I’ve been reading a lot of fellow SEO blogs lately. What I’ve noticed is that while link building is still a hot topic, most of the posts discuss link building tactics. Most SEOs know where to start when link building but aren’t sure how to set their expectations. Hopefully with the help of this link building expectations formula, you will be able to properly set link building expectations for your clients, for your employees, and for yourself. Let’s get started!Setting expectations when doing most SEO activities is key to success. This especially rings true when you are working for a client who demands to know how long it will be before xyz is accomplished. Based on the type of link building tactics this time table will change. This is where the link building expectations formula comes into play:
Time * Cost * Quality = Link Building Expectations
Included in the link building expectations formula are three variables. When choosing the type of link building tactic to engage in, remember you can ONLY CHOOSE TWO variables. For example if you want the link building to be done quickly and be high quality, it is going expensive. Here are some conclusions that come out of the formula:
1. If the link building is inexpensive and high quality, it is going to take a lot of TIME.
2. If the link building is quick and cheap, it’s going to be LOW QUALITY.
3. If the link building is quick and high quality, it’s going to be EXPENSIVE.
Paid links are a different animal. Only some forms of paid link building fit this model. For the purposes of this guide, we’re only focusing on organic link building. I’m working on an extensive high quality paid link building guide. How to set expectations for paid links will be covered in that guide, so check back later!
Below are some examples of link building tactics that fit the link building expectations formula above. Use these examples to help set your expectations when engaging in various link building tactics. If you don’t see a link building tactic you use on a regular basis, post a comment so we can set some expectations for it!
High Quality and Inexpensive, yet Time Consuming: Link bait pieces, Guest blog posts, High PR micro/feeder sites.
Quick and Cheap, yet Low Quality: Article link building, directories, forum and blog commenting, free press release distribution, video link building, link exchanges.
Quick and High Quality, yet Expensive: Premium press release distribution, some paid links, sponsored reviews.
Just as a reminder, you can only have TWO of the three variables in the formula:
Time * Cost * Quality = Link Building Expectations.
There are a few, I mean very few, link building tactics that are cheap, high quality, and quick. I can think of only one off the top of my head. The people who know what those are won’t tell you so you’ll just have to go experiment!