The economics of link building

Life has taught me that good things should be expensive, especially when it comes to any type of digital marketing services. If you are not an expert, you may end up getting something far from what you were expecting.

Here is an example of “the best pet image you can get for your event” that I paid for by hosting one of our first Digital Olympus events

My point is that, just like working with freelance designers, hiring SEO consultants is only safe when you know exactly what you need and can control every step of the contract. This relates to the scope or work and the price of the contract.

I get very confused when I hear that the price of an average SEO agency contract starts at $ 1k USD. This number was first shared by Rand Fishkin on 2012 when he asked 600 agencies about your typical rates. Later, in 2018, Ahrefs published that same number when they did a similar poll.

As an SEO practitioner, I'm a little disappointed with the stability of the rates, but what bothers me the most is that this fee doesn't really include link building. I can hardly imagine a successful SEO campaign for an SMB site without acquiring links. To back up my statement with some numbers, I'd like to mention Ross Hudgens' claim that acquiring a good link on a world-class site Ironically, that's the total budget of an average SEO contract.

email outreach strategy to rule them all

Some time ago, I had a pretty long flight to Bali, where I was speaking at the DMMS conference. I had the opportunity to see some movies, between them Tolkien , who was one of my favorite authors growing up. Regrettably, the movie had a weak plot line that doesn't really begin to explain how Tolkien came to invent his own language. Nevertheless, no something to do with link building comes up, although they do not believe it. The connections you build throughout your life impact you a lot. Put “your site” instead of “you” in the last sentence and voila – here is my point. If you follow the wrong path, you will surround yourself with bad connections (Y, using my link building metaphor, bad links).

Link building should be affordable for small and medium business sites because, to get started, What is the point of entering if the game has been solved? In this post, i'll show you link building shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, and even a small site can do it with enough dedication to solve the problem. I will explain to you some of the most popular link building strategies and explain why some of them are not financially attractive. And I will explain the costs of certain options (O, in other words, Why the hell does your link builder charge you so much?) And I'll show you what benefits they can offer your business.

Links that are acquired through email

First, let's clarify the terminology. I see any strategy that includes sending emails to other websites to negotiate the possibility of getting a link like email reach. For example, strategies as well known as creating broken links, creating links through guest posts, scraping SERPs and then launching your content to those sites and many others. That's all email scope because they all involve launching something to someone via emails. The only way that some of those strategies are different from the others is that they require some type of written content.. For example, guest post requires you to write a post, that's obvious. This significantly increases labor costs, and here we are, approaching the above mentioned number of 1k USD. Sincerely,

Links of digital public relations campaigns

Although this strategy is also based on sending emails, its recipients are not website owners but journalists. So, this strategy is much more difficult to execute. Require content of journalistic interest, must have the necessary connections, be able to present it to the newspapers, etc. further, digital public relations campaigns always cost 10 times more than any traditional email broadcast campaign. That's just because they bring media links that don't just have great SEO value., they also allow your brand to connect with a broader audience.

I do not like these types of links and I do not recommend anyone to try to acquire them. But I feel like I can't skip this point since, actually, paid links are in high demand. Some marketers always try to find the shortcut and look for sites that sell links.

Not many options out there when it comes to building links. Let me show you how some of the listed options are not financially correct or just won't bring any solid SEO momentum.

What are the pros and cons of each strategy?

Below you will find a quick summary of the most important pros and cons of each strategy.. It is important to mention that here, in my agency, we only create links through the email scope, since I think it is, with much, the most profitable strategy. From the links created through digital public relations, I used to do it, but in my experience, the results were not worth it for its significant costs.

Let's start with the difficult option: paid links. Here I am talking about the links that you can buy through sponsored content and that will not be tagged with a special tag. I am not going to talk about the ethical side of this strategy, since that would require a separate post. I just want to say I know tons of places that do.

Construction of digital public relations links

A few years ago, was one of the biggest fans of digital public relations, but time passed and now I see clearly what kind of limitations this approach has. Digital public relations is an essential part of the promotion strategy for companies that have recently established their brand and want to build trust with their audience.. further, Media links will automatically give Google a signal that your site is a trustworthy business.. The only downside is that most companies don't have a big budget for a proper digital PR campaign.. Here's a nice post from Gisele Navarro who shares some additional angles on why brands need and don't need digital public relations .

