Are you dreaming of a world where search engines have perfect algorithms that accurately rank web pages for relevant searches without ever needing a rigorous SEO strategy?

We understand.

But unfortunately, that is not our reality – at least not yet anyway – and not all websites are created equally. This means that some websites require a lot more effort in order to become established and rank higher on search engines.

This effort requires great content, keyword optimisation, metadata, alt tags and, of course, relevant links.

Now, the good news is, the internet is growing by as many as 252,000 pages per day, which offers plenty of opportunities to earn links. But as any good SEO pro knows, these are much easier to come by as a more authoritative site, while smaller, newer sites must fight to secure each precious link.

But don’t despair. A good link building strategy can help your business to acquire quality links from relevant websites. The challenge is understanding the best way to acquire these links and to put an effective strategy in place.

Essentially, you have two options, keep your link building efforts in-house or outsource them to SEO specialists.

How do you know which option is right for you?

Well, that’s exactly what this guide has been designed to help you with. Below, we’re going to look at:

  • Why link building is so important to SEO
  • Reasons you should and shouldn’t outsource your link building
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing link building
  • How to choose the right SEO link building service

Taking all of the following information into account, you should be able to determine which approach to link building is going to be most beneficial to your business, so you can take your SEO efforts to the next level.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.

Why is link building so important to SEO?

Before we start looking at your link building options, it’s a good idea to understand why this is such a crucial part of your SEO strategy. Having a better understanding of what’s at stake can help you to make a more informed decision.

Most critically, links tell search engines that your website is a quality resource, which in turn tells the algorithms that you are a more trustworthy source and helps to increase your page rankings. This means that websites with more backlinks tend to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are a few important things worth noting; however, much like websites, not all links are created equally.

So, links from more authoritative websites will have a greater impact on your rankings than links from other smaller or newer websites. Therefore, the focus needs to be on earning links from relevant websites with more authority and referral traffic.

As you can see, there is a lot resting on your link building abilities, which can impact whether you outsource this process or not. But to help you make this decision, the next couple of chapters will look at when it might be best to outsource link building and when it’s best to keep it in-house.

Reasons you should outsource your link building

There are lots of different reasons you might want to outsource your link building, with some of the main reasons being that it can be a very time-consuming process or that you don’t have the expertise and know-how to take this on yourself.

But if you’re completely undecided as to whether you should outsource your link building, you’re in luck. Below we’ve pulled together just four key reasons you might wish to pass the buck:

You need to secure links right away

If you need to start boosting your rankings and building links right away, it’s probably not the best idea to take on this big task by yourself or to expect your team to handle it if you can’t.

Unless you or they have a lot of experience that is.

SEO’s will already have tried-and-tested strategies in place that they can immediately apply to your business. This means they’ll be able to secure links far quicker than you would be able to do this going it alone – and more of them.

This is because, on average, it takes an in-house team around three to four months to start securing regular links, so if you don’t have that kind of time to waste, it might be best to outsource this process.

You can’t afford to hire someone within your team

One way to get a good link building strategy in place is to hire a specialist to work for your in-house team. However, recruitment is costly, and so is an annual salary, which for a talented SEO professional will need to be at least £30,000 a year.

So, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly approach, you might find that outsourcing to an SEO agency works out much cheaper in the long run.

You want to teach your existing teams

Another great reason for outsourcing your link building, even just short-term, is that you might wish for your team to learn how to build links effectively for the future. An SEO service provider will be able to share their knowledge and experience, helping to get a solid strategy in place. So really, this could be a lifelong investment in your team and your business.

You want to scale up your current efforts

It might be the case that you’ve already begun securing a few links and that your team has got a solid strategy in place. However, there are times when you might want to ramp up these efforts just a little more.

If you feel you could benefit from some extra link building support, you could outsource this task, even just for a set period of time until your pages are ranking better.

Reasons you shouldn’t outsource your link building

Just as there are plenty of reasons to outsource your link building, there are also some good reasons to keep it in-house. So, before you start searching for a link building service, you should also consider the following reasons why you shouldn’t outsource this task.

