A common misconception I see with a lot of site owners is that they feel that once they’ve outsourced their SEO (hopefully to a white hat SEO firm) they can just wash their hands of link building completely. After all, that’s what they hired the SEO company to do, right? Well, yes and no. A white hat SEO firm is going to take their time to learn the ins and outs of your business, your products and services, your target audience, your current online brand and your business goals. Once they’ve taken a good look under the hood of your website and properly optimized it they’ll move onto link building. For the most part, a good SEO firm will be able to manage the majority of your link building campaign. They’ll research, find and create high-quality links that not only grow your link profile but actually send targeted traffic back to your site as well.
But every now and then, even the best SEO firm is going to uncover a fantastic link building opportunity that is actually out of their reach. And that’s why site owners can’t was their hands of their own SEO completely. Sometimes you have to take the initiative with your own link building!
For example, one of my clients targets software developers and programmers. There are plenty of fantastic forums, industry sites, blogs and more where developers get together to “talk shop.” Now I’m a fairly tech-savvy guy but I am most certainly not a programmer. I don’t have the advanced knowledge of coding to get involved in any of the discussions on these sites (under my client’s brand name) and actually contribute to the conversation on their behalf. The last thing I want to do is get something wrong and have it impact my client’s online reputation! So while I can find these sites and create the initial profile (usually which allows for a link to their site) at the end of the day my client is the one that needs to get involved and engaged on these sites. One of those sites has already sent 70+ visitors over to my client’s site just from one referral link, so imagine how much more value could be had if they actually contributed to the site in the form of commenting, writing, Q/A and more! Suddenly that one link because worth so much more to their overall brand presence.
Like I said before, a good SEO firm is going to handle most of the heavy lifting when it comes to link building. But every now and then they are going to come across a great link building opportunity that needs to be managed on the client side. For instance, I believe that most guest blogging outreach emails should come directly from a contact within your company (even if your SEO firm is handling the actual writing) because you want to “own” that relationship. If you stop working with that SEO firm you’ll still have your connection. Other link building opportunities, such as the one I explained above, can be started by your SEO firm but the real value lies in what you as the site owner do with it.