Link Building Statistics You Should Know to Improve Your SEO Strategy
We interviewed 523 people to find out whether link-building is still essential and to help specialists in this field to build an efficient strategy based on actual data. As well we invited experts to evaluate the study's results.
Depending on the type of company, the participants had different sets of questions. So in the material, you can analyze the situation with link building in your field.
We wish you to find inspiration and intriguing insights. Have a good read!
We received 36.5% of responses from North America, 34.2% from Europe, and 29.3% from Asia.
35.9% of respondents have more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing. 19.1% have been working in the field for 5 to 10 years, followed by 13.7% of those with 3 to 5 years of experience. Only 5.1% have been engaged for less than a year.
Since most of our respondents have more than 3 years of experience in the industry, they also hold high positions. The largest number of participants were founders (33.3%), and the smallest were junior specialists (10.1%).
We focused our attention on specialists with experience in link building. However, their professions turned out to be quite diverse. The clear winner is SEOs with 42.07%, digital marketers with 21.8%, and content marketers with 12.5%. Only 3.74% were linkbuilders. Among the remaining 19.89% were developers, reputation managers, product managers, and multi-task specialists.
The following image appears when discussing the data division by company type:
- 37.1% of participants work in agencies.
- 26.5% are freelancers.
- 19.8% work in B2C.
- 16.2% represent B2B.
- 0.2% work in consulting.
How Link Building Impacts The Business
55.7% said that link building brings high results for SEO. Only 6.5% gave low ratings to the effectiveness of link building.
If you search for Nike.com, it doesn't matter how many backlinks the website has. Google will return Nike.com.
Most of the investments were made to reduce Google's reliance on Backlinks. BERT and MUM made sure Google understood the content better. RankBrain made sure Google understood how a specific result was performing at a particular position and then reshuffled the SERP to get the best user results. All these investments help Google reduce its reliance on Backlinks as a ranking factor.
And what about the particular link building results? According to data, typically, it takes 1-3 months to see the impact of the link building. Next up is 3-6 months with 27.9%, and less than a month with 16.4%.
If you create research and repeat it year after year, it gets much easier. Awareness of your report will grow. A popular annual report will attract multiple high-value weekly links with zero effort or outreach. I've seen it many times.
How Does Link Building Work In B2B Companies?
The industries of the companies are pretty diverse. The largest number of respondents were employees of IT companies.
How are the teams organized?
Talking about the composition of the teams, it should be noted that most often, the participants have content marketers and SEO specialists. Yet, only 14% of respondents have link builders in their staff. The least common is the position of a visual designer.
Besides, we asked respondents to clarify which specialists are directly involved in the link building process. They often mentioned SEO specialists, content marketers, and outreach specialists.
Also, 55.6% mentioned using agencies' services, while others do everything in-house.
Link building strategy in B2B
The plan's effectiveness is rated highly by 66.6% of respondents, who give it a score between 8 and 10.
Some responders provided information on their top priorities for link building in 2022. The most common goal is to get more links, improve quality, and increase the site's ranking. Additionally, a few respondents identified the primary focus of their efforts as organic mentions.
52.8% of respondents spend $1,000 - $5,000 per month on link building, followed by 22.1% with $0 – $1,000, and 19.2% – $5,000 – $10,000.
We also asked the respondents whether their budget for link building tasks has changed since the previous year. 55.6% of respondents said that the budget for such duties has increased, and 33.3% – said that it has not changed.
The importance of link building can be emphasized because 66.7% of participants are convinced that the cost of link building will increase soon. Other 33.3% believe that the situation will not change.
Link Building In B2C
Among the respondents, the most significant number is educational sector representatives (24.2%), followed by those from e-commerce (21.4%), marketing (14.4%), and IT (14.4%). Among other industries: healthcare / pharmaceuticals, real estate, insurance, sports or tourism, pets and animals.
Additionally, we asked our respondents about the composition of their teams. Most of them have SEO specialists and digital marketers on their staff. Only 12.9% of teams have a link building specialist.
More than half of respondents stated that they do not involve third-party specialists. 18.2% use the services of freelancers, and 9.1% — agencies for link building.
Link building process
However, 75% of those with a strategy rated it highly, with 8-10 points of effectiveness. As a result, it is clear that using a plan still often gives the desired results.
