Placing links with URLs directing to your website is a common practice that improves the position of your domain in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). However, if you don’t follow certain SEO rules, link building will not only fail to increase your position in Google, but it will also do a lot of damage. How can you prevent that from happening? And what are the rules you ought to follow in order to benefit from your link building strategy? Read on! In this article, we will analyze the link building service and give you some tips on how to hire a link building agency.
Simply put, any link building service is based on building one-way hyperlinks (also known as backlinks) leading to your website with the goal of improving search engine visibility.
Link building is designed to empower your domain’s free search results, primarily by increasing organic traffic. Google’s algorithms are complex and variable, but backlinks are still one of the main ranking factors. They indicate that the site is a noteworthy, high-quality resource. The result is that sites with more quality backlinks rank higher. The key to an efficient link building strategy lies in understanding the role backlinks currently play in SEO. Let’s take a short trip back in time!
Link building in the past
Just a few years ago, it was pretty easy to cheat Google bots. SEO professionals had many methods of improving a given website’s position. They were able to catapult almost any site to page one within several weeks! As a result, many agencies began to multiply linking without control or reason. Hundreds of links were created, and most of them brought no value to the user. These links led to articles and websites that were usually illogical and incorrect but clogged with links.
However, that is a thing of the past. Nowadays, Google bots are much more advanced and sophisticated. Currently, the quality of links (not their quantity) is the most important factor. Today, Google values websites that are written for users and not for bots – links from websites created for link building purposes only will not bring much value to your website.
What worked several years ago, can now cause a lot of damage to your website, including a penalty from Google!
That’s why, if you want to implement the right link building strategy into your business, you have to find a trust-worthy link building agency that will know how to provide the link building service wisely and responsibly.
Inbound vs outbound vs internal links
Thanks to links, you can popularize your webpage and ensure its much higher place in the search ranking. We can divide links into two categories:
- Inbound (links pointing to your site)
- Outbound (links pointing to other websites from your website)
Both inbound and outbound links are external links. It is beneficial to briefly mention internal links as well. They also have some impact on your position and are well received, especially by people who visit websites with tons of great content. Why? Because internal links are a kind of visible road signs that allow users to navigate through the website conveniently.
Many people think that only external links (especially inbound ones) affect SEO. This is not true.
Each website should have a well-prepared and organized system of both external and internal linking.
Thanks to such a system, Google bots will be able to navigate the entire site easily and properly index each of its subpages. As we mentioned, the quality of links is currently much more important than their quantity. It is better to get one good link than twenty weak ones. At this point, you ought to ask: What makes up a good link?
What makes up a good link?
- It should come from a trustworthy and recognizable resource. For instance, a link from the New York Times is generally worth much more than a link from a no-name internet forum (by the way, these are places where you DON’T want your links). Google values websites based on a factor called PageRank (PR). PR is a value assigned to a web page as a measure of its popularity or importance, used to determine the order in which search engine results are presented.
- Additionally, it’s beneficial when a given link comes from a site about a similar industry, niche or topic. Getting a link from a site that covers the same topic helps Google understand what your website is about.
- Last but not least, “dofollow” links are preferred. In general, rel=”nofollow” is a tag added to a link that tells the search engine not to count it when it’s establishing the value of your website. That’s why you want links without this attribute, commonly called dofollow.
What is a link building agency, and why do you need one?
Generally speaking, link building is a challenging task. That’s why you can find many companies that do nothing but link building on your behalf. Specialists in such companies ought to have relevant experience and the knowledge of tools that will help in acquiring links to your site. Harnessing the art of placing and managing links allows their clients to improve their positions in Google search engine.
However, this is an on-going, difficult work that requires skills and experience. And, as you already know, if it’s not done correctly, not only will it not help, but it can also severely harm your website’s PageRank. Therefore, if you don’t have an in-house SEO team, you should outsource link building to a trustworthy partner.
