Search engine marketing is a complex exercise, which requires an in-depth understanding of how a search engine works, and how people use search to find products, services, and solutions. As an SEO professional, you may be well aware of the algorithmic updates and the deployment of machine learning (i.e. RankBrain) by Google. This essentially means that modern SEOs have a lot to cover in order to acquire decent search visibility.
Optimal visibility of your business or website will ensure that you attract the maximum sales and leads within the niche, and be the market leader, essentially. This is not merely a hypothetical assessment, but a fact endorsed by studies and rigorous research. Take a look at the following statics by Statista and WordStream.
- Every second, more than 67,000 searches are performed on Google
- Nearly 80 percent of the people ignore ads in search results
- Globally, 39 percent of all ecommerce traffic comes from search
- 93 percent of all online experiences begin with search
- 60 percent of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device
Search engine marketing is a no-brainer. Every new year brings greater opportunities for search engine marketing (SEM). As the volume of search queries fielded by Google grows, the more chances you have to drive traffic to your website through the paid and organic results.
How do we achieve that ranking?
This is a million-dollar question that every marketer and client asks – how do I get the best possible search ranking, and how to get it fast?
The answer to this question is not that simple since there are more than 200 search engine ranking factors. Precisely, this means that we have to consider over 200 factors in sight while planning and executing search engine marketing campaigns.
Isn’t this a tough call?
You have to have a lot of resources and people in order to take care of every tiny thing if you wish to make things look perfect.
Here is an easy way out!
According to Search Engine Land, there are three factors that matter the most in search engine ranking, and it is easy to take care of them. If you are wondering what factors help you rank better on Google, the top three are:
- RankBrain (Google’s AI-powered search algorithm)
In other words, if you are able to understand the link building process and get better links by publishing quality content, RankBrain will ultimately help you gain better organic visibility. While the trio has its own uniqueness and advantages, we will stick to link building in this very post.
What is a backlink and why it is Important?
A backlink is a link one website gets from another website. This is a kind of reference or referral from or to a resource for something related to the text or context being linked. Links play a very important role in a website’s search ranking and performance.
Linked building practices have improved and evolved over a time period. There are a few different kinds of “link building,” and the definition depends upon your job description, role, and way of looking at it.
As per the old school thought, link building was a typical spamming activity that aimed at garbage linking, striving to get as many backlinks as one can (dubbed as black hat). This type of cheating activity used to lead to a definite penalty. Contrary to this, there is another school of thought that deals with quality backlinks that focus on relationship and content syndication. This is pure whitehat and ethical practice, though many avoid this path due to the cost involved.
While we will discuss in the latter part why link building is expensive, let us first start by exploring the need for link building. If you wish to understand why your business or project needs to focus on links, the following points should give you enough reasons.
6 Reasons to Invest in Link Building
Link building is an important element of SEO and search rankings; however, many do not recognize its value. The following 7 points should give you enough reasons to believe in the value of investing in links.
1. Enhanced Visibility
The foremost benefit is not something tangible, but it is equally important. Links are all about brand awareness and search visibility. Any business that obtains backlinks from quality websites like, it leads to more visibility and brand mentions. For example, if your business is mentioned by Forbes or Entrepreneur Magazine, the probability of being witnessed by thousands of people (or read prospects) increases.
This brand awareness, brand visibility, and brand mention are everything if you ask any modern marketer. Why? Because I increase your potential pool of prospects and the likelihood of their conversion favorable towards your brand. More importantly, the more a brand is visible, the more it is trusted by the market.
2. Referral Traffic
Probably the most visible and measurable element of link building is the referral traffic that you get as a result of link building campaigns. While links may sound like technical staff whose job is to help in search ranking; however, they may offer some business advantages too. For example, people visiting the links may click on those, land on your website, and may end up being a customer. By calculating the conversion rates, you could ultimately measure the dollar value of every visiting customer – and ultimately the value of every link.
As an SEO professional, you must be well-aware of the fact that every new link to your website adds more to its value, trust, ranking, and authority. In the long run, this strategy could help in improving your search rankings against a number of keywords and business queries.
While search rankings are a matter of diversified skills and complexity, Moz and other platforms have found that links play the most important role in improving your search engine rankings.
As briefed at the beginning of this piece, Google has confirmed that links are one of the three most important ranking factors in search. As your search engine rankings improve, so do your organic traffic and conversions. You could easily calculate the conversions and measure the dollar value of every visit and conversion.
