Should You Use An Agency For Link Building

Should You Use An Agency For Link Building

Should You Use An Agency For Link Building

Episode 057

Can you do link building yourself as a business owner, or is it something that should be left to agencies? We jump in to look at this and weigh up the pros and cons for each in this week’s episode of The SEO Show.

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Michael 0:00
Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Arthur 0:37
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the SEO show. My name is fabic and I’m here with Michael Crofton. I thought I’d do the intro this time, just to mix it up a little bit like Claire, she

Michael 0:49
said, um,

Arthur 0:50
I know, I know. You want to try again, not just keep going. Let’s just keep going with us. And yet,

Michael 0:54
I want everyone listening to come along for the ride with you. As you work on your injuries one day you’ll deliver one without stuffing. I’ve done

Arthur 1:03
a few very, very good intros in the past, allegedly. I’ll find them. I’ll find all of them. Don’t

Michael 1:08
worry about that. Okay, if you can find them, we’ll cut them all together. Do a little montage of that one. So

Arthur 1:13
we’re not we’re not here to talk about my intro skills. We’re here to talk about you like building your favourite topic.

Michael 1:18
It is my favourite topic. Everyone in SEO loves LinkedIn. So I’m

Arthur 1:22
not surprised that you’re very excited about this episode. And the

Michael 1:25
topic is, should you use an agency? The link building? I don’t know why I said it like that. But neither do I. What is the answer to that question? Yes, I think so. Yes. But we’ll

Arthur 1:38
break it down. about the pros and cons.

Michael 1:42
Yeah, maybe? Chat about Yeah, well, we’ll have a chat. What goes into it because it’s bloody time consuming is one thing. So I guess it depends how much time you have any hands. But maybe let’s let’s check over round a few pros and cons of an agency using an agency for link building.

Arthur 2:00
Start with the pros or cons.

Michael 2:02
Maybe we can go to let’s start with the Pro. Okay, read positive around here. First Pro that I have is that if you’re using an agency, and let’s say you let’s say campaign for 12 months, it’s going to be consistent, you know, the work is going to be done month in month out without fail. And if it’s not, you have someone who you can bust out if they’re not doing it consistently. And you’re going to get results. Whereas if you’re doing it yourself as a business owner, or if you task some random person on your team with doing it, they might have a little burst of motivation at the start do a couple and then it’ll really fall away when they have other things to do.

Arthur 2:44
I always have this image of my in my head of a business owner going out there and hitting up sites asking for a link. Yeah, it’s kind of imagine that ever happening?

Michael 2:52
I yeah, I would be I’d be very interested to hear from business owners that do their own link building.

Arthur 2:58
So if you are a business owner that does their own link building, feel free to Yeah, drop us a line on, go

Michael 3:03
to the Seo And we’ll bring you on the show. And you can talk about how you do link building as a business owner with everything else you have any update because that would be interesting. They’ll be interesting types of links you’re getting. What’s the process? What’s your strategy? Yeah, because it’s really time consuming with an agency, they’re going to be working on it month in month out, you can be guaranteed of that. And if they don’t you have someone you can get annoyed at and rouse on until they do.

Arthur 3:27
I think more importantly, knowledge. Yes. So you would hope that an agency knows what they’re doing. I’m sure there’s plenty of dodgy link building agencies out there in the world. But a good reputable agency should be able to, you know, help you move the needle and build links that are relevant to your site that will help improve your organic visibility, improve your domain writing authority. This is something you you don’t learn overnight. It’s something that requires years and years of experience. So yeah,

Michael 3:58
exactly. It’s like if we wanted to be a surveyor, we wouldn’t just be able to walk in and nail it doing surveying for ourselves. We learned to learn it over time.

Arthur 4:08
Yeah, and not all links are equal. We know that. So potentially, they could be doing more harm than good. Yay, very poor quality links, not knowing what they’re doing. So

Michael 4:20
if a lot of if a business owner is left to their own devices, they’ll go out and post stuff on social media and think that that’s the link. Maybe go on like Reddit. Yeah, comment stuff. And they’re all really low authority like, oh, no, one of our suppliers can give us a link and the websites just got no authority, not that valuable from an SEO point of view, whatever. And there’s maybe one or two of them and that’s it. Not going to move the needle not at all. So agencies won’t do that. They’re going to be they’ll have the SEO blinkers on and be going for stuff that will move the needle. Big one has a big pro It saves you a tonne of time. Because as a business owner, I don’t want to be spending my time, all of my time building links, I’d rather be working on stuff that helps the business move forward. And yes, building links will grow your traffic and all the rest of it, but operations and finance and sales and marketing and all sorts of stuff that you can be working on as a business owner. That’s what I would call higher ROI or higher leverage work. If you outsource to an agency, you’re saving all that time. Like I just can’t imagine a world where we won’t be wanting to spend all your time working on link building as a business owner.

