It's tempting to outsource link development, and there are some amazing link developers out there. Problem is, most are in high-demand and booked for months ahead of time, and those with regular clients rarely take on new work. That is one good enough reason to take it in-house.
With that in mind, link development can easily be integrated into existing marketing plans, or new marketing strategies can be designed with link building as one of the objectives. It's all a matter of educating the staff on links and how they influence rankings.
What are some key advantages to in-house link development?
Your people have a greater insight into your product and industry than any third-party company. There are exceptions of course -- some SEO (define) and SEM (define) companies specialize in a particular vertical. Their numbers will increase as the industry and demand grows.
Business Connections, Networks
Utilizing existing connections can go a long way and be much cheaper to acquire links. While a third-party company might be sending e-mails or calling a company without making much headway, your people could use existing business contacts to get into the door, get past the gatekeepers, and talk to the right people. This always presents the opportunities to call in favors or ask for introductions.
Existing Marketing Strategies
Many companies could modify their existing marketing strategies to take advantage of link building. Too many options present themselves to go into detail here. At the core, it's all about getting the marketing team on board and educating them to the power of links.
Ask your marketing manager this question: "How many companies do we buy traditional advertising from that also have a Web site?"
Perhaps that company's online presence is simply a couple pages and some resources. Then ask if they have tried to secure a link on that site. If you are spending enough each month in traditional advertising, they will gladly provide your company with a link. It's all a matter of exploring relationships and simply asking.
By utilizing existing staff and resources, you can reduce the overall cost of link development. Everyone knows link development is time consuming. It can get very expensive with companies charging hundreds of dollars an hour.
If your marketing and sales department keeps an eye out in their daily activities, link opportunities will arise. It's all a matter of educating them.
Keep your people motivated by having regular brainstorming or discussion session to keep everyone on track. Most importantly, show them the increase in rankings, traffic, and sales from links. I have actually heard of sales people switching over to focus solely on link development and online promotions once they saw the results it drives.
Taking Down Links?
Always ask before signing up for services what happens to links when services are discontinued. There's nothing worse than spending tens of thousands of dollars on link development with a company, and then when you discontinue services they tell you that your links are coming down. This is motivation enough for in-house link development.
These are just a few reasons to keep link development in-house. It will provide long-term results on your investment and high-quality links. Think of it as fine tuning your marketing strategies. After all good link development is just good marketing.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!