We all know that link building is the key to success in terms of SEO. Now with all of the algorithmic changes that have happen and are continuing to happen the need to have a quality link builder or link building company handeling your link acquation is very important. Here are some of the questions you need to ask:
Give Me Examples of Sites That Links From Will Help Me?
I like to keep my questions very generic as the goal here is to have the vendor show their knowledge. I am looking for answers that are multi-pronged. This answer should be no different as link building has many different purposes such as reputation management, traffic, and SEO results. If you get only one of these aspects of link building like SEO results than that should tell you what they have been focused on in the past.
How Do You Execute This?
The link builder should have done their homework on your site. They should have at least 3-5 pages that reside on your site that they are going to use as an example to answer this question. If they have not taken the time to give you answers that are specifically for your site or your client’s site then they are not a true professional.
Give Me A Sense Of Your Discovery Strategy?
Your answer should be competitive back link discovery. You want to hear the tools that they are using link Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, and Ahrefs. You also want them to give you top competitors that are in your industry but most importantly, you want them to give you what types of content are driving links to their site. Like white papers, videos, articles, guest posts, etc.
Who Is Doing The Link Building?
Bigger link building agencies are going to have many link builders or they might crowdsource it. Just remember that your hiring the company, not the person you are talking possible business with. Don’t be afraid – ask your contact who is going to be the one doing the grunt work. Get them on a call and ask them these questions and get a good sense of how they are going to do the work. I am not saying that a big agency is bad, just to make sure you do your research. Also, don’t forget about the single guy shops are they can be a bigger asset here are they are cook, waiter, and dishwasher when it comes to doing the work.
What Do You Consider Black & Gray Hat Link Building?
I love this question. I mean, I really love this question as it has so many different possible answers. So of course you should get the standard “buying links is bad” and I agree but really the question lies with what they consider is gray hat. Sponsorships? Scholarships? Paid content? Their answers will give you a sense of the risks they will take. Will they mention paid links in a way that they use them?
So, the reality is these questions should get you to a good place in terms of knowing your potential link builder. Like anything else, it really comes down to you and your thoughts on the risks you are willing to take for your website as depending on that there really is not a good or bad answer to any of these questions.