Best SEO Backlinking Services for 2023

back view of young people linking arms
Sabrina Dougall

The best SEO backlinking services are: Siege Media and Victorious, according to our latest round of research. With thousands of delighted customer reviews between them, we can recommend these agencies as trustworthy PR machines for your business' online presence.

Read on to discover more of the best providers for increasing the number of high-quality URL links to your website(s). In an age of online scams, it's never been more important to choose your business partners with caution. Thankfully, we've scoured client testimonials to sift the neat from the trash – so you know you won't be throwing your money away.

We're going to make it easy for you to choose an SEO agency for backlinking according to your: industry, budget, locality, and how involved your team can be.

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Quick Comparison: Best Backlinking Services

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Siege Media

Victorious

Web FX

Straight North

Boostability

4.9
4.9
4.8
4.4
4.2
Best For

Ecommerce backlinks

Best For

Transparency

Best For

Content creation

Best For

Project management

Best For

Customer service

Price Range

On request

Price Range

$5,000-$12,000 per month

Price Range

$2,500-$8,000 per month

Price Range

$2,000-$6,000 per month

Price Range

On request

Here's an Example of a Backlink:

First, let's make sure we're on the same page about the basics. A backlink is simply a reference to your webpage with a URL link on another website. This directs human readers to your website and it signals to search engines that this website endorses yours.

circled URL link in a text box
A Women's Health article mentions a fitness company with a link back to their website.

Now we'll take a look at the reviews for each SEO agency:

1. Siege Media 4.9/5

Best for: Ecommerce backlinks

siege media logo
Siege Media
4.9 Average of customer review scores from seven trusted platforms.
Pricing On request
Quick overview

An industry leader, Siege Media is a highly sought-after SEO agency among corporate firms. Its excellent content creation is supported by in-house content marketing specialists, graphic designers, and even animators.

Pros

Clients include: Audible (Amazon), AirBnB, TripAdvisor

Specialist financial writer on staff

Outstanding customer feedback

Cons

Not affordable for micro businesses

If you can afford it, Siege Media has the capability to enhance your company's backlink profile like no other agency on the market. Its unique selling points (USPs) include: dozens of in-house content writers, graphic designers, and video producers working alongside SEO specialists. Delighted customer reviews detail how Siege Media's custom assets drew many quality backlinks that boosted the organic traffic and revenue of their business websites.

We recommend Siege Media for ecommerce businesses in particular. This is because its portfolio centers on big online retailers, such as Audible (Amazon), Gifts.com, and Shutterfly. Unlike Straight North, Siege Media has a specialist financial writer on staff. This means the agency excels at creating expert content that instils confidence in your brand.

As it's critical not to get stuck in a tunnel vision perspective of ‘how can I get more backlinks?', while ignoring your company's total online presence, Siege Media is a safe bet due to the huge variety of marketing services it offers. In addition to content marketing, the agency can lead your entire SEO strategy, carry out keyword research, optimize your websites' user experience, and run A/B testing for a data-driven way to improve sales conversions.

2. Victorious 4.9/5

Best for: Transparency

victorious logo
Victorious
4.9 Average of customer review scores from seven trusted platforms.
Pricing $5,000-$12,000 per month
Quick overview

Victorious will carry out a technical audit, perform commercially-focused keyword research, and create great SEO content that attracts backlinks for your brand. Unlike do-it-for-you outfits, such as Boostability, Victorious will train your team in SEO, so that your team benefits in the long term.

Pros

Dashboard to monitor backlink quality

They'll upskill your team

Account managers readily available

Cons

Not cheap

Your team needs to be highly involved

A common difficulty companies can face when hiring link building services is staying in the dark about the quality of the backlinks earned. This is not so with Victorious. The agency uses the project management tool, Asana, to keep clients updated on target progress. The daily updating dashboard provides transparency into SEO projects. This will better prepare you for catch-ups with your account manager, who's likely to be easily contactable – according to online customer reviews. A plus is that you'll always know what results you're getting for your money.

