Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Link Building

outsource link building pros and cons

We’re talking about link building again.

Yeah, it’s that valuable.

But let’s be honest. Every time you read one of these “start link building!” articles, you feel a crippling sense of anxiety. That this is going to take too much time, or you’re going to screw something up.

I feel you.

It’s hard to build links, especially if you’re doing it yourself. And especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. And especially if you’re starting from scratch.

Yikes. There’s that anxiety again.

Chill out. There’s a solution—you can outsource your link building to a link building agency. The basic idea is to pay someone else to take care of it for you.

But is this strategy really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take an honest look at the pros and cons (because there are both) of outsourcing your link building.

Wait, Do I Really Need Link Building?

Quick take—do you really need link building?

The short answer is yes, if you want to rank higher in search engines.

how to build rank with link building

Remember, Google preferentially ranks websites and individual pages based on their level of qualitative trustworthiness—which we in the industry call “authority.” Authority is calculated based on a bunch of things, but most notably, it relies on the number and quality of links pointed to your website (and individual pages).

In other words, no links = no authority.

You can cross your fingers and hope to get links naturally on your own, but it’s much better to be proactive and build them intentionally.

A link building agency can help you do this—so let’s get to the real pros and cons, beyond the initial benefits of link building itself.

Pro: You’ll Save Time

Building link building efforts is indeed a time-consuming endeavor. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your website boasts high-quality and linkable assets. If you’re just getting started, this crucial step alone can take several weeks of dedicated work.

Afterward, the next phase involves devising a comprehensive plan to reach out to individual publishers. If you’re building these relationships from scratch, it can be a slow and painstaking process. You’ll have to invest time and effort in outreach, patiently working your way through publishers, one by one.

Following this, you’ll also need to allocate time and effort to create and edit offsite guest posts that will serve as a foundation for your link building strategy. It’s worth noting that this entire link building process can be quite cyclical, and if your links ever get removed or become obsolete, you’ll have to start from scratch once more.

This repetitive process can be rather taxing, as you find yourself reaching out to publishers over and over again in an effort to establish a more positive and prominent reputation in the digital landscape. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable use of your valuable time.

However, there is a way to make this process more efficient. By outsourcing your link building efforts, you won’t have to concern yourself with the nitty-gritty details. Instead, you can comfortably sit back and focus on more critical tasks that directly impact your core business. Let someone else, with link building expertise and experience, handle the time-consuming aspects of link building.

Outsourcing link building can save you from the painstaking cycle of managing link building campaigns in-house. It ensures that you receive high-quality links from authoritative sites while avoiding the pitfalls of spammy or low-quality links. This not only frees up your time but also allows you to benefit from the expertise of professionals in the field who understand the intricacies of link placement, outreach, and strategy.

So, rather than being just one person attempting to manage link building on your own, consider enlisting the services of link building companies or a reputable agency with an in-house specialist. They can effectively bolster your SEO strategy by securing more links, improving content creation, and helping you build a strong online presence.

By outsourcing your link building work, you can focus on your core business activities and leave the complexities of building authoritative and editorial links to the experts. This approach can lead to improved search engine results, increased organic traffic, and a stronger online presence, all without the need for a dedicated in-house team to manage your link building activities.

Con: You’ll Spend More Money

What? You have to pay people for their time? Nonsense.

But yeah, all those hours you would have spent on your own? The tradeoff is money.

Many business owners balk at the price of link building services, at least initially. Some agencies require a deposit or a setup fee before any work is done, which can interrupt your cash flow if you’re a new or small business.

On top of that, you’ll likely be paying at least hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month, for ongoing link building services. And if you need peripheral work done, like the creation of onsite blog posts or technical onsite SEO, you could pay even more.

Yeesh. Wasn’t the point to make more money with link building, not spend it?

Yes. Which brings us to our next benefit:

Pro: You’ll Be More Cost-Efficient, Long-Term

The upfront costs may be hard to look at if you’ve never participated in link building before, but the long-term benefits are more than worth it.

Link building has a few important things going for it as a long-term marketing strategy, at least in terms of return on investment (ROI).

First, it provides cumulative power as you increase your authority; your earliest links, by themselves, won’t provide much of a return. But as you reach out to bigger and more prominent publishers, each link increases in value.

Second, links are permanent (or semi-permanent), meaning they’ll keep sending you authority and traffic until they’re manually removed. With 100 links pointing to your site, you’ll essentially have a giant traffic engine that keeps running, even if you decide to discontinue link building services temporarily.

It’s pretty awesome, and these effects start kicking in after just a few months. Long-term, all the money you pay will come back to you, and then some (assuming you have a strategically executed campaign).

Con: It Takes Time to Build a Relationship

Indeed, when it comes to link building efforts, no one knows your brand and business like you do. You possess an intimate knowledge of your industry, your target audience, and your competitors. Handing over the responsibility to someone else and expecting them to craft amazing and relevant content within your industry can be a significant challenge.

A reputable link building agency, however, will not simply engage in the mechanical act of building links to your website. Instead, they will actively invest the time and effort to get to know your business and better understand your brand. While this process takes time, it’s an essential step that ensures the content they create and the links they build align seamlessly with your brand and industry.

The fact that it may take months to establish this level of understanding can indeed be frustrating, but it’s an intrinsic part of the cost of doing business in the digital landscape. Effective link building strategies should not be rushed. They require a deep understanding of your brand, an exploration of your industry’s nuances, and a keen sense of your SEO strategy.

