Despite how much SEO has evolved over the years, link building remains one of the most important components in order to rank well in search engines.
It’s a simple concept: get as many quality and relevant websites to link back to your content.
The difficulty however is in the execution, which involves various skills such as content creation, research, and outreach. All of these things can be time-consuming and hard to pull off.
If you need help with your link building strategy, then you may want to look into link building consulting.
6 Ways a Link Building Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
Link building is a key component of SEO, which serves one primary goal: to grow your business.
At a business level, you can expect the following benefits when you hire a link building consultant:
- Better search rankings – Getting more authoritative and relevant websites to link to your pages will improve how well you rank in Google for certain keywords. As your pages rank higher over time, you can expect an increase in traffic, particularly if you end up on the first page.
- Qualified leads – Backlinks which come from relevant sites also serve as a way to get organic traffic via word of mouth referral. Another website that links to your page is either directly or indirectly prompting their users to check out your content or services. This can result in a steady stream of qualified leads once you have built up a network of links.
- Partnerships – Backlinking strategies typically involve some form of outreach to develop relationships with relevant websites in your niche. Through this process, you will uncover potential opportunities that go beyond backlinking, such as cross-promoting each other’s email lists.
At the operational level, here are some of the ways that a link building consultant will help you achieve these business outcomes.
1) Create Linkable Content
There are no secrets or shortcuts around this. If you want quality backlinks, you need to create content that people think is valuable.
This is probably the area where many business owners and marketers will fail, as creating quality content isn’t easy.
A link building consultant will help you create content that is more likely to be linked to such as:
- Definitive guides – The era of 500-word blog posts is over. When people are looking for information on the web, they want to be able to collect everything they need to know on one page. As a result, complete in-depth guides rack up more backlinks and inevitably rank higher in search results.
- Data and Research – Data serves as a good way to get more backlinks as people will often incorporate your data into their own content, which means they have to link back to you. If you have also produced some type of research report that too can serve as a talking point in your industry.
- Infographics – Visually presented information in the form of infographics are another simple way to get backlinks. The reason for this is that people will often embed the infographic on their website as an easy way to add value to their readers. At the same time, you will get an easy backlink.
- Ego bait – Ego baiting involves creating content that is directly about the people you want to get a backlink from, such as an interview or including them in a list. The logic is that you are appealing to somebody’s ego by talking about them, so they would feel more compelled to share and link to that content.
2) Fix Broken Backlinks
All across the web, there is an enormous amount of broken backlinks.
This is because at one point in time a website may have linked to another. But for one reason or another, the page they linked to may not exist or have changed name.
The website owner is still likely interested in linking to a relevant piece of information, which presents an opportunity to get a new backlink.
A link building consultant will help you identify these opportunities and create content that can fill in these gaps.
3) Guest Posting
Instead of waiting around for backlinks, you can actively create your own by writing blog posts on other websites and linking back to your own.
This is called guest posting and has been a staple of link building for a long time. It works well because you do the hard work of creating content for another site, but reap the benefits of gaining a relevant backlink.
But there are some caveats to keep in mind:
- If Google thinks that you are trying to game their system they will penalize you. For instance, spamming guest posts on low-quality sites will get you in trouble.
- Paid guest posts are not allowed. This includes “payment” in the form of reciprocal links.
If you do guest blogging from an authentic place, then you shouldn’t have much trouble. You will also gain the added benefit of leveraging another website’s audience, in addition to a backlink.
4) Social Commenting
It is true that the best backlinks come from authoritative and relevant websites. Ideally, this link comes directly from the owner and editor of the website.
However, getting backlinks from social media websites and comment sections can also add up – if done correctly.
Your link building consultant will leave relevant and thoughtful comments on sites such as:
- Niche forums
- Q&A sites such as Yahoo or Quora
- Social media websites such as Facebook
- Comment sections in relevant blogs
Like with other aspects of link building, the key thing here is to avoid coming across as spammy or trying to game the system.
5) Link Reclamation
If you have at least somewhat of an established brand, then chances are that you have been mentioned across the web without being linked to.
For your link building consultant, this will be low hanging fruit as you simply find all the sites that have mentioned you and ask for a link. This can include sites such as:
- News websites – Your brand may have been mentioned in a story about your industry for instance. Even though you may not be the main focus, it is worth trying to get a link from a news outlet.
- Social media – Your social profiles can contribute to your site-wide authority and how well your website name ranks in Google.
6) Content Aggregation
Another quick win that your link building consultant can get for you is having you listed in relevant directories and resources.
Some of these directories can hold tremendous weight as they provide a lot of tangible value.
Typically, they appear in these forms:
- Industry directory – These are the standard directories that most industries have which simply list out the different companies in the space and their contact details.
- Top provider lists – These are more in-depth content pieces which could be structured as a comparison review or just a list of the most popular brands.
How to Get Started With a Link Building Consultant
Link building requires a lot of work. You may decide that it is best to work with a link building consultant who can advise you on strategy and execute the process for you.
In this case, here is what a working relationship with a link building consultant will look like.
