How Many Backlinks Does Your Website Need to Rank?
Link building is an essential part of every SEO strategy. Backlinks show Google and readers that your website is trusted and respected in the community. A solid linking strategy can also help drive more traffic and skyrocket engagement, which most business owners hope to achieve.
There's an ongoing debate in the SEO community between the quantity and quality of backlinks. Some leaders believe that quantity of links is all that matters. In other words, if another company is willing to link to their business, they’ll take it.
In the other camp, you have people who believe that quality is everything. These folks think there’s no point in getting links on smaller brand sites; they want links on big-time publications or nothing.
Both ways of thinking have pros and cons that you’ll need to sort through when planning your SEO strategy. Below, you’ll find helpful information about backlinks and SEO, as well as the answers to crucial industry questions.
How Does Google See Backlinks?
Generally speaking, Google’s algorithm sees a backlink as a vote of approval. If someone bothered to link back to something you published on your website, they tell Google, “This is high-value content that other people need to see.”
If enough people come to the same conclusion, the website receiving backlinks will start to rise through the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here is where the quality argument comes in. Moz developed a ranking system called domain authority (DA), which has become the gold standard in measuring SEO for leaders across all industries. The system works on a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 being the best.
A website with a DA of 60 or higher is considered good by most metrics. The best way to climb from 0 to 60 is by securing backlinks from high-quality websites. For example, a backlink on a reputable research-oriented website carries much more weight than a blog with a one-hundred average weekly visitors.
But relying on the best links to rise through the ranks takes plenty of time and effort. The best plan of action is to supplement your strategy with smaller brand mentions so you’ll have a better chance of improving your search position.
How Many Backlinks Do You Need to Build Your DA?
There is no concrete number of backlinks every business should chase when attempting to build its domain authority. However, there is a way to figure out how many backlinks you’ll need to improve your ranking for a specific page, consequently boosting your DA.
The first step is determining the keywords you want to rank for on a specific page. Now, figure out who ranks in the top ten spots for your chosen keyword. Do a little competitor research, and you’ll quickly learn how many backlinks you need to rise through the SERPs.
So, if your competitors are blog posts from other companies with fifty to one-hundred backlinks, you should aim to hit at least fifty backlinks if you hope to rank. However, quality plays a role in the equation too.
Let’s say the website you want to beat has fifty links, and each referring site has a DA of 30. Now, if your site has ten backlinks from Forbes (DA of 95!), there’s a good chance your site would take the spot of the first website after Google’s next crawl.
To determine the ideal number of backlinks per month, you’ll need to use a mix of competitor and keyword research to find the answer. At the same time, it’s important to actively build backlinks to the page you want to rank in the SERPs.
How Many Backlinks per Month Are Safe?
There is no certain amount of links per month you should (or shouldn't) build for your site, or how many backlinks per day are safe. Instead of worrying about a specific number, focus on building rapport with other industry experts and earning high-quality backlinks.
Start slow if you’re trying to earn backlinks for a brand-new website. Don’t worry about building up to thirty backlinks monthly. This method will help you learn the ropes and make it easier to scale up your SEO strategy over time. To put it simply, an SEO strategy is that part of a digital marketing course focusing on continuously bringing organic traffic to your website
It’s worth mentioning that you won’t see an immediate impact from new backlinks. On average, backlinks take sixty days (about two months) to affect a page’s position on Google. When developing your backlink strategy, plan for this gap accordingly.
5 Best Ways to Get Backlinks
Let’s look at several actionable ways to get backlinks to your website and improve your domain authority:
1. Publish high-quality content.
The number one way to build backlinks is to publish high-quality content on your website. Think about it; why would someone link to your site unless you’re offering something valuable, entertaining, or educational?
This is why websites with blogs get more backlinks compared to non-blogging businesses. You have to give other business owners and shoppers a reason to link to your website.
Blogging is an excellent way to publish valuable content on your website consistently. Most internet users read articles online, so you can find plenty of creative ways to connect with your target audience using this strategy.
