Quality links can be the difference between dominating your industry and going out of business.
While not a standalone solution, quality links are essential to improving your online visibility while building trust and credibility.
Best Link Building Services
Link building is often the most glamorous but difficult element of a solid SEO strategy. With link building remaining as one of the most effective means of improving rankings, this really isn’t surprising.
Quality Link Building Serves A Few Main Purposes:
- They are and have been for several years one of the most important Google Ranking Factors.
- Guest Posting and Brand Mentions on a niche relevant website can send quality referral traffic to your website.
- You can gain brand recognition by appearing on relevant blogs, podcasts, and other types of interviews. This helps with SEO rankings, expands your audience reach, and helps you build industry expertise.
Link building involves many tactics and supporting content is a must. In order to succeed, you need to have the right content to promote and a tested set of tactics to promote it. Guest posting, blogger outreach, and other popular link building tactics can all be effective, so long as you choose the right one for the job.
If spending countless hours attempting DIY link building doesn’t sound like the best use of your time, it may be time to consider outsourcing your link building to a reputable, professional link building service.
To help you in this monumental task of finding a quality link building service, we have compiled a list of some of the best link building services in 2020.
Stellar SEO – Blogger & Custom Link Outreach
Stellar SEO (the company I founded in 2012!) is truly an all star when it comes to link building services. Known for their very personalized, hands on approach, it is hard to find a better service for custom link outreach.
Here is what one third party rating site has to say about us:
“If you are looking for a safe, effective, high-quality link building partner, get in touch with Stellar SEO today to see if your business is a good fit. One phone call and you will quickly find out why this agency is at the top of our list.”
What’s more, the thousands of hours spent building custom outreach programs and the knowledge gained from that outreach has enabled Stellar SEO to build an equally impressive guest posting and blogger outreach service.
The Stellar SEO process (which includes over 30 checks) enables them to find, pitch, and get placements on niche relevant, real websites that get solid organic traffic. While some services charge extra for sites that get organic traffic or are niche relevant, at Stellar SEO, quality comes standard.
We offer both custom packages and pay per link options for those looking to bundle our links as part of their client SEO packages or to use as part of a self managed campaign.
In the meantime, let’s look at the different link building tactics that you may encounter when searching for a link building service to hire.
What Is the Difference in Link Building Tactics?
Great Question. If you are not familiar with link building, terms like blogger outreach, guest posting, broken link building and custom link outreach can be a little confusing. While each company’s custom service will differ, here are the general definitions of each type of link building. Understanding what each tactic is can help you decide how to outsource your link building in the most effective manner if you will be using a “self managed” link building program or package.
Guest post link building is when you contact another blog and contribute a piece of content to their site. This can be done a couple of ways. You can guest post as yourself or you can submit a guest post from a credible author in the field. In order to know which works, you need to consider what role you want guest posting to play in your link building strategy.
Blogger outreach is very similar to guest posting. You contact websites and offer to contribute content in exchange for a link back to your website. In most cases, blogger outreach comes from a third party author and mentions you within the main content of the post as a resource. Guest posting on the other hand may get you a link within the main post or in the author bio if the post comes from you, which may not be the best approach, again, depending upon your overall strategy.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is a tactic in which you look for quality, relevant websites that currently have broken outgoing links on one or more of their pages. Those sites are then contacted and notified of the broken link, while offering a suitable replacement. With this strategy, you can look for pre-existing content on your website that would be a good replacement or you can create new content if the amount or quality of broken link opportunities warrants doing so. It is also important to remember that broken link building can be paired with other link building tactics to promote a piece of quality content.
PR and link building overlap in some cases and this is one of them. Brand mentions are when you reach out to prominent writers/editors/reporters in a particular field and try to get them to mention a new product, service, or even your business as a whole.
Resource Link Building
Resource page link building is a tactic in which you reach out to websites that have a curated page of resources that they feel will be helpful to their users. You may find resource pages that link to a page or resource that no longer exists or you may just have a resource that would be a value addition to their list. In either case, this strategy can be effective for promoting long form content, first hand data, and similar tools and value driven pages.
Niche Edit Links
Niche edit link building is a type of link building in which your link is added onto an existing page on a website. This is very similiar to broken link building and resource link building. The problem with this service from many providers is that they offer link inserts for $30-$50 per site. This is often an indicator that those services are focused upon getting links added to low quality sites that often lack relevancy. As with other types of link building, you often get what you pay for, so be sure to choose a reputable niche edit service to signifigantly reduce the risk of your link building campaign. If you would like to learn more about this tactic, be sure to check out: “What are Niche Edits?”.
Link Reclamation & Unlinked Mentions
This set of tactics goes together very well. Link reclamation is when you reach out to sites that previously linked to you but have since removed or replaced your link. This could be because your content was outdated or the page they linked to may no longer exist. In either case, older websites can often secure a decent number of links using this strategy.