Now, it's vital you're aware of the differences between an agency like Victorious, Web FX, or Boostability. While the latter two are agencies you can fully outsource your SEO workload to, clients who worked with Victorious said they had to actively participate in the execution of SEO strategy. This is not a negative in and of itself, provided your team has the capacity to carry out the necessary work suggested. However, if your team is already extremely busy, Victorious is not the right agency for you.

woman holding a giant thumbs up
A backlink is a vote of confidence from one website to another.

3. WebFX 4.8/5

Best for: Content Creation

WebFX_Logo
WebFX
4.8 Average of customer review scores from seven trusted platforms.
Pricing $2,500-$8,000 per month
Quick overview

In contrast to Siege Media and Victorious, Web FX provides a very clear pricing structure for its SEO services in the form of three price packages. This is reassuring for SMBs on a tight budget. Plus, you'll know exactly how many pieces of custom content to expect each month.

Pros

Clear pricing & monthly deliverables

Clients praise speed and quality of content delivery

Dashboard integrates with Salesforce, Zoho and Quickbooks

Cons

Fixed packages may be inflexible

Web FX is the only agency on our list to feature a set of distinct price packages. Though we'd normally advise business leaders to give such fixed SEO offerings a wide berth, we've read enough positive customer reviews on this agency to change our minds in this case. While set price packages can give agencies an easy pass to regular income and low accountability, Web FX seems to buck this trend.

This agency actually offers a far wider range of marketing and SEO services than Victorious or Boostability. Custom price plans are an option if you're reluctant to confine your partnership to the set menu of Web FX's set SEO price packages (listed below). This means you can take advantage of online sales consultancy, and not just SEO services. This agency has the largest team of any we've reviewed, with a roster of over 500 digital marketing experts on staff. That's a standout marker of the breadth of expertise available at this agency.

In terms of backlinking, Web FX incorporates our preferred method of custom content creation to secure digital votes of confidence from other domains. You'll see the number of assets scale according to your monthly payment.

We recommend the Silver Plan to SMBs that are looking to boost their backlink profile on a low budget. Web FX has delivered successful campaigns in industries such as agriculture, automotive, software as a service, and medical.

web fx pricing plans
Although we're generally wary of set price plans for SEO, Web FX gives you clear insight into your monthly costs.

4. Straight North 4.4/5

Best for: Project Management

straight north logo
Straight North
4.4 Average of customer review scores from seven trusted platforms.
Pricing $2,000-$6,000 per month
Quick overview

With four US offices (Chicago, Charlotte, Baltimore and Washington DC), you've got a better chance of meeting Straight North team members in person than remote-working agencies. They're a smaller and less expensive SEO agency than WebFX.

Pros

On the cheaper side

In-house copywriters

Web development

Cons

Account managers vary in skill

Written content may need editing

Backlinking is never a guaranteed success, but what Straight North gets right is its robust project management. Clients mention a high level of accountability, very frequent communication, and a monitoring dashboard for added transparency. Thanks to its strategic planning, Straight North has delivered return on investment for reams of clients, according to online reviews.

The agency undertakes content writing in-house, which is largely beneficial to increasing lead volumes and quality for its clients. Unfortunately, one Chicago marketing director faced a frustrating lack of quality in Straight North's written content between 2020-21. The agency replaced the client's account manager during their engagement, though the reason was not entirely clear to the client. However, that same director nevertheless appreciated the centralized platform for easy access to performance metrics.

Smaller businesses with a lower marketing budget would benefit from hiring Straight North. However, our caution would be to provide as much clarity on your business' needs as possible, with the possibility of sending written content back for edits.

5. Boostability 4.2/5

Best for: Customer Service

boostability logo
Boostability
4.2 Average of customer review scores from seven trusted platforms.
Pricing On request
Quick overview

Better suited to working with smaller businesses than Siege Media or Victorious, Boostability is a do-it-for-you SEO provider that also offers white label SEO. Even though some customers were not entirely happy with their results, almost everyone praised the agency's excellent customer service in online reviews.

Pros

Less expensive than market average

SEO fully taken care of for you

White label SEO available

Cons

Won't do SEO audit as standard

Not all customers achieved desired results

For companies looking to fully outsource link building, Boostability is a decent fit. While firms with a long-established team may benefit from the training and development offered by agencies like Victorious, younger businesses and startups may be looking to get one more set of tasks off the to-do list. This, and its smaller size, is why we recommend Boostability for smaller businesses.

