11 Reasons to Outsource Link-Building Services for Your SaaS
Published on November 6th, 2023
13 min read
Published on November 6th, 2023
13 min read
Developing an internal link-building program can be daunting, demanding a substantial investment of time, resources, and unwavering dedication. Monthly link-building services drive enduring, impactful SEO outcomes for your SaaS.
Allow me to elaborate.
Link building is an imperative; it ranks among Google’s top three influencing factors. These efforts can enhance various facets of SEO, from domain authority to organic and referral traffic. We validated this through a series of experiments; without links, attaining top positions is a formidable task. Let’s go through 11 reasons as to why you should hire a link-building agency for your B2B SaaS.
Let me share a story of one of our clients before they boarded us for outsourcing SEO services for their SaaS tool.
It’s undeniable that the SaaS marketing landscape is fiercely competitive. Consequently, we recognized the need for continuous, intensified focus in this domain. Each link-building project posed its unique challenges.
Their Inbound manager wasn’t eager to spend daily laboring over link building. It’s a meticulous task that demands substantial time investment. It involves identifying high-authority sites to approach (ensuring we steer clear of spammy links), reaching out to them, negotiating publication terms, crafting compelling guest posts, creating bespoke content, gauging results, and more. Every link in every blog post stemmed from hours of often painstaking labor.
They brought on an SEO Intern to manage the link-building process, but after a few months, he grew disinterested and yearned to take on the tasks my SEO Manager was handling. Being exclusively dedicated to link building doesn’t offer a clear career trajectory, as growth opportunities in this space are limited. While one may refine their skills in various link-building strategies, their career trajectory remains relatively static.
So, what’s the solution?
Drawing from my experience working internally at a hyper-growth SaaS company, I strongly advocate outsourcing link building in your SEO channel to a specialized SaaS agency. While a general link-building agency might suffice, a specialized SaaS agency comprehends the nuances of acquiring high-quality links from pertinent sites in your industry.
In light of this, here are nine compelling reasons why I ultimately chose to outsource link building to an agency and why you should consider it as well:
Imagine aiming to secure 10 new links to your website each month from various sources within your niche. Evidently, the total time required for 10 links amounts to 180 hours per month. This exceeds the capacity of a single full-time hire, even one seasoned in link building with a fervor for guest blogging.
A full-time employee typically has around 160 available hours per month—bearing in mind commitments like meetings, holidays, email correspondence, etc. They have about two-thirds of this time, roughly 106 hours per month.
To manage this in-house, you’d need at least one full-time project manager along with freelancers well-versed in the link-building process.
(Note: Time assumption is based on the premise that producing a quality 1.5k word article takes one full day, encompassing research, writing, editing, and completion.)
Opting for an in-house approach necessitates a full-time SEO Project Manager and a team of freelancers. You can either continue creating a massive volume of content and wait to get lucky that someone will organically add your link to their blog. Or you can opt for a more aggressive strategy involving outbound marketing, replying to HARO queries, and buying backlinks from your competitors.
Let’s consider all the possibilities in vague terms, and let’s assume you pay your SEO analyst $1,500 a week (@$80k/yr), almost $38 per hour.
To acquire one link through cold emails, you’d need to email 100 bloggers. On average, that will take between 8 and 9 hours, translating to $300 – $320 in financial terms.
Replying to HARO queries gets you a backlink once every 20 reverts, which will almost take 5 hours of work. That amounts to $190. But you usually get only 1-2 daily queries if you’re a niche industry business. So, it might take you a month, if not more, to get that one link.
Buying links is easy. You hunt for the right website. You pay them what they ask for a backlink. And boom, you have it. But it’s a costly expenditure that can penalize your website since Google considers it a black-hat technique.
A SaaS marketing agency like FirstPrinciples Growth can substantially reduce these costs due to economies of scale. Our huge team of analysts and trainees can do this faster, more efficiently, and at a larger volume. Additionally, engaging an agency leads to other savings:
A successful link-building program demands diverse skills, which can be challenging to find in a single individual. Moreover, not all of these skills may align with your company culture, making it potentially difficult to find a long-term fit for your business.
Still trying to decide about outsourcing to a seasoned link-building agency? Here’s a glimpse of the skills imperative for running a successful link-building campaign:
When collaborating with a B2B link-building agency, they boast a well-versed team possessing these skills. At Skale, we brought on board individuals who had honed these abilities through years of field experience.
As mentioned earlier, pursuing a career solely in link building is only sometimes viable, as the typical progression is from SEO junior/link builder (for 6 months to a maximum of 1 year) to SEO manager.
Should you choose to hire internally, you’ll likely find that around the 6-month mark, you’ll need to seek a replacement. This is because they may depart, shift roles within your organization, or be promoted to SEO Manager, relinquishing direct involvement in link building.
