Feb 3, 2024

How many backlinks should a website have [Link Building Guide]

Maria Ruocco

Backlinks are an integral part of any successful SEO strategy. They serve as votes of confidence from other websites, signaling to search engines that your content is valuable and worth promoting.

But how many backlinks does a website need to rank well?

This guide will delve into this question in depth, providing you with actionable insights and strategies for effective link building.

Understanding the importance of backlinks

Building links is one of the most critical tactics in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

When Google's bots crawl websites, they focus on incoming links to rate a site's authority. High-quality backlinks not only drive traffic to your website but often lead to increased revenue.

Despite their importance, more than 55% of websites don't have any backlinks at all. Therefore, when considering a link-building strategy, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is: "How many backlinks do I need to rank?"

What are backlinks?

Before we dive deeper into the number of backlinks needed for effective ranking, let's define what a backlink is.

Simply put, a backlink is a link on an external website that leads to a page on your own website. They are considered the strongest referral you can get online, especially if they come from websites already excelling in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

How many backlinks does a good website have?

So how many backlinks should you aim for as a baseline?

According to industry standards and best practices, it's suggested that a good website has between 40-50 backlinks pointing towards its homepage and 0-100 each subpage.

Too few backlinks mean Google’s robot crawlers won’t boost your pages in search engine results. However, too many can look like you’re receiving backlinks unethically, so they won’t be counted either.

Factors influencing the number of required backlinks

Several factors determine how many backlinks you need to achieve a good ranking on SERPs:

  • Your domain authority 👉🏻 Your domain authority determines how strong your domain is overall. Domain rating and authority scores are important as well. The rating shows a website’s power in its backlink profile, while the authority score focuses on the SEO performance of a website overall[^8^]. A higher number signifies more authoritative domains.

  • The number of internal links 👉🏻 The number of internal links a page receives impacts how many backlinks a page needs as well. Studies show that, like backlinks, internal links allow a website to rise in the ranks of Google’s search engine results pages.

  • Keyword difficulty 👉🏻 Keyword difficulty works on a 100-point scale. This metric is used to determine how hard it is to rank a page for a single target keyword. A page that is already ranking well through an excellent keyword strategy typically requires fewer backlinks to rank higher.

Building homepage brand trust with backlinks

Building brand trust is crucial for your SEO efforts. Without building proper brand trust on your homepage, you will find the rest of your SEO efforts frustrating and extremely disappointing.

Build backlinks consistently to your homepage using branded anchors. If you look at big brands or websites that dominate the SERPs, you will find they all have lots of links pointing to their homepage with one of their brand name, URL or URL written like as anchor text.

Consistency in building backlinks

Consistent link-building helps maintain relevance over time. These are signals to Google that your website is legitimate and trustworthy.

Pages that rank in the top 10 separate themselves from competition by really crushing one or more aspects such as homepage brand trust, content quality and quantity, and number of high-quality backlinks.

Calculating your website's link gap

The link gap refers to the difference between the number of inbound links currently pointing at your site versus those pointing at competing sites ranking higher than yours for specific keywords. By identifying this gap, you can get a clearer picture of the work needed to improve your rankings.

To maximize the impact of your backlinking efforts, it's crucial to focus on commercially relevant keywords.

These are terms that potential customers might use when searching for the products or services you offer. By targeting these keywords with your content and backlinking strategies, you can attract more qualified traffic to your site.

Steps to determine the number of needed backlinks

  1. Identify your target keywords 👉🏻 Start by identifying which keywords are most commercially relevant to your business.

  2. Analyze competitor backlinks 👉🏻 Look at the backlink profiles of the top-ranking websites for each keyword.

  3. Calculate your link gap 👉🏻 Based on this analysis, calculate how many additional backlinks you need to compete effectively.

By following these steps, you can develop a more effective and targeted link-building strategy that will help boost your website's search engine rankings.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many backlinks a website should have. It depends on various factors such as domain authority, internal linking structure, keyword difficulty and competition in SERPs. However, by understanding these factors and strategically building high-quality backlinks over time, any website can improve its ranking potential significantly.

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Maria Ruocco