The 7 Best Link Building Services: A Complete Guide
Whether you are a startup looking to jumpstart your company’s online presence or you are a content creator hoping to make a name for yourself, link building is an essential SEO component that can make ALL the difference.
A few years back, when SEO was a relatively new thing, careless webmasters used link farms to get links cheap and fast. But now, after countless updates to the algorithm, no one expects such a dubious strategy to work–it has become clear that quality matters when it comes to everything SEO.
Particularly in regards to link building. If you can get websites with authority to link to your site, you are golden–not just because it satisfies the algorithm, but it’s also a source of quality traffic. If you want to learn more about link building, you can read about it here.
That’s why any link building must focus on quality. We repeat that any link building service worth your money should focus on QUALITY links instead of quantity.
Currently, you can find thousands of services that swear by their mother’s grave that they are the “real deal.” But with so much false information out there, who can you trust?
So… what are the best link building services right now? Our team has worked with with more services, agencies, and SEO products than we can count over the last decade. We’ve seen it all. Here are our favorites.
The top link building services for each use-case are:
- Smash Digital – Best for super high quality white-hat links for established brands
- The Brandon Agency – Best for PR
- WhiteSpark – Best for local SEO citations
- Podcast Bookers – Best for an innovative podcast-focused link campaign
- Newswire – Best for press releases
1. Smash Digital SEO Agency
Are they really going to list their own service in first place?
Yes. Yes we are… but hear us out!
We believe we deserve the first place for our unorthodox white hat technique–taking what appears to be the industry standard and flipping the middle finger at it. No link farms (lol I mean “guest post blogs”), no second-hand links, no grey hat techniques. With more than 50 years of combined SEO experience on the team, we know that quality is the name of the game and we deliver.
At Smash Digital we work with thousands of website owners, editors, and marketers to get your content featured on the highest quality, most relevant sites. We carefully select projects that excite us and that have a great chance of success–this is how we can guarantee your satisfaction.
This all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
If you are a fellow skeptic, then you are right.. we are NOT perfect for everyone. In fact, we are not great at several things. Do you need an SEO agency to create content? You’re better off somewhere else. Do you need an agency that manage your PPC efforts? Definitely not for you.
So who are we good for?
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, then Smash Digital might be good for you.
- Do you need more quality backlinks?
- Is your website already put together and just needs more juice? (we will audit on top of building backlinks, but backlinks are Smash Digital’s specialty)
- Want to take your marketing to the next level without having to infinitely scale up a team or ad budgets?
Smash is great for anyone looking to improve the SEO aspect of their company with a white-hat approach. Whether it’s link building or a fully managed SEO service, where they optimized every aspect of your site for you. If you are more of a hands-on site owner but still want to know how well-optimized your site is, their website audit service will treat you right.
- Relevant Links
As you know, Google’s algorithm has gotten far more strict with regards to backlinks. That is why relevant links coming from authority-rich pages are crucial for getting that link juice flowing, and we are the best in the business (or at least among the best).
- White hat Approach
We don’t use PBNs or link farms. Each link goes through a thorough vetting process. Cheap backlinks won’t smear your blog post or website.
- Abundant Connections
Over the last ten years, the company has managed to build many relationships with businesses, high quality writers, and marketers–all to your benefit.
Is your website stuck? Are links not getting the job done? We offer a (fully) managed service that is known to produce some pretty solid results and improved rankings.
- Premium Prices
If you are looking for the cheapest run-of-the-mill link building, Smash Digital isn’t for you. We charge premium fees for premium services and deliver premium results.
- Not for Everyone
We only work on projects that we feel are suitable for both parties involved. This guarantees full devotion to every project and a higher success rate.
You can always email us for free to find out if your website is a good fit.
2. PR Firm: The Brandon Agency
The Brandon Agency is a top-level Public Relations business based in North Carolina. They separate themselves from the rest with a wholistic approach.
“We are a strategy and insight driven marketing firm – and one of 24 nationally certified brand strategist – who focus on uncovering one of the most valuable assets within your organization – the brand. We deploy a research-based, unique and proven process to help organizations uncover what makes your organization different and, more importantly, integrate it into every aspect of daily operations.” – Brandon Agency
They manage brand strategy, interactive web development, conversation rate optimization , and of course, search engine optimization .