Along the same lines are unlinked mentions. If someone mentions your company by name or references a page, resource, or image on your site without linking to you, that is an unlinked mention. If you were recently mentioned, this can be another great way to secure links by claiming something that is already in place. Link reclamation + unlinked mentions works great for older websites with large historic link profiles or those that have received a lot of press coverage.
Podcast Link Building
Podcast link building can be a good addition to a comprehensive link building plan. Podcast link building as the name implies is a tactic in which links are acquired by appearing on podcasts. Getting booked on good podcasts can provide a good link placement and the opportunity for branding and referral traffic building.
PR Link Building
Press release link building is a dated and controversial tactic, but can be helpful when used correctly. Essentially, there are two types of PR link building. The first and most common is using a syndication service to push one “release” out to hundreds of websites. This tactic was scrutinized by Google and before using this, it is important to make sure the type of PR you are using fits the overall goals of your campaign.
The other type of PR link building is more similar to brand mentions. Typically using a PR firm, a select group of media outlets are contacted and pitched to cover or mention your brand. This is typically a cost method and works best for brands and bigger companies that can sustain a larger monthly budget while momentum is built.
Video Marketing & Outreach
Video marketing, like podcast link building, is a hybrid method, allowing you to benefit in more than one way from a piece of content. Video content can be a commercial, educational video, or simply something for entertainment value.
When paired with link outreach, videos can serve as the foundation for your outreach efforts. The type of content produced will determine the best use and promotional methods, but overall, this can be an effective means of promoting your business while gaining links. The right video will make or break this strategy, so don’t skimp on production quality.
Citation Link Building
Citation building is the process of listing your business on relevant business directories, with the main purpose being to establish geo-relevancy. Building citations is most helpful with how you rank in Google Maps listings, but it can be used as part of a diversified link building strategy as well.
Unlike other links which can cost between a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars per link, citations are generally $5 or less per listing, making them an inexpensive way to diversify your overall strategy.
Custom Link Outreach
Custom link outreach is not so much a single tactic as it is the overall strategy used to combine the most applicable tactics for any situation into an effective content promotion strategy. Oftentimes, this type of service will combine consulting, competitive research, link prospecting, auditing, and link outreach, along with a lot of data analysis and planning.
This type of service is usually a little more expensive than stand-alone tactics like blogger outreach link building. However, having the right strategy can be the difference between wasted spending and remarkable ROI, so don’t rule this out on cost alone. Custom link outreach is also a good option to bridge the gap between link building and content marketing.
Content Marketing Vs. Link Building
Content marketing is defined as the combination of whitepapers, e-books, educational blog posts and other content with the intent of informing potential customers.
Link building on the other hand is more focused upon outreach and promotion of both education content and when possible, sales content.
That being said, there is definitely an overlap in the two. For example, if you are trying to build resource page links, having a definitive educational guide on a topic is going to improve your success rate tremendously. So instead of content marketing vs link building, you should be thinking content marketing + link building = better ROI.
While the link building tactics list above is not an exhaustive list by any means, it should help you get up to speed on the most common tactics pretty quickly.
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of link building tactics that you may encounter, let’s look at some agencies that offer one or more of the tactics discussed above.
Before we get into the list, a word from the author:
We do not receive any type of financial compensation from the companies listed below.
Since link building is becoming more and more diversified, we have pulled together our extensive research to bring you a list of services that specialize in portions of an overall link building and content production strategy,
Alright Back To Our List of Best Link Building Services
Since link building consists of many possible tactics, we are going to look at companies that excel at the tactics discussed above.
Whitespark – Citation Building Service
Whitespark is a well-known citation building service that also offers some good local SEO themed tools and resources.
According to their site, “Whitespark builds tools and provides services that help businesses and agencies with local search marketing. We live and breathe local search and we’re known far and wide for writing and speaking on it.”
If you are looking to leverage citation building as part of your overall link building strategy, Whitespark is a good place to start the process.
360 PR – PR Firm
A top tier PR Firm, 360 PR has worked with major brands such as Nintendo, Honeywell, and Liberty Mutual. Located in Boston, MA this firm offers a variety of services that span both online and offline channels to help you build brand awareness in a big way.
While the exact pricing will vary by project, this type of premiere, enterprise focused PR service does not usually come cheap. However, if you are looking to make a big entrance into the market, pairing a legitimate PR service with other link building tactics can really expedite the process.
This type of service is more geared towards selective PR than SEO focused press releases.
Cision PR Web – SEO Press Release Service
Cision is a press release syndication service that many PR companies use to resell to their clients. Instead paying the middle man, why not go directly to the source? Cision is a cloud based SaaS company that offers the tools to help you syndicate your press releases, along with other services.
