Essential Qualities of an Exceptional Link Builder

by Melanie Nathan February 23rd, 2009 

Assuming they already understand the importance of building back links to their websites, many site owners don’t have the time, don’t know how or couldn’t be bothered to make manual link building a part of their marketing campaign.

It’s perfectly okay [patting your back]. Even seasoned SEOs will admit to hating that aspect of a campaign. Manual link building can be a challenging, time consuming and down right frustrating experience. Unfortunately, it can also make or break your search engine presence, and therefore shouldn’t be neglected all together.

Since many site owners, will at some point, consider hiring the services of a professional link builder, here are some essential (but non-definitive) qualities to look for in the candidates you’re considering.

An Efficient Link Campaign is a Productive Link Campaign

Time management skills: The number one complaint I hear from people in the market for a link builder, is that they simply don’t have the time or energy to look for link prospects themselves. Since link building can be a very time consuming, on-going effort it’s good to know that the person you hire, can manage your campaign efficiently along with their other campaigns, so that yours isn’t neglected. It doesn’t hurt to ask how many other campaigns they’ll be working on and how much time will be devoted to yours.

Organization skills: Along with being time consuming, link building can also be data intensive because of the amount of research and tracking it requires. As a client, this is good for you because you’ll have a concrete report of the entire campaign and a record of all the new links your link builder obtained for you. Unless your link builder is unorganized and doesn’t keep track, in which case, how will you know what you paid for?

The Hardest Backlinks To Get, Often Result In The Best Payoffs

Creativity and resourcefulness: When contacting other websites on your behalf, the worst thing a link builder could do is to send the usual, boring, and generic email link request (which is basically considered highly annoying). Why would you pay someone good money to do this for you when you could just send these useless emails yourself? Exceptional link builders will not only think outside of the box when it comes to getting links for you, but they’ll personalize each and every email (or phone call) to suit the individual link prospect. They are super resourceful when they have to be because they know that the hardest links to get often result in the best payoffs. This comes from their extensive experience and goes hand-in-hand with their proven track record of success.

An understanding of quality over quantity: Exceptional link builders have a genuine understanding that 1 back link from a high quality page will do more good for a site than 100 low quality links ever could. They know this from experience and would never waste time pursuing a back link that didn’t have value (of some sort) for you and your campaign. As a site owner, the last thing you want is to pay top dollar for a bunch of worthless links from useless pages that aren’t even indexed in Google… and probably never will be.

Patience/tact: Often times a link builder must wait for a site to respond to their email request or phone message. Even if they eventually respond with a “yes”, it also takes time for them to actually get around to adding your link. There’s an art in knowing how long to wait before you reinitiate contact. Too soon, and you appear desperate or pushy… too late and it makes it easier for them to change their minds. Either way, you’ll definitely want a link builder who is able to deal with people in a sensitive manner.

Representing Your Business In The Best Possible Way

Communication and grammar skills: A good communicator is someone who can speak “with” people about their message, rather than “to” them. Knowing what to say is one thing though. Being able to convey that message effectively both vocally and textually is something else entirely. Even with the invention of spell check, the Internet isn’t exactly a wonderful place filled with grammatically correct sentences and words (shocking, I know). Remember that any link builder you hire will be contacting site owners and communicating with people on YOUR behalf. Look for someone who will represent you, and your business, in the best possible way.

Honesty and integrity: This should go without saying. After all, there are ways to get links… and there are ways to get links. You’ll want to make certain that the link builder you hire will do it honestly and with integrity. There’s no better way to research a link builder’s style than to contact some past clients and ask about their work. If the link builder can’t (or won’t) produce a list of past clients he/she has worked with, then definitely consider this a huge red flag. Link builders with integrity are proud of the work they do for their clients and as a result they have nothing to hide.

Last, but most certainly not least, an exceptional link builder will have a genuine love for what they do and it should be evident through their attitudes, their work and in their dealings with clients.

He Shoots, He Scores!

If you can find a link builder who possesses some, or better yet ALL, of the above qualities, then not only will your campaign already be off to a stellar start, but you’ll also feel more secure in knowing that your important investment has been spent wisely and has the potential to provide exceptional results. The bottom line is you'll have invested in a well-executed link building campaign today, to help ensure maximum success tomorrow.

Since this list is by no means definitive…. in your opinion, what are some other essential qualities that make a link builder exceptional?

Melanie Nathan offers custom SEO services at CanadianSEO. Follow Melanie on Twitter to learn more about her and the work she does.

Melanie Nathan

Melanie Nathan is a veteran SEO consultant and founder of CanadianSEO. She has a particular passion for authority link building and the use of authoritative content to attract links.

SEO Canada

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14 Responses to “Essential Qualities of an Exceptional Link Builder”

  1. Great post. Time management and organizational skills are definitely essential. It's so easy to spend hours on the web looking for link sources and attempting to get links in a hap-hazard way. When you're paying a link builder you definitely want to make sure that they're being as productive as possible.

  2. tabsfiroz says:

    You nailed it by saying – "Exceptional link builders have a genuine understanding that 1 back link from a high quality page will do more good for a site than 100 low quality links ever could."….This is absolutely true……great post will share with all my friends….Thanks melanie

  3. Ryan Martin says:

    I typically spent one hour every morning link building. Believe it or not, it has become a time in the day that I look forward to. I roll out of bed around 6:00am and build links until 7:00am while I sip on some tea. The I go get ready for work. I believe that it is all about having a good routine.

  4. I would say best link builder are seasoned programming brutes. Not only because they can build link bait rather than have someone else build it, but the fattest links come from programming and open source sites.

  5. shane says:

    i agree with David that the fattest links do come from the open source sites and from programming and they are seasoned

  6. Great article – a good link builder is hard to find!

  7. Link Builder says:

    Nice post. Thanks Because you're giving me idea on how to become a exceptional link builder.As you know im just new in this field so your tips gives me lots of ideas. Thank you!

  8. Darre Shaw says:

    Always impressed with everything you write Melanie. Another article for my archives! Thanks!

  9. Thanks for this. I am new to the world of link building, and would like to get some more experience in this field. Your post pointed out a few important qualities that I should take on board. Luckily I am a very good communicator ;)

  10. connaitre says:

    Nice article ! Just one question. What is a linkbuilder for you ? Is it just someone who finds good links and asks for a link exchange ?

  11. Jimmy says:

    Great post, thanks!
    The best link building methods are, directories, articles directories, press releases, forum signatures, blog commenting, squidoo lenses and links exchange

  12. Jeff Flowers says:

    Very informative. Now i just need to know the best tactics for building up links, besides the usual techniques like the guy above me mentioned.

  13. Great post!

    Link building has changed for the last couple of years and the balance has shifted towards quality rather than quantity.

    I attended Search Engine Strategies in London in both 2008 and 2009, and I could feel quite a shift in the attitude towards quality link building this year.

    Well I must say I welcome this development, and hopefully this could in time reduce the black hat link spamming of blogs.

    But I must say it’s a lot harder to build quality links, and not all link builders are able to do that. It also requires very good analytical tools and skills.

  14. Dieta says:

    You just need to make sure that the person you're hiring can deliver results. Asking for reference is a great way – you can easily find out the person's success rate by searching for their other clients' websites.