While it’s easy for specialists like our team to understand the complexity of the link building process, we know that not everyone has an exact idea about its complete purpose or how to do it – that’s why link building transparency is all about communication.

Some companies want instant results and ROI. Link building transparency can help explain, or shed light on the process so that parties agree regarding industry standards and expectations.

Creating transparent link-building campaigns ensures we can build long-lasting client relationships and help clients succeed, and feel confident, by keeping the lines of communication open.

What Is Transparent Link Building?

In simple words, transparent link-building campaigns involve keeping the client informed about the process and its status, from creating strategies to receiving actionable insight into their campaign results.

Open and direct communication is the only way to have a successful link-building campaign, starting before you finalize a client. Before starting a project, ensure you inform clients about your quality, competence, and professionalism through detailed proposals, case studies, testimonials, structured reports, and prompt responses to their queries.

However, explaining everything in the beginning is not the end. Transparency in link building is an ongoing process that uses time and effort to build relationships. Whether you’re developing a new link building strategy or finding challenges with the existing ones, you must discuss this with their respective client.

After you’ve done your part, remember that this cannot be one-sided. Ask questions about the client company to understand its marketing agenda and how its brand works; only then can you devise a suitable, personalized strategy.

Another plus side of being transparent about link building is following Google’s guidelines and rules to ensure your client’s websites don’t get penalized just because your agency uses shady link building tactics.

This forces you to maintain a strong foundation for ethical SEO practices, resulting in client success and boosting your reputation in the industry.

Why is Link Building Transparency Important?

The Dalai Lama once said, “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of  insecurity.” This couldn’t be further from the truth, even in link building.

Keeping your clients updated about everything related to their projects will safeguard your expertise and show them that they can trust you, and that’s just one of the benefits of transparency.

Builds Trust & Relationships

Transparency in link building is all about consistently communicating with your clients without hiding any essential information. When agencies do this, it’s no surprise that their clients trust them more and feel confident about working with them on future projects.

Being upfront about your agency’s capabilities is important to maintain realistic client expectations and avoid disappointments or caveats. That’s why open collaboration is a natural gateway to building long-term relationships and client satisfaction. 

If you’re not capable of building links on large authority sites or a difficult sector (be it lack of content or value proposition or not having the right process in place), then we feel it’s better to be upfront with the client and make them aware that we will not be able to guarantee links on large sites like Forbes. We will try our best to, but we often can tell if there will be enough of an angle to get on high authority sites, and the likelihood of doing so.

This applies not only to clients but also to the other websites you contact for backlinks – whatever you’re providing them with, be it guest post articles, a link exchange or whatever it may be – make sure its of the quality you would expect as well.

Collaboration & Partnership Opportunities

Agencies that follow transparent practices are automatically seen as reputable and trustworthy in the link-building industry. With a growing reputation, you also gain exposure and recognition for your work.

This is a great way to foster a sense of community, leading to immense networking opportunities and potential collaborations with like-minded professionals. Plus, once you’re among the big names, you can’t help but maintain high standards if you want to continue playing the field.

Fool-proof Sustainable Success With Link Building Strategies

Since transparent link-building campaigns also focus on ensuring ethical practices that bring high-quality backlinks, they offer more sustainable success that promotes organic traffic growth and improves SEO rankings over short-term gains from black-hat techniques.

As a link-building agency, we try to follow Google guidelines as closely as possible, and stay updated on any changes. This ensures your links are sourced ethically and future-proofs your strategies’ sustainability because you’ll adhere to new guideline updates as they come.

At TLG, we’ve seen the positive impact of building trust and relationships with our clients. That’s why we believe in transparency in all our link building strategies and keep our clients informed throughout the journey.

How to Run Smooth and Transparent Link Building Campaigns?

Whether you want to acquire links to impress search engines or build awareness toward your brand, link building is a step-by-step process that requires immense attention to detail, valuable insights, creative persuasion, and accurate data.

