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The Price of Link Building: Evaluating Costs and ROI for Effective Link Building Campaigns

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Trying to achieve SEO success without link building is like driving a Porsche without the gas!

In the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, many factors contributing to boosting SEO efforts have come and gone. However, link building was, is, and will remain a dominant search engine ranking factor. And Google has officially stated it, too!

So, how much does link building cost?

If you've been wandering through the length and breadth of the internet to pinpoint the link-building price, your search ends here.

To give you an estimate, the cost of link building can vary anywhere between $100 to upwards of $30,000 per month. It primarily depends on the scale of your link-building campaign, the variables being the quality and volume of links.

Before you hire any SEO or link-building agency, it makes sense to learn about link-building costs to make informed SEO investment decisions.

In this brief guide, we will demystify link-building costs by delving deep into various factors that influence link pricing, discuss the economics of link-building, and equip you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your link-building strategy.

Why Is Link Building Important?

Every website aims to achieve higher traffic, which is one of the primary benefits of acquiring quality backlinks from trusted, relevant sources.

However, the benefits of link building are multi-dimensional as it boosts search engine rankings, authority, and credibility and establishes your website as the industry frontrunner.

Having an excellent backlink profile allows Google to consider your website as a trustworthy source of information in your niche, translating into higher search engine rankings sooner than your competitors.

Link building helps with a website's long-term growth, boosting the website's metrics such as PageRank, Domain Rating, and Domain Authority.

Let us break down the importance of link building for further clarity –

  • Increased Search Engine Rankings
  • Boost Website Traffic
  • Higher Site Metrics (DA, PR, DR, etc.)
  • Build Market Credibility & Reputation
  • Boost Sales & Revenue Generation
  • Enhance Relationships & Networking In Your Industry
  • Reach Out To New & Wider Audience
  • Gain Organic Referral Traffic
  • Reduce Bounce Rates
  • Enhanced Online Visibility
  • Improves Your Website's Trust Score
  • Supports Your Content Marketing/Social Media Marketing Efforts

The best part is that as significantly expensive as link-building costs seem, it offers way higher ROI in the long term than other marketing efforts.

How Much Should Link Building Cost?

The link-building cost has had a life of its own because it has transitioned from just a numbers game to a full-fledged quality-driven endeavor.

This warrants a deeper analysis of link-building pricing associated with various link-building strategies and return on investment.

While the link building price differs widely due to various factors, which we will discuss in detail later, let us give you an idea of average link-building pricing for a better understanding.

  • The low-end price range for brands in relatively easy industries like gaming, charities, etc. - $50 - $500+
  • Mid-range pricing for competitive industries like real estate, tech, and legal. - $200 - $1,000+
  • Expensive site link costs for tough niches like healthcare, finance, and casino. - $400 - $2,000+

Factors Influencing Link Building Cost

Comprehending the feasible site link costs requires understanding the elements that influence it. Many different factors are collectively responsible for increasing or decreasing link-building costs, including –

Content Quality

Content is indispensable for SEO and, thereby, link building as well.

If a website has excellent content, then it's more likely that other websites would want to link to it. This makes it easier to get higher positive responses during link-building and outreach campaigns.

Great content substantially reduces the link-building cost as other websites will also want to link to such sites, creating a win-win situation for all.

However, if your website has thin, low-quality, poorly structured content with no value to offer your target audience, the link-building cost can shoot up drastically. This is because organic link building for such websites becomes even more complex, and link costs for paid opportunities also multiply manifolds.

Apart from shooting up the link-building cost, the time it takes to earn links for websites with poor quality or thin content increases considerably, too.

Link Quality

One of the critical elements link prices depend on is link quality. If a website's quality, authority, and SEO metrics are on the higher side, so will the link prices from it. Such high-authority websites charge more for sponsored content, link insertion services, and guest posting opportunities.

Moreover, these websites also have strict criteria of who they'll allow backlinks to and have rigid editorial guidelines for quality purposes. Following these criteria also adds to the link-building cost as it needs additional time and resources.