Why is it important CLV?

How to estimate the number of links you need

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to hear Robbie Richards' speech at the DMSS conference where he confirmed my link building formula. If you are competing with a site with similar characteristics on the site (both sites are https, suitable for mobile devices, rapid, Google considers them a brand plus some other factors ), so, to overcome it in the search, you need to take into account just two factors.

Here is some context: let's take a look at my own site. Olympus digital is not doing very well in SERPs due to its DR. On average, all sites that are ranked for email reach-related search queries have a domain score of 70–80, whereas our own site has only 56. Thus, This means that we need at least twice as many links to refer to our pages compared to the sites above us in search.. For example, to get this page to the top of the search results for “email outreach”, we need to create around 200 links. As you can see in a screenshot below, the rest of the URLs have more than 100 links, so we must double that number to have a chance

This formula may vary based on your estimated domain authority (GIVES) or your domain rating (DR). If you have a higher domain score than the pages you want to beat, then you will only need fewer links. But if your DR is less, you will need significantly more links, and that's something you should be aware of.

What is the right price for an email outreach link campaign?

Different agencies have different rates when it comes to creating links through email reach. As a time consuming strategy, highly dependent on agency approach, which is always unique, even if it is based on common practices. Some charge per campaign, some per link, and some prefer to ask you to pay no less than a certain amount monthly


For example, People at LinksHero charge from promise to build around 5–15 links per month. Other well-known link building agencies charge around $ 160– $ 180 USD for your services. If you wonder where is my agency, we are from a group that charges for the number of links acquired, after the event. I think it is the best option for small and medium businesses, since it gives you more freedom and allows you to build links at your own pace.

Our rate is somewhere in between, even though the quality of our links is above average, as we receive our top notch corporate and blog links. further, we don't send mass emails, so you won't face any associated reputational risks. We have spent the last few years building relationships with people, so right now we are simply reaching out to them instead of sending mass emails. For our services, we charge from $ 300 USD per link, so you can easily calculate your overall budget to build, for example, hundred links. Nevertheless, we work only in the B2B niche: it is important to consider specializations before choosing an agency.

How to get more of each link you earn

I love building outreach links by handmade email, because it allows you to do more than create links. You are also creating relationships that can help you move the needle far beyond link building alone..

People who are your link building partners today can host a conference tomorrow and invite you to speak., which will allow you to be more visible within your niche. That's not as weird as it sounds! And if you are curious, yes, I mean our own experience: in addition to building links, we also host our own Digital Olympus digital marketing conference (than, by the way, will be held soon in Krakow on 5 April 2020 )

Another benefit worth mentioning is that the companies you connect with during your email outreach link campaign also invest in growing their businesses.. As a result, the site that has a domain score of 50 could get up 70 in a few months. In other words, today you are paying for something that could be much more valuable in the future, And that's what makes email reach link building epic!!

Start working on a link building profile that will rule you all

The next step is up to you, but in my experience, it is important to start working on the links as soon as possible. On the contrary, there will be a big gap between your site and your competitors who have been working on link building for a while.

further, I know that most companies would like to carry out their link building campaigns internally. Starting early gives you a head start on building your processes and testing things. If you decide it's your way, don't follow the “better practices”, since the 99% of them are infinitely outdated. Most of those strategies were discontinued years ago in the link building community, and only newbies still fall in love with them.

If you are looking for more information on how to create DIY links, here are some useful posts that won't make you a spammer requesting a link because “have been following someone else's blog for years” (that's a private link builder prank


I'm not sure what else I can say to convince you that email reach is how to create links. And so I won't try to convince you anymore, I will summarize what I already told you.

First, assess your situation and decide what is most important to you right now: create links quickly or create your own link acquisition process internally. If you decide in favor of the first option, calculate how many links you need to build, calculate your budget and find a reputable agency to help you. And if you settle for the latest, get ready to spend time building relationships, Mastering your copy of outreach email and optimizing valuable content creation.


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