, it’s because they’re selling something sketchy like link-farm backlinks, web 2.0 links, forum links, or something along those lines.
Speaking of sketchy backlinks…
#5. Avoid Sketchy Backlinks
A lot of link-building “experts” sell services that simply don’t work in 2022.
Some such backlinks (that you should avoid) are:
- Web 2.0. Backlinks from self-publishing websites like Reddit or Medium. These links are either very low quality or no-follow most of the time.
- Forum backlinks. Most forums make all outgoing community-placed backlinks no-follow, so they don’t carry any backlink juice.
- Blog comment backlinks. Blog comment backlinks are almost always no-follow, and again, they don’t carry any backlink juice.
- Fiverr backlinks. Fiverr is the mecca of sketchy backlink vendors. They usually sell a mix of web 2.0, forum, blog comment, and link farm backlinks at a suspiciously good price.
#6. Read Some Case Studies
One of the best ways to understand whether a link-building partner can deliver results is to read their SEO case studies.
Go to the case studies page of the agency you’re considering working with and find answers to the following questions:
- Have they worked in your niche before?
- What kind of results have they driven?
- What kind of work have they delivered for their previous clients?
- What kind of backlinks have they built for their clients?
- Does the agency do just link-building or do they offer general SEO services?
Avoid agencies with extremely vague case studies.
If a case study is titled something like: “How We Increased Website’s Traffic by 100%,” you can’t really understand how impactful their work was.
Did they improve the site’s traffic from 10 to 20 or 1 million to 2 million? Did it take them 6 months or 2 years?
A good SEO case study should include data on:
2. Results driven (in numbers, not percentages)
3. Type of work delivered
#7. Be Careful With Agencies That Over-Promise
When outsourcing link-building, it’s important to have very clear expectations of your SEO partner.
SEO is wildly different from paid advertising. You’re not going to start seeing results the moment you start building backlinks to your website.
On average, it takes around six months to a year to start seeing results from your link-building operations.
Heck, in competitive niches where some companies spend six figures on link-building, it’s going to take even more.
So, if an outsourced link-building agency over-promises results by saying something like:
“We can deliver SEO results within less than 2 months”
“We guarantee that we can get your website to rank #1 for your target keyword”
Then you should steer clear.
Check out our article on pay-for-performance SEO agencies to learn more.
What’s the Process of Outsourcing Link Building?
So you decided to outsource your link building.
Now, you’re probably wondering what, exactly, you can expect from a link-building partner.
While every outsourced link-building agency’s process is different, here’s what ours looks like:
- Strategy. We analyze your website’s rankings and decide on link-building targets for every key page.
- (Optional) Content Creation. If your website content isn’t very high quality, we jump in and either upgrade your existing pages or create new ones.
- Competitor Backlink Audit. We audit your competitors’ backlink profiles and reach out to the websites that link to competitors but not you.
- (Optional) Outreach Email Setup. Sometimes, we create a dedicated outreach email on behalf of the client and warm it up. Other times, we use our own warmed-up and optimized emails.
- Define Link Prospecting Strategies. We come up with several strategies for uncovering link prospects in your niche.
- Personalized Outreach. We use tools like Snov.io to send personalized emails to our prospects.
- Communication With Prospects. We communicate with the prospects and ensure a successful backlink placement.
- (Optional) Guest Post Creation. If we’re doing guest posting, we handle guest post creation from our end.
And that’s a wrap!
Hope you enjoyed our guide to outsourcing link-building services.
Before you go, here’s a quick recap of the most important things we’ve covered in this article:
- Unless you’re an SEO specialist yourself, you’re much better off outsourcing link building than doing it in-house.
- There are numerous benefits to outsourcing link building, but the most prominent ones are saving time, saving money, and getting results faster.
- Succeeding with outsourced link-building depends on picking the right link-building agency. Follow the tips we outlined in this article and you’ll know all you need to know here.
- Finally, a successful outsourced link-building process involves things like competitor audits, link prospecting, personalized outreach, and ongoing communication with prospects.