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Link Building Pricing: How Much Will It Cost In 2024?

Dmytro Tsybuliak
Link Building Pricing and Cost in 2024

You’re ready to double down on your link-building efforts and even think of entrusting it to a professional. The question is, what will it cost you in 2024?

For the composition of this article, we endeavored to gather the viewpoints of over five experts.

The most intriguing facts about link building pricing that we have discovered or encountered during our work:

  • According to Ahrefs data, placing a link on a website with a domain rank of 50+ can cost $600.
  • Patrick Whitener shared his result of podcast link building campaign: he spent $4,520 to gain 14 links in two months, with an average cost per link of $332.82
  • Editorial.Link price started from $1750 for 5 links per month
  • Cost per backlink on a reputable website can easily exceed $1,000.

Real Pricing for Link Building in 2024

How much do businesses spend on link building these days?

Among B2B companies, 52.8% of respondents reportedly spend up to $5,000 per month on link building, followed by 22.1% with a total spend of $0–$1,000 per month, and 19.2% spending between $5,000 and $10,000 per month.

In B2C, 54.5% of respondents shared that they allocate less than $1,000 on link building, 16.4% spend between $1,000 and $5,000, 5.7% — from $5,000 to $10,000, and 5.2% spend over $10,000.

So far, the stats only tell one thing: one can spend between $0 and over $10,000 on link building. That’s a good starting point but not helpful for making an informed decision on budget allocation. Let’s go deeper into the economics of link building and figure out what makes up a project cost.

In-House or Agency Pricing: Pros and Cons

In House vs Link Building Agency

The biggest factor affecting the price of link building is the choice between hiring an agency or building an in-house team. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each option.

In-House Team Costs

Building links internally is probably the first thing that companies in particular, SEO teams — try to do. But soon, they realize link building is a full-time job, and they need a dedicated expert (or a team of experts) for this project.

So how much does building an in-house team of link builders cost?

According to Glassdoor, the total pay range for a full-time position of a link-building specialist in the U.S. is $48,000–$82,000/year.

Link Builder Salaries by Glassdoor

Considering that a real cost per employee is around 1.4 times the worker’s base salary, your spend for a link-building hire with an average salary of $63,000/year will be around $88,000/year or $7,300/month. If you’re planning to get involved in paid link-building partnerships, the price can double easily.

Another expense category is training. If you hire a link builder who’s new to your niche, it’ll take time and effort to help them get up to speed.

At GetProspect we tried to hire an in-house link builder several times. It took a lot of time to find and train a specialist. Here was the main problem — many link-builders had experience with black hat SEO and they couldn’t understand the main key to successful outreach — building relationships with other companies and specialists.

Elena Osipova - Head of SEO at GetProspect
Elena Osipova

Head of SEO at GetProspect

You should also add the cost of your outreach and backlink monitoring toolkit to the equation to get a clearer picture of your expenses.

We are using a few tools for in-house link-building:

  • GetProspect email finder is obviously free for our team, but in general, it starts from $49/month;
  • Woodpecker for emailing – $29/monthly;
  • Ahrefs – $199;
  • Airtable for consolidating – $20;
  • In-house scripts for Airtable – free.

Total – $297.

Elena Osipova - Head of SEO at GetProspect
Elena Osipova

Head of SEO at GetProspect

These are the rates you’d pay if you build links at a low scale. The more data you require, the more money you’ll have to pay.

Link Building Agency Costs

Working with a reliable link-building agency is a sure way to success. But it’s also a significant investment.

Link building is the biggest waste of money IF it doesn’t help your brand stand out and create the right connections on the web that prove your site is a legitimate brand. At Digital Olympus, we don’t just build links; we build strong brand entities with the help of the right links.

Our pricing at Digital Olympus ranges from $500 to $900, depending on the pages we need to build links to. Additionally, we have a minimum contract engagement that starts from $40,000.

Our pricing model is based on the quality of services we deliver and the overall complexity of the process when it comes to acquiring links on sites that help our clients establish strong brand entities. We primarily work with significant budgets and well-known brands interested in enhancing their brand’s authority rather than merely enriching their backlink profiles.