This scenario is fundamentally unscalable, necessitating a continual cycle of role replacements. This process consumes time and resources, particularly regarding retraining new team members. This incurs costs both for your team and your link-building efforts. Alternatively, outsourcing link building to experts allows your digital marketing team to devote their attention to other campaigns.
Furthermore, the tasks of a lone individual focused on link-building tend to be repetitive and need more excitement. They are often more inclined to engage in other cross-functional projects closer to your product.
So, why does this model succeed in a marketing agency? (Or even better, a specialized link-building agency?)
Allow me to clarify how this dynamic operates at FirstPrinciples Growth.
Given our diverse client portfolio, we benefit from economies of scale. This allows us to allocate specialized roles within our team for each phase of our link-building process: writers, SEO consultants, partnership managers, and more.
As a result, we’ve established clear career paths for each role, ensuring our team remains motivated and highly specialized. This leads to lower turnover rates and enhanced work quality across all our link-building projects.
When embarking on a new link-building program, there’s a learning curve. You navigate through trial and error. However, choosing to outsource link-building spares you the time and financial resources expended on this process, allowing you to stay focused on your core company objectives. Suppose your digital marketing team is primarily focused on link building. In that case, they have limited time and energy to excel in their areas of expertise, ultimately driving your business’s growth.
As SaaS companies, there’s often a tendency to opt for building rather than buying. This is one of the most critical lessons I learned during my 8 years of experience in being a Digital Marketing Manager. We endeavored to develop everything in-house, including our attribution model!
However, this proved to be a misstep. We invested two years attempting to create a system others had already mastered.
Because we were proud of our distinctive product, we believed we needed equally distinctive, custom-built solutions for nearly every aspect of our business.
In hindsight, this was a significant error. We could have accelerated our growth by adopting an off-the-shelf attribution tool.
Outsourcing this system is decidedly more effective in the context of link-building campaigns.
Outsourcing link building not only accelerates growth but also enables you to redirect focus towards other facets of your business. An agency has already fine-tuned and proven its system to ensure it functions and delivers results from the outset.
In executing your growth strategy, errors can be costly. Consistent month-on-month growth in leading indicators (e.g., product sign-ups) and lagging indicators (e.g., new MRR) is imperative.
By outsourcing link building to an experienced agency, you heighten accountability for results in the following ways:
When you outsource link building to an agency, you tap into their wealth of knowledge and experience gained from working with a diverse range of clients. Additionally, you have the opportunity to enhance the skill set of your existing marketing team – a critical objective for any SaaS company.
In straightforward terms, outsourcing link building is the quickest way to bypass the challenges and expenses linked with guest posting while still reaping the benefits such as:
For instance, at Skale, we have honed our expertise in SEO for SaaS over a decade. We’ve collaborated with some of the most rapidly growing SaaS companies globally.
Don’t leave your SEO strategy to chance; seek out strategic and specialized partners who have already achieved significant SEO results within the SaaS domain.
Running a successful link-building program revolves around building relationships – and this isn’t a simple task. It demands persistence, time, and knowing the right contacts. This is why many SaaS experts outsource link building to an agency.
Why invest your valuable time and energy in creating these partnerships from scratch when you can outsource link building by teaming up with those who’ve already accomplished it?
Upon leaving my last job, I realized something.
I began noticing things that had slipped my mind for years.
Suddenly, I could discern the bigger picture and started communicating previously unnoticed growth opportunities to my former colleagues.
There’s a distinct advantage in working with an external SEO partner: they bring a fresh perspective and a different angle to scrutinize your business. This helps steer clear of the tunnel vision that may have developed over the years immersed in your SaaS venture.
Having an extra pair of eyes bestows upon you a competitive edge.
The algorithms of search engines are in a constant state of change. SaaS SEO agencies are committed to staying updated on these alterations, guaranteeing that your tactics continue to yield results in the ever-changing digital terrain.
These agencies rely heavily on their services for their livelihood. Therefore, they invest extensive efforts to comprehensively understand algorithm updates and integrate fresh methods endorsed by Google for their organic nature.
Buying top-of-the-line SEO tools is expensive. SaaS SEO agencies have access to various advanced tools and software licenses, allowing you to benefit from their capabilities without incurring the full cost.
Access to such tools is essential to all the components of SaaS link-building. You need tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to analyze your traffic and the strength of websites that link to your website to properly build an effective strategy.
SaaS SEO agencies implement state-of-the-art technology to enhance the effectiveness of your SEO endeavors, ensuring you maintain a competitive edge.
Pushkar is a Digital Marketing Manager and leads SEO Research at FirstPrinciples Growth Advisory. He has over 12 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization for European, American, and Indian markets, both from the agency and as in-house marketing support.
Over these years, he has helped startups and multinational companies (Finance, NBFC, SaaS, Home Improvement, Health, and Software) grow their organic search visibility & achieve their SEO goals.
He is an innovative, cross-functional marketing leader with a track record of planning and managing exceptional marketing campaigns yielding positive returns.