I am reposting this content. I originally wrote it as commentary for our SEO comic, Link Building 500, at RankedHard.com. Please visit and get your funny bone tickled.

As any quality SEO company will tell you, link building is crucial to any successful SEO campaign. Of course your on-site optimization needs to be done right – keyword density, the right titles and so forth, but without links you are left with a site no one will ever find via the search engines.

At Big Oak SEO link building is part of the monthly work we do for our client and it is mandatory. Often I will talk with unhappy clients coming to us from other SEO companies, and they will complain, rightly so, the fact that they spent thousands of dollars with little to show for it. My first question is what type of link building did they do? A moment of silence usually follows and then the response, “I’m not sure.” or “None.” Well, besides the fact that every client should know exactly what their SEO company is doing, I am shocked that any true company who claims to be providing SEO services is not heavily involved in link building.

And a few minutes of sleuthing it is easy to see that little to no link building was done and the client was basically paying for a ranking report to be run every month. Too many suspect “SEO companies” rely on an initial optimization and then cross their fingers and hope for the best. Or more likely they just don’t care and look for the next desperate site owner to come along. A churn and burn mentality is prevalent in the SEO industry.

Why is this? I think it is this way because link building, or more precisely, link finding is hard work and takes a lot of time and time is money. A successful SEO campaign needs to include link building which increases time and money. Money the client doesn’t want to pay, so the SEO company gives a low price to win the work and then does site optimization and then runs reports for 3 or 6 months until the site owner fires them. Meanwhile, 6 more unknowing clients sign up and the scam repeats itself.

Before you hire a search engine optimization firm, be sure they are doing the hard work – securing quality links to your site on a consistent basis. The focus of this post does not allow me to get into the types of links, but quality counts, so be sure they are building links that will help your rankings. I wrote a post on the perfect link if you are interested.

We joke in this month’s SEO comic Link Building 500 that this process can take on a race-like mentality and can be grueling, much like a NASCAR race, but that comparison doesn’t lie far from the truth. Usually the site with the best links and the most links wins the race to the top of the search results. But getting to the winner’s circle can take a lot of laps and that means larger budgets.

If you are an SEO company don’t insult or set up your clients for bad results, be up front and let them know that links will need to be created and it will increase the costs. If you are looking for and SEO company, I would say give us a call at 804.741.6776, but whoever you choose, be sure a link building plan is in place. Your site’s success will depend on it.