Even if you are not based in the Carolinas, you should consider taking a look at their services. Pricing will vary depending on the project and your brand needs.
3. Citation Building Service: Whitespark
Whitespark is a respected citation building service with years of experience in the industry. They scour hundreds of high-quality opportunities, submitting applications by hand to build powerful, consistent citations.
Their services extend beyond Citation Building. They offer a Google My Business Management Service to help you turn your Google listing into a high performing, high converting tool.
If you are tired of subscription services draining your resources, they also offer a Yext Replacement Service—a one-time payment alternative.
They offer a suite of tools for local SEO that should help you attract new customers and enhance your online visibility.
At the time of writing, their paid tools include:
- Local Citation Finder
- Local Rank Tracker
- Reputation Builder
If you have a local business, contacting Whitespark is a great option. If you want to learn more on what they can do for you, feel free to contact them at no cost to you.
4. Podcast Booking Service: PodcastBookers
Podcast booking is generally cheaper to do it yourself. However, sometimes the process can be more time-consuming and technical than you would expect.
Cleverly named PodcastBookers, they are an agency designed to help you avoid the extra work that comes with booking a podcast. For all of the packages you get a dedicated booker agent, customized pitching, scheduling & confirmation, and a replacement if show cancels.
At $500 per month, you get the following:
- 2 Bookings Per Month
- Dedicated booking agent
- Find and research great shows
- Customized pitching
- Contact and follow-up
- Scheduling & confirmation
- Detailed email summary
- Replacement if show cancels
- Custom “one-sheet” for pitching ($99)
They have more expensive plans, the most comprehensive costing about $700 per month with better benefits and 4 guaranteed bookings per month.
As we mentioned before, building links through podcasts is a good way to complement an SEO strategy and get your brand exposed to a wider audience.
5. SEO Press Release Service: Newswire
Newswire delivers your press releases to hundreds of authoritative media outlets to achieve your goal of increasing brand awareness and digital footprint. They have different level of coverage, including regional, state, national, and international coverage.
They offer regional and international distribution at your fingertips so you control the reach (and cost) of every press release. Newswire’s greatest attribute is its simple business model and affordability, It’s very easy to be in control of what you are paying for and to tailor it to your needs.
6. Video Production Company: Covalent
Covalent is one of the major video production companies that still manages to stay affordable. Their talent can take your brand to the next level with a professional video that invokes action. Regardless of the style you are going for — corporate, docu-style, or informational—they’ve got you covered.
These services are not for everyone. Most online businesses will do better with a dedicated SEO Agency than what a video could ever do. For some niches, however, a great branded video could be a huge differentiating factor in your link building efforts.
7. Samurai Marketers
Samurai Marketers builds real, valuable, relevant links. Over the years, they have developed relationships with some major names in the tech industry, and are able to offer their clients top quality backlinks.
What sets them apart is their 15-step vetting process, ensuring that the links you get will actually increase your rankings over time.
Their white hat link building service can help you achieve a variety of marketing goals: increase signups, see more traffic, improve your conversion rates, and so on.
Link Building Services To Avoid
The Hoth is probably one of the most recognized names in the link building industry. This usually leads people to associate its popularity with quality of service. However, I would be remiss to let you think they are a legitimate option for quality links and long-term success.
The Hoth is literally an ongoing joke for the SEO industry. They sell the equivalent of Fiverr gigs, of which we will talk in more detail below.
Their backlinks are so bad that at Smash Digital we have turned down many companies who come to us after the Hoth, as we don’t think the site can be revived afterwards.
To be clear sometimes trash works, but even when it does, you should not expect longevity. So please, stay away from any agency that works with such a volume of clients.
Imagine producing quality links for 10 clients—that sounds easy, right? Now imagine producing quality links to hundreds or thousands of clients—it’s impossible! That’s why the Hoth HAS to appeal to PBNs and trash blog posts.
It can’t be stated enough – don’t use Fiverr for link building.
Don’t get me wrong, Fiverr is a great platform for finding graphic designers, writers, interpreters, and other freelancers for a great price. However, when it comes to search engine optimization and link building, Fiverr and its freelancers cannot deliver.
Getting hundreds of backlinks for a low price is an excellent sign that the supplier is probably using PBNs and other black hat techniques that are more detrimental to your site’s health than the potential benefit.
Overall it’s a shady practice that will easily be recognized and punished by Google. You’re also very unlikely to prove the work has been done on your site.
