In this article, I’ll spill the beans on what a link building consultant is and why you might need one.
There are over 200 ranking factors that search engines look at when determining where your web-page will rank. Not all of these factors are weighted equally. Site speed, mobile friendliness and links are three of the most important factors, assuming keyword research and on-page factors has been carried out.
Unlike these other factors, links are the only mentioned factor that is off-page or external. You can do your own on-page SEO with ease and on small websites, it may only take a few hours to have your page structure in good stead. However, building a link profile that brings you top-10 rankings is easier said than done and is an ongoing process that technically never ends.
What a link building consultant does
Do you need one?
Off-page SEO analysis
Off-page SEO includes all the ranking factors that search engines look at that aren’t directly on your website. This includes sites that link to you, the anchor that is used and on-page factors that relate to the page linking to you. Now that may sound quite difficult, so the image below should make it slightly easier to understand. A link building consultant will be able to look at the quality of your off-page profile and make suggestion to improve it. Improvements to your off-page profile will lead to higher rankings, more visitors and more internet bucks. Although you can carry out off-page analysis yourself, it is time consuming and requires a great level of expertise to turn the audit into an actionable plan.
This off-page analysis extends to your competitor sites and their link profiles, as a good link building consultant will be able to poach some of the links that bring them top rankings.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the first thing that you should look for in a link building consultant is their ability to build links. Now this may seem obvious, but link building is a cutthroat niche and there are many shady methods that self-proclaimed experts will use to build links to your site. For example, many SEO’s will build PBN links or private blog network. This is where they create content on a site that is just used to give links to other sites. This may sound harmless, but PBN’s are frowned upon by the search engine algorithms and are likely to result in your website being penalized in terms of rankings.
A link building consultant should be able to build organic links that are relevant to your niche and put your website at no risk of penalization. Outreach is just one way in which a link building consultant will build links to your website. A method that I find works well is to pitch articles to journalists that their audience will find interesting, making sure to include a client link in the content. Pitching articles can be difficult and requires a level or pr-expertise that not all SEO’s have.
Increase your traffic
By improving your link profile, your search rankings will increase as a result. This will lead to a few things:
Firstly your traffic will increase due to the higher SERP position. This increase in traffic brings heightened brand awareness. The higher up the SERP’s that your webpage sits, the higher the click-through-rate will be. The number one position gets around 27 to 35 percent of clicks for a keyword, the lower down a result… the lower this number gets. Although in the UK, click through rates are slightly higher.
If you own a blog – The main way that blogs make money is through generating traffic that converts to ad revenue or affiliate revenue. Higher search rankings means that you are likely to see more ad revenue.
If you own an eCommerce site – For those of you who run an eCommerce store, then link building is important as search engines are a great way to drive organic sales. Without an SEO strategy and suitable link profile, you may be missing out on a significant amount of sales.
The risk of bad links
Having no links is better than having lots of bad quality links. Metrics like Spam score are given to links in attempts to quantify how toxic they are to your overall link profile. Bad links don’t just mean that the site that they have come from is a spam site, but having too many links with the same anchor pointing to your site can also cause penalization. This is because search engines will monitor your link profile and when the algorithm sees something as “unnatural”, you will receive a penalty. Building links too fast to a site can get you in hot water, along with buying links.
Buying links is incredibly popular and for sites that can afford high-quality placements on relevant sites, it is hard to tell if the link is natural or not. However, if your link building consulting is buying links from an excel sheet, then you are likely to get penalized.
Instead of buying links, a link building consultant should have a network of journalists and websites owners that they can pitch content to with your link in. This is natural and you are likely to get placements on websites that don’t have content littered with other paid links.
Where do I find a link building consultant?
Link building consultants are only going to focus on off-page SEO and your link profile. If you can afford to hire other people to do your on-page SEO, or do it yourself, then a link building consultant may be a wise decision. These type of consultants can be found on LinkedIn, Upwork and other platforms that freelancers offer their services on. However, don’t be fooled into building your link profile and thinking rankings will come immediately. Your on-page SEO needs to be in-check. Not to mention, as link-building is an ongoing process, you may be working with a link building consultant for months before you see tangible results.
Although, for smaller companies and businesses that want an all-round SEO expert to do it all… then check out SPOCO.
Here are our pricing plans for websites looking to receive an all-round SEO approach and climb up the search engine rankings. Unlike SEO consultants or marketing agencies, the SPOCO platform is transparent and you can see how our tool is working to bring you improved search rankings.