How much does link building cost?

Has the broad range of prices for link building left you scratching your head?

Some agencies will charge as little as $9 to build a link, while others charge thousands of dollars.

So how much does link building actually cost? The answer is … It Depends.

On what does the cost of a link depend?

1. Your expectations

If you’re expecting to rank #1 for a search term, then the cost will be much higher than if you’re happy to be somewhere in the top 10. 

The higher your site climbs, the stronger the backlinks need to be to make a real difference. And obtaining enough quality links to rank #1 is hard work.

These powerful backlinks come at a price because the webmasters are pickier about the sites they’re willing to link back to.

Some companies are also in a hurry, expecting their link-building efforts to pay off soon after launch, and the time crunch adds to long hours behind the laptop for link-building vendors. 

This time needs to be billed.

2. The amount of content that needs to be created

Some link-building strategies, like guest posting, go hand in hand with content creation.

If links are the arteries of a website, then the content can be likened to the blood. You need informative, rich content for other sites to link to.

The websites that accept mediocre or below-average content are not the sites you want to get a link from. If they don’t care about the content, they usually let anyone post on their site.

This in turn can put you in a bad neighborhood of sites and the odds of the link not working or putting your site in jeopardy, are much higher. 

So when a large amount of content must be created first, the costs will go up. On the other hand, if you already have a killer blog section, you won’t need to factor this service in now.

Content marketing costs also vary. While you could simply log on to a platform like Upwork and have someone knock out articles for you at $10 per 1000 words, you will get what you pay for.

But if you’re serious about ranking in search, you need a professional. 

Hiqh-quality websites (that you’d actually want to get a link from) require high-quality articles, which, in turn, require high-quality writers. These kinds of writers charge upwards of a $100 per article. 

Successful content marketing platforms do a lot of keyword research and planning before putting pen to paper. They include the right keywords and format the article so that it not only ranks but adds value to your customers.

3. How well your site’s pages are currently doing in Google search

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A page with no or little organic traffic will need way more links to rank than an established page.

At this early stage of growth, websites will target entry-level keywords that aren’t too difficult to rank for. So the cost of links associated with those keywords won’t be eye-watering.

But even though these links can be built at a lower price, more of them are needed to rank.

If a website is already established and ranking in the Google results pages, you need fewer links associated with individual pages. 

But these links need to be stronger or stem from higher domain authority websites, and so come at a higher price.

4. And finally, the strategy you choose to use. 

Some link-building campaigns are way more labor-intensive than others, which comes at a price. 

Your link-building strategy of choice also has its own pros and cons, like the ability to choose anchor text and the exact page to which a link directs traffic.

All of these factors have a direct bearing on the price. And as you can see, unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to get to an exact cost per link number.

But before you go ahead and trust your hard-earned dollars to just any old link-building company, consider the following points to ensure that your campaign will actually make a noticeable difference to your business.

Points to consider when devising a link-building campaign

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1. Choose your strategy wisely

Choosing the right link-building plan for your budget and your website can be quite tricky, so here’s a brief look at the most common strategies and their associated costs:

– Guest Posting

Guest posts have always been an effective way to build links to websites in the same niche. 

When opting for a guest post, you need to submit an article written to the editorial standards of your target website. Each article must be well-researched and relevant to the target website audience.

You benefit by being mentioned as the article’s author or sometimes from a link within each article. Also included in this process is keyword research and vetting prospective websites.
A successful guest posting campaign isn’t cheap because of the work that goes in.

However, there are benefits to building links this way. For one, the referral traffic that will be funneled to your website will be relevant. Your online visitor already has an interest in your topic or product.

Expect to pay around $1000 per month for a good guest posting service.

– Broken link building

Source: Unsplash

Broken link building is a good way to target links that were once live but are no longer active. You contact the site’s owner and suggest replacing the broken link with a new link to an article on your website.

This link-building strategy is quite labor intensive, as this description explains.

But even though it requires a lot of time and effort, it’s an effective way to gain high-quality backlinks that would otherwise be lost to the world wide web.

Expect to pay about $1000 per link-building campaign for 5 links. That’s only $200 per link.

– Niche edit link building

With this strategy (also called link insertions), you’re basically identifying existing websites or articles on the web that are relevant to your audience.

After identifying pages where you could contribute a piece of valuable content, you will reach out to them and enquire about editing their article to include a backlink to your page.

And link insertions work. 

Links you build from these websites come from pages that Google already indexes.

For this reason, they tend to impact your Google search results quicker than other link-building strategies that need a from-the-ground-up approach.

A reasonable figure to consider for link insertions is around $120 per link.

2. Quality over Quantity

Websites are generally classified in a ranking system.

Moz has a DA (Domain Authority) ranking system, while Ahrefs uses a DR (Domain Rating) system.

For both of these, the higher the number allotted to a website, the higher the probability that the website will rank in Google results.

