Link Building ROI: How to Measure It?

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Link Building ROI: How to Measure It?

Should You Invest in Links? Yes, you should invest in links. Link building remains one of Google’s major ranking factors. Quality backlinks boost your website’s authority, improve search engine rankings, and drive organic traffic. 

Investing in strategic link-building is essential for maintaining competitive visibility and achieving long-term online success.

What is Link Building ROI? 

Link-building ROI measures the return on investment from your link-building efforts. It quantifies the value gained from acquiring backlinks by assessing their impact on search engine rankings, organic traffic, and revenue. 

Link Building ROI

Understanding Link-Building ROI is crucial as it helps businesses justify their link-building strategies and ensures that resources are effectively allocated. 

By calculating ROI, you can pinpoint which links drive the most value, allowing for smarter, data-driven decisions that enhance overall marketing performance. It’s not just about getting links; it’s about getting the right links that deliver tangible business results.

How to Calculate Link Building ROI? 

Calculating Link Building ROI involves understanding the multifaceted value that links provide. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Understanding the Value of a Link

Each link’s value is determined by domain authority, relevance, and traffic potential. For example, a backlink from a high-authority site like Forbes has more value than a link from a lesser-known blog.

Referral Traffic Value

Measure the direct traffic that a backlink brings to your site. Use Google Analytics to track referral traffic from specific backlinks. For instance, if a link from a tech blog generates 500 monthly visits, and your conversion rate is 2%, you can estimate the revenue from those 10 conversions.

SEO Value of a Link

Backlinks are critical for improving your site’s search engine ranking. Higher rankings typically lead to increased organic traffic. 

strong backlink

If a backlink helps you rank higher for a keyword that brings in 1,000 additional monthly visitors, and your average conversion rate is 3%, this link’s SEO value is the revenue from 30 new customers.

Brand Exposure and Authority

Links from reputable sites enhance your brand’s credibility and visibility. For example, being featured on industry-leading sites drives traffic and builds trust with your audience, leading to higher conversion rates.

Comprehensive ROI Calculation

Combine these values to get a comprehensive ROI.

For example, if a backlink from a high-authority site brings in 1,000 visitors monthly, with 3% converting at an average purchase value of $100, that’s $3,000 in monthly revenue. Subtract the cost of acquiring the link to find your net ROI.

Methods to Calculate ROI: Short-Term

In the short term, focus on immediate traffic and conversions. Track the performance of new backlinks for the first few months. For instance, a new link that brings in 200 visitors and generates $500 in sales within the first month provides a clear short-term ROI.

Methods to Calculate ROI: Long-Term

Long-term ROI includes sustained traffic growth, improved rankings, and brand authority. Monitor how backlinks contribute to overall SEO efforts over a year. A link that steadily brings in traffic and helps maintain high rankings for competitive keywords demonstrates significant long-term ROI.

By understanding and calculating these values, you can effectively measure the ROI of your link-building efforts, ensuring your strategy aligns with your business goals and delivers substantial returns.

Comparing Link Building ROI with PPC Campaigns

While PPC campaigns can drive immediate traffic and sales, they often come with high costs that scale with your budget. 

For example, a competitive keyword in Google Ads might cost $10 per click. If you aim for 1,000 clicks per month, that’s $10,000 for traffic acquisition. In contrast, although link building requires initial effort and investment, it proves more budget-friendly in the long run.

For instance, acquiring a high-quality backlink might cost $300-$500, but this link can drive consistent organic traffic and improve SEO for years. If a well-placed backlink generates 500 visitors per month and your site’s average conversion rate is 3%, you’re looking at 15 conversions monthly. Over a year, that’s 180 conversions from a single investment, compared to the recurring costs of PPC.

Quality backlinks continue to drive organic traffic and enhance SEO over time without ongoing costs, making them a more sustainable and cost-effective strategy for long-term growth. This enduring value links building a smarter investment for sustained online success.

The Business Case for Link Building

Should You Invest in Links? Yes, you should invest in links. Link building remains a pivotal factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, directly influencing your website’s authority, search engine rankings, and organic traffic. Before diving into link building, consider the following aspects:

Assessing the Initial Considerations for Investing in Link Building

  1. Industry Competition: High-competition industries often require more robust link-building efforts to achieve significant visibility.
  2. Current SEO Status: Websites with strong on-page SEO can benefit more quickly from link-building campaigns.
  3. Budget and Resources: Allocate a budget for link building that includes content creation, outreach, and possibly professional services.
  4. Long-Term Goals: Understand that link building is a long-term investment, focusing on sustainable growth rather than immediate results.

What are the Benefits of Link Building?

