backlinks

Link building packages – What you should look for in a vendor


Backlinks are a vital part of SEO as they signal to search engines that your site is a quality source of content. There are multiple ways to build links including guest blogging, creating citations, press releases and niche edits among others.

A lot of businesses struggle with acquiring quality links and SEO in general. As a result, some choose to outsource the process to link building service providers.

If this sounds like you, we have some cautionary advice for you. Choosing the wrong agency will expose your business to risks such as spammy links and a possible Google penalty to cap it. On the other hand, the right link builder will boost your revenue by helping you higher on search results and attracting the right traffic to your website.

So how do you tell who to hire and who to avoid? In this quick guide, we share seven crucial things to look for when searching for the right link building company.

Experience

When it comes to SEO, you want to work with a company with sufficient link building experience and preferably one that has worked with other clients in your industry. An experienced agency will have the connections to help them build links fast.

A lot of trusted SEO companies have a reputable history and blogs where they contribute to regularly. You will also easily find their connections on forums and social media while their LinkedIn record should speak for itself.

Sure, you might end up paying more for their guest post link building but rest assured it’s worth every penny for the quality of service you’re getting.

SEO strategy

The strategy your link building company employs matters a lot in the eventual success of your campaign. To be sure about this, ask them a few important questions to determine if they have a clear path that they follow.

For example, tell them to highlight your top competitors that they aim to beat. Besides, ask them to point out ten keywords they’re targeting to rank for?

Another simple way to rate them is by checking their website to see whether they’ve acquired links from authority websites themselves. A thorough assessment of their backlink profile should give you an idea of what to expect.

Finally, ask them about the tools they use for purposes of SEO. Some like Ahrefs, Open Website Explorer, Majestic SEO, BuzzStream, and Link Prospector are a good place to start. No experienced link builder will rely on Google advanced searches alone.

Link diversity

If a prospective link builder focuses on optimizing for Google alone, you could end up losing a lot of leads from Yahoo, Bing and MSN. This is why the more diverse their links are, the better it is for you.

Choose an agency that gets links from different places and optimizes for multiple search engines. They should be able to build links using tactics like guest posting, citation building, resource pages and broken link building technique.

Proof of work

The best provider should be willing to provide proof of work and at least some companies they’ve helped to grow. Sure, most SEO companies sign non-disclosure agreements with business owners which means they may not disclose every detail to you. Still, they need to provide a few testimonials to back up their experience. Preferably, go for a firm with a portfolio showing industry-related businesses they’ve worked with and driven desired results for them.

Track performance

Before picking an agency, find out how they report their campaign successes, failures, opportunities, and risks. They should show appreciation for clear and regular reporting and demonstrate how they will be tracking your website performance.

This may include a combination of reports such as traditional link profile reports, ranking reports, Google Webmaster Tool reports, or a combination of all of them.

It’s important that the agency reports along with the exact KPIs as agreed and in a manner that’s transparent and accountable. Avoid firms that distract you from failure by sending reports that highlight only the wins.

Beyond these reports, your agency should estimate how much time is needed to achieve a certain amount of links. If they are not ready to show the roadmap and strategies they work with, steer clear and move to the next candidate.

Communication

When an issue arises, you should ask questions and get answers right away without feeling like you are pushing too much. A responsive agency will keep in touch regularly regardless of whether they are delivering good or bad news.

Oftentimes, bad things happen in SEO. And if the unfortunate happens, the agency should talk to you with a plan on how they intend to address it. The worst thing they can do is to ghost you during a crisis.

Before agreeing to outsource SEO services, let them commit themselves to be providing periodic reports for rankings and campaign performance. They should also outline open channels for communication including a direct link to an experienced contact person for quicker support services when needed.

If the agency takes too long to answer your questions, it could be a signal to seek assistance elsewhere.

Agency pricing strategy

Another critical consideration when hiring a link building company is its pricing plans. Like in any free market, you will encounter providers with different pricing plans. The most common are per link, monthly rentals and retainers

While we recommend working with companies that offer permanent links at fixed prices, some agencies that rent you every month are also excellent.

In terms of contractual durations, some companies work month to month while others work per campaign. If a company meets your guidelines, we recommend hiring them for the entire campaign. Chances are you will save a lot of money compared to a month-to-month basis.

Conclusion

Hiring a link building agency should never be a trial and error process. The fact that you’re dealing with a provider that can bring your business down in a flash is reason enough to spend considerable time vetting the right one.

Weigh as many factors as possible and only work with a company you fully trust in their SEO process. Hopefully the seven factors we shared here will help you make a smarter decision when hiring your next link building consultant.