Looking to invest in link building, but not sure what the associated costs are?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’re going to give you the average link-building pricing, whether you’re doing link-building in-house, with an agency, or by buying individual backlinks.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Why Link Building Is So Important
- How Much Does Link Building Cost in 2022
- How Much Does the Average Backlink Cost
- What Factors Impact Link Building Pricing
And more! Let’s dive right in.
Why Link Building is so Important
Backlinks are among the most important deciding factorson whether your website will rank on page 1 or page 10.
If your website’s backlink profile is strong and you’re building backlinks on a regular basis, you’re going to rank both better and faster on Google.
Link building is also the only way you can rank in the more competitive SEO niches such as CBD, finance, insurance, and others.
In such profitable niches, everyone already follows all the best SEO practices. Their content is very high quality, their website is optimized for mobile and speed, their technical SEO is on-point, and so on.
In such a case, the main difference between the websites ranking #1 and #10 are their backlinks. Websites that have more high-quality backlinks are almost always going to outperform the ones that don’t.
How Much Does Link Building Cost in 2022?
On average, link building can cost anything between $100 to $20,000 per month depending on the quality and number of backlinks you build, the tactics you utilize, the competitiveness of the niche, and more.
If you’re in a low-competition niche, for example, and you’re building around five backlinks per month, then the cost will likely fall between $500 to $2,000.
If, on the other hand, you’re in a more competitive niche and building ten backlinks per month, then the link-building costs can be anything from $3,000 to $5,000.
The link-building costs will still fall in this range whether you’re doing link-building in-house (paying more overhead) or working with an agency (paying a flat fee every month for a certain number of backlinks).
How Much Does the Average Backlink Cost?
The average backlink can cost anything from $100 to over $1,000, depending on the site you’re getting the link from.
A backlink from a small blog about parenting, for example, can cost something like $100 to $300.
A link from a high-profile website, though, can be significantly costlier, ranging from $500 to $1,000, and potentially even more.
According to a study by Ahrefs, the average cost of a backlink is $361.44, excluding the cost of labor or costs associated with outreach.
Some sketchy SEOs sell “backlinks” for extremely cheap – anything from $1 to $50. More often than not, these backlinks are web 2.0 links, forum links, blog comment links, or other types of no-follow backlinks.
While cheap, Google completely disregards such backlinks, which means they have zero impact on your rankings. To learn more, check out our article on Fiverr backlinks.
What Factors Impact Link Building Pricing?
#1. Content Quality
The quality of your website content is the biggest factor in how much your link-building ops will cost.
If you’re publishing extremely high-quality content or resources that are very useful for people, then websites are a lot more likely to link to you – both organically, as well as from link-building outreach.
Let’s say, for example, you build a tool that, within five minutes, gives the user a brief run-down of their website’s SEO health.
Then, you do email outreach trying to promote such a tool.
You’re a lot more likely to get positive replies and build backlinks at a low cost than if you were, for example, promoting:
- Your product category pages (e.g. /buy-backlinks/)
- Your service pages (e.g. /seo-services/)
- Low-effort blog post (e.g. “top 5 benefits of SEO”)
#2. Backlink Quality
Another important link-building pricing factor is the quality of the backlinks you’re trying to build.
A backlink from a strong domain, such as SearchEngineJournal, is going to be a lot harder to get (and as such, more expensive) than a backlink from a small, personal finance blog.
In the first case, you’ll have to spend a TON of time making friends with journalists and creating very high-quality content if you want to stand a chance for a backlink.
Alternatively, you can always pay for someone who has connections with the media for a link insertion, but chances are, that’s going to be even more expensive.
If you’re pitching a smaller website, on the other hand, things are a lot easier. You can charm the blogger with some very high-quality content, or simply offer them a certain sum in exchange for a backlink.
Backlinks in certain niches are naturally more expensive than others.
In niches like VPN, finance, gambling, or CBD, everyone knows how much you stand to gain from that backlink. As such, most link-building prospects are going to ask you for a payment up-front (and the price definitely won’t be cheap).
In other niches, e.g. digital marketing, SEO, or SaaS, no one’s going to ask you for money for a backlink. You will, however, need to have very high-quality content to get them to read through your email and to link to you.
In more “casual” niches, such as hobby websites, parenting, video games, etc. you can potentially get away with minimal link-building costs.
