Backlinks validate your site authority and ultimately boost organic traffic.
Link building can be complex. In fact, most website owners and SEO practitioners struggle to justify spending copious amounts of time and resources on this service.
I’ve made awful mistakes in this endeavor but you don’t have to follow a similar path.
Need high quality backlinks… but you’re too busy to build them yourself?
If so, you’re in the right place.
Because in today’s post, I will show you 7 link building services that work in 2024.
Link building services save you time to focus on other responsibilities by integrating tactics that bring quality backlinks to your domain.
Your link building strategy should always focus on quality not quantity. In fact, toxic backlinks hurt your SEO rather than boosting your domain authority.
That’s why we start by showing you some of the link building services you should not try unless you wish to jeopardize rankings and in some instances, get Google penalties which can be difficult to recover from.
Let’s jump right in…
First, 5 Link Building Services To Avoid At All Costs
Over the years I’ve tested 25+ different SEO service providers.
And most of them let me down.
(That’s why I decided to learn SEO on my own. But that’s another story. 🙂 )
As it turns out, there are a handful of link building services that simply do NOT work.
So before I share my favorites, let me quickly show you what to avoid.
Anything on Fiverr/Cheap Options
When it comes to SEO, Fiverr is a HUGE waste of money.
(As the old saying goes: “you get what you pay for”.)
And I should know.
I’ve bought 855 Fiverr gigs:
To be fair:
Not all these gigs were for SEO stuff. But most of them were.
In fact, looking back, most of the gigs I bought looked like this:
Some of these gigs worked OK back in the day.
But in 2024? They’re completely useless.
Moving right along…
Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
When I first got started with SEO, I loved private blog networks.
I even built my own PBN… and bought links from other people’s PBNs.
PBNs worked until 2017, when Google cracked down on them.
Not only does the algorithm now filter out most PBN backlinks…
…but Google also manually deindexes any network that gets on their radar screen.
(This means all of those links you just bought are now completely worthless.)
Paid Guest Posts
There’s a place for guest posting in a white hat SEO campaign.
(More on that later.)
But that doesn’t include paid guest post links.
First, sites that require payment for guest post placements are usually shady.
Do you think a legit site (like TechCrunch or Mashable) would ask you to pay 50 bucks to publish your post?
Of course not.
This means that paying for guest post “placements” or “editorial reviews” can get your site penalized.
This leads us to…
“Push Button” Backlinks
In other words:
- Blog comments
- Article directories
- Web 2.0 sites
Basically: if you can buy 100+ backlinks with the push of a button, you’re buying spammy links.
(Spammy links that can do more harm than good.)
That’s why I recommend steering clear of most “link building packages”.
Last up, we have…
Press releases used to work GREAT for link building.
But those days are long gone.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people offering “press release distribution” as some sort of SEO service:
Today, most links in press releases are nofollowed:
Plus, Google has even come out and said that they “ignore” links in press releases:
Negative SEO links
Negative SEO refers to all activities aimed at decreasing your competitor’s organic traffic and site rankings on search engines. These activities include hacking, spamming the site with toxic backlinks, and content scraping.
While engaging in such activities is purely diabolical, site owners are encouraged to comply with Google’s webmaster guidelines to minimize the impact of any SEO attacks.
Additionally, habitually conduct a backlink audit of your site to weed out any toxic backlinks. It’s hard to point out negative SEO links if unnatural and spammy links exist.
With that out of the way, it’s time for the good stuff:
The 7 best link building services for 2024.
1. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
What It Is:
HARO is a service that journalists use to find sources and quotes from experts.
And if you become a source for their story, you can get a backlink to your site.
How it works:
First, register as a source on the HARO website:
When you do, you’ll get three emails per day with “Queries”.
A query is a quote, statistic, strategy or case study that the journalist needs to finish their story.
All you need to do is reply to their query with something useable…
…and you have a good chance of getting featured.
Plans range from free to $149/month.
If you want to reply to the occasional query, go with the free plan.
