As you start to build your SEO strategy, you’ll almost certainly encounter the concept of buying links. There are lots of people talking about this concept. On one side, you’ll hear it’s a horrible idea that will destroy your brand. On the other, it’s a great idea that you should focus on exclusively.
What’s the truth?
The good news is, there’s a middle ground. It’s possible to engage in thoughtful link buying while still focusing on your business as a whole.
Officially, Google only wants you to engage in “natural” link building. To avoid businesses buying low-quality links in bulk, it regularly checks the quality of the links you receive. However, the truth is that everyone buys links from time to time — it’s crucial to getting your business out there.
How can you avoid getting on Google’s bad side? How can you still manage your company’s outreach while you do it? Read on to find out.
There are two main types of link building. That may sound simple, but the processes can still be confusing. Let’s take a look at the differences below, so you can approach link building prepared.
Natural Link Building
Natural link building is when companies offer links for your website without any research on your part. For example, imagine someone’s writing an article about travel agencies. They may link to Travelocity in their article because it’s an agency they know about. That’s natural link building.
This is the type of link building that Google wants you to engage in. When you create high-quality content, you’ll get your name out there. Then, people are more likely to link naturally to your business.
What’s the problem with natural link building? Mainly, it’s that natural link building rarely happens if you’re not already well-established. Especially when you’re first growing your business, you may need to invest in paid link building.
Paid Link Building
Paid link building, on the other hand, is when you pay a company to place your link in their content. Some bloggers will write content for you. On the flipside, many companies write their own content with a link, then submit that to a blogger for a price.
Isn’t paid link building something Google dissuades companies from? Well, yes and no. While it’s technically against Google’s TOS, the real truth is that Google doesn’t like it when you manipulate the SEO algorithm. So what’s a clever workaround?
High quality content. Google can’t tell the difference between a paid link and a natural link, so long as the content is high quality.
It’s common to pay for links to some extent. If you’re just starting out as a business, you may find this practice not only helpful, but actually necessary. It can kick-start your SEO standing, even if it’s just a few links.
Many companies purchase backlinks, and for good reason. These 3 driving points have made the process very attractive:
Starting from scratch in the online market is both uncertain and time-consuming. As such, many companies purchase backlinks because it saves time.
Since link building is only one part of creating a successful internet presence, many business owners can’t wait for it to happen naturally. Purchasing backlinks can give you a leg up on other business owners who are just waiting for natural link building to take place.
A link building strategy also takes time. It may draw your time and energy away from tasks like producing content of your own, refining your products, or strengthening your social media presence.
Purchasing backlinks on a well-established site means you have a built-in audience. As such, more eyes are on your content and more people are clicking through to find out more.
Not only does this cause Google to reward you with a higher ranking. It helps your business in a more direct way. If your links are found on the right sites, you could take home a chunk of that site’s following.
A Variety of Options
There are more options for buying links than ever before. You can find the perfect option for your budgetary needs, your company size, and your ideal audience.
Purchasing backlinks isn’t about buying from a shady, fake blog. It’s about offering a blogger money to create quality content that advertises your website.
When you’re purchasing backlinks, be sure to observe these rules. They can help you avoid pitfalls and make the most of your bought links.
Link building is a service that no digital campaign can survive without. But understanding good value for money for link building would require some effort. So what would you consider a fair deal when it comes to the pricing of link building services? Well, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this one. So we will explain certain factors to determine an optimal price point for link building.
So what’s a standard link building pricing scale?
Surprisingly, you can expect the price of link building to vary a lot, in a range between $100 – $20,000 per month, based on the quality and volume you are looking for. The range would probably confuse you. But the best way to figure out the costs for link building in the long term is by determining a price point per link.
Understanding the DR and DA dependent pricing model
While cost per link is one model you can check, you may find several vendors and agencies using DR (domain rating) or DA (domain authority) as the key parameters for pricing the service. We can’t call this one a perfect system, because these scores are third-party metrics that do not give an accurate assessment of the true quality of a website. However, these scores are widely used as a benchmark system to measure the quality of a website, apart from other factors such as organic traffic.
The link building prices under this system may fall in $80 – $600 + range, depending on quality.
Case Studies on Link Costs
Being a link building agency that makes money for delivering this service to the clients, I think it makes sense to showcase some case studies to see how fair and average pricing can be estimated for link building.