With ranking comes power, which affects the cost of links stemming from those sites.

That’s because the link juice from such a site will immediately affect the website it links to, especially if the articles are topically relevant.

To land a link from a high-quality website that Google trusts is difficult and sometimes near impossible.  It takes a lot of time and energy to even get a foot in the door with high DA sites; thus, the links cost a bit more than others.

So, is it worth going after these Dr 80+ websites?

Yes, if you have a great website yourself and can add real value to their audience. However, if you’re thinking of putting together a link-building campaign for a site with no organic traffic, and a near-zero DR rating, then the answer is no.

That’s because the cost of building that link simply won’t make sense.

As a general rule, you should approach relevant websites with a DR ranking higher than you but within the same Domain Authority ballpark.

Also, remember that building one link from a site with a DA between 40-60 is better than building several links from DR10 to DR20 site.

So building quality links is more important than a large number of crummy links. 

3. You get what you pay for

Looking to spend a pocket full of cash on SEO?

Don’t worry, there are hundreds of Link-Building agencies out there ready to take your money. Some will promise 10 or 20 links right away for next to nothing.

And at first glance, this might seem tempting.

But ask yourself – How can they guarantee so many links in such a short amount of time?

In all likelihood, it’s because they use PBNs or link farms. So they don’t stem from sources that have naturally climbed in Google Rankings, and their value will thus be very shortlived.

Link-building agencies that offer these guaranteed services with immediate results might also be in the habit of buying cheap links. 

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines view this as a link scheme and have repeatedly stated that they are against this practice.

The fact of the matter is that quality link-building that has a lasting effect on your rankings takes time to do right and costs money. 

There’s just no way around that.

For example, a white hat link-building agency like Batlinks first needs to do a link Gap Analysis.

This review helps you to identify websites that are linking to your top competitors but not to you. This, in turn, helps you to plan a link-building campaign more accurately, as you would know how many links you need to build to rank.

Without a link gap analysis report, you’re just guessing and blindly building links from random sites, hoping they’ll affect your website.

In-house vs. Link Building Agency

With so much money spent on content marketing and link building, many are tempted to do in-house link building instead of hiring an agency.

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If you’re considering using an in-house link-building team, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it make financial sense?

A big part of link building is doing ALOT of research.

It’s this step that people often overlook when formulating custom link-building plans.

Link builders, keyword researchers, prospectors, and link account managers need to be trained, which takes time and money.

  • Will we achieve the desired results?

Ever heard of the expression Jack of all trades, master of none?

That’s often what you get with an in-house link-building team. With one person filling in as the writer, the link prospector, and the link builder.

This approach means that you never have someone that purely specializes as a link builder, knowing the job through and through.

So rather than using an agency and knowing exactly how much the process will cost, you need to factor in the trial and error that goes along with building links in-house.

Why would you consider hiring a link-building agency?

  • You have a set price

One benefit of using a link-building agency is you can agree on a set price before the start of a campaign.

You know precisely your cost per link and what results to expect. With this information, you can plan which tactic to use to suit your budget. 

  • Professional services

Link-building services, like all SEO services, have the advantage of doing this day in and day out. 

They know which approach works best for specific niches and can adapt their methods accordingly.

An excellent link-building service will be completely transparent about its pricing structure, leaving nothing hidden from its clients eyes.

Outsourcing the process will also get you results quicker, helping your website or business to climb the results pages ladder more quickly than an in-house link-building team would.

Is link building worth the money?

Yes. Link building is 100% worth the investment.

Here’s a scenario that shows how an outsourced link-building campaign can pay for itself.

If you did a link gap analysis study and found that your website needed 5 links to rank – let’s say that these links would help you move from #15 in the SERP rankings to the #3 spot.

This would bring an additional 500 additional visitors to your website.

If each visitor is worth about $1 to your business, it would mean that a $500 traffic value per month has been generated by the campaign.

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If building the five links costs you $1000, it would take only two months for the links generated to pay for themselves.

But it gets even better.

As long as those links are live, they will continue to funnel traffic into your site, and as long as you have good content and your on-page SEO checks out, you have the opportunity of passive earning.

A final thought on Link building pricing

As discussed, link pricing is incredibly difficult to pin to a one size fits all number.

There are simply too many variables that go into the equation to put one specific number to it. But finding a company to help your SEO efforts really is worth the effort.

Remember that the link-building tactics mentioned in the article have benefits long outlasting the actual campaigns. For weeks, months, and sometimes years after a campaign ends, those links will continue to not only help your site rank but possibly generate money.

Here’s an interesting read on a recent E-commerce case study that shows how white hat link-building can benefit your business.

Batlinks would be happy to help your website build the high-quality links it needs to rank better and earn continuously.

With professional content marketing and link-building teams that have success time and again, we’ll gladly work along with any client to come up with an SEO strategy that suits their budget and needs.

So get in touch today to start enjoying the results.