#4. Brand Reputability
How popular your brand is matters.
If YOU got an email from a celebrity in your niche, there’s a very good chance you’d open it right after seeing the person’s or brand’s name.
The same goes for everyone else.
The more popular your brand is, the more likely it is for someone to open up your outreach emails and to comply with your link placement request.
Do outreach from a branded domain instead of Gmail and you’ll see a very large increase in your open and acceptance rates.
An email from [email protected] doesn’t really inspire much confidence in your link-building prospects. [email protected], though, is much better and more professional.
If you’re doing link building in-house, overhead is going to be one of the biggest cost drivers.
As we’ll describe in more detail below, to effectively do link-building in-house, you’ll need to pay for:
- Full-time SEO manager
- Backlink prospector
- Content writer
- SEO Software
- Link-building outreach software
Depending on where/who you’re hiring, all this can cost anything between 4,000 to 20,000 USD.
Speaking of in-house link-building staff, below we’re going to compare the link-building pricing for in-house or outsourced staff.
In-House VS Agency Link Building Pricing Differences
Depending on whether you’re doing link building in-house or through an agency, your costs are going to differ.
Here is the difference between the two options:
#1. In-House Link Building Costs
If you’re looking to do link building in-house, you’ll first need to hire the right people. That includes:
- An SEO expert to manage the link-building operations
- A (freelance or in-house) backlink prospector to gather prospect websites
- A (freelance or in-house) content writer to write guest posts
The cost of hiring the staff alone is going to be expensive, something around $4,000 to $6,000 per month.
You’ll also need to subscribe to all the SEO tools, including Ahrefs or SEMrush, an outreach tool (like Snov.io), and a tool like Hunter for finding prospect emails.
If you’re going the in-house route, the cost of link building is going to be relatively more expensive, but you can potentially build more backlinks than when working with an agency.
#2. Agency Link Building Pricing
Link-building agencies have all the processes set in place to start building backlinks to your website within weeks.
You’ll be able to avoid all the time/costs associated with hiring SEO staff and you won’t have to deal with any of the operations either.
Link-building agencies charge, on average, $3,000 to $10,000 per month, depending on the niche, the number of backlinks delivered per month, and several other factors.
Why is Link Building so Expensive?
Link building can get pretty expensive, primarily because it’s just a lot of work and the overhead costs can add up.
Some costs associated with link building include:
- Link building software pricing. You’ll need software for outreach (we recommend Snov.io), an SEO suite (Ahrefs or SEMrush), and a tool for finding prospect emails.
- Prospecting costs. You’ll need a skilled backlink prospector to find websites to reach out to.
- Copywriter costs. To get the best results from link building, you’ll need a very solid email copy.
- Content writer costs. To secure guest post placements, you’ll need to provide high-quality content to the website you’re pitching.
- Placement fees. Some websites won’t place your backlink unless you pay them a certain fee.
- Management overhead. You’ll need to proactively communicate or negotiate with your prospects to negotiate a backlink placement.
How Much Should I Spend on Link Building?
How much you should spend on link building primarily depends on how fast you want to improve your Google rankings.
If you already have a strong backlink profile or aren’t particularly in a hurry to rank first, you can build around 5-10 backlinks per month, which will cost you something like $1,000 to $3,000.
If you’re looking to go fast, though, or your website has next to no existing backlinks, you’ll want to build 10-20 plus backlinks, which will cost anything from $3,000 to $10,000.
#1. Is buying backlinks safe?
Yes, buying backlinks is safe, with some caveats. You need to make sure that the backlink you’re buying is from a reputable website that’s in Google’s good graces.
If you buy links from PBNs or link farms, you’re opening yourself up to the risk of getting penalized.
Read our article on how to evaluate backlinks to learn how to spot shady backlinks that just aren’t worth it.
#2. What’s a high-quality backlink?
A high-quality backlink is a link to your website from a domain that’s reputable, has high Google traffic, blogs about topics associated with your niche, and ranks for competitive keywords.
#3. Are paid backlinks bad for SEO?
Whether paid backlinks are bad for SEO depends on where the backlink is purchased from. If you bought a backlink from a real, reputable website, then you won’t encounter any issues.
If you bought links from backlink farms, PBNs, or other shady websites, though, then yes – they’re going to be bad for your SEO.