Their PR Web platform is setup to help you execute their process, which they describe as:
The pricing to use them platform varies but at last check a pack of 3 press releases started around $960 which is going to be significantly cheaper than a PR firm and in many cases, cheaper than if you went through one of the many companies that resell this service.
If SEO press releases are part of your strategy, Cision is a good way to make that happen.
Podcastbookers – Podcast Booking Service
Podcastbookers is a service designed to help you get a fixed number of monthly appearances on podcasts. They offer a comprehensive service that helps you:
- Prepare your pitch
- Prepare you for interviews
- Optimize your podcast appearances for Google and social media
The pricing of this service is considerably cheaper than hiring a PR firm, with 4 guaranteed bookings costing $700 per month or about $175 per appearance.
As discussed earlier, getting links from appearing on podcasts can be a great way to help with SEO, brand building, and referral traffic.
M- Video Production Company
With major clients such as Microsoft, Paypal, and Netflix, M is a leading video production company located in Los Angeles, CA. Their basic video production service starts at $3,500 per month with more custom videos starting around $6,000 per month. As the top rated video production company in LA, the prices are certainly reasonable for the level of expertise they bring.
This service is focused primarily upon the research, planning, and creation of video content, so for the best results, their service should be paired with a reputable link outreach service.
Screaming Frog -Content Marketing & Outreach
While Screaming Frog might best be known to industry professionals for their tool “Screaming Frog SEO Spider” they are also an accomplished content marketing service.
With this service, you can expect a combination of content production followed by outreach to promote that content. The strong focus on earning links over “building” them can lead to some quality placements, but may not be the most time or cost effective method, which can be a budget breaker for some companies. If you have the budget, this service is worth considering.
Webris – Link Building Training & Outreach Service
Webris offers both training and link building services. Founded in 2015 by previous owner Ryan Stewart, this company uses a strong overall marketing strategy to promote both their link building service and their training programs.
Acquired by From the Future in 2018, Ryan and Webris are well known for having been built and acquired very quickly due to Ryan Stewart’s systematized approach and overall strong marketing skills.
Webris and From the Future do offer a number of services, so they are not as specialized in link building as others on the list, but this is still a very strong service.
Link Fish Media – Link Outreach
Founded in 2007, Link Fish Media is a boutique link building company with a focus on competitive industries. Led by Julie Joyce and Jay Young, this company like Stellar SEO, focuses on delivering quality links while maintaining client confidentiality with a standard mutual NDA for all clients.
Pricing starts from $1050 for 3 links per month, but a typical client spends around $5,000 per month according to their site. Their pricing model is cost per link and the number of links suggested will vary by client.
Page One Power – Content Marketing & Outreach
Page One is located in Boise Idaho and was founded in 2009. They offer an hourly billing model and they self describe their service as having “the proven ability to build pages that earn visibility and links online, with stable processes to secure the links your pages deserve.” .
Page One Power has a shared focus with Stellar SEO, Link Fish Media, and Screaming Frog when it comes to focusing upon quality links from real websites.
Some Common Link Building FAQs
There is a lot that goes into link building. Below we are going to explore some of those common questions to help point you in the right direction, whether you plan to hire an agency or do it yourself.
What is Link Building?
Generally speaking, link building is the process of getting other websites to add a link pointing back to your website. As discussed above, there are many tactics that can be used to acquire links.
What Is a Backlink on a Website?
A backlink is the actual hypertext link on one page that points to another page. For example, if ABC.COM wrote a news story about your site and added a hyperlink within it, that would be a backlink.
The code to create a standard backlink looks like this:
<a href=”https://stellarseo.com/”>Visit Stellar SEO</a>
When rendered as the visible link on a page it would simply display as Visit Stellar SEO
When reviewing your link profile, there are two different metrics meant to measure your links, backlinks and unique referring domains.
What is the Difference Between Total Backlinks and Total Unique Referring Domain?
A backlink count shows how many times you are mentioned in total. For example, if you were mentioned on three different pages of ABC.com, you site would have 3 backlinks.
A referring domain measures the number of unique domains that are linking to you. Using the example above, you would have 3 backlinks and 1 referring domain.
What Makes a Good Backlink?
At Stellar SEO, we focus on the A.R.T. of link building, which puts emphasis on Authority, Relevancy, and Trust. These elements, mixed with content and outbound link screening can be used to properly vet link opportunities. You can read more about The A.R.T. of Link Building here: https://stellarseo.com/makes-good-backlink/
How Does Google Feel About Link Building?
This is a hotly contested topic. Some people believe that any attempt to get other sites to link to your site can be considered “grey hat” link building, or something that goes against Google’s guidelines.
Others believe that so long as you are using natural outreach methods to promote relevant, valuable content, you are giving Google what they want.