You don’t have the budget

As much as you might want to outsource to a service provider, you shouldn’t do this at the literal cost of your business. If you don’t have the budget, it might be best to hold off from hiring a a specialist for a while and work on link building within your teams as best you can.

You might find that there is room in the budget at a later date.

You’ve confused SEO with digital marketing and PR

You might be thinking that getting your content on industry-leading websites is great for publicity, as is having them link back to you – and of course, it is. However, this is not the job of a link builder, and this is better left to PR or digital marketing teams to secure you coverage on top websites.

You are very specific about what you want

It’s always good to know what you want, especially when it comes to the success of your company’s website. However, you must be realistic in your link building expectations and understand that there may be limitations.

For example, if you only want links from certain sites or on allocated content, this can be restrictive. Link building professionals have their methods, and placing too many limitations on them can make it much harder for them to do their job, so in these cases, it might be best to handle it yourself (or ask someone on your team to take it on).

You don’t have time to collaborate

Although outsourcing means that you and your teams don’t have to take on the brunt of the link building process, it is important to remember that it still requires a certain level of collaboration.

So if you don’t have the time to work with an agency or at the very least reply to their communications, then it’s probably best not to outsource and to keep your efforts in-house instead.

The pros and cons of outsourcing your link building

Now we’ve looked at the factors that might persuade you to either outsource your link building or keep it in-house, let’s break this down and simplify it further. In this chapter, we’ll recap what we’ve said above by looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing to an SEO agency.

At this stage, you should be getting a better idea about which option is best for your business, but if not, consider the following:

The pros of outsourcing your link building:

  • It saves you and your teams time as you don’t have to take on the link building process alone
  • It could save you money in the long run for a number of reasons, such as boosting your rankings which makes your site more visible, driving traffic and potential business
  • It also means you don’t need to hire a dedicated employee to take on your link building, as this will be costly
  • It allows you to avoid the complications that come with outreach at scale, such as email templates, outreach tools, DMARC configuring etc.
  • It gives you peace of mind knowing that your website is securing quality backlinks from authoritative sites and that an expert is handling this hugely important job

The cons of outsourcing your link building:

However, as with everything in life, there are also some downsides to outsourcing your link building, and these include:

  • Having to let go and lose a degree of control – this can be hard if you’re used to being very hands-on with all aspects of your business
  • You might expect quick wins because you’re using an agency, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You must still be realistic in your expectations if you want to see long-term, meaningful results
  • You will need to spend time looking for a service provider and of course, there is always the chance you choose a poor service or one that is not right for your business

But if you are concerned about finding the right link building service provider for your business, this next chapter is for you.

How to choose the right SEO link building service

We hope that this guide has given you some good insights and has helped you to make a more informed decision about whether or not to outsource your link building. If you’ve made it as far as this chapter, then it’s fair to assume that you’ve fully grasped the importance of link building and you’re seriously considering outsourcing to a service provider.

But how do you choose the right SEO service for your business?

To help you out, we’ve created a checklist below to ensure you find an agency or provider that is going to secure you some great links and give you the most bang for your buck.

Our link building provider checklist is as follows, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have they got a strong online presence, including evidence of their link building success? This should be in the form of examples of strong links they have built in the past, testimonials and online reviews/feedback.
  2. What is their link building process? You should speak to them and get a rundown of how they find relevant websites, their outreach process, who creates their content and how they track their progress.
  3. Do they use any black hat SEO techniques that might cause problems in the future? If so, this is a major red flag, and you should look elsewhere.
  4. What are their rates? Remember to look for a provider within your budget, but don’t just go for the cheapest option; make sure they’ve got the skills and feedback to back it up.

By answering these questions and keeping this in mind during your search, you’re more likely to find a talented link building provider who can help to boost your rankings and get a strong strategy in place for the future.

What’s the verdict?

When it comes down to link building for your website, no one can tell you what to do. However, carefully consider the scenarios we’ve outlined above, as well as the benefits that you can gain from outsourcing your link building process.

If you do decide to outsource, be sure to use our guide to help you understand what to look for in an SEO company to help you get the best results for the best price.