Happy clients saw increased web traffic and improved cost per lead since hiring Boostability. However, you should understand the scope of work Boostability will carry out for you, and make sure you're clear on your expectations before beginning a partnership. Michael G, a Boostability customer, said in a November 2021 review that he was disappointed the agency didn't carry out an SEO audit. However, that same customer praised Boostability's ‘great customer service' and prompt response time.

If you want a full SEO audit of your website, you're better off hiring Web FX or Victorious SEO rather than Boostability. In terms of ranking for target keywords, Boostability customers were pleased to see their websites ranking in the top 10 and, sometimes, the first position on search engine results pages.

Link Building Services to Avoid in 2023

Google has made several significant updates to its ranking rules in the past 15 years. Because of these, certain link building practices that used to be effective are now a total waste of money. However, there are still a few bad actors in the SEO industry that are still profiting off the lack of knowledge business consumers have about these algorithm updates. We're here to make sure you don't get ripped off.

Here are some link building services to say “no thanks” to:

🚩 Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

An SEO outfit will explain to you that they can get your website dozens or hundreds of links, guaranteed. How? Well they own lots of websites, and regularly publish content on them with links back to clients' sites.

Red flag: This used to work really well until Google's 2017 Penguin update. But now, if the search engine detects suspicious mass linking activity, it will make sure that entire network vanishes from search results pages.

 

🚩 Payment for Links, Not Content

If you approach a link building service that doesn't have content writers or editorial managers, you should be wary. How is that company going to foster links back to your website without creating quality content? Agencies that can't or won't explain their strategies should be avoided.

Red flag: Google penalizes “link farming” that generates links at scale without leading users to high quality content. Since the 2011 Panda update, Google has taken a harsh view on “thin content” that's poorly written and adds no value to the reader.

According to Google

“There are always people seeking shortcuts or tricks to manipulate search ranking or spend money to make their sites appear more authoritative to search engines. Link spam is an example of these tricks. We no longer use links predominantly [to determine domain ranking] compared to 20 years ago, for example, and also launched many algorithms to nullify link spam. 

And you probably should not waste your money in spamming links. That money is much needed in creating a great website with great user experience and helpful content.” (sic)

google logo
Duy Nguyen Staff Search Quality Analyst

English Google SEO office-hours from November 2022

Are Link Building Services Still Worth it in 2023?

We don't recommend you pay for links to try and boost your company's search engine rankings. While you may see favorable results, these are likely to be short-lived given the increasing measures Google is taking to nullify links from paid sources. The best SEO companies won't use shady tactics like this.

Moreover, buying spam links is unethical business practice because it's bad for the internet as a whole. If your company values integrity – and wants to avoid penalties from Google – you should hire a reputable SEO agency that carries out quality backlinking work. This means content marketing plus full-service SEO.

Is link building still worth it in 2023?

The short answer is yes! Link building is still one of the most effective methods of SEO – it's definitely worth it. However, it's essential to avoid using link farms and black hat techniques. You don’t want to damage to your brand and be penalized by Google.

The most effective technique that's within Google's guidelines is content marketing to build natural links for your brands, through offering interesting and useful content.

Amy Irvine
Amy Irvine Senior SEO Campaign Executive
price list for paid link placements
It's risky to pay for link placements, and generally seen as poor industry practice.

Why is Link Building Getting Harder?

In the early 2000s, when search engine rankings were fairly predictable systems with basic rules, it was pretty easy to manipulate them.

But these days, link building is getting harder as Google cracks down on phoney pay-per-link tricks that don't help users. Ultimately, search engines are designed for users to find the best content that's genuinely helpful – not just the webpage with the most paid backlinks. It makes sense then that ethical industry players are moving in the direction of quality content creation rather than get-links-quick schemes.

Nowadays, the skillset involved in link building involves more creativity, patience, and relationship-building than it used to. It now takes a lot of audience focus to craft the right content plan, as well as a more nuanced understanding of SEO.

If you're looking to boost traffic to your website for reliable, long-term growth, check out our guide to the best SEO companies for small businesses.