Even recently, John Mueller of Google stated in a Google Hangout that when asked about link building:
“So basically on the one hand that involves some amount of self-promotion from your side like you have to get some people to come and visit your website somehow so that they can recognize that this is actually a good website.
And there are lots of ways that you can do that. And then that also involves one of those people or some of those people going well, this is a really fantastic website and I have another website that I can link, from where I can link to your website.
So it’s not the case that every visitor coming to your website will say it’s a fantastic website and I also have a website and let me link to your website from my website, but some of these people they can.”
Which would indicate that link outreach done right is more than likely what Google is looking for and willing to reward. Here is the full video of that conversation:
How Can I Find Good Link Building Opportunities?
When it comes to link building, there are three main pillars.
Researching your competitors, based upon your main services and keywords is the best place to get started. Once you compile and screen their combined link profiles, you can move onto strategy and tactics.
The types of links your competitors are using can help to guide your strategy and decide upon which tactics are most effective in your particular niche.
Taking the time to thoroughly understand what your competitors have done that is working and what isn’t working will help tremendously when it comes time to launch your link building campaign.
As Abe Lincoln was Quoted as Saying:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. ” An ax is a strength multiplier. You can be the strongest lumberjack in the world, but with a dull axe, you are in trouble!”
This is every bit as true when it comes to link building- proper preparation is critical.
What Link Building Services Does Stellar SEO Provide?
At Stellar SEO we offer blogger outreach, guest posting, and custom link outreach.
The first two are sold on a cost per link model, making them a favorite among other agencies that are looking to bundle links in with their marketing plans. These services are also popular with companies that have an in-house marketing team but are looking to outsource their link building.
Custom link outreach is our flagship service, combining research, strategy, and outreach into a diverse and comprehensive plan to help your business succeed in accomplishing your online goals.
How Much Does Link Building Cost?
The cost of link building is going to vary tremendously from project to project. Our blogger outreach links can be purchased individually, with the cheapest link costing $167. In some cases, a local business may only need a couple of these per month to overtake the competition.
On the other hand, our custom link outreach service typically starts at $5,000 per month but can exceed $50,000 per month on large, comprehensive enterprise level projects. These can include video, content creation, and outreach at a very large scale.
In cases where your budget is less than $5,000 per month, but you are a good fit for our service, we can often build out a managed blogger outreach project which offers per link pricing with limited research and planning. This is only practical in some cases, so the best way to figure out which service you need is by booking an initial call to discuss your project.
How Long Does It Take Link Building To Work?
Google sees links as a vote of confidence for your website. The more votes you have, the more credible your website becomes.
When it comes to link building, there are three main elements that will determine how long a link building campaign will take to be effective.
- How does your website stack up to the link profile of your competitors?
- With your budget, how long will it take to acquire the number of links needed to close that gap?
- How long will it take Google to reward you for the newly built links?
As a quick example, let’s say that for your most important keyword, the average competitor has 20 unique referring domains to their page and you have 5. You would need to build 15 links to bring yourself up to the average of your competition as a first step.
If your budget allowed you to build 3 links per month, it would take about 5 months to build 15 links. During this time, your competitor may have built more links as well, so you need to keep that in mind when planning a timeline.
The last part is how long it takes Google to give you the benefit of your newly placed links. A few studies have been conducted, with the intent of determining how long a link takes to have full impact after it is crawled by Google.
One of the most credible studies indicates that roughly 10 weeks is the average time for a link to take effect.
We have found that while some results can happen sooner, the 4th month is really when you start to see the impact of newly acquired links, with the resulting growth compounding thereafter. Link building is a long term strategy, so realistically, you should expect a campaign to last for at least 6 months to get a meaningful impact. This will again depend upon budget and competition, so no two projects are alike.
How Can You Learn More About Link Building?
Hiring a link building agency may not be possible if you have a very limited budget or you may prefer to build an in-house link building team instead.
If you decide now is not the time to outsource your link building, we have put together a number of valuable resources that will help you learn more about and launch your own link building campaign.
Here are some helpful resources to get you started:
- The A.R.T. of Link Building – learn what makes a good link and how to evaluate potential sites before outreaching to them.
- Link Building History – learn where link building started, what mistakes were made along the way, and what to watch out for.
- Natural Selection: Creating a Winning Anchor Text Profile – learn how to choose anchor texts and what to avoid to prevent inadvertent penalization from your link building efforts.
- Broken Link Building in 5 Simple Steps – learn how to find broken link building opportunities and acquire link placements using this timeless tactic.
- What Link Builders Can Learn from Salespeople – learn how to craft a compelling outreach emailing using sales psychology to increase the likelihood of starting a conversation that leads to earning a quality link placement.
In addition, you can find many more guides and resources to help with your link building efforts on our blog.