At first glance, outsourcing link building is like gambling. You surely hear stories like one hired link building agency X, they built dozens of high-quality links, and the website’s organic traffic has skyrocketed by 348%. On the other hand, your friend poured decent money into link building services by Q but got a handful of low-quality links.
So how do you know which service provider will ensure top-notch results? And how do you know if your website is ready for link building? Keep reading to find out just that!
Outsourced link building is hiring external experts to manage backlink campaigns and improve website search engine rankings. By outsourcing, you can tap into the expertise of seasoned SEOs who understand how to acquire high-quality and relevant backlinks.
The main advantage of outsourced link building is you can get the needed number of backlinks within the first month of collaboration.
If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it may be the right time to consider outsourcing.
As your business grows, so does the need for a more extensive and effective link building strategy. Outsourcing allows you to capitalize on a team of professionals who have the capacity to scale your efforts and create a more significant impact on your search engine rankings.
For instance, if you're currently acquiring 10-20 high-quality backlinks per month and you aim to double or triple that number, an outsourced team can help you achieve this goal more efficiently. They have resources, connections with journalists, and proven tactics to build links at scale and right of the gate.
In contrast, one seasoned link builder can only secure 7–15 links per month on average.
Outsourcing link building can be a cost-effective option compared to hiring in-house specialists or expanding your team. By partnering with a reputable agency or professional, you only pay for the services you need, avoiding overhead costs such as training, payroll, sick leaves, and benefits.
If your budget allows for $5,000 a month, outsourcing can provide you with the necessary expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee.
When you need immediate results, outsourcing can help you hit the ground running. Experienced link builders have established relationships with authoritative websites and possess outreach techniques that can expedite the process.
For instance, Editorial.Link has extensive experience in IT, Tech, SaaS, Crypto, Real Estate, Finance, Marketing, Design, E-commerce, and Automotive industries. This helped the team secure 71 backlinks with an average DR of 68 in just 4 months for a CFD trading platform!
If your in-house team is already stretched thin or lacks the expertise required for effective link building, outsourcing can fill the gap. Team up with a skilled link building team and access a wealth of knowledge and experience.
This allows you to focus on other critical aspects of your business, such as content creation and product development, while the outsourced team handles your backlink strategy.
Ready to outsource link building? To ensure the desired outcomes, you have to be well-prepared and have a clear link building strategy in mind before contacting link building vendors.
This chapter will guide you through six essential steps to help you get started with the outsourcing process.
To ensure your website is ready for link building, follow these recommendations:
If something is missing, for example, a solid content strategy in place, there’s no guarantee link building will significantly improve your rankings. However, it solely depends on the niche and the current competition in the SERP.
CTA: Contact Senior Link Building Strategist from Editorial Link to get a free check-in on your site and suggestions for your link building strategy.
Having clear objectives will help you communicate your expectations to the link building agency and ensure a successful partnership. Here are some common objectives to consider:
Determine and discuss your own goals with your link building vendor to work towards them.
Selecting the right link building tactics is crucial for achieving your desired SEO results. Here's a brief overview of some popular types of link building and their potential outcomes.
This tactic focuses on acquiring backlinks that point to your website's homepage. It helps improve your site's domain authority, which can positively impact the ranking potential of all other pages on your website. Popular tactics of home page link building include links from:
Home page link building is rather a natural byproduct of all marketing efforts involved.
Focusing solely on directing links to your home page can bring more harm than good. The risks are diluted link equity, lower conversion rates, and missed opportunities, to name a few. Also, pointing all links to the home page looks unnatural in Google’s eyes and may be considered a violation of Google Guidelines. A diversified, natural-looking backlink profile
This approach involves earning backlinks from high-authority websites through mentions or citations in their editorial content. And this tactic is full of golden nuggets. First, you contribute only high-quality content to top-tier websites. This helps you establish your expertise and land backlinks from high-DR sites, like HubSpot, Monday, Forbes, WordStream, Fortune, etc.
Second, editorial link building can drive referral traffic. Of course, it cannot be your chief goal but a nice bonus.
Editorial link building is what companies prefer to outsource because it takes a great effort and established relationships with editors to be featured on those sites.
Note: Organic mentions of your content on reputable websites are also considered editorial link building.
Editorial.Link earns corporate blog backlinks from Monday, WordStream, HubSpot, G2, Appsumo, and more. Contact our team to secure top-tier links.
