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.
Building backlinks is an ongoing process, and it is important to continue adding more backlinks each month. However, the number of backlinks that you need each month varies significantly depending on several factors. To determine the right amount of backlinks for your specific needs, it is essential to consider a few specific elements such as keyword difficulty, the domain authority of your website, and competitor research.
A comprehensive analysis of these factors is the key to establishing the ideal number of backlinks each month. This analysis should also encompass a review of your existing backlink profile, ensuring that new links complement and diversify your existing ones. Crafting a tailored approach to your SEO efforts, based on keyword difficulty, domain authority, and your site’s unique goals will ultimately yield the most effective and sustainable results.
Here are some details about each of the factors that impact how many backlinks you need.
SEO Keyword Difficulty
Keyword difficulty reflects how competitive a particular keyword is in search engine rankings, and targeting highly competitive keywords may require more backlinks to make a noticeable impact.
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 your site has a lower domain authority than your competitors, you may need more high-quality backlinks to bridge the gap and improve your ranking. 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.
Obtaining multiple backlinks from a single website is a common practice in SEO, and it can be beneficial as long as it is done in a strategic and natural manner. The key here is diversity and balance. It’s perfectly acceptable to receive several backlinks from one site as long as you are not overly reliant on that single source for all of your backlinks. Diversifying your backlink sources is essential for building a well-rounded and credible backlink profile.
In fact, receiving multiple backlinks from a single authoritative website can strengthen your own site’s credibility and authority, especially if the linking site is relevant to your content. These multiple backlinks can reinforce the idea that your site is a valuable resource within a specific niche or industry.
However, it is important to maintain a diverse backlink portfolio. Relying exclusively on one source for all of your backlinks can raise red flags with search engines like Google. To avoid potential penalties or flags, aim to build a natural backlink profile by acquiring links from a variety of authoritative and relevant websites. This diversity not only makes your backlink profile more credible but also reduces the risk of Google considering your link-building efforts as manipulative or spammy.
Backlinks play a crucial role in the realm of SEO, and they are instrumental for several important reasons. They are essential for improving your website’s visibility, authority, and traffic. By strategically building a diverse and high-quality backlink profile, you can significantly enhance your SEO efforts and achieve better results in terms of SERP rankings, organic traffic, and overall online presence.
Below are some of the reasons to prioritize quality backlinks.
Improve Your SERP Ranking
One of the primary reasons for acquiring backlinks is to enhance your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking. When reputable websites link to your content, search engines like Google perceive your site as more authoritative and trustworthy. This authority boost can lead to higher rankings for your pages in search results. Essentially, the more quality backlinks you have, the more likely Google is to recognize your site as an authoritative source and reward it with better visibility in search results.
Increase Organic Traffic
Higher SERP rankings directly correlate with increased organic traffic. Research indicates that the majority of organic traffic goes to websites listed on the first page of search results. By earning quality backlinks, you improve your chances of reaching that coveted first page. As your ranking improves, more users are likely to discover and click on your website, resulting in a substantial increase in organic traffic. This influx of organic visitors can be a valuable source of potential customers, readers, or users, depending on your website’s goals.
Increase Domain Authority
Acquiring backlinks from authoritative and credible websites is an effective strategy for increasing your site’s domain authority. When high-quality websites link to your content, they essentially vouch for your credibility, and search engines take note of this. A higher domain authority not only improves your chances of ranking well but also establishes your website as a reliable and respected source in your niche or industry, attracting both users and potential partners.
What’s More Important: Quality or Quantity?
When it comes to backlinking, the age-old debate of quality versus quantity persists, and it’s essential to strike the right balance. Here’s why quality tends to outweigh quantity in the realm of backlinks:
- Relevance. Backlinks from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche or industry carry more weight with search engines. These links signal to search engines that your content is authoritative within a specific context. Having a multitude of low-quality, unrelated backlinks can actually harm your website’s reputation and rankings, while a few high-quality, niche-specific backlinks can significantly boost your SEO efforts.
- Credibility and Trust. Search engines consider the credibility and trustworthiness of the websites linking to you. High-quality websites are more likely to be trusted sources of information. When they link to your content, it reflects positively on your site’s credibility. Conversely, if you accumulate numerous backlinks from low-quality or spammy websites, search engines may perceive your site as less credible and penalize it accordingly.
- Natural Link Building. Natural link building is a key factor in SEO. Search engines value organic, natural growth in backlinks. High-quality backlinks often come as a result of creating valuable and authoritative content that genuinely attracts links from reputable sources. In contrast, attempting to accumulate a large quantity of low-quality backlinks through manipulative tactics can lead to penalties and harm your site’s reputation.
- User Experience. High-quality backlinks often lead to a better user experience. When users click on a link from a reputable source to your website, they are more likely to find valuable and trustworthy content. This positive user experience can result in longer time spent on your site, lower bounce rates, and increased engagement, all of which can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts.
While it’s not about setting a fixed number of backlinks, it’s crucial to prioritize quality over quantity when building your backlink profile. Aim to earn backlinks from authoritative, niche-specific websites that genuinely value your content. This approach not only helps improve your search engine rankings but also builds a strong and reputable online presence that can benefit your website in the long run.
Building enough backlinks to meet your needs can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here are some effective strategies to acquire quality backlinks.
- Build Out Brand Signals with Social Profiles. Optimizing your social media profiles is a subtle yet effective way to generate quality backlinks. Ensure your social profiles are complete with accurate information, including your website URL. High-quality social profiles, especially on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, can get indexed by search engines, providing valuable backlinks from authoritative domains.
- Try Guest Blogging. Guest blogging remains a powerful method to secure quality backlinks. Seek out authoritative websites in your niche that accept guest contributions. When you write valuable and relevant content for these sites, you often earn a backlink in return. Make sure your guest posts are well-researched, informative, and align with the host site’s audience.
- Create and Share an Infographic. Infographics are highly shareable and visually engaging content pieces. Craft an informative and visually appealing infographic related to your niche or industry. Then, share it on your website and reach out to other websites or bloggers in your field, offering the infographic for their use in exchange for a backlink. Infographics can be a win-win for both parties, as they provide valuable content and a link source.
- Write Testimonials. Writing testimonials for products, services, or tools you use within your industry can lead to quality backlinks. Reach out to the providers and express your satisfaction. Often, they’ll feature your testimonial on their website, accompanied by a backlink to your site. This not only gets you a backlink but also fosters positive relationships within your niche.
Remember that regardless of the strategy you choose, the quality of your content and the relevance of the backlink source to your niche are paramount. Always prioritize providing value to your audience and the websites you collaborate with, as this will not only result in quality backlinks but also help establish your authority in your industry.
Don’t Stop There
Backlink strategies aren’t a one-time thing. Google needs to see that your 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.