Link Building: In-house, Out-sourced or Both?

Link Building: In-house, Out-sourced or Both?

Blog, SEO 19th January 2011 No Response

Over the last few weeks I have begun lots of new link building campaigns for some of our clients. During this time I have been looking at how we can improve our offering to improve our efficiency within the business and service in general, across our client base.

I began by looking at our current process and then looking at the pros and cons of running a link building campaign in-house, out-sourced with such companies as Micrositez or using both to provide a much more rounded approach to the campaign.

Below are some of the findings for each potential offering:

Running a link building campaign in-house

As with anything related to SEO, running a link building campaign in-house is the preferred way although maybe not the best way.

Pros:

  • Having full visibility of all links created
  • Knowing the quality and relevance of the links

Cons:

  • Time consuming
  • Possibly not having the expertise in the current team structure
  • Having to re-allocate resource to meet the monthly link volume that has been agreed
  • Having to locate potential areas to create effective & relevant links
  • Financial implications of employing staff to be link building experts

Running a link building campaign that is completely out-sourced

By out-sourcing completely you would need to have built a significant amount of trust to hand an entire link building campaign over to a link building agency.

Pros:

  • Allows more time for your resources to be spent on more specialised SEO techniques
  • Provides the knowledge and resource that might be missing from your organisation
  • Potentially more cost effective
  • Ability to provide clients with a login area that so that they can have 24/7 access to the link building work that is being carried out on their behalf

Cons:

  • You are putting a lot of trust in an out-sourced agency
  • It is in the hands of an out-sourced agency to meet the deadlines that have been set by you and the client
  • Having to do a quality assurance check to ensure that ethical link building has been carried out
  • Need to check the quality and relevance of links
  • Management of out-sourced agency

Running a link building campaign that uses both internal & external resources.

Utilising both an external link building agency and your internal SEO resource to run a link building campaign can have many benefits.

Pros:

  • Allows internal resource to create high quality and relevant links
  • External resource can be given the task to create links in large volume around your specific key phrases
  • Internal resource can be scheduled so that the client gets a full quota of work for the selected time period and not just a schedule that is solely based around link building
  • Cost effective with external resource taking link building volume away from internal resource, increasing the profitability of the project

Cons:

  • Management of external resource

My own thoughts on the three options…

For a long time now I have thought the best way to run a link building campaign was to use both internal and external resource. I am a big believer in using our knowledge to affect the quality and relevant link building campaigns instead of trawling through directories adding company profiles.

Creating contextual links via blog posts, articles & press releases to mention a few techniques, should be done in-house by SEOs and not an external link building agency!

Don’t just go on my thoughts on how to run a link building campaign let’s see what other people had to say

What do others think?

I spoke to several people about how they would run a link building campaign based on the three options discussed and this is what they had to say.

Dan Taylor SEO Manager at Just Search UK said “Both. Use out-sourcing for low profile volume links such as directories and articles but always, always build your high power links manually and in-house”

Matt Taylor SEO Executive at SEOptimise feels that “It varies from client to client but ideally both as long as you can out-source to people you really trust to represent you. Every time you out-source you put your own relationship with a client in someone else’s hands. You definitely have to adapt to suit time and the situation. But never anything advanced or sensitive.”

Summary

After discussions with colleagues and some of SEOs brightest minds there seems to be an overriding feeling that the best way to run a link building campaign would be to use both and external agency and internal resource.

What are your thoughts on link building and points that I have raised? Do you agree that the basis of running a good link building campaign is a combination of allocating internal and external resource to the project? or would you run campaigns differently? Let me know in the comments below.

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