How many backlinks do I need?


By Justin Davis, Chief Link Builder at Link Builders

Because I am a backlink expert and I run a link building company, businesses often ask me questions such as:

“How much do I really need to invest in my backlink profile?”
“How many links do we need?” 

How many links are needed depends primarily on two factors: SEO strength of your website, and the SEO strength of your competitors (the sites outranking you in organic search for your target keywords).

“How much should I invest in my backlink profile?”

Here are five questions to consider when determining how much money should be invested into a backlink profile:

  • What are the opportunity costs?

How much organic search traffic and possible sales is the company missing out on by not ranking in the desired positions for their target keywords?

If a website is ranking in position 11 for its target keyword phrase, they will get barely any traffic from that organic search query. But if it moved up 9 slots to rank in position 2, it’s guaranteed that the site would start getting organic traffic from that query.

So how much is it worth for your business to get more of those targeted eyeballs on the site?

  • What is the monthly search volume?

How many times per month are people searching for your target keywords? The total number of these search queries are the total number of potential customers using Google to find products and services.

Once a set of target keyword phrases is defined, it will be easy to see the total overall monthly search volume potential. Knowing how many monthly searches there are will be crucial in determining the risk of investment in the backlink profile.

  • What is your average sale worth?

An average sale can be worth a few dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars. The value of the average sale will help determine how to value potential traffic to the website.

  • What are we starting with?

What does the SEO and current rankings look like for the site? The stronger they are the easier it is to move the needle. Already ranking on page 1 or 2? So are 90% of the clients I help on a daily basis. And they are steadily increasing rankings.

Not yet ranking for any keywords? You have a ton of work to do and I am guessing it starts on-page.

Ranking on pages 3-8 for your target keywords? I can help you get to pages 1 and 2, but it’s going to take more work then if you were already on the top 2 pages.

  • What is your average conversion rate?

How many website visitors does it take in order to generate a lead, contact the business, or interact with the website before a sale is made?

These questions will help determine the opportunity costs of not ranking in the desired positions for certain target keywords.

It’s mandatory to invest in your backlink profile

Unless a site is getting enough links naturally, if they want longevity, they need quality backlinks.

Links play a major role in organic search rankings. 

Investing in backlinks/SEO is an investment in the business. Not only is it possible to gain in the short-term, there is unlimited long-term potential as well. Search volume is increasing and hopefully the demand for your product or service is as well.

The competitor websites that are currently outranking you are building backlinks and/or getting them naturally. As each month goes by, this will extend the gap in the backlink profiles. Eventually, it could be too hard/cost-effective to catch up.

Besides increasing rankings for specific keywords and pages, building backlinks increases the overall authority of your domain. This gives Google more confidence that your site is an authoritative source worth returning towards the top of Google’s search engine results pages.

Does the company spend money on Google Adwords?

If you are using Google Adwords to promote your business, you are probably spending a nice chunk of change each month. If you ranked naturally for those keywords, you wouldn’t need to bid on them. 

So an investment in link building is an investment long-term to curb Google Pay-per-click expenses.