Alexandra Tachalova, CEO and Founder at Digital Olympus
Alexandra Tachalova

CEO and Founder at Digital Olympus

Some agencies have lower minimum spend per month (or none at all, like we at Editorial.Link). For example, Dofollow, a premium link-building agency, requires clients to spend at least $3,000/month. uSERP rates start at $10,000 per 9-10 mentions monthly.

We conducted research at uSERP where 46.5% of the respondents spend $5,000 to $10,000 a month on link building, and 18% spend more than $10,000 only on links.

You can work with freelancers or agencies, but the price you’ll pay for link building really depends on the service provided, what are your needs but also where you’ll get your links from. For example, if you want to rank for competitive keywords and outrank brands like Forbes, Hubspot or Investopedia, you’ll definitely need to spend more and for a long time. Nothing is impossible, but your budget needs to be aligned with your goals.

You can get low-quality links for 50$, but if you are looking for the ones that move the needle, and not hurt your domain, the budget spent by the SEOs in our research is the one you need to keep in mind before starting.

Our prices at uSERP range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the link targets, with a minimum contract of three months. With this price, we also offer some SEO consultancy, including Competitor Gap and Anchor Text Analysis, On-Page Optimization Audits and Internal Linking Optimization, to name a few services available.

Guillaume Deschamps, Digital PR Manager at uSERP
Guillaume Deschamps

Digital PR Manager at uSERP

Most Effective Types of Backlinks

The cost of link building also highly depends on the technique(s) used to gain backlinks. Some, like HARO link building, require relatively little effort and fewer resources while others, like paid guest posting, can take much time and money.

Now, we’ll look into the most effective link-building techniques to help you choose the most cost-efficient type of backlinks for your project.

HARO links

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a resource that connects writers and sources. In a daily newsletter that always includes a large list of quote requests from content creators, you can find a lot of opportunities to contribute your expert opinion to a reputable resource and earn credit for it (and a link!).

HARO can be an effective channel, providing you put the time and effort in. The amount of links you can build through HARO vary based on the amount of opportunity there is and the quality of your submissions. 

HARO is a slow burner, but it can be really great in getting some highly relevant contextual links that are excellent in supporting your EEAT efforts, in my opinion, it’s totally worth the effort, and is great to supplement your other link-building campaigns with to give your backlink profile a bit of variety. 

It’s hard to give an estimate really on how many links you can get per month, but I get on average between between 3 and 9 per month for a client, but it depends on the client and the amount of opportunities available. In terms of pricing, again it all depends on the model you go for, I normally charge around £1000 per project.

Danny Browne, Director at HARO Links
Danny Browne

Director at HARO Links

A lot of link builders turn to HARO for a steady inflow of high-quality backlinks. However, its popularity among SEO folks has also made HARO less trustworthy among content writers, causing a lot of great publications to dismiss the platform.

The best thing about HARO is that it gives you access to a wide range of topics and niches, from B2B SaaS to fashion publications. The worst thing about it is that it doesn’t track mentions you’ve gained through it — so you’ll need to monitor the status of each submission manually.

All things considered, should you choose HARO for link building? It’s free, doesn’t require much time on content creation, and sometimes gives you access to publications you wouldn’t have dreamt of. On the downside, it only lets you build links to your homepage, requires you to distract your internal experts to collect SME insights, and doesn’t set clear expectations on when the link will go live.

Guest posts

Guest posting remains one of the most popular link-building techniques. It involves submitting articles with a link back to your site inside to other websites. Generally, it’s considered the safest practice for earning natural links. The problem is, it’s incredibly resource-intensive.

The easier for the user to make a link, the less the reward.

You can leave a comment in less than a minute with a link on a website. But in order to publish a guest post, you need to research, write, edit it, format it, and wait for the editorial team of that specific website to publish it. This can sometimes take up to a month. Hence, the more time you invest, the greater the reward.

I would say that the highest impact on your keyword position has guest posting and niche edits.

Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings
Nebojsa Jankovic

Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings

The cost and effectiveness of guest posting can vary based on your approach.

For instance, writing a 1,500-word article to insert one link to your website is incredibly time-consuming and hardly scalable. That’s why many link-building professionals practice a 3-way link exchange through guest posting. The idea is to partner up with multiple companies and include their links in one guest post, expecting those companies to link back to your website somewhere in their resources. This way, one can earn around a dozen links from just one guest post.