With the many factors involved in transparent link building campaigns, it’s possible to miss something. To keep you on track, here are some considerations before you approach your targets:

Planning & Targeting

  • Define Clear Goals: Identify what you want to achieve with link building. Start by knowing your target audience and what content to publish or share to attract their attention. Similarly, knowing why you’re building links is essential—to gain organic traffic, keep up with backlink trends, spread brand awareness, or boost search engine rankings.
  • Target Relevant Websites: Find high-quality, relevant websites with high audience engagement to maximize the backlinks you receive. This simply means evaluating a website to determine its content relevancy, DA/DR, and backlink profile. At this stage, you can remove bad sites like link farms that will only lead to low-quality backlinks. We’re also transparent with clients in making them aware that metrics alone don’t mean anything in isolation, as a low-quality link farm can have a high DA/DR and traffic level.
  • Prioritize Quality over Quantity: Even if you don’t have a large pool of potential link targets in your niche, it’s better to be patient and gradually grow links, instead of using poor-quality but quick tactics that will hamper your SEO efforts more than aid them. You’ll need to put time and resources into building out a link building strategy, that can allow you to expand the pool of websites you can reach out to. This is a more laborious process, but will yield to quality links.

Content & Outreach

  • Create Valuable Content: Quality content is the cornerstone of link building success. Offer unique, informative, and engaging content that will make people want to link to it. This involves creating original content like research or case studies, free tools, insightful infographics or guides, opinion pieces, etc. The aim is to have accurate and actionable information that can help people. This often is a more efficient way of building links as well.
  • Personalize Communication: Once you’ve prepared your content, it’s time to build your campaign and get in touch with your contacts. Reach out to your list of target websites with a compelling yet personalized pitch that explains the value of your content and how it will benefit their website and target audience. Avoid sending bursts of emails with repetitive templates because these will often be flagged and end up in the spam folder. Personalization also shows that you’ve done your research, and when it ties in well with your value proposition, can give it an extra edge. When you piece everything together well, it can lead to replies like the one below.
  • Follow-Ups: Don’t give up if your initial pitch doesn’t get a response. Understand that people can be busy and could have missed your emails. Wait a couple of days and send them a simple follow-up asking if they could go through your email. Don’t keep pushing if you don’t get a response, and respect the website owner’s decision if they don’t want to collaborate.

Transparency & Disclosure

  • Be Upfront about Paid Links: Sometimes, website owners ask for a publishing fee for placing your backlink or content on their website. In such cases, you must inform your clients if you will use paid link strategies. If they’re comfortable with that, and the risk tolerance is there, or it’s an industry where it’s a necessity – only then proceed.
  • Track & Monitor Progress: What’s the use of getting valuable backlinks if you don’t keep track of them? Firstly, you need to keep monitoring for new backlinks, to make sure you’re aware of everything that’s incoming, and give you some insights on which strategies or tactics are working. Secondly, you want to continue to monitor if they stay live as well. In case you find lost links, you can always contact the website owner and reclaim them. There are SEO tools such as Semrush where you can keep track of your backlinks, or there are even tools specifically just for backlink monitoring, like Monitor Backlinks or BacklinkManager.io
  • Maintain A Record Of Everything: Whether it’s the list of target websites or the number of live versus rejected links, document all this data using platforms like Google Sheets to ensure a transparent reporting system. This way, you can seamlessly share the progress and challenges with the clients, and they get live updates, promoting link building transparency.
  • Editorial Independence: Good-quality sites have fine-tuned editorial processes to establish their standards, which means they follow good practices by only publishing high-quality content that adheres to the guidelines. A link from such sites is good for your backlink profile as well – so make sure you get links from sites who maintain good editorial control, and don’t do anything that compromises that  – i.e. make sure you give them good quality content to publish and the article only links to reputable sites as well. 

Building Relationships & Sustainability

  • Nurture Long-Term Connections: Placing one link and calling it a day is fine, but building long-term relationships with relevant website owners will lead to future collaborations and partnerships that won’t just improve your website’s visibility but if done right, will also spread the word about your products or services, just like the requests we get below.
  • Focus on Reciprocity & Collaboration: If website owners have more ideas about mutual collaboration, don’t turn them down just because they weren’t part of the outreach goals. Reciprocate their interest and discuss the possibilities of finding a middle ground that suits both of you and benefits your link profiles. These could be an industry whitepaper, collaborative guest posts, interviews, seminars, etc. Explore your options.
  • Stay Updated on Best Practices: Google constantly updates its webmaster and search engine guidelines to ensure user satisfaction and high-quality content that is not created to manipulate search engines. You must adapt your strategies to keep up with evolving algorithms and industry standards. Staying updated doesn’t just give you high-quality backlinks but also gives you a headstart among your competition.