1. Ahrefs connected with nearly 700 sites to see what bloggers and site owners were charging to place links for the clients. Using those numbers, they calculated that the average cost of a backlink from a site is $361.44 . Read More
2. Siege Media, a leading content marketing company, suggests that the average long term price per link should be around $500. read more
The difference between In-House and Agency Pricing
A serious link building initiative with a dedicated in-house professional is a full time job. You can expect the process to take a lot of time because it involves much work, from developing prospect lists to approaching them with targeted outreach and nurturing every opportunity available.
In-house link building
Speaking about in-house costs, hiring an experienced SEO professional in major cities across USA or UK would cost you around $4,000 per month, which adds up to a good $50,000 per year. You will also need a manager to supervise the link building professionals throughout. Further, you can add up the cost of paid links every month, in addition to the cost of content creation for link building with guest posts. There is also some essential software you will need, such as Ahrefs for several link building tasks and Pitchbox for outreach. So you can well imagine how much it would add up to!
On the flip side, there are also some great things about in-house link building. There’s the advantage of complete control on your own outreach team. Moreover, it gets easy to align your content initiative seamlessly with the outreach and link building efforts.
Time is surely a concern, but if you’re serious, you can manage it pretty well.
There are large companies with large content teams that are managing it really well. They’ve mastered the content and link building combo to earn valuable traffic and they’ve also created a team that works in perfect tandem.
Agency link building
For agency costs, everything boils down to who you hire for the job….
As we’ve already talked about the pricing models and range for link building, we’ll focus on deciding the agency to hire.
Top-tier content marketing agencies that offer an end-to-end service may charge anywhere from $5,000 – $20,000 per campaign, particularly the ones based in major cities like New York. If you calculate the average cost per link cost, it will come in the $500 – $1500 range.
Conversely, you can connect with link building specialists like us that charge far less. What’s more, you can get major price differences with increase in link volume.
There are also agencies that wouldn’t give you much analysis or insight on your website. They work on a price per link model, while offering guest posts for a fixed price. If you want to check the leading players in this space, a quick Google search for “guest post service” will suffice.
Since we have clarity on exactly what we charge and how we do it, we can start with our own pricing directly. But you need not worry as we will tell you about the averages as well, so just keep reading on.
There are two pricing models for our clients, both white label clients and direct clients, with a tailored approach to match their needs and expectations perfectly.
Price-Per-Link Link Building Services
Check out our la carte services, typically apt for resellers. These include four link building tactics:
Now let’s explain these in detail!
Essentially, guest posting and blogger outreach are the same. We provide both because we understand how people search for them (in terms of search keywords).
Our per-link pricing for Blogger Outreach and Guest Posting ranges from $59 to $419 per link.
You can secure some pricing discounts by ordering 30+ or 50+ links in a single order.
Affiliate marketers and local businesses go after our niche edits service. For this service, our costing starts at $69 per link placement. This service focuses on securing relevant, quality link placement opportunities on websites we already have a relationship with.
We offer pre-designed fully-managed link building packages starts at $549 per month. We structure our monthly pricing on the basis of your requirements with the aim to bring a successful outcome. Our monthly plans are just right for the clients looking for a fully-managed link building solution.
Our custom link-building campaigns start at $1500 per month. You can expect to spend around $5000 per month for a standard campaign.
The number of backlinks we secure for this budget depends on your goals and resources. Typically, our custom link building plans are billed hourly, but we also offer hybrid pricing in some instances.
For example, the client may need both research and planning and blogger outreach as the elements of your overall strategy. In that case, we can give a mix of pricing, with per-link pricing for the blogger outreach links and hourly billing model for the rest.
To know which would work for you, booking a consultation would be the best way to start. We would want to know your business better and help you weigh your options.
Everyone knows how vital link building is in SEO. It is, however, a major investment for any business and can cost a considerable sum.
So, before you go ahead with paid link building, it is important to create an action plan which could include deciding upon the pages and keywords you want to target, creating a prioritized list and researching the competitors. Remember, not all backlinks are equal. Always check that the backlinks you purchase directly benefit your website. After all, that’s why you’re purchasing them, right?
Even though Google often frowns on purchasing backlinks, there is a compromise to be found. So long as you don’t buy links with a desire to manipulate the Google algorithm, everyone wins.
Hence, it would be safe to say that buying backlinks, undoubtedly is highly beneficial if you adhere to a thorough link selection process and criteria. Thoughtful link building leaves no room for distinguishing between a paid or natural link.