A reputable agency will not only focus on the quantity of links but also on the quality of those links. They’ll aim to build authoritative links that strengthen your backlink profile and improve your SEO strategy. The results of such a well-executed link building campaign may not be immediate, but they are worth the wait. These results can include improved search engine rankings, increased referral traffic, and a boost in the credibility and visibility of your brand.

So, while it’s true that no one knows your brand like you do, experienced link builders at reputable marketing agencies will work diligently to bridge that knowledge gap. The collaboration may take time, but the payoff in terms of high-quality backlinks and long-term benefits for your search engine optimization efforts can be substantial. As noted in a Search Engine Journal article, partnering with experts in link building can be a strategic move that enhances your online presence and brand recognition.

Pro: You’ll Get Instant Access to Top Publishers

The higher the authority of the publisher, the more valuable the link—and links from DA 80+ publishers are downright juicy.

But there’s a catch. High-authority publishers are usually high-authority because they have a ridiculously high bar for the content they accept. In other words, they don’t take submissions from new players on the block with low authority themselves.

The typical solution to this is the stepladder approach. You start getting published on lower-authority publishers until you make a name for yourself, gradually working your way up.

But guess what? Link building agencies typically already have relationships with those high-authority publishers. If you work with them, they can get you higher on the ladder much faster—without the grunt work.

Con: You’ll Rely Extensively on Your Partner

Naturally, there’s a downside to this.

Let’s say you build a few high-authority links with the help of the content writers, editors, and other professionals with good link building strategy. Then, you decide to withdraw and pursue link building on your own.

Now what?

You won’t have the connections to the high-authority publishers you used to, nor do you have access to the same team or the same resources.

You’ll still get the benefits from the links you’ve already built, but from here, you’ll have to start from scratch. That’s why most people who pursue link building with a partner end up sticking with that partner indefinitely.

Pro: You Can Scale at Your Own Pace

That said, you can still exercise a great deal of control.

Most link building agencies are very flexible; they want to provide services that meet your needs, whatever those needs happen to be.

If you’re just starting out and you only want to dip your toes in the link building water, you can purchase one-off articles to get some publicity for yourself.

If you decide you want to triple your output and start aggressively reaching out to higher-authority publishers, you can do that too—and you can pull the trigger any time.

By contrast, if you hire an internal team or if you try to do all the work yourself, you’re going to be limited by your own resources. You only have so many hours in a day, and there’s only so much you can do with your own campaign.

This becomes increasingly important if you’re managing link building for multiple sites, or multiple clients.

Con: Not All Link Building Partners Are Reliable

It seems that in every article, we have a chance to talk about link schemes.

The reality is, not every link building partner is going to be capable of providing you with the value-oriented, high-quality link building you need to succeed.

Some people are just out to make a quick buck.

Cheap link building agencies usually focus on building links as quickly as possible, with no regard to quality or end user value. They might spam links on forums, or ignore content quality in favor of other factors. In any case, they can do more harm than good.

Similarly, you might have trouble forming a relationship with independent contractors; agencies have access to more resources, and can therefore provide more consistent services.

The solution is to do your due diligence. If a link building deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to check reviews, testimonials, and examples of past work before partnering with anyone.

Pro: You’ll Get Access to a Diversity of Voices

If you do work with a link building provider, you’ll have access to a full team of different writers and link builders, which can be a boon for your link building strategy.

If you don’t like the voice of one content writer, you can ask to see the work of another. If you decide to suddenly ramp up the scope of your campaign, you can recruit multiple writers to work on your account.

Also, though you won’t see the benefit firsthand, robust teams like this are continuously self-improving. Individuals trade tips, learn from each other’s mistakes, and collectively improve much faster than they could on their own.

You could attempt to replicate this kind of environment with your own internal team, but it would take a long time—and cost a lot of money.

Con: You Won’t Be Doing Your Own Work

Hey now, the whole point of outsourcing is to make someone do all the work. How is that a downside?

To be fair, there are some perks to doing your own link building. You’ll get firsthand experience, which you can use to develop your own skills and improve your understanding of SEO overall. If you outsource it, you won’t get that experience.

Similarly, doing your own writing can be an empowering experience. You’ll get the chance to research your industry more extensively, learn more about your competitors, and see things through your customers’ eyes.

Also, some business leaders intentionally do their own guest posting as a way to flesh out their personal brand. If you’re the one doing all the guest authorship, your name is the one that gets publicized. This can help you expand your professional network, build more notoriety for yourself, and help build your career.

You might miss some of these opportunities if someone else is doing the heavy lifting.

Pro: It Becomes Someone Else’s Problem (Kind Of)

Of course, when someone else is handling the link building, the troubleshooting and pitfalls become their problem.

Link building agencies want to make you happy, so they’ll do whatever it takes to make your campaign a success. That means if a link is removed from an article, they’ll most likely try to replace it.

If a certain approach isn’t working, they’ll brainstorm a way to change it or improve it.

If you’re not seeing the results you want, they’ll work with you to adjust your strategy.

You’re still responsible for monitoring your campaign and providing input, but at the end of the day, your link building agency will take much of the accountability for your results.

The Bottom Line

So is outsourcing your link building worth it?

Effective Link building strategy is one of the best marketing strategies out there, and it’s vital for ranking higher in search engines. And overall, there are more strengths in outsourcing your link building than weaknesses.

There are lots of variables to consider, of course, including the price you’re paying and the experience level of your partner, but in most cases, you’re better off working with an expert than trying to manage everything yourself.

Get out there and start talking to some link building professionals. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish with a few months of consistent, pro-level link building!

Timothy Carter