How Many Links Should You build to Your Website?

What makes a GOOD backlink?

A backlink that is natural and relevant, that comes from an authoritative site, and that is NOT rich in anchor text, right?

Yeah, you already knew that since it’s a topic that’s been beaten to death thru thousands of guides on the internet so far.

But what about the velocity of building your backlinks? How many links should you build up, and how fast should you go through the process?

Well…

For answers, just RELAX and let us tell you how many links you should build and at which rate you should be building them. 

How Many Links You Should Be Building

Many of you would say that the more links you build pointing to your websites the better, right?

Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be always right.

There is a big misconception about that…

You should focus on quality, rather than on quantity. And this, no matter how many links your competitors would have.

A link from a site like Search Engine Journal, for instance, and that is coming from a relevant section and article, will be much more important and would have much more value than 10 links from mom and pop sites.

To sum it up, you should try to get as many high quality backlinks as you can and these should be pointing, ideally, to your internal pages versus your homepage.

Ideally to internal pages? Why then?

Simply because it’s going to be easier for you to build links to your internal pages than to your homepage.

Think about it JUST a little bit …

Which would be easier for you to do, linking to an informative piece of content published on an internal page or to a homepage that is promoting products or services? To an internal page, isn’t it?

As for the quantity aspect, you will not be able to beat out websites with more than 50,000 backlinks, using this tactic. However, you’ll be having many more high quality links to help you outrank your competition.

To help build these links, you can proceed through connecting with writers, outreach, and press.

At What Rate you should be building links to Your Website

If we assume that the backlinks you’re building are of high quality, then you typically wouldn’t have to worry about the velocity at which you are getting them.

You should be fine even if you build many of them faster, in general.

Over the years, however, we have noticed a trend…especially with new websites or sites with fewer than 100 backlinks.

Building something like 500 links in the first 30 days to launching your new website, or to your site that hasn’t got more than 100 inbound links, will possibly get your rankings to drop temporarily.

You website will end up moving up to a higher spot than its initial placement, but building too fast is not natural.

We don’t know how Google’s algorithm is made to deal with velocity, but this is at least what we have noticed over the last five to six years.

That means if you have a newly launched website or an older website that still has only few inbound links, start building only 5-10 links during the first 30 days. Over the following few months, you can bring it up. We would recommend proceeding as the following:

  • 1st Month – Building 5 – 10 inbound links – Ideally to the homepage.
  • 2nd Month – Building 10 – 15 inbound links – Ideally a mixture between links to homepage and internal pages.
  • 3rd Month – Building 20- 30 inbound links – Ideally a mixture between links to homepage and internal pages.
  • 4th Month – Building 30 – 40 inbound links with focus on internal pages.
  • 5th Month – Building +40 links a month with focus on internal pages.
  • 6th Month – Building as many high quality links as possible with focus on internal pages.

As aforementioned, efforts over the first few months should be concentrated on building links to both homepages and internal pages. Later, efforts should be focused purely on internal pages.

This is because it is unnatural to have the majority of links pointing to your homepage.

A better illustrating example is that of the Quick Sprout website… whose webmaster Brian Dean doesn’t generally build links to the blog.

Here is the total number of links pointing to the whole website:

9,143…

As you can see below, only 19.8% of his backlinks are pointing to his homepage.

backlinks data

And more than 80.2% of his total links are going to his internal pages.

For those of you having older websites with more than 100 inbound links, you can start BUILDING as many backlinks as you can each month.

The reason why we are giving green light here is that it’s going to be very unlikely that you will be able to build more than 50 backlinks a month.

Link building process takes time and it’s going to be very hard to get over 50 new links within a month UNLESS you’re taking the resolution to buy them or get the chance to write an article that will go viral.

What Happens When Building Too Many Links Too Fast?

Assuming that your links are from authoritative websites, are not rich in anchor text and relevant.

Don’t worry for having built them too fast.

You will not get hit with a Penguin penalty or something like that.

Your search traffic may keep flat for a few months or maybe even dip a little bit as a possible result of that, but after three to four months, you will see a noticeable climb in search traffic.

If you are seeing no climb in search traffic, that means either you have thin content or the links you built are not high in quality.

In case it’s none of them, then you’ll have to add more pages to your site and adjust how you cross-link internal pages.

Anyway, these are some easy fixes that should lead to more website traffic. Just don’t get nervous in case you don’t see an increase in traffic immediately.

Even when building high quality links, it normally takes something like three to six months for the results to start showing up. So if you are spending a lot of working hours link building, don’t get nervous or give up in case you don’t see some satisfying results within the first two or three months.

Conclusion

Just start link-building using the formula above, and you’ll see that your website will rank for more long tail terms. With time, you’ll also be able to rank for more head terms, but the majority of your search traffic will come from three-word or four-word key phrases.

When counting on links as an important factor to help grow your search traffic, keep in mind that the easiest form of link-building is via content marketing. By writing articles that provide good information, instead of begging for links, you will be able to increase the likelihood of people sharing and linking to your content.

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