For example, getting a link from high-authority websites such as Forbes, TechCrunch, or BBC can be an uphill task. In contrast, acquiring a link from an independent blog or a writer's blog about the Keto Diet or Keto recipes will be a much simpler endeavor.

There's no denying that getting links from small independent blogs with substantial traffic is always a good idea from an SEO point of view. However, it will get less weightage than getting a backlink on high-authority blogs such as BBC, Huffington Post, etc., in the eyes of Google.

Industry or Niche

The average link-building cost depends highly on the niche or the industry you are working in.

Blogs and websites of some industries will welcome backlinks from any industry as they share the same passion and enthusiasm. However, some niches are very uptight about allowing backlinks and charge way more than the industry average for link insertion services or guest blogging.

If you're in an industry where getting high-quality links is a rare or constant struggle and other blogs/websites refrain from linking back to you, churning out $500 or above for a high-quality link is a good idea.

However, if you're from an industry such as gaming, cars, or health, where other bloggers/editors/webmasters easily link out, spending close to $100-$200 minimum for the link is the norm.



Outreach & Networking Efforts

Outreach, network, and relationship building play a crucial role in an effective link-building campaign and substantially influence link building costs.

Depending on the scale of the link-building campaign, the industry you're in, and other variables, the outreach and relationship-building exercise with bloggers, website owners, and webmasters can be time-consuming and laborious.

The effort, time, and scale of this outreach and the resources it needs can shoot up the link-building cost.

Link Placement & Position

The site link costs also depend on the links' placement and position. For example, sticky homepage links cost way more than blog links not on the front page—also, the link pricing increases if placed on the blog post's first few paragraphs.

Broad spectrum link insertion services are available these days to acquire such links, but it depends on the website's metrics and authority on how much juice these links can pass.

Volume of Links

The scale of your link-building campaign and the amount of links you need will also affect its cost. While building hundreds of high-quality links can be expensive, it does make up for it over time due to the long-term return on investment.

Outsource or In-House

Whether you hire a freelancer or a link-building agency or choose to go about link-building in-house, a substantial cost is involved. Most freelancers or agencies that do the link-building for you will take a cut. Similarly, if you hire a link-building specialist in-house, you must pay the professional for their service and time.

You need to ascertain your link-building and SEO goals and align them with your marketing budget to decide which of these options is the right fit for you.

You may need to do some trial and error before you strike a balance and land on a link-building process you can be consistent with.

Types of Link-Building Techniques Used

The link-building techniques used to acquire or build links also impact the overall cost.

Some services often seen in the link-building realm are guest blogging, content creation, email outreach, directory submissions, link insertion services, and more.

These link-building techniques are skill-based and time-consuming, requiring substantial manual effort, which eventually adds to the link-building cost.

How Much Does Link Building Cost In SEO?

As mentioned earlier, the link-building cost varies based on various factors, including your industry. Acquiring links for some niches is way more challenging and expensive than others.

As per HubSpot, over 46 percent of marketers spend upward of $10,000 per month on link building. Around 22 percent of marketers spend less than $2,500 on link building.

In SEO, the link building price depends on how much resources you put into your campaign and the paid link opportunities you purchase.

Some of the things that add up when comprehensively calculating the link building cost for SEO include –

Content Creation

Creating great content is pivotal to the success of link-building and SEO campaigns. Marketers and website owners must create great content that stands out or hire professional writers who are great at dishing out engaging, optimized, and well-structured content.

Creating optimized, brilliantly structured content with great visuals, statistics, images, and infographics can help open doors to link-building opportunities. It will decrease the link-building cost and time to earn links from other websites in the same or related niches.

Hiring professional content writers to create great content can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 and upwards per blog. Publishing even ten monthly posts can mean around $300 to $3,000.

Work around your budget and spend some time writing content yourself or finding great content professionals who can churn out great content your audience can resonate with.

Outreach Employees

Whether hiring a freelancer or an agency or managing link building in-house, rest assured you'll need at least one person to manage the entire process from your end.