And this is the place where a link building agency comes into play. In general, we can divide link building companies into two primary groups:
- Link building agencies
- SEO agencies with link building know-how
The first group is concentrated solely on link building services, whereas the second group supervises the entire SEO project for your company. In our opinion, the latter option is your best bet. Why? There are two reasons for that.
Why should you choose an SEO agency for link building?
- It often happens that link building agencies are fixed strictly on their job, i.e. they don’t necessarily concentrate on acquiring high-quality links. Many of them simply try to get as many links as possible, as this is what they are paid for. Usually, it’s not a good strategy.
- If you hire an SEO agency, they control the entire process for you. You must remember that link building is merely one of many facets within the Search Engine Optimization field, and they all affect one another.
Website positioning is not only about obtaining external links. The position of your website in SERPs is affected by two groups of factors:
- On-site optimization (this includes: the amount and quality of content on your webpage, outbound links, keywords, metadata, website’s structure, proper technical optimization, etc.)
- Off-site optimization (this includes link building activities)
And you cannot skip activities from any group. From our experience, one agency doing the whole SEO is the most efficient solution. If one company supervises the entire optimization process, it has control over every single aspect of it. As a result, you can see considerably better results.
How to hire a link building agency?
A good link building agency needs to fulfill the following criteria:
- It has to be effective and possess the necessary knowledge and experience
- It has to understand your needs and respect your goals
You can easily check both of these requirements. Talk to your friends and coworkers. Perhaps, they commissioned their projects to some agency in the past and were satisfied with the quality of their work. You can also search the Internet (especially marketing portals) for opinions about the company you want to work with. This will help you choose a company with a good reputation that will most likely fulfill their job well.
The next step is to talk to your potential agency. Arrange a meeting or a video conversation and discuss your questions and concerns. You can also inquire about their work and strategy. In most cases, you will easily decide if the other party can meet your needs.
White hat link building only
In general, SEO techniques can be divided into two groups:
- White-hat strategies (relevant content, relevant links and references, standards-compliant HTML code, natural keyword density)
- Black-hat strategies (duplicate content, keyword stuffing, comment spamming, link farming)
Link building agencies that focus on long-term operation and the acquisition of valuable links use white-hat techniques ONLY.
Their work usually does not bring immediate effects. However, it reduces the chance of losing traffic on your site due to a penalty from Google. Thus, these techniques bring long-term benefits.
In the market, however, you can find numerous offers from link building agencies that are characterized by low prices and instant effects. Beware! Such link building agencies most often use black-hat strategies! These techniques are designed to exploit vulnerabilities in search engine algorithms for higher page positioning. These tactics don’t work in the long run because search engines always try to stop them.
This means that traffic and rankings can drop almost overnight if the Google algorithm notices actions that do not comply with its policy. We strongly recommend that you choose a link building agency that operates fairly, by following ethical practices, in which case you do not risk the aforementioned serious consequences.
Link building is an on-going job
Time to sum up! Remember, link building really needs to be an ongoing initiative – even if you’ve already reached the top ten for your target keywords.
Your competitors are earning new links all the time and, therefore, increasing their search visibility. Unfortunately, this means pushing your down.
If your site stops earning new backlinks, it’s going to seem to Google that the site which used to update regularly, with useful content that people wanted to share, no longer does this, as no one is currently linking to it. That means it should no longer be on the SERP page one.
This is exactly why you need a trusted SEO agency – to monitor and supervise this never-ending process on your behalf.
Even when you have chosen the best agency and signed the contract, your active involvement shouldn’t end there.
- Remember that regular and timely communication between both parties is a must.
- Pay attention to whether the presented results of the agency’s work are clear to you, and whether they achieve your goals.
- Avoid short-term and unethical links that can result in blacklists and severe penalties in search rankings.
With these rules in mind, you are on the right course for the SERP page one! If you are keen to talk about SEO for your company – give us a call or drop us a line! Miromind is your solution! 🙂 Go straight to the contact section!