Link Building Pricing Guide 2023 : [Industry Research]

Link Building Pricing [2024 Average Costs for Links]

Link building remains an integral aspect of SEO success, but with a plethora of service providers and pricing options, determining a fair deal can be challenging. As a leading link building agency, we’re here to shed light on the factors influencing link building costs and guide you towards making informed decisions.

“A common campaign budget for link building is $100-$1,000 per month. This budget is often tied to content marketing activity, as content is a great way to earn links naturally. At $5,000 per month, most SEOs would be creating high-quality content and doing outreach for high-quality links.”

Great Guest Posts is an in-house team of SEO-focused link-building experts who generate thousands of high-quality links per month for our clients. Link building is our bread and butter, and as part of our commitment to excellence, we sometimes have to decline potential clients. Why?

Because manual link building isn’t always the best approach, and we want to ensure our clients get the best possible ROI.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into why manual link building may not be the right fit for everyone, how to determine if it’s a good option for you, and what alternative strategies you can consider if it’s not.

The Value of Backlinks for Your Business

Links are important.

The types of links you have are more important.

I’ve been in digital marketing for over 6+ years, working for companies big, really big, and medium, and I can tell you, Not every business needs manual link building. 

The cost-benefit analysis may not always add up, especially for smaller businesses or those in niche industries. But that doesn’t mean links are worthless. It just means you need to get creative in your link-building strategies to ensure a positive ROI.

For instance, one of our clients’ top 5 keywords had a click-through value of hundreds of dollars. Since they were a software service provider, a single click could lead to a sale worth tens of thousands of dollars. In such cases, high-quality backlinks and supportive tiered links are far more valuable and costly than they would be for a hair and makeup site in a smaller market.

Each backlink serves as a “vote of confidence” from the referring site. When a site links to you, it’s essentially vouching for your content’s trustworthiness, which can boost your search rankings. As a result, link building is a critical SEO factor that you should prioritize for your website.

If you’re handling link building yourself, you can achieve a cost per link as low as $100 once you’ve optimized your link-building process.

Assuming you’re targeting reputable sites with genuine traffic (i.e., no fake search or link stats) that aren’t oversold and you’re operating within a reasonable budget (i.e., without unlimited resources), you’re likely looking at a cost of $100 to $300 per link. Therefore, acquiring 100 links would require a budget of $10,000 to $30,000.

The Cost of Manual Link Building

In the early days of SEO, manual link building was the only way to build backlinks. This involved reaching out to website owners and asking them to link to your site. It was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but it was also the most effective way to build high-quality links.

The cost of link building can vary dramatically, ranging from $100 to $20,000 per month, depending on the quality and volume of links. For long-term cost assessment, it’s more effective to determine a price per link.

Over time, several spammy manual link building strategies emerged, such as link farms and link exchanges. These strategies were designed to manipulate search engine results and game the system. As a result, Google began to penalize websites that used these techniques.

Eventually, Google discredited many of the very link building techniques it had recommended in the past. This made it more difficult to build high-quality links, and many SEOs began to look for alternative methods.

Pricing Links Based on Domain Rating or Authority

Domain Authority is a measurement Moz uses to quantify a domain’s value. It is their version of Google’s old toolbar page rank. (Not that they are 1-to-1 equivalents, but they are now used in the same way.)

Many vendors and agencies employ a pricing system that hinges on Domain Rating (DR) or Domain Authority (DA). While these metrics provide a general indication of website quality, they’re not without their flaws. As third-party scores, they don’t always capture the true essence of a website’s value.

Despite these limitations, DR and DA have become widely accepted benchmarks within the industry, often used alongside factors like organic traffic to assess website quality. Consequently, link building costs can range from $100 to $1,500 or more, depending on the perceived quality of the linking domain.

The “value” of a link from a higher DR site is inevitably “higher” if the site meets the above traffic criteria (among a few other standard backlink building due diligence criteria)

The “value” of each link can be evaluated from 2 angles:

  1. The “market rate”
  2. Value generated / ROI

Market rate is easy – just benchmark backlink building services to see how much each link costs based on its DR / DA

Value generated / ROI takes some thought.

Link Building Cost: In-House vs. Agency

When it comes to link building, businesses face two primary options: handling it in-house or outsourcing to a specialized agency. The pricing for these two approaches can vary significantly depending on several factors, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.

In-House Pricing

Recruiting an in-house SEO team presents unique challenges, especially when seeking individuals with specialized expertise in your specific niche. Building a high-performing SEO team can be a time-consuming process, requiring careful candidate selection and comprehensive training.

  • Hiring an Entry-Level SEO Specialist:

Entry-level SEO specialists, typically with limited to no experience, may command salaries ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 per year. While they may not possess extensive industry knowledge, they bring fresh perspectives and a willingness to learn.

  • Mid-Level SEO Specialists:

As their experience and expertise grow, mid-level SEO specialists can earn between $60,000 to $80,000 per year. They bring a deeper understanding of SEO strategies and tactics, along with the ability to analyze data and make informed decisions.

  • Senior-Level SEO Specialists:

Senior-level SEO specialists, often with several years of experience and a proven track record of success, can command salaries upwards of $100,000 per year. They possess in-depth knowledge of search engine algorithms, industry trends, and complex SEO strategies. 