But if you’re serious about getting placements, I recommend testing one of their paid plans.
Paid plans come with cool features… like early access to queries and keyword alerts.
- You can get AMAZING links from popular news sites and blogs. For example, I got this link from Entrepreneur (Domain Authority 92) from a HARO query:
- Compared to most other link building services, HARO is dirt cheap (or even free).
- The vast majority of links that you get are from legit sites. So you don’t need to worry about black hat links or Google penalties.
- You can get started FAST (literally today).
- Replying to HARO queries is a GRIND. If you want a chance to get featured on a big site, you need to stay on top of queries and reply right away.
- No “set it and forget it” option. You or someone from your team needs to do all the legwork.
- Most of the links you get from HARO will point to your homepage, like this: Which means this isn’t a great option for building links to internal pages (like services pages and blog posts).
2. Content Marketing Agencies
What It Is:
An agency that does one thing:
Produces content for your company blog.
How it works:
Content marketing agencies work one of two ways:
#1: Pay the agency a monthly fee… and they write a set number of articles per month.
This content can range from a handful of 500-word blog posts to a single piece of “WOW” content (like a 4,000-word definitive guide).
#2: Pay a set fee for a piece of content.
(For example, $2k for a single long-form blog post.)
But most content marketing agencies charge at least $1k/month. Depending on scope, this figure can go all the way up to $20k+ per month.
That said, you definitely get what you pay for. If your budget is $500 for 5 blog posts, don’t expect anything special.
That’s why I recommend working with agencies that focus on quality over quantity. That way, you can get the most out of your monthly investment.
- Building links with content marketing can work REALLY well. In fact, most of the links that I’ve built to this blog (452K) have come directly from publishing great content.
- This is as white hat as it gets. There’s no need to worry about shady stuff that could get your site penalized in the long-term.
- You get lots of “bonus” benefits from publishing awesome content… like traffic from social media and brand awareness.
- Content marketing services ≠ SEO services. So if you need someone to do keyword research or on-page SEO, you’re out of luck.
- Some content marketing agencies deliver mediocre “me too” content. If you want your content to stand out and get links, it needs to be AMAZING. Despite that, many content marketing agencies still offer worthless “10 blog posts per month” packages.
- Your fee may or may not include content promotion. If not, you’ll need to get the word out yourself.
3. Blogger Outreach Services
What It Is:
An individual or agency that promotes your content using manual link building and blogger outreach.
How it works:
The agency does the dirty work of identifying bloggers to reach out to, finding their email addresses, contacting them, and following up.
(Some agencies also let you tap into their existing Rolodex of bloggers and editors.)
Most outreach-focused link building agencies charge a flat fee for every link that they build.
You can expect to pay around $200 for a single quality link.
That said, there are a handful of link builders that charge a monthly retainer or hourly fee.
- If you ONLY want backlinks, this is probably the service for you.
- Email outreach is a super white-hat approach to link building (assuming that you don’t spam people).
- You tend to get quality, white-hat links. Google wants to see contextual links on related websites. And blogger outreach is one of the best ways to get these solid gold links.
- You only pay for results. Sure, paying 200 bucks for a link may seem expensive. But at least you got SOMETHING for your effort. Most SEO companies and content agencies offer no such guarantee.
- Most link building companies (like FatJoe) don’t offer comprehensive SEO services. So if you need full-scale SEO help, this isn’t a great option for you.
- Shady providers add your link to one of their PBN websites and pass it off as “outreach”. Closely inspect your links to make sure they come from REAL websites.
- You need to publish your own content. Bloggers aren’t going to link to crappy content (why would they?). This means you’ll need some high-quality content on your site BEFORE you start with outreach.
4. SEO Agency
What It Is:
A full-scale agency that handles all of your SEO needs… including link building.
How it works:
You hire the agency and they optimize your site for search engines. This usually includes some sort of link building component.
All over the map.
You can find discount SEO agencies out there for $200/month.
