Is your organisation in need of some SEO or link building support? Have you come to the conclusion that building white links is a difficult and specialised activity?
If you’ve decided to hire an agency then congratulations, this is a positive step and ideally will help your website attract more quality traffic and leads as a result.
But before you commit to a link building agency make sure you do your due diligence. Remember you have a choice when it comes to which agency you hire. Some may be a better fit for your business than others.
Here are 6 positive things to look out for and 6 warning signs:
No link building agency can offer instant results or perfection. To be sure, they may be able to provide positive results quickly, but a legitimate company will under promise and over deliver. Link building success is created gradually and may require a few strategy changes along the way. Even the very best agencies need time to hit their stride.
Digital marketing, particularly SEO and link building; is an art not a science. There is likely to be bumps along the road. A link building agency that is worth your time and money will be honest and upfront about this. They will also take responsibility when mistakes happen and clearly communicate how they plan to resolve them.
Some digital marketing companies may just apply the same strategies to all their clients, offering minimal effort to really understand each as an individual entity. A quality link building agency really makes the effort to get to know your brand, then builds a comprehensive roadmap for how success will be achieved.
The very best link building agencies not only keep you informed; they actively seek feedback from you as the client in an effort to provide a better service. They treat you as a valued partner and communicate effectively when things are going well – and not so well. A quality agency considers this part of their service and won’t be content to just send you a basic monthly report.
Do they have a loyal selection of clients who’ve been with them for a long time? This is a good sign. It shows that the agency successfully builds long-term relationships and uses link building strategies that get results. The mark of a good agency is one that works with their clients instead of for them.
Business owners can be emotionally invested in their companies. This is completely understandable, but it can lead to them becoming blind to problems and even denial that there is one. A quality link building agency will always be honest with you, even if the truth is uncomfortable. Always listen to their feedback.
If you need to chase your agency for a response or an update on your link building progress, then this is a red flag. This is especially true if all communication is initiated by you as the client. A quality link building company understands that discourse between you needs to be a two-way street and should get in touch habitually.
A link building agency shouldn’t wait to be asked their ideas or strategies on how to improve your website. They should offer advice and insights without being prompted – and this doesn’t include attempts to upsell. An experienced agency should be able to look at your website and make suggestions without applying a one size fits all approach.
Are they frequently celebrating the signing of new clients on their website or social media but not celebrating milestones with existing ones? This is another red flag. Try to see how long (as an average) clients stay with them. If their turnover is unusually high, then it may be wise to take your business elsewhere.
Some companies use ‘stock reviews’ as opposed to genuine ones. These can be easy to spot. They tend to be short, repetitive, vague and overly complimentary without offering any actual context. Always dig a little deeper into their reviews to make sure they are from real people/companies, instead of just a stock photo of someone smiling while saying “Great job!”
A quality agency won’t be able to say yes to everything, they may recommend another path and shouldn’t be afraid to disagree with you on occasion. Any agency that promises the earth is unlikely to be able to deliver it. Always ask your agency what challenges they foresee. There should always be some.
Link building results can sometimes be a little too perfect. Google and other SERPs have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to link building that not all agencies respect. Make sure they are playing by the rules – if not it could come back on you instead of them. A link building agency should always be transparent about their methods and practice their trade ethically.
Think carefully about the type of company you want to outsource your link building work too. Links can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to your SEO strategy. Choose a company that underpromise and over deliver and you cannot go wrong.
If you would to chat to a straight talking Link Building company then get in touch for a informal discussion and a realistic plan