Homepage backlinks

Large-scale link builders also practice an unconventional yet effective technique known as homepage backlinks. This method involves placing your links on domains owned by a link-building expert or agency.

To place your link, a link builder gets a solid domain specifically for your needs and builds a website on it. After a few weeks of running the website without backlinks, they place your link(s) on a homepage, and you enjoy the results.

On Shared Domains, a homepage backlink costs around $150–$250 — a price new companies can afford to pay to boost domain authority fast and risk-free.

Editorial backlinks

An editorial backlink is a type of link that’s built naturally from a powerful publication. When you publish unique, link-worthy content on your website, chances are reputable sources will link to it because it adds value to their readers.

To be honest, the most cost-efficient link-building tactic has always been creating high-quality content that naturally attracts links. You don’t even need to invest a lot of money to create extensive reports. Sure, it always pays to invest a lot in getting people to complete a survey [see the Buffer Remote Work report example and how it got them close to millions of backlinks]

However, I’m mostly working with bootstrapped companies where there’s simply no budget to dedicate to this. So I try to stay creative and handle whatever research I can do myself or together with my team and clients. For instance, for a startup in the HR space, I analyzed 100 job descriptions for a particular role to compile a list of in-demand skills and responsibilities. This gave a pretty clear look at the current requirements for the role so naturally people were interested in sharing and linking to the post.

Alexandra Cote, SaaS Growth Marketing Consultant and Founder at MKT Odyssey
Alexandra Cote

SaaS Growth Marketing Consultant and Founder at MKT Odyssey

That being said, creating content that drives links naturally is also not free. According to the report by Peak Freelance (and our own experience), long-form, well-researched content most often costs anywhere between $500 and $5,000.

But if you ask your in-house content writer to produce content, it’s basically free, right? You know it’s not. It requires spending your team’s resources and may involve extra costs on tools and research.

If you want to speed up things or need feedback from thousands of people, that’s when research and reporting costs get high. Most tools allow you to either pay as you go or get a monthly subscription [if you run surveys often]. This can easily get to over $5,000 for one report. If you’re lucky and can pull data from your own product, you can also leverage your own customer’s insights for free.

Alexandra Cote, SaaS Growth Marketing Consultant and Founder at MKT Odyssey
Alexandra Cote

Alexandra Cote, SaaS Growth Marketing Consultant and Founder at MKT Odyssey

If editorial link-building is that complicated, should you pursue it at all? At Editorial.Link, we make it simple for you. We help companies earn editorial backlinks without spending their time and money producing link-worthy content.

We partner with reputable companies to earn quality placements that help our clients meet their goals. We charge from $350 per link, with no requirements for minimal contract spend. No advance payment needed.

Yet you can choose to select one of our monthly plans starting at $1,750 for startups with 5 built links in total. The link-building package for enterprises includes 50 links for $17,500/month.

In 22 months, we gained 205 links for PandaDoc, one of our clients. Over the given timeframe, the site’s traffic has increased by 212%.

Dmytro Sokhach, CEO of Admix Global
Dmytro Sokhach

CEO at Admix Global

Podcast links

A relatively new approach to link building is using podcasts to earn backlinks. It involves reaching out to podcast hosts and either offering them to sponsor their next episode in exchange for a link or applying to be a guest and earning a backlink organically.

How effective is podcast link building?

Patrick Whitener, SEO Strategist at Liquid, has recently shared the results of his two-month campaign of building links through sponsoring podcasts. In total, he spent $4,520 to gain 14 links in two months, with an average cost per link of $332.82. Given an incredibly high acceptance rate (25%) and a moderate price per link, podcast link building looks like a worthy endeavor.

Relationship-based link building

One more white hat method is relationship-based link building. It incorporates elements from various strategies mentioned above, but at its core, there’s one key requirement — you need strong relationships with other content teams or link builders to consistently earn backlinks, almost for free.

If you want to build quality links, you need to build relationships with other companies. Once you establish trust, it’s easy to use more traditional methods of link building like guest posting, or A-B-C link exchanges, but you could also do much more and, for example, run a research report together, create an infographic… The options are basically limitless. 

But everything starts with connecting with people who have the same goal as you, partnering with them (long-term), and working together toward mutual success. Also, this method is 100% free and can seriously help you scale your link-building without investing additional resources.