The Challenges of Transparent Link Building

Earning Links Organically

To earn high-quality backlinks, they need to come as organically as possible, which requires a lot of patience. While black–hat techniques give quick results, this is usually short-term success with low-quality links that Google will penalize. Ethical practices require effort: creating high-quality content, finding appropriate target websites, and finally, writing a compelling link pitch to the website owners. It’s an arduous process but one that reaps long-term SEO benefits. 

On top of that, E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), is Google’s way of determining if content is credible. By having content quality core to your SEO strategy, it’ll help you in ways other than just being able to earn links.

Measuring Success

Accurately tracking the impact of transparent link-building efforts based on SEO performance can be difficult. The sheer amount of data compiled by managing leads and live backlinks and its impact on individual rankings can be pretty challenging, especially if you’re doing it manually. While there are tools to do this efficiently, many of them have paid monthly subscriptions, and if that doesn’t suit your budget, this will become a daunting process.

Another aspect of measuring success involves calculating the impact the backlinks have on the client’s website traffic, rankings, and, gradually, revenue. A good agency practices transparency in measuring success by keeping its clients in the loop and sharing live data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. 

Similarly, professional link builders will also calculate the increase in rankings and traffic while also pointing out which links have a positive impact and on which specific pages. Those improvements might even have been as a result of increased brand search, so it’s good practice to be transparent about such factors and show the full picture.

Link Farms

Websites created for the sole purpose of selling links to other websites are called link farms. These sites are generally low-quality and cover a random mix of topics. For example, they’ll have a wide range of unrelated categories, like fashion, tech, politics, real estate, etc, on one website. Backlinks from such sites have little to no impact on your backlink profile, but they can jeopardize your website’s content and search engine rankings because Google doesn’t tolerate link farms.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

PBNs are a false ecosystem of websites intentionally set up for link placement. These websites often boost their backlinks by linking to one another and manipulating website quality metrics such as Domain Authority. It’s vital that you identify such sites and avoid placing your links because Google’s algorithms will catch on; this will result in your website being blacklisted or losing its rankings.

Spammy Comment Backlinks

You will notice that many blogs or social media posts have random bot-generated comments with links. These spammy comments aren’t just a misleading source but can also annoy your readers and hinder your online reputation. Google penalizes these practices, so you must remove these comments.

Client-Agency Misunderstandings

Link-building agencies have clients because these business owners are busy running primary errands for their companies. They choose professionals to handle search engine optimization because not everyone grasps the concept entirely. Misunderstandings will occur if your clients don’t fully understand what SEO or backlinks entails. Hence, the need to brief them about what’s going on every step of the way.

At TLG, we believe in overcommunication of what we’re doing, and being fully transparent, rather than hiding our work. That’s why we show our link building dashboard with the client, to show exactly where we are reaching out, and where we are getting links from. This also gives insight into our link building process, and can act as a good education for clients as well. 

(A snapshot of one of our Google Sheet dashboards)

Rejections and Building Relationships

You have to expect some negative responses during the outreach process. However, you shouldn’t let this discourage you. Instead, use this rejection either as a feedback loop, or to ask for feedback on what you could improve and implement that in your future strategies. Similarly, even with positive responses, it can be time-consuming to keep up with every target and maintain relationships.

Like this example reply below – while we did get our article rejected –  the key thing is to learn from the rejection and make sure they’ll take the re-draft. And it’s a learning point for us next time, to clarify this particular topic before we propose something similar in the future to other sites, because of how nuanced the topic is. 

When looking for a link building agency, choose one with seasoned professionals who understand link acquisition challenges and develop practical solutions. TLG is no stranger to such hurdles, and we strategically overcome all of them.

The Correct Approach to Communication in Link Building Campaigns

Transparency is crucial for every effective link-building strategy, especially when building relationships with your clients. Effective communication with your clients and other website owners you contact for the backlinks is required to keep them updated with the process.

Honest link-building campaigns go beyond just acquiring backlinks; they build organic search rankings, improve online visibility, increase referral traffic, and bring natural backlinks from reputable websites, ensuring a healthy link profile. A plus side of quality backlinks also means that other audiences can trust your brand and content.

Like everything in this world, link building also comes with challenges, but maintaining ethical practices can help you find practical solutions or avoid them altogether. Link

Looking to secure high-quality backlinks but don’t know which link-building agency to trust? TLG knows transparency is a must for a successful link-building campaign, and we keep our clients informed every step of the way. Let’s Chat.