I want to start by saying that as the owner of a link-building company, naturally youre going to think that my obvious bias is toward hiring an outside link firm for link development. However, I started out as head of an agency SEO team, then moved on to working in-house, so Ive seen the benefits and downsides of all of it. Im not here to sell you on doing anything other than what works best for you, so hear me out.
When I say “agency” I mean an SEO company that doesnt specialize in link-building. When I worked for an agency years and years ago, I was just getting my feet wet in the industry so I learned to do everything from code to on-site and off-site SEO and PPC. It was one of those glorious eras where you could easily be a generalist and not fall far behind. While I liked having a variety of clients to work with, I didnt really enjoy having my focus spread out so widely as it was tough to try and manage large-scale PPC accounts, optimize hundreds of pages on an e-commerce site, check rankings in various engines every day, look at traffic, and still have time left over to brainstorm new ideas about what would make the site perform better online.
1. There were other people on the team. That was the awesome part, having someone else to brainstorm problems and ideas with, to see what I couldnt see when Id go blind over some tiny thing. I was the team lead so I had to know everything, within reason, as I had to lead others, but I loved being on the spot and being responsible. Id have also loved having someone else in charge so I could ask questions, but being forced to be “the one” was the best thing that could have ever happened in my career as I am incredibly stubborn and dont like to let anyone down.
2. I could usually apply what Id learned with one client to the others. If something in particular was spectacularly successful with one, it was easy enough to translate it into something spectacularly successful for the others. If something failed big time, then Id save time by not trying it out on 10 other clients. Testing new tactics was incredibly fun.
3. Working with a variety of clients in various industries gave me a great appreciation and knowledge of clients in niches that Id never have known about otherwise. Ive always thought that the best link builders and content creators are people who never stop thinking and learning.
4. The simple act of learning how to successfully build links easily translates from one client to the next so its theoretically just as easy to do it for one client as another. Sure, youll use different approaches and methods with different clients but for the most part, submitting to directories or emailing to ask for a link is pretty similar no matter who the client is.