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Verdict: Choose Backlinking Plus Quality Content Creation

You will want to ensure you hire a bona fide SEO agency that will carry out an audit of your site, do thorough keyword research, and create content that generates links. That's a world apart from paying $3,000 for 300 random links across the World Wide Web.

We hope you've learned a bit about the difference by now, but feel free to check out the FAQs below for a recap.

In the meantime, here's our top five favorite SEO backlinking service providers:

  1.  Siege Media – Best for ecommerce backlinks
  2.  Victorious – Best for transparency
  3.  Web FX – Best for content creation
  4.  Straight North – Best for project management
  5.  Boostability – Best for customer service

To find the best possible quote for your business, we recommend you use our free supplier matching service. All you have to do is answer a few questions about the kind of SEO services you're looking for and we'll match you with our trustworthy agency partners.

FAQs

What are SEO backlinks?
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), backlinks are simply URL links from one website to another.

In technical terms, when a search engine bot (known as a “spider”) is scanning (crawling) a web page, the backlink will send a signal that this page was given a vote of confidence from the referring domain (website). The more authoritative, high-quality, and popular the referring domain is, the stronger the signal is. Think of it as the popular kid at school name-dropping you at a party. Now their friends will want to go and hang out with you.

In terms of the metaphor, this means users are likely to click the link, visit your website, read your great content, and possibly come back for more. Now the search engine spider views your website as peer-approved. Some things to remember:

  • Backlinking is only worthwhile from high-quality domains
  • Paying for link placement is a no-no (it's against Google's terms)
  • Two websites linking to each other is not usually valuable
  • You should try to get dozens, if not hundreds, of backlinks to target pages on your domain
  • Link building takes place gradually over time (months, not days)
What are the best backlinks for SEO?
The best backlinks come from websites which are seen as an authority in your particular niche. If you're publishing content on coffee, you want the biggest coffee magazines to link back to your site. The reason is that'll give you better chances of users clicking through to your site and a stronger signal to search engine crawlers that your site is the bees knees.

Oh, and this only works if you get a “dofollow” link from another site. That's a tag which tells search engine crawlers to read the destination of the outbound link.

There are various ways to measure how “authoritative” a domain is, such as Domain Rating (DR) from Ahrefs, Domain Authority (DA) by Moz, and Google's PageRank (which is seen as a little outdated). None of these metrics give the full picture, but they can give you an idea of how influential a domain is.

Typically, domains with lots of readers (bot traffic doesn't count) and a history of publishing high-quality content are the best ones to secure backlinks from.

How do SEO agencies get backlinks?
There are white hat (ethical) and black hat (unethical) ways to secure backlinks, and you should be careful to avoid the latter because search engines can issue penalties against your website for link spam.

The only ethical way to secure backlinks is to publish great content on your site. Agencies will create infographics, produce videos, and write excellent articles that other websites will naturally choose to link to. These assets will centre on keyword research and competitive analysis.

After that, they'll run content marketing and PR campaigns to promote your website's new content. Making use of industry relationships, SEO agencies secure backlinks to your sites using guest posts or simply offering content in exchange for a link.

How much should a business pay for an SEO backlink?
There is no simple answer to this question. Many SEO experts will tell you not to pay anything for a backlink. The reason being, if your SEO partner can guarantee you a link on another website for a set fee it's likely to be a spam scam. Sometimes SEO providers will buy lots of low-quality domains and create low-quality blog posts just to include their clients' links on them. Search engine algorithms will not reward a domain for links from low-quality websites.

Instead, you should seek to pay an SEO agency for its ongoing backlink work via a monthly retainer, for instance. Agencies with integrity will use white hat SEO to secure backlinks to your domain gradually over time. Since this work is based on negotiation and relationship building, no SEO agency worth its salt will promise a concrete number of backlinks in exchange for a set fee.

It's normal to pay between $5,000 to $20,000 per month for a top-tier corporate SEO agency to build backlinks for your business. It is possible to pay closer to the $2,000 per month mark with less expensive agencies, such as Straight North or Boostability. If you let us know what you need, we can ask SEO firms to get in touch with you directly to provide a quote.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert

Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master’s in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camen New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.