Search engines will catch on instantly if you use these services, and your search rankings will be negatively affected. White hat, clean SEO work, and organic links are the way to go.
Paid Guest Posting
Even some of the best link building services resort to guest posting and blogger outreach to get quality backlinks. But that doesn’t include paid guest post links for two reasons:
First, sites that accept payment for guest post placements are at best questionable. You wouldn’t expect legit sites like TechCrunch or Wired to charge you 100 dollars to publish your post, would you?
Second, buying and selling links goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines! Your site can (and will) be penalized if you resort to a shady black hat approach.
Having your hub of private blogs to generate as many backlinks as you can fancy is the epitome of every webmaster’s dream. That is until you learn about the risks involved with using them. Yes, PBNs can increase your search rankings, but can quickly become a liability if Google catches you.
Google hates PBNs as much as Bert Kreischer hates using a shirt on stage.
Backlinks can be thought of as votes of confidence. The more votes you get, the more Google trusts your site. But if people start to build links without earning them, the system will no longer work.
That’s why Google will destroy (hyperbole) your site if you are found guilty of using PBNs to build links.
How to Get High-Quality Backlinks
Link building is the key to a successful SEO strategy. You could have quality content and an amazing product, but if your website doesn’t have any quality backlinks, it just won’t rank. So how do you get backlinks?
The general process of link building isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s mad simple.
The fundamentals are the following:
- Create content that is worthy of a link.
- Find websites that could be interested in linking to that content.
- Convince those websites to link to your content.
- The problem is that the first step takes skill and lots of time. That’s why webmasters have come up with different strategies to get backlinks—sometimes even without the need of creating new content! Below we go over the most common ways of getting backlinks.
Blogger outreach is one of those things that either goes very well or fails catastrophically, and that’s because it is very similar to spam! In case you are not aware, blogger outreach is the process of contacting bloggers and journalist and showing them your content in an attempt to get them to link back to your website.
The difference between spam and blogger outreach is personalization. When spamming, you write a generic email and send it to as many people as you can. A proper blogger outreach campaign consists of targeting specific blogs and journalists and writing personalized emails that point out the reasons why they should consider linking to your site.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is a strategy in which you find broken links (links that no longer lead anywhere) and then recreate the “dead” content. You then contact all of the websites with broken links and ask them to link to your new content instead.
The only reason this strategy works is because dead links make a terrible user experience, which webmasters try to avoid. That’s why when you tell websites that they have broken links on their site, they’ll immediately replace them (or at least in theory).
Brand mentions are online citations of your brand or anything related to your brand, many of which may not link back to your website. The strategy consists of reaching out to any website citing your brand and requesting them to link back to your site.
Contacting the websites usually yields good results since the author of the article is already familiar with your brand and is willing to talk about your services. Thus, a friendly email asking them to link back to your site shouldn’t be much of a stretch.
Citation Link Building
Back in the day, if you wanted to find a business you had to go through the yellow pages or read the ads on your local newspaper. Nowadays, there are thousands of business directories online — some of them even include user-generated reviews and ratings.
If you happen to offer a service or product, you should consider adding your business to as many relevant directories as possible. Not only does this improve your online presence, but it also increases geo-relevancy, which is a great ranking factor in Google Maps listings for local businesses.
Pricing is another great benefit of link building through citations. Most links can cost you between a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousands per link. Citations on the other hand, can go for around 5 dollars each.
Custom Link Outreach
Custom Link Outreach is a combination of some of the different tactics that we have mentioned in this article. They tend do be more expensive, as this strategy requires a network of high-quality blogs and channels. Custom link outreach also requires a lot prior research and planning, that’s why we recommend this as a long-term solution for your company’s SEO efforts.
Usually, these type of agencies will take care of the entire process from auditing and keyword research, to competitive research and link prospecting. The main benefit of this type of service is that you can set it and forget it. No need to know exactly what your business should be ranking for and no need for you to research your main competitors.
That being said, not all SEO Agencies are made equal. Some of them can write content for you and fix html issues. Other SEO Agencies only get you backlinks and tell you what to fix and which keywords to target, but the rest is up to you. Prices and needs vary, so we suggest you do your own research.
Guest Posting, also called guest blogging, is the process of writing content for another company’s website and inserting a link pointing back to your website. It’s common practice to target blogs in your niche, as link relevance matters and other businesses are more likely to accept if your content is relevant to their niche.