Or you can go with an agency that works with Fortune 500 companies… and pay $20-$50k/month.
That said, most SEO agencies charge anywhere from $500 to $5k/month.
- They take care of everything. No need to create content. Or find keywords. Just write your check, give them your URL, and you’re done.
- Agencies do their work with your SEO goals in mind. For example, they’ll produce a piece of content design to get links… AND make sure that it’s optimized around your target keyword.
- Most SEO agencies are useless (sad but true). They do some basic optimization… then charge you every month for mediocre content and links.
- They’re not focused on links. Yup, most agencies build links. But they also do everything else required to rank in Google (mobile optimization, content, etc.). Which means: only a small % of your budget goes towards link building.
5. Guest Posting Services
What It Is:
You hire an agency to write and publish guest posts on your behalf.
(With a link back to your site.)
How it works:
Guest post services take care of the MANY steps involved in guest posting: finding sites that accept guest posts, making a pitch, talking to editors, writing the post… and ultimately getting the post published.
It’s a time-consuming process.
Most guest post services charge a flat fee per guest post, usually between $100 and $500 (depending on the Domain Authority of the site). For example, The Hoth charges $200 for a single DA 30 link:
- You get legit links (kind of). Google doesn’t want you to build “large-scale” links from guest posts. However, in my experience, publishing a few guest posts on relevant sites is totally safe and can help give you a rankings boost.
- A guest post on a big site in your niche can send you LOTS of referral traffic. For example, look at this spike in my site’s traffic after I published a guest post on the Buffer blog:
- Pay per link model. Just like with outreach services, you only pay when you get a guest post published.
- Fake guest posts are a real problem. Some guest blogging services write a crappy guest post and publish it on a site in their PBN.
- As I mentioned, Google doesn’t want you to see “large-scale” guest posting. So this approach isn’t scalable. If more than 5-10% of your link profile is made up of guest post links, you’re at risk of a penalty.
6. PR Agency
What It Is:
An agency focused on getting your company mentioned in the press.
How it works:
PR agencies usually work with you to create a newsworthy story that they can pitch to media outlets. The story can be your product (if it’s interesting enough) or something that you published on your site (like an industry study).
Most PR agencies work with a monthly retainer model.
PR agencies that work with small businesses tend to charge between $2k-$15k/month.
That said, there are PR pros that sell one-off packages, like press kits:
- You can get some VERY high-quality backlinks. A successful PR campaign can land you links from household name sites, like Forbes and Fast Company.
- They do all of the grunt work. Pitching journalists is no fun. Most agencies get their hands dirty so you don’t have to.
- You tap into an existing network. Most PR firms have contacts at big sites that they can leverage for coverage.
- Most PR firms don’t focus on links. So you might get a “mention” or “placement” on a big site… only to find that they didn’t link to you in the story:
- PR comes with no guarantees. You might be the toast of the town… or find yourself with a single link from a second-tier site.
- Public relations is an EXPENSIVE process. PR firms usually charge 2-3x more than SEO agencies.
7. Infographic Design Company
What It Is:
A company that creates infographics or other forms of visual content.
(With the goal of getting backlinks.)
How it works:
Most infographic agencies take care of the entire process: coming up with a topic, finding data and designing the infographic.
But you can also hire a graphic designer to turn your content into an infographic.
For a full-service infographic service, you’re looking at $2k-$4k.
If you just want your infographic designed, that’s around $1k-$2k.
- Infographics don’t work as well as they used to… but they’re still a GREAT way to build backlinks.
- No monthly retainer or ongoing commitment. In most cases, you pay per infographic.
- It’s very hands off. You don’t need to be super-involved in the process.
- Most infographic services don’t include promotion. So it’s on you to get the word out.
- Infographics are very hit or miss. Some go viral. Others fall completely flat. Which means you may need to publish 2-3 infographics before your first big hit.
So those are the 7 link building services that I recommend.
As you saw, there are pros and cons to each.
These are definitely your best options.
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:
What’s your experience been with outsourcing link building?
Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.