If you want your posts to resonate with readers, ask for their feedback. For instance, you could ask website visitors and email subscribers to vote for your next blog post. Users like interacting with businesses this way, especially when their feedback shapes your content.
When creating content for your blog, use long-tail keywords that you want to rank for on other pages. This simple action will send a positive signal to Google, which could result in both posts seeing a boost in search position.
2. Look for opportunities to write guest posts.
When you’re not publishing content on your website, you should think about writing guest posts on other websites. Guest posts are essentially blog posts for another publication. You can use this opportunity to forge connections with other brands in your industry, increase brand awareness, and drive more traffic to your site.
Surveys show that 60% of bloggers publish one to five guest posts every month. Many leaders publish more than five because they know guest posting is an excellent way to improve backlinks to specific pages.
The best way to find guest posting opportunities is to reach out to businesses that run parallel to your own. For example, an email marketing SaaS may decide to reach out to a hosting company to form a content partnership deal. In many cases, customers who want one product also need the other, so this partnership makes perfect sense.
Once you find a brand with a similar target audience, reach out and find out if they accept guest posts. If the answer is yes, form a project outline that you think would appeal to their target audience. Try to include as many details as possible, such as your intended audience, an article map (H1, H2, H3), and potential internal and external links.
Be patient and wait for the publication to send you a response. If they like your idea, write the blog post and submit it for publication. The links to your website from these articles act as backlinks for business. Many websites have certain guidelines for guest posting (like the number of backlinks they allow), so make sure to follow these requirements to build strong relationships.
It’s important to develop a guest post strategy regardless of your industry or specific SEO needs. To put it simply, an SEO strategy is that part of a digital marketing course focusing on continuously bringing organic traffic to your website. SEO best practices cater to optimizing web pages and link building from other websites back to the main business website.There’s a good chance that reputable backlinks from guest posts can help you reach your goals.
3. Seek out broken links.
Many of us have discovered a broken link. Think about the last time you clicked a link on a website only to be greeted by a 404 page. If you have the right outreach strategy, you can replace relevant broken links with content from your website.
Let’s revisit the email marketing SaaS and hosting company example from earlier. Say the team at the marketing company notices four broken links across two email marketing-themed blog posts and decides to reach out to the hosting company. A well-structured email can help marketers convince the hosting company to replace the broken links.
Compliment the editor on the blog post and point out one or two things you enjoyed. Now, mention the broken links with direct links to the articles. Finally, close the email by suggesting links from your website that would make an excellent replacement. Give the editors a good reason to click through and read your post. If you impress them, you’ll earn a new link to your site.
This tip requires a lot of research, but seeking out broken links is worth your time if you do it right.
4. Answer questions in the community.
You can boost your DA and earn backlinks for your business by getting involved in the community and answering questions. There are plenty of places all over the internet that could use your expertise.
Social media is a great place to start this journey. Over 4.62 billion people use sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit, so there’s a good chance you can find groups of people who are laser-focused on your industry.
Spend time in these groups and look for opportunities to answer questions and get involved with the community. While Google doesn’t award DA for social media links, these links can drive more traffic to your website. Since Google does look at traffic and other analytics to determine DA, it’s easy to see the connection between social media traffic and domain authority.
You can also visit websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which allow journalists to connect with sources for future content. Search through relevant categories and answer questions that resonate with your audience. If the reporter chooses your response, you could get featured in their article with a link to your website.
Master Your Backlink Strategy to Rank
So, how many backlinks should a website have? As you can probably tell by now, the answer to this question is quite nuanced. There are a ton of factors that go into determining whether or not a specific page will rank for a keyword.
But a few things are certain. You can comfortably earn as many backlinks as possible every month as long as you do so ethically. However, Google weighs quality over quantity.
Reputable backlinks can help you grow quickly, but smaller backlinks are essential for consistent growth. If you want to master SEO and your backlink strategy, a healthy mix of links from multiple sources is your key to success.