Tamara Omerovic, Content Marketing Manager at Databox
Tamara Omerovic

Tamara Omerovic, Content Marketing Manager at Databox

So with relationship-based link building, you don’t have to pay for sponsored guest posts or link placements. What you do need to pay for is having a link-building expert on your team or agency costs.

What Factors Impact Cost Per Link?

Is there anything else that might affect the price of your link-building project? Just a few more factors…

what factors impact cost per link

Placement site

The higher the site’s domain authority, the more you should be ready to pay for a link placement.

The authority of the website where the link is placed heavily influences cost. High-traffic, reputable sites typically charge more for link placement due to their greater reach and impact on SEO.

Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings
Nebojsa Jankovic

CEO at Heroic Rankings

According to Ahrefs, the cost per placement on a website with a domain rating of 50 and higher can reach $600.

Average Link Insert Cost by Domain Rating (DR) - Ahrefs

Industry and competition level

In competitive industries, where obtaining quality backlinks is challenging, the cost per link tends to be higher. According to the same Ahrefs report, the average cost of a link across competitive niches is $361.44.

Mind that in some niches, like fashion and finance, site owners are usually less open to link insertions, which could also affect the costs significantly.

Quality of links

A link builder can get you hundreds of links for $50. But will it help your site’s authority? No, it won’t.

Relevant and high-quality links cost way more than that. The cost per backlink on a reputable website can easily exceed $1,000.

The quality, which includes factors like relevance, context, and the anchor text used, is very important. High-quality, contextually relevant links from authoritative sites cost more but are more effective in boosting search rankings.

Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings
Nebojsa Jankovic

CEO at Heroic Rankings

Content creation

First off, if placing a guest post on someone else’s website is free, it doesn’t mean the link costs nothing to you. Oftentimes, it’s more cost-efficient to pay $300 for a link insertion than spend several days writing a guest post.

Furthermore, approximately half of high DA websites that accept guest posts set a price tag on it.

If the link placement requires quality content creation, this can add to the cost. I am not sure why, but I found people charge more if you want to publish a guest post than do a niche edit. It doesn’t make sense because:

  • you need to pay your writer to craft that content;
  • the publishing website gets free content that can actually rank.
Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings
Nebojsa Jankovic

CEO at Heroic Rankings

Placement duration

You can lose your backlink at any time if a site owner doesn’t provide you with any guarantees for placement duration. And to get those guarantees, you’ll most likely need to pay extra costs.

Sometimes, websites limit your link’s expiration, so permanent links or those with longer placement durations can cost more than temporary or short-term links.

Nebojsa Jankovic, CEO at Heroic Rankings
Nebojsa Jankovic

CEO at Heroic Rankings

Tools

Many clients forget that link-building agencies employ a wide variety of tools in their work for link building.

As the agency grows larger, the expenses for link-building tools also increase. For instance, we at Editorial.Link pay $42,490/year only for Ahrefs.

Pay 42k for ahrefs subscription

However, in addition to this, we use a vast number of other tools.

For example, our CEO Dmytro Sokhach showed a list of tools that we use to achieve the maximum results for our clients.

Is Link Building Really Worth The Price?

The short answer is “yes.”

Quality backlinks boost your site’s authority and help you improve your organic rankings with less effort. And the higher you rank, the more potential customers see your website.

The question is, should you hire an in-house link builder or outsource the task to an agency? We’ll let experts speak for us.

We still build links in-house, but the main focus is on editorial links now. We outsource link building to a few agencies, too. It’s the best experience so far.

Elena Osipova - Head of SEO at GetProspect
Elena Osipova

Head of SEO at GetProspect

We have collaborated with 2 link-building agencies in the past, but not by hiring them, but by forming a partnership. They had access to a variety of websites that were a good match for us, and in return, we gave backlinks to their clients on our own website. 

This was very successful for us because we eliminated cold outreach and were able to secure links to product pages that are hard to obtain naturally.

Tamara Omerovic, Content Marketing Manager at Databox
Tamara Omerovic

Content Marketing Manager at Databox

Smart, scalable SEO agencies outsource their link building, because they:

  • stay lean
  • get links quicker
  • save money…

Joe Davies, Founder at FATJOE

Editorial.Link is your trusted partner in link building. Let us earn high-quality editorial backlinks for you.

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