4. Business Repute
Did you know that there is a dedicated discipline of 'reputation management' that is specifically tasked to take care of the business reputation? One of the best ways to improve your brand’s repute is to post quality content on reputed platforms, which, in turn, give more credibility and positive propagation to your business.
If you are a healthcare company, and you post health-related features in a reputed publication and how your company is adding value to the ecosystem, the ultimate beneficiary will be your business. The feature will help readers distinguish it from the rest and recognize your leadership in a certain spectrum. More, since the piece carries links to your site and cases, they will be able to visit the website and may convert into customers.
5. Long-term Value
Did you know what makes organic marketing more valuable as compared to paid one? Advertisements are temporary investments and bring short-term visibility, you vanish as soon as you stop spending. However, organic visibility is quite the opposite. Your contents and links are permanent and stay live on the digital landscape, giving your business long-term value. As long as people will read those pieces, you will keep getting the links, referrals, and traffic. Hence, the long-term value of a backlink is much more than what it looks like on paper.
6. The Compound Effect
If you have read Darren Hardy’s ‘The Compound Effect’, you do realize the value of the compound effect. Unlike the general perception, links’ value does not reside in silos or is restricted to one particular niche – like SEO. As long as you keep it ethical and in line with best practices, link building increases your business value exponentially. Your search rankings are up, getting you a soaring number of organic traffic, converting more leads, and keep pushing referral traffic in the long term. And the value keeps on multiplying with links and posts’ popularity.
By now, you would have realized the value of link building exercises and why companies need to invest in links. However, one must remember that this value is only achieved if we are playing it right and as per ethics.
Any negative or black hat activity may lead to penalty or removal of your website from search index, leading to unbearable loss.
So what do we do then? The simplest answer is, to hire a professional link building and outreach services provider to help you get quality backlinks. If you can afford to have one in-house, well and good; however, never risk your credibility and long-term business advantage for short-term cost savings.
This leads us back to our second question, which we touched on in the beginning. Why link building is expensive and why do we still need to do it? In the following, we will try to understand the cost vs benefits of link building, and determine if they are a solid investment or not.
Why Link Building is Expensive?
There are numerous reasons why link building exercise is expensive and many companies tend to avoid it. We are listing down a few of those.
- Outreach is Expensive:
Since we are talking about the white hat and ethical SEO practices, the foremost and the most time-consuming activity is outreach. You need to have a good network of businesses willing to give you backlinks on their portals and to have a satisfying response and conversion rate, you also need to evaluate the website as well. This whole activity involves subscription to evaluation tools, investing time in research for sites and contact information, crafting email copies, and then using some automated or manual emailing tool for outreach. All of this requires the investment of time, money, and resources – which add up to the cost of link building.
- Cost of Content Production
To get published, you have to provide websites with quality articles and blogs. Now, writing high-quality content is itself a hectic, time-consuming, and costly business. You have to invest anything between $20 to $300 for a good piece of content, coupled with editing and images, and formatting costs. This cost of content production ultimately adds up to the total cost of search engine optimization and link building.
- Tools Subscriptions
As mentioned before, tools subscription is another area that adds up to the cost of link building and marketing. Right from digging into the websites to their evaluation and outreach, every step requires access/subscription to certain tools. You have to have data mining software, marketing intelligence tools, link building evaluation tools, email marketing tools, and content-checking (grammar & plagiarism) tools. All of this is usually not FREE and requires some subscription to premium digital marketing tools.
So, what do we do now? Leave or Invest?
While there is absolutely no doubt that link building and outreach is an expensive element, we still believe it is worth the investment. As noted in the previous section (why you need to invest in link building) the long-term cost of link building is not an expense, but an investment that brings in quite a positive return. Therefore, you must invest in link building.
However, if you do not have outreach resources or lack certain expertise, you can always hire outreach experts and rely on their expertise. These agencies offer a comprehensive set of solutions that are tailored to clients' needs and cost much lower compared to what could be the cost in-house. Since these outreach agencies have dedicated teams and already a great network of publishing partners, their time and place of execution are way better as compared to what you may do in-house.
If you are planning to outsource link building and in search of blogger outreach services or aspire to build a good network of publishers for link building, please get in touch with our team. At MagFellow, we are committed to offer the best combination of quality, affordability and reliability.