Expenses on link building
54.5% of our respondents shared that their link building budget is less than $1,000, 16.4% – from $1,000-$5,000, 5.7% – $5,000-$10,000, 5.2% – more than $10,000.
Additionally, we questioned respondents regarding any changes in their link building budget from the previous year. 36.4% of respondents started spending more on obtaining backlinks, while 45.5% claimed that the funding for such duties had remained the same. None of the respondents reported that spending on link building had decreased.
However, 27.3% are confident that the expenses on link building will drop soon.
Agencies And Freelancers In Link Building
Since agencies and freelancers work for various clients, we asked them to choose several areas where they work to build links. The most popular topic was health and beauty.
We also asked to evaluate which of the proposed areas is the most difficult to get links. According to the questions' results, it turned out that the most difficult to work with is the direction of science and technology, and the easiest – are pets and animals.
Link building budgets
Additionally, we questioned respondents regarding any changes in their link building budget from the previous year. 55.9% of respondents started spending more on obtaining backlinks, while 33.9% claimed that the funding for such duties had remained the same.
Link building tactics
Firstly, we would like to know whether it is popular to use automation in link building like outreach automation, media tools, etc. 55.4% of our respondents shared that they don’t use any techniques. Meanwhile, 37.9% shared that they use such tools on regular bases.
The first automation we do is run "indexing" on it to make sure Google finds the backlink. If you don't do this, it could take Google months to find the link you just got. We queue automation to see the link and make sure Google knows it's there.
The second automation we use is running backlink reports to find opportunities we can queue up for our specialists to inquire about. Robots are not obtaining the link but finding them and pointing out which ones are the best and topically relevant.
If you take the time to build a network of like-minded, topically-focused editors and influencers, you can win links and mentions more reliably, with less effort and more fun. Then when you have something worthy: links or shares, your friends will be happy to help. They'll do it in minutes, then ask what else they can do for you.
- Rewriting tools
- Mailing lists automation
- Trend monitoring
- Mentions monitoring
- Influencers & media outreach
- SEO tools
As well we asked respondents about the platforms where they find resources to place links. The following answers were received:
- Q&A platforms
- SEO tools
- UGC platforms
- Topical forums
- Social medias
- Manual search
We also decided to enquire what link building tactics bring the most results. The clear winner was content marketing with 22.9%. The second place was guest posting with 15.2%, followed by HARO / expert roundups with 12.4%.
Content marketing has helped me land links from Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Forbes. You can't achieve those links through automation.
I would put HARO/ expert roundups higher than this, though. This is our primary link building source and has worked extremely well to date.
High-quality content marketing, guest posting, and HARO are the way to go now, with overlapping to paid links.
Link insertions, Link exchange, and broken link building have their use but are very limited in their scalability and efficiency.
The barrier to entry is higher when producing original content, but the value is worth 10X that of copycat content.
Most writers link to the number one spot because it's the easiest thing to do. Once in position 1, you will passively earn hundreds, or even thousands, of backlinks.
One of my favorite campaigns I happened to come across is the "millennials do not know how to cook" campaign. It was so successful that it brought in links, and the data was featured on TV.
For quality backlinks, it takes longer. But yes, the time spent does reduce with experience.
A new guest blog post takes us about 20 hours to complete and generates three backlinks. An article for own blog also takes about 20 hours. When it starts ranking high and provided we distribute it well across channels, there's no ceiling to the number of links the article will generate. So this is pricy at first, but it may be the best backlink investment in the long run.
Other techniques are less time-consuming.
Link Building Performance Measurement
- How strong is their website?
- How many new links are they acquiring?
A strong website earning 100s of new backlinks per month will more likely see traffic increase faster than a website with a low DA and isn't earning many backlinks.
- Domain Authority
- Domain Rating
- Page Authority
- URL Rating
We also enquire respondents how they measure the effect of link building campaigns. The most common answer was ranking with 21.8 %.
The following picture shows the ratio of links of different types that respondents consider optimal link profiles.
I'll share an example - a few years back, we focused a lot on building quality links, and as a result, many of our blogs performed well in the SERP (mostly at positions 1 to 3). We were a multi-product company back then, and that particular module was new to the niche with many popular competitors. However, our popularity over the SERP has helped drive more brand mentions. We saw a massive spike in mentions after that. So, indirect links help to win credibility.
We sincerely hope that this research will assist you in creating an effective plan and getting great results from your link building!
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