In this method, you actively reach out to relevant websites and request backlinks, often by offering high-quality content or a mutually beneficial partnership. Although it sounds familiar to editorial link building, here are the main differences:
Most link builders providers like Editorial.Link offer a combination of outreach and editorial link building to have more control over link placements and cater link building strategies to the client’s needs.
Now it’s time to think about your budget that aligns with your goals and expectations. To do so, you'll need to consider the cost of hiring a link building agency or in-house specialist and the potential return on investment (ROI).
Suppose you're planning to invest $7,000 in link building and expect to gain 15-20 high-quality backlinks per month. To set a realistic budget, you'll need to understand the average cost of hiring a link builder and the output you can expect from them.
For example, the average salary of a link building specialist in the US is around $63,331 per year and can exceed $114,000, according to Glassdoor.
If you were to hire a full-time link builder, you could expect them to generate approximately 10-15 editorial backlinks per month, considering the time required for research, outreach, and content creation. With that, the cost of a link soars to a whopping $425–$730 for link placement.
Add extra expenses for gear, taxes, onboarding, benefits, vacation leaves, supervising, etc. A simple calculation dictates its rules — outsourcing is a more cost-effective solution.
Case in point: Editorial.Link built 360 unique backlinks in 12 months for Boxmode, a drag & drop website builder. Or ~30 links per month. If they were to hire in-house link builders or pay per link, they would end up paying $153,000+ on the low end. Way more than the actual amount Boxmode paid for the links.
On the other hand, the average monthly retainer for outsourcing link building is about $10,000. Affordable packages may start at $5,000 per month. For this money, you can expect from 15 to 30 links per month. What’s more — you pay only for the end result.
If for some reason, your vendor doesn’t deliver 15 links in X month, these links (or payment) move to the next month. This approach is wildly popular among all link building agencies, so rest assured you get what you pay for.
📍Editorial.link’s monthly plans start at $1,750 for startups with 5 built links in total. The Pro plan comes with 10 links for $3,500/month. And the Growth plan costs $7,000/month with 20 links.
For enterprises, the link building package includes 50 links for $17,500/month. You can also contact our team and get a personal quote tailored to your needs.
This part is necessary for a successful outsourced link building for several reasons:
A general understanding of the process will help you to delegate link building efforts to the right hands. Let’s dive in!
Prospecting is the foundation of a successful link building campaign, much like laying the groundwork before constructing a building. It involves meticulously identifying and evaluating potential websites for acquiring backlinks. The result is a spreadsheet with high-quality, relevant, and authoritative sites that can have a meaningful impact on your SEO efforts.
Reliable link builders share prospect databases with their clients, so they can cherry-pick the most desirable sites to build links to.
This step ensures the quality of each prospect by specific criteria:
Does a site match all criteria? Awesome. You’re going to build links that move the needle.
Case to point: Editorial.Link provides its client Capital.com with new vetted prospects several times per week. Capital chooses the ones they want to acquire links from, and, as a result, Capital secures about 15-20 links per month. This approach has led to increased organic traffic by +1600% for the target URL in four months.
Outreach can be the most time-consuming aspect of link building for in-house teams and can often make or break a campaign. It requires a lot of research and communication skills. Firstly, you’ve got to find the right contact person. Then, you need to craft a compelling and personalized message that convinces prospects to accept your guest post or take a look at your content.
The reply rate (both positive and negative) for cold outreach is 8.5%. So estimate your chances and speed of earning backlinks if you don’t have well-established relationships with editors from top-tier sites.
To cut through the noise and increase reply rates, trusted link building agencies opt for highly-personalized outreach and engage with link building communities. This enables them to build links at scale without risking the reputation of the client's brand.
We at Editorial.Link hit 58% of an average response rate thanks to meaningful personalization and building relationships with editors long before pitching them.
Discover Hunter’s library of 44 link building cold pitches.
The final step that your link building vendor should prioritize is transparent reporting and monitoring of all links acquired during the collaboration period.
The report contains the number of earned links in a month, their type, target URLs, anchor text, DR, etc. In addition, the link building provider should ensure that the links built in previous months are still in place and functioning properly.
For reporting, a simple solution such as Google Sheets is plenty.
Now it’s time to find a credible link building service provider for your needs and budget. At this point, you've got two options: you can either hire a freelance contractor or an agency to take care of your link building needs.
