When it comes to strong SEO, link building is a must do. Link building is the practice of spreading the link to your website throughout the Internet by using backlinks in social media, guest blog posts, blog comments, partnerships with other businesses, and many more other strategies. The more your link is spread throughout the Internet, the more Google’s algorithm starts to pick up your site as a relevant, important search result, which bumps you further up in SERPs. In fact, backlinks are Google’s main rating resource because since the beginning of the search engine, backlinks have been the best way to determine the quality and relevance of a website.
The problem with doing link building on your own is that you’re already busy running your business. Many business owners don’t have time to do their own link building, much less to do it in a practiced, quality way that will guarantee success. That’s why there are so many SEO professionals for hire who specialize in link-building. You give them the information they need about your business and your target demographic and they’ll spread your link around the internet to all the sites where your customers might find it. And then you pay them, of course.
The last part is a point of trepidation for many who have just started their own business. Money is tight, and it’s hard to put out extra money towards something that may or may not yield success. The goal, of course, is to pay for outsourced link building and make up the difference in new customers brought in by that link building. But is it truly worth it when all is said and done?
How Much Does Outsourced Link Building Cost?
Unfortunately, there’s no standard cost for outsourcing link building and most firms just charge whatever they deem reasonable. Rates and even payment schedule vary from company to company. Some will charge an hourly cost while others will charge a fixed rate per month. Some SEO firms are willing to accept a contract that pays them based on performance, which means you’ll only have to pay when the link building yields results. However, companies that offer pay-per-performance contracts will often charge more when they are paid. Pay-per-performance is as much of a risk to the link building firm as it is to the client, so the pay off has to be worth it for them. Many SEO firms charge per link or per post, which typically includes 1-2 links.
Of course, price varies based on quality. The national average monthly pay for SEO managers (which includes link building) is between $4,000 and $5,500. Other high profile companies might charge as much as $500-1,000 per post or link, which can add up to more than $15,000 each month. On the other hand, some companies will cost as little as $1,000 - $2,000 per month, but might not have the same reputation or level of quality as the other SEO firms. As in most things, you get what you pay for.
How Much Could Link Building Make For You?
The upside, of course, is that with good link building, your brand will spread and more customers will find your website. It brings customers to you rather than you having to expend hours reaching out to them. And with the help of a professional, you don’t even have to worry about the hours spent link building. Soon, you’ll have so much business pouring in that you’ll have to turn it away. Or at least, that’s the ideal. What’s the reality?
The main thing that link building can do is move your business further up the search engine, so when customers search for a service or product that you offer, you’re more likely to be one of the first results. That alone can drive traffic to your site, which with good content can lead to more business for you. It also boosts your business’s reputation. If someone sees your business linked on a blog that they respect or enjoy, that’s a recommendation in itself.
But it’s important to consider that it takes time for link building to yield results. It can take weeks or months before those links turn into revenue, and it’s possible that even with all the shares you could have imagined, your revenue won’t increase that much. In business there’s always a risk. It’s also important to remember that link building alone won’t bring you to the first page on Google. So if you plan to outsource your link building, it’s best to hire a firm that will handle various forms of SEO, not just links.
Still, other companies have met with massive success due to link building. It’s all a matter of the quality of link building service your outsourced firm provides and, well, luck. But there’s another element to consider when it comes to the cost and pay-off of link building: your time.
How Much Would It Cost You to Do Your Own Link Building?
In theory, doing your own link building would be cheaper. You wouldn’t have to pay anyone else to do it and you could reap the same results. But once you start link building, you may find it’s not that simple. Link building will take hours out of your day. Reaching out to blogs to write a guest blog, actually writing that guest blog, searching for influencers or places where you can organically place your link can sap your time. If you’re not already an expert at SEO, it could take even more time, because you’ll have to teach yourself the best SEO practices. If you’re not a writer, you’ll have to find a blogger to write guest posts for you. That comes with a cost that might be less expensive than the cost of outsourcing your link building, but you’re still putting hours into link building and SEO--hours that should be spent running your business.
There are only so many hours in the day. If you do your own link building, you may have less time for your business. Or during a particularly busy time with work, you may let your SEO fall by the wayside. Or you may try to juggle both, and find your personal time getting cut shorter and shorter. Whatever happens, it’s likely that taking on the duties of both your link building and your budding business may start to take a toll, and that will cost your business. Time is money, after all, and should be used in the most efficient way possible. If you spend less time working on your products or services, it’s less money. If you’re so stuck working on your products and services that you struggle to find time to reach out and bring in more business, it’s less money. And if you’re too tired to be productive, that’s much less money.
The truth is, when everything is considered, it’s hard to say how much it will cost to outsource link building, or whether that cost will pay off in the end. Like most things in business, there are too many variables to be certain. But in terms of expertise and saving valuable hours, it may be worth it to outsource your link building anyway. Focus on the things that made you want to start your business in the first place, and let professionals handle things like driving traffic to your website. Your business will run more smoothly, you’ll be happier, and you just might strike gold.
Best Coast Marketing - a marketing agency which helps increase their clients’ traffic through organic link-building. Josh enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity and self-improvement.Josh Elkin is a founder of