You know you need backlinks to get found on Google, but how many do you need? This is a great question with a slightly complicated answer.
The number of backlinks you’ll get results from depends on your SEO proficiency for the keywords you want to rank for, as well as your current domain authority and competitors in your industry.
These factors help us estimate how many backlinks we need to initially build to see results, but the backlink strategy doesn’t end there.
Google always recrawls web pages, which makes search rankings volatile. So, to keep your rankings strong, you need to keep backlinking pages regularly, even after you achieve initial results.
Let’s break this.
SEO Keyword Difficulty
There are many tools out there that will tell you how difficult a keyword is on a scale of 1 to 100. The reason these rankings exist is to give you an idea of how much effort it will take to rank for that keyword.
The number of required backlinks increases at a faster rate than the difficulty ranking. For example, if a keyword has a difficulty of 10, it will likely need around 10 backlinks to rank. But if you have a difficulty of 50, you may need 100 backlinks to rank.
A backlink strategy is basically a strategy to increase your domain authority along with the authority of important pages on your website. So your current domain authority gives you an understanding of your starting point.
If you have a new website, you are starting from scratch and you will need a solid backlink strategy to start building authority. If you already have fairly high domain authority, it will take fewer backlinks per page or keyword to rank for more difficult terms.
Assuming you want to rank for terms typical of your service or industry, you’ll need to see the strength of your competitors. Each industry has a different level of SEO proficiency. If you’re lucky, many others in your industry have yet to implement SEO strategies, making it easier to compete with them.
But this is usually not the case. SEO has been around for so long that many websites have SEO strategies. So looking at how many backlinks your competition has will give you a good idea of how many you should aim for.
Don’t Stop There
Backlink strategies are not a one-time thing. Google needs to see that your backlinks are coming at a natural rate and never completely stop. Since search rankings are volatile, the strong backlink foundation built in the initial strategy needs to be constantly strengthened with new backlinks as long as you want to maintain the top position in the rankings.
The speed at which you build backlinks is likely to slow down once you reach your goal, but if you stop completely, you can expect your results to be gone.