SEO is one of the core marketing strategies for SAAS companies but without link building, SEO just doesn’t work.
FYI: There is also a chance that even with amazing link building results SEO might not work. We’ll talk more about this later.
There is a ton of research on why you need to build your backlink portfolio to your website.
Referring domains impacts better rankings and organic search traffic.
I tested different agencies from the USA, UK, and Spain. No one from these agencies beat our in-house team in a long game.
In this post, I cover:
- Requirements for your link building agency
- Alarm signals that you’re wasting money
- The price of link building
Requirements for your link building agency
Hiring an agency is always hard. It’s even harder if you don’t have experience in link building. The proposals you receive can be so different that it’s difficult to make a good comparison.
Which one is better?
If you get a contract that costs $999 per month and gives you 10 backlinks, the agency will focus on delivering the agreed amount of backlinks. However, they might not always deliver on quality.
I recommend that you always choose to pay per link. You will have more control and the agency will be under a little more pressure to deliver links which make you happy. Not only this, but it will be easier to compare different proposals.
Important note: You’re not buying link insertion, this is against Google Guidelines. You’re paying for the agency to create content and pitch websites with content ideas.
Backlinks quality parameters.
Is a website with DA50 worth your attention? Or should you focus on a website with DR above 30?
The answer is simple. I don’t know.
What is DR?
Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to others in our database on a 100-point scale. It’s essentially a less granular version of Ahrefs Rank.
What is DA?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
Just check the example below of a website with DA60.
The first impression by the Moz DA metric website looks really good. When we combine data from Ahrefs, we see that the organic traffic estimation is 0.
This is a very clear signal to check the website more carefully.
There are 2 parameters which I recommend following:
DA and DR comparison.
DA and DR numbers will always be different, but if you notice drastic differences, it should be a red flag to check the quality of the website.
You should aim to get backlinks from stronger websites than yours. If your website DR is above 60, it won’t be smart to focus on getting links only from websites with a DR between 20 – 30.
I am not saying that you need to avoid them, however. There are thousands of websites that enjoy good traffic with lower DR or DA parameters.
Organic traffic dynamic.
DA or DR metrics without an organic traffic estimation is useless.
Let’s look at the 2 examples above:
The first website has higher organic traffic, but sees a pretty big decrease at the end of 2017. Did they use some black hat methods? Do they have useless content? We need to look a little deeper.
The second website has lower organic traffic, but the growth is steady. You don’t need backlinks from websites where organic traffic metrics are going down.
Moreover, you’ll see that some websites with good DA/DR parameters will have organic traffic above 200 visits per month. Skip them.
Don’t allow your agency to acquire links without approving domains.
The agency should send you a list of possible backlink opportunities. You need to choose the best links for you.
If the agency is pushing you to sign a contract and buy 15 random domains without any evaluation, you need to say goodbye. You can spend your budget in a smarter way.
Alarm signals that you’re wasting money
You got an email with the subject line: Please Check Google Approved High DA & Traffic Sites.
The content of the email looks similar to this:
I can 100% guarantee that it won’t help to grow your business.
As a marketer you need to be strategic with link building.
There are questions which should be answered before starting backlinks:
- What is the estimation of backlinks needed to a specific URL to get into TOP 10 SERP?
- Which anchor strategy will be used? Be careful here, because you could damage your website.
- What are the guarantees that the link will be live for at least 3 months?
- Will the agency outreach on your company name?
If you don’t have in-depth SEO knowledge in your marketing team internally, an agency will help based on the questions above. They can assist in building at least some kind of strategy for you.
Only building high-quality backlinks to targeted pages will give your website or page preferential ranking over a competitor.
Did you ever get an email with an offer to buy a backlink from FORBES.COM for $5000?
What do you think about these kinds of prices? Do you really believe that a single backlink can change your business?
I found a comment in Quora.com
If you want very high quality backlinks, like the ones I sell which are connected to media companies, then you can get it in the $8000 range.
That one magic backlink just doesn’t exist, even when that link is apparently worth $5000 or $8000.
If you will do co-marketing activity and create content for lead generation, it can cost more than $5000 in the end. But paying such cash for a simple link is stupid, if you ask me.
The content marketing agency specializing in SEO Siege Media states that a typical outreach project produces a cost-per-link in the $750 range.
An Ahrefs study shows the average cost of acquiring a link is $361.44.
You can pay higher prices in the beginning, because you want to test how these links will affect your organic traffic growth.
If you will see that link building activities have started to bring good results and had a positive effect on your sales, then you should consider building an in-house team.
Even one person with experience and the right frameworks can deliver significant results!