This includes monitoring and tracking the progress of link-building campaigns, researching potential link-building opportunities, communicating with webmasters, agencies, and freelancers for link-building and requesting links, and more.

How much an employee costs depends on where you're located, the experience of the professional you hire, and other factors. The average price of hiring link-building and outreach professionals begins from $10/hour and can go up to $35/hour.

Technology & Tools

Link-building campaigns are incomplete and ineffective without using various advanced link-building, outreach, and SEO tools.

Considering these tools ' pricing and subscription fees to calculate the overall link building cost. Some of the tools you will need for an effective link-building campaign include  

  • Website Analysis Tool
  • Keyword Research Tool
  • Link Checker Tool
  • Link Crawler
  • Email Management & Outreach Tool

The good thing is that many link-building software come integrated with all these tools in one place, ensuring you don't have to subscribe to different tools separately.

Publication Placements

When looking for high-quality links in well-known and established blogs, such as Huffington Post, New York Times, Forbes, etc., be ready to shell out a premium price for article placement.

Link building through these blogs via brand mentions, link insertion, guest posting, and sponsored posts can range in thousands of dollars.

Quality Control

Link building in SEO is all about focusing on quality over quantity. You have to ensure the high-quality links you acquire to meet the standards set by search engines.

Focus on acquiring links following the SEO best practices so that they're not subject to scrutiny by search engines for rank manipulation.

It entails creating and publishing value-oriented content on topically relevant websites with high authority.

This entire process of organically acquiring backlinks from relevant and high-quality sources can be time-consuming and, therefore, incurs generous costs as well.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Backlink?

The cost of creating a single backlink depends vastly, as discussed earlier. However, as per the current market trends, the average link building price revolves around –

  • $50 to $200 for low-quality backlinks. These backlinks aren't always topically relevant and may not have substantial organic traffic as desired.
  • $200 to $750 for medium-quality backlinks. These backlinks are from websites with some relevance, authority, and moderate traffic.
  • $750 and upwards for high-quality backlinks. These links can get very expensive depending on the source, which usually means websites with massive traffic and high authority.

It's essential to note that while it may be tempting to build 10 links for $50 each, choosing quality over quantity in link building is always ideal. It's because one $1,000 link can easily outperform a hundred low-quality links.

Link Building Pricing: What Does It Cost In 2024?

As mentioned earlier, link prices have a broad spectrum and vary significantly in the range of $100 to over $20,000 monthly, depending on the scale of the link-building campaign.

One of the common trends seen in the link-building space in 2024 is a link pricing system dependent on DR and DA.

While this system is far from perfect, many of these metrics can be artificially inflated or manipulated and don't necessarily reflect the website's true quality. However, it is a system widely used in the link-building industry, and these metrics and the traffic volume decide the link prices.

Depending on the quality and the metrics (DR and DA), the link cost can be in the bracket of $100 to $1,500.

For example, the average link quality costs can be

For DR 40 - $300 to $400

For DR 50 - $350 to $500

For DR 60 and above - $450+

One thing to note is that the web is filled with many link farms that may have high DR and DA but don't necessarily offer the kind of link juice you'd expect them to pass on to your website.

So, if you're offered a $100 link at a website with DR70+, tread carefully, as it is just a link farm with nothing of value to offer.

However, if you want these types of one-time backlinks from such websites, always vet the website beforehand to see if it's getting good traffic. Also, always ensure you buy links from a reputed vendor.

Otherwise, you may get tons of these links for cheap, but it may end up doing more harm than good for your website.

When answering how much is link building costs in 2024, you might need to categorize them based on the two primary routes through which the link-building process is carried out – In-House and Agency.

In-House Link Building Cost

If you want to run full-fledged and ongoing link-building campaigns in-house, here is the breakdown of the cost you will incur annually.