Building a successful in-house link building team requires more than just hiring skilled professionals. You’ll also need to invest in the necessary tools to support their efforts and ensure they have the resources to deliver high-quality results.

Agency Pricing

Link building agencies bring to the table a wealth of experience, resources, proven strategies, expertise, and other advantages. Having spent years crafting backlinks for diverse clientele, these agencies possess a deep understanding of what works and what falls short.

Moreover, their meticulous attention to content and anchor text optimization ensures better results in a shorter time frame.

Maintaining an in-house link-building team can become a significant financial burden, with monthly salaries and overhead costs adding up quickly. This has led many website owners to consider purchasing backlink packages from link-building agencies, offering a fixed monthly fee for a specified number of backlinks.

At Great Guest Posts, we’ve mastered the art of crafting and placing high-quality guest posts that not only drive organic traffic but also generate valuable backlinks for your website. While we do offer managed SEO packages, we’re selective about when we recommend them.

  • A number of links from higher authority websites from the same industry.
  • Keywords analysis and getting all the related questions.
  • List them all and create content.

Our  main priority is link building from niche relevant and high traffic websites.

Agencies employ seasoned link-building experts with a wealth of experience in executing successful SEO projects. This expertise translates into a streamlined link-building process that effectively avoids wasted time and delivers the desired results.

At, we offer a number of link-building packages at different price points.

While your team may possess considerable link-building expertise, there’s still a wealth of knowledge to be gained to secure a competitive edge. Developing a scalable link-building process, analyzing competitors’ link-building strategies, and staying abreast of the latest Google updates are just a few examples of the ongoing learning curve involved.

What Factors Affect Link Cost?

  1. Content

Outstanding content is a magnet for backlinks. We’ve had the privilege of collaborating with clients who boast exceptional content teams, producing visually captivating, data-driven content with impeccable design and genuinely original insights.

The response to such high-quality content is overwhelmingly positive, leaving recipients thoroughly impressed. This translates into a significant boost in our “win rate” – the number of emails we need to send to secure a backlink – whenever we showcase this content during our outreach efforts.

  1. Flexibility in creativity

Some businesses have incredibly specific criteria for how they want their firm to be perceived, which can influence their link-building strategies. They prefer staying away from opinionated content and prefer their firm to be mentioned in a specific context, addressing specific issues.

Other firms, on the other hand, are eager to innovate with outreach emails and put themselves out there. For instance, on some client projects, we’ll employ cheeky and humorous emails or a provocative viewpoint to spark a response. Meanwhile, many companies opt for a more conservative approach,

  1. Link Quality

Link quality significantly impacts pricing. Securing links from established and influential publications is considerably more challenging. Reaching out to a writer or editor at BBC or TechCrunch for a backlink is a daunting task.

These seasoned journalists are well-versed in internet marketing and receive numerous pitches daily. In contrast, connecting with a writer or owner of a smaller, independent blog focused on piano lessons is more straightforward.

While these dedicated and honest bloggers are valuable sources of links, the authority of a TechCrunch link will outweigh theirs in Google’s eyes. Various backlink acquisition methods exist, each yielding backlinks of varying quality.

  1. Industry

The industry you operate in can significantly impact the average cost of link creation. In certain niches, like personal finance, bloggers rarely link out on their own and almost never do so without charging a premium. On the other hand, other industries allow bloggers to freely share links with anyone who shares their enthusiasm.

  • High Link Cost Niches: While other casino and poker blogs may link to your site for free, this is typically only in the case of existing business relationships, such as affiliate partnerships. Otherwise, you’ll generally need to invest in acquiring backlinks.
  • Loans: The surge in popularity of online loans has made it increasingly challenging to secure high-quality backlinks quickly, unless you have exceptional content assets.
  • Finance: Bloggers specializing in finance and related fields are finding themselves increasingly inundated with requests from financial businesses seeking their expertise in link building. This surge in interest is driven by the recognition of link building’s power to enhance a website’s authority and visibility, ultimately leading to improved search engine rankings and increased traffic.
  • Real estate: The real estate industry is highly competitive, especially for small, locally-based businesses with limited content creation capabilities. In such cases, paid link acquisition through sponsorship arrangements may be necessary.

Final Thoughts

Link building is widely recognized as a critical component of SEO, but it also represents a significant investment for businesses, with costs that can be substantial. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a well-defined plan before embarking on any purchased link-building endeavors.

This plan should encompass identifying the specific pages and keywords you aim to target, establishing a prioritized list, and conducting thorough competitor research.

The number of links required to achieve ranking success depends on various factors, but it’s crucial to avoid excessive link building.

Generally, to achieve sustainable results, be prepared to invest a few thousand dollars per month and several hundred dollars per high-quality link.

Christopher Smith
Author: Christopher Smith

SEO and linkbuilding expert. More than 7 years of work in the field of website search engine optimization, specialist in backlink promotion. Head of linkbuilding products at GREAT Guest Posts, a global linkbuilding platform. He regularly participates in SEO conferences and also hosts webinars dedicated to website optimization, working with various marketing tools, strategies and trends of backlink promotion.

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