Link building offers numerous advantages for businesses:

  1. Improved Search Engine Rankings: High-quality backlinks signal to search engines that your site is authoritative, helping to improve your rankings.
  2. Increased Organic Traffic: Higher rankings lead to more organic traffic, reducing dependency on paid advertising.
  3. Enhanced Brand Visibility and Authority: Backlinks from reputable sites build your brand’s credibility and expose you to a wider audience.
  4. Referral Traffic: Direct visitors from high-authority sites can increase leads and sales.
  5. Faster Indexing: Backlinks help search engines discover your site more quickly, speeding up the indexing process.

Foundation for a Successful Link-Building Project

  1. On-page SEO: Ensure your site’s on-page SEO is optimized with proper keyword usage, meta tags, and high-quality content.
  2. Build a Ferrari First: Create a high-quality website with excellent user experience and valuable content before seeking backlinks.
  3. Content Creation: Develop link-worthy content such as infographics, research studies, and expert articles that attract natural links.
  4. Conversion Optimization (CRO): Improve your website’s conversion rates to maximize the value of the traffic driven by your backlinks.

Conversion Optimization

The Business Case of Link Building

Determining the Business Case

Link building should be viewed as a strategic investment with both short-term and long-term benefits. Determine the business case by evaluating potential ROI, industry standards, and competitive benchmarks.

Easy ROI Projects

Projects with straightforward ROI are those in industries with less competition or where your website already has some authority.

Examples include:

  • Local Businesses: A local bakery with a few high-quality backlinks can quickly see an increase in local search visibility and foot traffic.
  • Niche Markets: Specialized markets often have lower competition, making ranking with fewer high-quality links easier.

Hard ROI Projects

Projects with challenging ROI usually involve highly competitive industries or new websites with little authority. Examples include:

  • Competitive Industries: A new tech startup competing against established giants may need extensive link-building efforts to gain visibility.
  • New Websites: Starting from scratch, a new e-commerce site will require significant investment in link building to compete in a crowded market.

Success Depends on Your Industry

The effectiveness and ROI of link building can vary significantly depending on your industry. For instance, e-commerce sites might see direct sales benefits from link building, while SaaS companies might benefit more from increased brand authority and lead generation. Understanding your industry’s dynamics helps tailor your link-building strategy to maximize ROI.

In conclusion, link building is a crucial investment for any business looking to improve its online presence, drive organic traffic, and enhance brand authority. By assessing initial considerations, understanding the benefits, and building a solid foundation, you can make a compelling business case for link-building and achieve significant long-term success.

Link Volume Requirement

Determining the necessary link volume for effective SEO depends on your niche, keyword difficulty, and content marketing strategy. 

For instance, in the niche of organic skincare products, competing for high-difficulty keywords like “natural face cream” requires a substantial number of quality backlinks.

Keyword Difficulty

High-difficulty keywords often need more backlinks from authoritative sites to rank well.

High-difficulty keywords

For “natural face cream,” with a keyword difficulty score of 70 (out of 100), you might need around 50-100 quality backlinks to compete effectively.

Traffic and Visitors

Suppose your site attracts 1,000 monthly visitors, driving $10,000 in revenue. To match key competitors and achieve target rankings, you need 10 additional monthly links over the next 12 months, totaling 120.

Cost and Investment

If the cost for 10 links per month is $3,000, this results in a total investment of $36,000 over 12 months.

Projected Results

By securing these links, you estimate your organic traffic will double from 1,000 to 2,000 monthly visitors within a year. This traffic increase will double your monthly revenue from $10,000 to $20,000.

By investing in quality link building, your projected revenue increase significantly outweighs the total cost, making it a valuable long-term strategy for your organic skincare business.

Analyzing Risk vs Reward

When analyzing the risk versus reward of link building, several factors come into play:

Profitability: Consider the potential revenue increase against the cost of link building. For example, the investment is justified if an organic skincare site invests $36,000 in link building, doubling its revenue from $10,000 to $20,000 monthly.

Industry & Location Difficulty: Some industries are more competitive than others, requiring more resources to achieve the desired results. High-difficulty niches like SaaS might need more backlinks than a local accountancy practice with a smaller competitive field.

Traffic Potential: Evaluate the potential increase in traffic from improved search engine rankings. High-traffic keywords can significantly boost visitors and conversions, making the investment worthwhile. For example, ranking for “natural face cream” can drive substantial traffic due to high search volumes.

Scalability: Link building is scalable, allowing businesses to adjust their strategies based on performance. A large SaaS company might need a comprehensive link-building campaign across multiple keywords and regions, while a local accountancy practice can focus on localized, high-value backlinks.

Large SaaS Company vs. Local Accountancy Practice: A SaaS company might invest heavily in link building to penetrate a global market, balancing high costs with significant revenue potential. In contrast, a local accountancy practice can achieve noticeable gains with a more modest investment, targeting local keywords and obtaining relevant backlinks.

Businesses can make informed decisions by carefully assessing these factors and balancing risks and rewards to maximize their link-building ROI.