Arthur 5:37
Well, as a junior Link Builder back in the day, I can tell you that it takes up all your time finding the right sites to approach, you know, emailing all the people, the bloggers, the webmasters, trying to negotiate a post, I will go through the list of the stuff that we did, but it is super time consuming and managing it all staying on top of it all liaising with copywriters. You know, there’s just so much involved, it’s not as simple as just hey, can you link to my site? So? Yeah, yeah, very, very time consuming.

Michael 6:06
And that was back when, when you were a junior Link Builder, it was like in early 2010s? Yes. Back then it was way easier to ask people, Hey, can I have a link on your site and get some sort of response? Like now it’s even harder? Just because of the sheer volume of

Arthur 6:21
this? There’s just so much spam out there? Yeah. I mean, we have clients that just get bombarded with spam emails from just dodgy link building. We will redo it. Yeah, we do to non stop. So there’s just 1000s. And probably millions of people out there just hitting you up. Maybe not millions, but a lot of people.

Michael 6:39
Yeah. So if you aren’t doing it yourself, be very careful never to buy links and move random emails that you get sent to you like, you know, Hello, sir. I have a list of sites, all these sites with a price attached to it, just don’t stay away from them. Yeah, if you’re going to do it, because we actually

Arthur 6:55
blacklist sites, yeah. And avoid them like the plague, because those are the sites that are going to one day get penalised by Google and potentially harm your site. So avoid that.

Michael 7:07
Alright, well, that the pros, we’ve been big up in our world and ourselves, agency world for a while, what are some of the cons? You know, why would a business owner want to do their own link building?

Arthur 7:20
Probably the price, it’s going to be more expensive going through an agency because obviously, they have all the different costs associated with it. So not only the link costs, the placement costs, but you have to cover the cost of the salary of the outreach team, the prospecting team, the specialist, copywriter, overheads,

Michael 7:40
margin for everything. Yeah, absolutely. So if you are a title, or if not, let’s not say a title. If you’re early on in your business, building a business. And you need to be really strategic with where your dollars go, then, yes, I can see that it would maybe make sense for you to do link building yourself for a while until you can afford to invest in it. Because it’s, it’s it is expensive. And it does take time. And we’ve spoken about this in the past, but a lot of people will jump into SEO and after two months flip out when the results aren’t there because they’re too early for it too early to work with an SEO agency. So make sense. You’re going to save money, you’re going to save you’re going to save dollars, actual dollars, but you’re going to pay for it in time. Yes, you’re paying for in some way, shape or form.

Arthur 8:31
Exactly. And it is very time consuming. Like I said, So like you said focus on the high value ticket items. And let us handle it, sir. Yeah, linkbuilding hit me up.

Michael 8:41
Let’s let’s run through what we do in a sec, so people can get a feel for you. The question is, should you use an agency for link building? We say yes, we’ll run through everything that we do. And that’s why you should but um, I would say another con of using an agency would be that agencies, we can get blinkers on when we’re doing link building, and be focusing purely on SEO impact. So when we’re looking at linking partners, we’ll assess all the metrics, and we’ll decide on a linking partner purely for SEO reasons. Some clients don’t that doesn’t say, Well, if they think your site looks a bit weird, or doesn’t a lot in the UK or something, yeah, doesn’t align with their brand. They’ll flip out and a lot of the time, it doesn’t make any sense. It has no real impact. Like it’s not like there’s millions of people reading these articles a lot of the time, but that to some people, it’s important to them it is yeah, because they don’t understand that the

Arthur 9:33
reason that we do link building is not to drive referral traffic, but it’s to help improve that, you know, authority. So they’re probably looking at it through a lens of you know, people are going to find this article and this site doesn’t really align with my brand and I don’t like this link. Well, this article isn’t exactly how I want it to be. Yeah, without realising that. No one’s gonna read it. Yeah, it’s gonna intimately ultimately, yeah,

Michael 9:55
yep. Yeah, so look, and if that’s important to you and your your brain Unlike good agencies will be able to try and work within the parameters you give them. But if you’re just leaving them to go Link Building for you, and that’s important to you, they’re not going to be focusing on that they’re going to be focusing on getting results.

Arthur 10:12
Yeah. sites that have great metrics that are going to move the needle.