There are four main benefits of guest blogging:
- You attract traffic back to your website
- Boost your site’s domain authority by earning links of high-authority domains
- Its great at increasing brand awareness
- Helps create relationships with peers in your niche.
Guest blogging benefits both the guest blogger and the website hosting the guest content. That being said, not every webmaster plays by the same rules. Some webmasters nofollow outgoing links or just outright delete any link you have inserted, so make sure to lay the terms in advance.
Link exchange is the act of swapping links. It’s that simple.
It turns out that regardless of how far we’ve evolved, business owners share one thing in common with our ancestors: we love to trade!
Backlinks help your site rank because they serve as a digital referral. It’s a way of telling google that your site is trusted by several websites, thus improving your chances of ranking. Getting links from authoritative sites is no easy job, which is why many webmasters are willing to exchange links with other quality websites.
This a quickfire way to get good links, but its not scalable. Suppose you need 20 links for a specific page to rank. Imagine inserting 20 outgoing links to your website. You can do it, but now imagine you did this for every post you wanted to rank? Your site would be a nightmare of outgoing links.
Niche Edit Links
Niche Edit link building is the process of inserting contextual links to an article. You want to target blogs that are relevant to your website or service and request a link to a specific page. As with any outreach, it is imperative that you choose your words carefully and personalize every email. Pro tip: people are more willing to accept if you offer something in exchange (i.e. a backlink in return).
This is not an illegitimate tactic to get backlinks, but do keep in mind that some services that offer contextual edit links do so in hacked websites. You want to avoid those at all costs! Link building is not a good place to cut corners for the long run.
Podcast Link Building
Podcasts have revolutionized the marketing landscape. In a few years time, podcasts went from non-existent to one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Not only that, podcasts offer something that very few other channels can offer—a targeted audience.
Since podcast are streamed over the internet on demand, unlike tv and radio, people who are listening are because they want to. This is great if you know your targeted audience. If you own a men’s grooming business, you want to target hunting or sports podcasts, which tend to be predominantly male.
Podcasts drive people to search your company, which is a great signal to Google and could help your rankings overall. But even more exciting, podcasts tend to be hosted not only on big players like YouTube or iTunes but also on their own website. This generally means that your website is being linked on more than one site.
PR Link Building
The role of the PR department is to expand the company’s reach, build up the brand and gain publicity. And most of the time, they do it by pitching stories to the media with the aim to build brand awareness but also, earn referral traffic to the site.
In other words, what PR folks are doing is simply, building links… probably without even knowing it.
But what’s more important, they’re quite good at it at that.
And so, by emulating what PR guys do in your work, you can produce better quality content and earn powerful links from highly reputable sources.
Resource Link Building
Similar do directories, there are resource websites that compile a list of services that visitors may find helpful. For example, Startupresources.io offers a thorough list of tools and services for startups.
Resource link building consists of finding these resource pages and trying to get them to list your business. A good strategy is to find a resource page that no longer link to working site or service and request to link to your website instead.
If that sounds like too much work, you can always just ask to be added if you think your website or article adds value to the resource list.
Video Marketing & Outreach
Video is everywhere. That’s because it’s easier to reach humans through audiovisuals than it is with text. Using video marketing for link building consists of creating an original video and getting other people to share and link back to the creator of the video (in this case your website).
A good way of getting websites to link to your website is by creating an educational video where you explain a problem in your industry. This works because you position yourself as an authority in the field and actually add some value to the table.
If you choose to make a video about your brand or your team, we suggest you go for a comedic tone, as funny videos are far more likely to get shared. Though, your best bet is making a video that answers a common question or problem in your industry.
The process of increasing your page’s link juice can prove itself to be exhausting and time-consuming, so taking advantage of these resources can be all the more exciting. But making the wrong decision with the agency you hire can be more harmful to your site than not doing anything at all. That’s why we suggest that you do the due diligence of researching on your own.
It’s never a bad idea to contact the agencies. Ask all the right questions. Pressure them to give you more details on how they plan to get QUALITY links (yes, I just capitalized it AGAIN).
That being said–and now that you can’t sue us in case you lose all your money–you can’t go too wrong with any companies mentioned in this article.
Hopefully, our blog post was of great help!
Post Updated: September 26, 2022