Where can you find qualified professionals, and how can you verify their proficiency?
A link building agency or a contractor must have solid background processes and clear communication skills to run every project smoothly. To determine whether a provider meets these criteria, you can ask them a series of questions.
Look for direct, transparent answers with proven case studies, tactics, and samples. Watch out for black hat tactics, the lack of transparency, or the refusal to answer your questions.
The first source is word-of-mouth. Ask your circle for recommendations on link building services and if they have any negative experiences with their current provider.
Also, you can find lots of trusted agencies on sites like Clutch. The platform provides only verified customer reviews and consolidates information on the company, budget, results, and other relevant details.
If you want to explore companies worldwide or from a particular country, Clutch is your must-visit site.
To find individual contractors, search through LinkedIn, Fiverr, or UpWork. Finding freelancers on LinkedIn comes with some friction and manual checking of each profile. For instance, LinkedIn offers about 9,300 profiles that provide link building services and speak English.
Pro Tip: Start with checking your 1st and 2nd connections with the most mutual friends. On LinkedIn, people follow those who write interesting content. The more followers a page has, the more chances you’ll get awesome results. You can also narrow down your search by setting location.
UpWork and Fiverr also suggest manual vetting of each contractor, but here you can see completed projects and read the reviews. Plus, you can set up hours billed and job completion rates to get a list of top-rated freelancers.
But beware of dishonest and deceitful specialists on UpWork and Fiverr. Perfect ratings and reviews can be easily bought on Facebook Groups. Unfortunately, it’s hard to dissect the authenticity of a review, so we’d agree with Brian Dean on link building on these platforms “When it comes to SEO, Fiverr is a HUGE waste of money.”
With that, let’s move to the final part and discuss what packages are available for outsourcing link building.
If boiled down, there are two types of services.
One common pricing option for link building services is pay-per-link, where you pay a set amount for each dofollow link. The cost per link floats around from $150 to $650 and massively depends on the quality of the link, the domain authority of the website it's coming from, and the competitiveness of the industry.
This type of service is usually provided by freelance contractors.
Best for: Businesses that want to start with a smaller investment and have more control over their budget.
Risks: Low-quality links from link farms and PBNs, relevance issues, inconsistency, and reputation damage.
Another pricing option is to pay per package, where you pay a fixed price for a set number of links or a specific link building service package. This can include a range of services, such as editorial, guest posting, and broken link building. Packages can range from a few links per month to hundreds, and the pricing can vary based on the level of complexity and scope of the work.
On average, link building agencies charge $5,000—$10,000 for small and mid-sized businesses and $25,000—$50,000 for enterprises.
Best for: Companies looking for ongoing support and maintenance of their link building strategy.
Risks: Unmet monthly quota, dependence on a service provider, and contract terms.
Here, we've outlined some of the key pros and cons of outsourcing link building vs. in-house to help you make an informed decision.
|Outsourcing Link Building||In-House Link Building|
|Expertise||Can provide specialized expertise and industry knowledge||Allows for internal knowledge and control|
|Time Efficiency||Saves time and resources||Requires time and resources to train and manage staff|
|Scalability||Can easily scale up or down based on needs||Limited ability to scale up or down based on staff size and their expertise|
|Cost Savings||More cost-effective in the long and short runs||Requires upfront investment in staff and resources|
|Fresh Perspective||Can provide a fresh perspective and new ideas||May be limited by internal biases and perspectives|
|Communication||Requires clear communication and management of expectations||Easier to communicate and manage expectations internally|
|Quality Control||Requires trust in the service provider's quality control measures||Easier to maintain quality control internally|
|Brand Knowledge||The same time required to learn about the brand and its values|
|Turnover Risk||Risk of turnover and loss of institutional knowledge||Limited turnover risk and ability to retain institutional memory|
|Limited Control||Somewhat limited control over the link building process and strategies used||Full control over the link building process and strategies used|
One of the main advantages of outsourcing link building is the access to specialized expertise and industry knowledge. Third-party service providers have the experience and resources to develop and execute effective link building strategies to boost your rankings and drive traffic. Additionally, outsourcing can provide a fresh perspective and new ideas for your link building strategy.
On the other hand, keeping link building in-house can provide more control and flexibility over the link building process and strategies used.
We recommend a mix of in-house and outsourced link building for maximum high-quality backlinks and ROI. Get in touch with our team to start getting backlinks from top-tier websites!