If you’re a local business owner or you run a purely online business, you probably already understand how important link building is to your success. After all, search engines, despite their many updates and artificial intelligence, are still dependent on backlinks.
Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Links will continue to play a role long into the future until search engines reach a point where they can determine page content value purely from on-page factors.
Put simply, link building enables your content to not only rank higher on search results but also establish brand context. Given how important this SEO factor is, it’s unsurprising that a lot of service providers have stepped up and offer link building to businesses such as yours.
The problem is not quantity because there is no shortage of link-builders and SEO providers. The big problem you have to solve is what provider to go with and how to tell if their link building pricing is justified.
Link Building Pricing Scale
Just like with any online service, the price that you have to pay for links depends on both quality and volume. Depending on how difficult it is to get links pointed to your target pages from a specific set of sites, you can expect to pay quite a bit of money.
The rule of thumb is simple: the harder to get a link from a site back to your target page, the higher the price. Complicating that is the amount of time, effort, and resources the service provider has to invest to get the link source to agree to link to you.
This can take a bit of work depending on your target page and the kind of website you have. It can also burn up a lot of time because the service provider would have to come up with content that the linking site would accept.
There are many variables that you can’t control. In this situation, link building pricing turns primarily on how difficult it is to get the link. One key factor is finding the right link sources and this is not always easy to do.
Link Building pricing depends partly on who links to you
If you want to get the same links as your competitors, chances are that a large part of their link footprint can easily be replicated. It may not be as simple as filling out a form and some links will come out.
But most of the time, their backlink footprint comes from sources that aren’t very discriminating. In other words, the content you offer in exchange for a backlink does not have to go through many editorial hoops.
But the problem with getting most of your links from such sources is that your competitors are still going to beat you. Why? You share the footprint. There is nothing that distinguishes your website.
This is where link building pricing can go up. You have to ask your service provider to do extensive research on very niche-specific, high-quality, and “real” sites that get organic traffic. In other words, sites that don’t usually link to your competitors.
They are that exclusive. This means that your service provider has to bend over backwards and put in the time and effort to get links from these sources. You can’t expect it to happen quickly and it takes a lot more work.
Given this context, you better believe that your link building pricing will be seriously affected. The upside to this is since the links produced by this effort are very rare, you can get a serious competitive advantage.
If your competitors are not getting links from certain sites that they’ve written off as impossible link sources, your rankings can improve dramatically the moment you score links from places your competitors have given up on.
Other link building pricing factors
Other factors that can work together to either increase or decrease the money you pay for links depend on the category of link sources. Some categories are traditionally expensive. I’m talking about online casinos, loan, and personal finance sites, attorney or legal service pages. Even real estate links tend to be more expensive.
External quality ratings
In addition to the type of link sources and difficulty of acquiring links, link building pricing is also affected by external quality factors such as trust flow, the number of referring domains, and whether or not the backlinks of link sources are “spammy”.
Keep an eye on these factors because they’re not obvious. You have to ask about them. It’s a good idea to set benchmarks for link quality when you hire the services of a link building agency or freelancer so you don’t get surprised later on.
It may well turn out that your service provider charges you a lot of money for links that have fairly low metrics. You need to set the ground rules before the work is done so you can manage your expectations.