Competitor Link Analysis

Example – Finance Industry

In the finance industry, link building is highly competitive, and understanding your competitors’ link profiles is crucial. Let’s break down the process of analyzing competitor links and determining your strategy with examples and costs.

How Many Links Will it Take?

The number of links needed depends on the competition level and your target keywords. For example, if top-ranking finance websites have an average of 500 quality backlinks, you’ll need a comparable number to compete effectively. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to analyze competitors’ backlink profiles can help set realistic link-building goals. Suppose each high-quality link costs $300; aiming for 500 links would require an investment of approximately $150,000.

Page by Page Basis

Analyze competitors page-by-page, focusing on the specific pages that rank for your target keywords. Identify which pages have the most backlinks and which types of content attract the most links. For example, if a competitor’s “Best Investment Strategies” page has 200 backlinks, aim to create superior content on a similar topic and attract similar links.

Link Quality & Diversity

Acquiring high-quality, diverse backlinks from authoritative sources is a priority in finance. Links from reputable sites like Forbes, Investopedia, and major financial blogs are invaluable. Avoid low-quality, spammy links, as they can harm your SEO efforts. Aim for a mix of do-follow and no-follow links, and vary your anchor text to create a natural link profile.

The Importance of Quality Links

Quality trumps quantity in link building. A few high-authority backlinks can significantly impact your rankings more than numerous low-quality links. For instance, a backlink from Forbes could cost around $500 but can drive substantial traffic and improve your site’s credibility in the eyes of search engines.

What Links Should We Build?

Focus on building links that provide the most value:

  • Guest Posts: Publish insightful articles on reputable finance blogs. Example: A guest post on a top finance blog might cost $200-$500 per post.
  • Resource Pages: Get listed on resource pages of finance-related websites. Example: Listing on a well-regarded finance resource page could cost around $100-$300.
  • Skyscraper Content: Create comprehensive, high-quality content that others in the industry will want to link to. Example: Developing a detailed guide on “Investment Tips for 2024” and promoting it could cost $1,000 in content creation and outreach efforts.
  • Press Releases: Distribute press releases to gain links from news sites. Depending on the service used, a press release distribution might cost $300-$600.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with industry influencers and organizations for link exchanges. Example: Partnering with a finance influencer for backlinks might involve $500-$1,000 per collaboration.

By conducting a thorough competitor link analysis and focusing on quality, you can develop a robust link-building strategy that enhances your site’s authority and competitiveness in the finance industry.

Common Mistakes in Measuring Link Building ROI

  1. Focusing on Quantity Over Quality: Prioritize high-quality, relevant backlinks over numerous low-quality ones.
  2. Ignoring Referral Traffic: Track referral traffic from backlinks using tools like Google Analytics to understand their full impact.
  3. Not Tracking Conversions: Measure conversions from backlink-driven traffic to get a complete picture of ROI.
  4. Overlooking Long-Term Value: Recognize that backlinks provide sustained traffic and SEO benefits over time.
  5. Neglecting Keyword Relevance: Ensure backlinks and anchor texts align with your target keywords.
  6. Failing to Set Clear Goals and KPIs: Define specific objectives and key performance indicators to measure success accurately.
  7. Underestimating Anchor Text Impact: Use a natural, diverse range of anchor texts to avoid penalties and enhance relevance.
  8. Not Considering Link Placement: Focus on links embedded within the main content, as they are more valuable than those in footers or sidebars.
  9. Ignoring Competitive Landscape: Regularly analyze competitors’ backlink profiles to identify opportunities and stay competitive.

Who Can Execute Link Building for You?

When considering link building, you have three options:

In-House Team

Building an in-house team can be expensive and resource-intensive, requiring significant investment in training and salaries.


This option offers full control but can be challenging to scale effectively.

Link Vendors

Link vendors often act as resellers, providing links through spreadsheets without a deep understanding of your business. This can lead to low-quality links that may harm your SEO efforts.

The Most Effective Solution: Hiring a Link Building Agency (That’s Us)

Hiring a specialized agency like the Rathore Agency offers several advantages:

  • Expertise and Experience: Agencies bring a proven track record and deep expertise in executing successful link-building campaigns across various industries.
  • Tailored Strategies: Agencies develop custom link-building strategies that align with your specific business goals and target audience, ensuring a higher ROI.
  • Quality Links: Agencies prioritize high-quality backlinks from reputable sources, enhancing your site’s authority and search engine rankings.
  • Comprehensive Services: From competitor analysis to outreach and reporting, agencies offer end-to-end solutions.
  • Custom Pricing: Agencies offer flexible pricing tailored to your needs and budget.

Choosing a specialized agency ensures a strategic, effective, and scalable link-building approach that will provide long-term value for your business.

Read also: Local Link Building

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