Michael 10:15
Yeah. All right, well, let’s run through what we do as a link building business. So that you can see like, as a business owner, what you’d be up for, if you really want to do it well, and at scale. So let’s start with the team. We have SEO specialists, like the people that sort of handle the strategy. So they will deal with the clients and understand goals and put together the strategy and then manage the whole SEO campaign, across on site, technical links, all that sort of stuff. Part of that will be, as I said, managing off site outreach. So we have an outreach team, which has an outreach manager, and then a whole bunch of outreach specialists who sit in that team. All they do all day long, is build links. So right there, let’s say if you wanted to replicate that internally, in your business, you’re looking at SEO specialist, Outreach Manager, and then a couple of outreach specialists. What are they doing? Are they like, why is there so many people? What are they doing? I’ll let you run through that. So it’s not just me ranting on. But what are they doing? What are they doing? What is that team doing? Why do we have all these people? Well, the the team’s

Arthur 11:24
kind of split into prospecting and outreach really. So we have the prospecting team, that will. So for example, if we have a client that comes on in a specific vertical, let’s just say their travel client, what they’ll start doing is try find different sites, which are related to travel. So they’ll go through using different tools, or even manually, and find blogs and websites that we can approach to get a link back from. So that’s a very time consuming process, as you can imagine. And on top of that, we don’t just approach any site, we have stringent metrics that the site might must take off. So we look at things like domain rating site traffic, if whether or not the site’s indexed top three rankings, top three rankings, you know, ideally, that a site that gets some sort of some sort of engagement. So there’s a lot of things that we look up before your purchase.

Michael 12:16
Now on this topic, we actually did an episode. In the last 15 episodes, I would say on how to judge a good link really narrowed it down. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t prepare ahead for that. But like, we’ve done a whole episode on just judging link quality. Yeah, because not all links are built equal. No, they’re not. And it’s very easy to go out and get like crappy links, and ultimately hurt yourself. So, Episode 44, you go. Well, so if you want to get back to Episode 44, it’s good. What makes a good link? But um, yeah, the prospecting team.

Arthur 12:49
Yeah. So they, they find sites, basically, they find sites which are relevant to the client site that we will then reach out to so we have an outreach team who will basically use different tools, email tools to reach out to all these sites that were prospect, prospecting, prospecting, prospecting, prospecting, and essentially try to negotiate a link. So we’ll use different angles, different hooks to try to get a link back to the client site.

Michael 13:16
Let’s break that down for that, because it’s basically like you’re being an outbound salesperson very much. So yeah, we’re using all the same tech. So we use software. So we gotta pay for the software. We use email sequences, we got to pay to create them and like change them up. The software has to be set up, like so when you’re setting up an email, you need to like have a domain or multiple domains dedicated just to sending outbound email, multiple inboxes, set them all up, do you SPF D, Kim demark settings on your email, getting very excited about the emails warmed up, you know, like, try and keep your emails out of spam. So there’s a whole that aspect of it. You know, it’s not just as simple as saying, Oh, just do some outreach? No, it’s not. It’s quite involved managing all

Arthur 14:01
that as well. Because you’re sending out so many emails, you’re dealing with so many different people. Your inbox is just full all the time. So yeah, managing all the relationships and liaising with all the website owners. Yep, it’s a full time job

Michael 14:13
sounds like a nightmare or does lucky there’s agent Yeah. So anyway, what let’s let’s say you’ve done all your outreach you’ve got you’ve prepared your lif, you’ve manually tracked down the first name, last name, email address, contact details of the people that own them. You’ve reached out to them with the well setup software and sequences and they’re interested then what happens you got a buddy rod nautical Right?

Arthur 14:36
Or you got to negotiate it first. Got to have a chat with them see what sort first and foremost they need to agree to it. If they agree you need to figure out what type of content you’re going to be writing about. Are they going to write it when asked to provide it? If so, we need to liaise with a copywriter. Brief them in then, you know, to see that there might be some back and forth there then obviously send it through to the If the website owner, liaise with them,

Michael 15:02
they might want revision.

Arthur 15:04
Yeah, yeah. So, again, very time consuming. The cost as well of copywriting is attributed into the cost of placing link.

Michael 15:16
Following up like, once they say yes, they don’t always publish it, you got to keep on top of

Arthur 15:20
them. Yes. The management of it all learn. Yeah, is just as a lot to deal with, as you’re dealing with not just one person at a time, you know, at scale. You know, you’re dealing with dozens and dozens of people at any given time, different copywriters, different content, different posts, different sites, or takes a whole team really,

Michael 15:40
yeah, hence why we have one. Yeah. And of course, there’s, as we said, There’s costs writing publishing software, as you do more and more and more link building all of that. Both cost scale placement costs. Yeah. And reporting as well. Like, what was done over the month? What were the end results? You know, what are the links that replace? Where are they can I see them? So as a business owner, you can, if you want to do a good job, go and do all of that stuff, but you won’t have any time or you’re just become a link board? Or wouldn’t you? Yeah.

Arthur 16:10
So unless you’re looking for a career link building, I recommend you use us. Yeah, that’s why

Michael 16:15
people use an agency. I guess we’re being a bit facetious in a way like we don’t expect any business owner. Unless you’re just starting out, you might spend a bit of time but you get that off your plate, as soon as you can work with an agency that can handle all everything we’ve just covered. And that is why you should use an agency for link building. We’ve answered that question, I think, use us. That’s why you should use us offices. All right. Well, that is another episode of the SEO show. Until next week, happy SEO ng happy viewing. See ya.

Unknown Speaker 16:46
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