You know that you need backlinks in order to be found on Google, but how many do you need? That’s a great question with a somewhat complicated answer.
The number of backlinks that will get you results depends on the SEO competition for the keywords you want to rank for as well as your current domain authority and competitors in your industry.
These factors help us estimate how many backlinks we need to build initially in order to see results, but the backlink strategy doesn’t end there. Google is always re-crawling pages on the web, making search rankings volatile. So in order to keep high rankings solidified, you need to continue building backlinks to pages regularly even after the initial results are achieved.
Let’s break this down.
SEO Keyword Difficulty
There are lots of tools that will tell you how difficult a keyword is on a scale of 1-100. The reason these ratings exist is to give you an idea of how much effort it will take to rank for that keyword. The number of backlinks needed goes up at a faster rate than the difficulty ranking. For example, if a keyword has a difficulty of 10 you probably need about 10 backlinks to rank. But if it has a difficulty of 50 you may need 100 backlinks to rank.
A backlink strategy is basically a strategy to increase the authority of your domain along with the authority of important pages on your site. So, your current domain authority gives you an understanding of your starting point. If you have a brand new website, then you are starting from ground zero and will need a solid backlinking strategy to begin building authority. If you have a fairly high domain authority already, it will take less backlinks per page or keyword to rank for more difficult terms.
Assuming you want to rank for the typical terms for your service or industry, you will need to see how strong your competitors are. Every industry has a different level of SEO competition. If you’re lucky, not many others in your industry have implemented SEO strategies yet, making it easier to compete against them. But this usually isn’t the case. SEO has been around for long enough that many websites have SEO strategies. So looking at how many backlinks your competition has will give you a good idea of how many you should aim for.
Don’t Stop There
Backlink strategies aren’t a one-time thing. Google needs to see that you’re backlinks are coming in at a natural rate and that they never stop completely. Since search rankings are volatile, the strong backlink foundation built in the initial strategy needs to be consistently strengthened by fresh backlinks as long as you want to keep the top ranking position. The rate at which you build backlinks can probably slow down once you’ve achieved your goal, but if it stops altogether you can expect to see your results slip away.
BASE knows what it takes to see results from a backlink strategy, and builds a custom plan for each client’s specific situation and goals. So if you’re still not sure how many backlinks you need, ask the link building experts at BASE.