First and foremost, you will need to ensure that you create the right environment for link building success. Here are some things you will need to get in order:
- Technical SEO – There is no point generating backlinks and driving traffic if your website takes 10 seconds to load, or is poorly organized. If you don’t have the right technical SEO fundamentals, your link building efforts will not live up to their potential.
- Existing content assets – As content is a key part of your link building strategy, you will need to gather any assets you have that can be used for content creation. This includes things such as raw data and client case studies.
- Budget – Link building requires a lot of work. There is the outreach and strategy side of finding backlinking opportunities. And there is also the content creation side of creating content that people want to link to. You will need to have a sufficient enough budget for both.
Audit and Strategy
Next, your link building consultant will analyze your current situation and create a strategy based on your goals. They will take various factors into consideration such as:
- Your best content – First, they will take a look at some of your best performing content. Chances are, you haven’t maximized it’s potential in terms of getting backlinks, so this is usually a good place to start.
- Keywords you want to rank for – Your link building consultant will then take into consideration keywords that you want to rank for. This is used as the foundation for content creation and competitor research.
- Competitor backlinks – Next, they should analyze competing content that you want to rank for to see which websites have linked back to it. This is a good starting point to finding people who can give you backlinks.
- Backlink opportunities – They will also conduct an analysis of your space to look for opportunities in the form of directories and broken backlinks.
Depending on how your team is structured, you may need your link building consultant to create content for you too.
The content creation process typically involves:
- Identifying the keywords you want to rank for – both long tail and short tail
- Analyzing top performing content in your space and creating better versions
- Keeping an eye on topical events and creating relevant content
- Creating high quality evergreen content such as in-depth guides and data visualizations
- Finding opportunities for guest posting
When it comes to creating content for backlinks, there’s no substitute for high quality content that people want to read.
In this sense, the best content will likely come from combining your industry insights with the skills of a link building consultant.
Link building has a relationship building component to it which involves reaching out to the people who will be linking to your site.
The best content in the world is useless if nobody is there to read or link back to it. When conducting outreach, your link building consultant needs to:
- Find the right people – Remember that you need backlinks from authoritative and relevant sites. Not all backlinks are made equal, so there is a process of research that has to take place initially.
- Get the messaging right – There has to be a compelling reason for somebody to link back to your site. How the outreach is conducted and how the value is presented affect whether or not somebody will give you a backlink.
Measuring the ROI of Link Building Consulting Services
Now let’s talk about the crux of the matter: what is the expected return on investment with a link building consulting service?
Luckily, with link building, there are clear metrics that you can use to measure success such as:
- The amount of backlinks that you receive – The more relevant backlinks you receive the better – even if they aren’t from the most authoritative sites.
- Increase in link traffic – You should be able to observe traffic coming directly from the website that has linked to you.
- SERP rankings – Gradually, you will notice an increase in your search rankings content that is receiving links. This should then boost traffic coming from search engines.
- Trust flow – This represents the quality of the inbound links to your website. This is captured with software such as Majestic.
- Domain score – This metric is captured by software such as Ubersuggest and rates how authoritative a website is. Backlinks from domains with higher scores are worth more.
- Page authority – Backlinks from specific web pages within a domain that are highly ranked are worth more too. This can be observed with tools such as Moz and Ahrefs.
Finally, you will need to take into account how all these metrics impact the bottom line of how much revenue you have generated, specifically that can be traced back to link building activities.
3 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Link Building Consultant
As mentioned earlier, the link building process requires multiple skills to do successfully. When evaluating a potential link building consultant or agency, there are 3 key things to look out for.
1) Do they have a logical and analytical process?
The initial part of link building requires a combination of data analysis and strategy. Things to screen for include:
- How they structure their link building process
- What technology they use for research
- What type of strategies they use
- How they make decisions
Typically, consultancies that have their own in-house technology that does this will be strongest in this aspect.
2) Are they creative?
At some point, you are going to need to produce high quality content that people will want to link to. You may not have the skills to do this, so the most logical place to delegate this to is to your link building consultant.
Some things you should look out for include:
- Are they producing content now? If so, how good is it?
- What’s the best performing content they’ve produced?
- Can they produce content in your niche?
3) Do they have excellent communication skills?
Outreach is the component of link building that relies on relationship building and a level of sales finesse. As they will be reaching out to websites on your behalf, you need to look for certain competencies:
- Do they understand the psychology and logic behind grabbing attention through email?
- Do they communicate in a value driven way?
- What is the copy like on their website and in their emails?
Each consultant you work with will score differently on each criteria. Some may produce awesome content for you, but aren’t so great at getting their outreach emails opened.
Each aspect of link building relies on the other to fulfill its potential, so try to find somebody who is well balanced in each of the aspects.
Link building works best as part of a holistic digital marketing strategy.
For that reason, it needs to be done in conjunction with other methods such as content marketing, technical SEO and cold email outreach.
This is why it is useful to work with a link building consultant that has a wide set of skills.
So when thinking about your link building strategy, ensure you keep in mind these different components so that you are able to get the best results.