  • Hiring Link Building Manager – Average cost comes to around $35,000 to $80,000.
  • Link Building Assistants – Average cost is around $10,000 to $15,000. So, for two assistants, it's around $30,000.
  • Guest Post Writer – Average Cost $4,000 to $5,000 monthly or $50,000 to $60,000 annually.
  • Paid Links – Expect a minimum monthly budget of around $2,000. The annual cost for paid links comes to approximately $25,000.
  • Link Building Software – Paying for subscriptions and purchasing various SEO and link-building tools. The total comes to around $500 per month or $6,000 annually.

Assuming you'll be acquiring and building around 30 links monthly, the total link building cost for in-house operations is nearly $175,000 to $200,000.

The thing to note here: If you don't have dedicated people in your team specializing in link building, chances are you will spend a lot without breaking even.

Outsourcing your link-building to an expert link-building agency is often preferred.

Agency Costs

The link building cost through an agency depends totally on the agency you hire.

Ivy League Link Builders

If you hire top-tier link-building agencies based out of metro cities and high-rise offices offering end-to-end customized link-building solutions, get ready to pay anywhere around $15,000 to $40,000 per campaign.

The average link cost through these agencies revolves around $400 to $2,000.

Specialist Link Building Agencies

In this case, the link cost depends on the quality of service and the link building packages price. Most of these agencies offer link-building packages you can choose from and tailor to your specific requirements.

With these agencies, the link building cost pivots around $2,000 to $30,000 per month. It all depends on the scale of your requirements.

Freelancers

Freelancer link builders charge around $20 to $100 per hour, but this rate excludes other expenses such as content creation, software, and link payments. So, you will have to pay for those expenses over what you pay freelancers.

The cost will stack up rapidly, and there's no guarantee the work done will derive the kind of ROI you're looking for. With that said, many experienced and professional freelancers can get the job done well and at a fraction of the cost.

The key is to vet the freelancers and check their reviews before hiring so that you don't end up fishing in the shallow waters.

What Is The Economics Of Link Building?

The economics of link building is complicated and goes beyond cost analysis. It comprises a comprehensive evaluation of ROI based on various factors.

Undoubtedly, the link building cost may seem significant initially, but the long-term benefits it offers overshadow the investments you make.

To purely assess the ROI, you need to analyze the jump in organic and referral traffic, the fluctuations in the bounce rate, the search engine rankings, the number of keywords you're ranking for, the boost in trust score, the increase in conversation rates, and overall market standing.

Compare the data before and after the link-building campaigns to assess the ROI. When done correctly, the positive impact of link-building strategies will surely reflect in your revenue flow.

It will help decipher if the returns justify the link building costs. It's important to remember that link-building is an ongoing process, and you won't see positive results overnight.

Here are a few ways you can calculate ROI accurately –

  • Track the cost of link acquisition.
  • Measure and analyze growth in organic and referral traffic.
  • Analyze conversion rates.
  • Estimate revenue generation.
  • Social media engagements.
  • Change in search engine rankings.
  • Change in vital SEO metrics like Domain Rating, Domain Authority, and PageRank.

While tracking and monitoring your link-building campaign to analyze and measure ROI is essential, expecting results overnight or in a week will be a mistake.

Final Thoughts

Don't be afraid to invest in an effective and ROI-focused link-building strategy, as it's not just an integral element of your SEO strategy but an investment in your website's future. Finding the right approach to balance link-building price and ROI is essential for consistent growth.

Doing market research and ascertaining your SEO goals to devise link-building strategies that are cost-effective and quality-oriented will help achieve sustainable outcomes over time. Ultimately, it's all about navigating the competitive market by leveraging the power of link-building. The higher the links' quality, the better the results.

And it is why businesses don't hesitate to spend generously on link-building costs, and neither should you!

About the Author

KeywordRankers

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I like to introduce myself as an SEO junkie and word's architect. I've been in the SEO and content writing business for over ten years now and have learned a lot on the way and still learning.

I love writing, and what started as a passion has become a full-time business. I am confident of what I bring to the table because if there's one thing I learned in this business, it is that you can only thrive if you get "repeat orders." So, how can I get repeat orders from you?

Simple - by providing quality work that not only impresses you but leaves you astounded!

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