"Link building is dangerous.” We’ve heard it time and time again.
And they’re not wrong, but they’re also not right.
Link building is as important today as it has ever been. Yet, all too many people claim to be link building experts all while using outdated, risky tactics, giving the industry a bad name. While other reputable partners are sending rankings and traffic soaring, providing tangible ROI.
Asking the right questions (and knowing the right answers) will give you the insight you need to get growing. So let’s dive in!
1. What tactics do you use to build links?
The Worst Answer: We use private blog networks to publish guest posts.
Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are modern-day link farms that provide no (or even NEGATIVE) value. Google no longer rushes to let us know when a site provides neutral or negative authority juice, so scammer link builders can tout a high domain authority (DA) while taking your money (and rankings) with them.
The Best Answer: We use a variety of tactics with manual outreach to ensure a natural-looking backlink profile.
Search engines are incredibly savvy, so outdated shortcuts and homogeneous backlink profiles raise red flags.
Instead, the link building services company should use a combination of guest posting, aged content, broken link building and unlinked brand mentions for in-content building. Other tactics might include local citations, directory listings and comments.
2. How will you choose the keywords and pages should we target for link building?
The Worst Answer: You tell me.
Link building companies that put the burden of keywords and pages on you aren’t taking the time to understand your brand or develop a safe strategy. While they should take your input, ultimately, you want to be hiring an expert.
The Best Answer: We’ll conduct keyword research based on your target audience and look at which pages are high converting and/or natural link magnets.
The key to successful link building is strategy. A reputable link building agency will work with you to understand your target audience and most valuable pages because you’re not link building for the sake of it. You’re investing in organic growth.
3. How many links do I need?
The Worst Answer: How much money do you have?
Granted budget is going to be a factor in the overall strategy, but there is a “right” answer to this question that has nothing to do with how much you’re able to spend.
The Best Answer: Based on your industry and backlink profile, we should build X – Y links per month with a domain authority range of Z – P.
Your agency partner should have the expertise in your industry (and theirs) to narrow down the right number of links for your website. Build too fast and you risk setting off a red flag to search engines. Build too slowly and you won’t be able to outpace your competition.
Don’t be turned off if an agency does ask for a budget. If