How Many Backlinks does your Website Need?

Last updated: July 25, 2016

How many backlinks that any website needs is dependent on what your goals are. The greater exposure you want and therefore visitors and target keywords, the more backlinks you will need to get. It is possible to rank a website with only a few backlinks but this will not help you compete with competitive keywords that get a lot of search volume.

Determining how many backlinks your business needs is dependent on what type of business it is and the level of competition, but it safe to assume that for the average small business around 40 or 50 backlinks will help your SEO campaign. It can be expected that 40 or 50 quality backlinks will be enough to get you ranking on the first page for four or 5 keywords that are reasonably competitive.

You do not want to get all your backlinks at once but steadily and naturally add links at an even pace (link velocity). Don’t try to do all your link building at once it should be an organic process that grows over time, don’t set hard targets or plot an exact timeline. Just keep steadily building links even when you have reached the top of Google, keep steadily building links to make sure you stay there.

How to determine the relative quality of backlinks and other factors you should consider when assessing how many backlinks you need is what we will now look at.

Degree of Competition

By looking at your competitors, you can get a good idea of how many backlinks your site will need to acquire to rank well for a given keyword, so by analysing your competitions backlinks for a keyword will give you a good idea.

Look at how many links the sites listed in the top 10 have directed at the pages that are ranking (not the sites total amount of links but the actual pages listed in the search engine results use a simple formula to calculate the average number of backlinks the competing webpage has.

Combine the total amount of links for the top ten pages after removing the webpage with the most backlinks and the webpage with the least backlinks then find the mean average of links by dividing by 8.

This will not take in to account the quality of the links but it will allow you to determine that if you can gain an equal or greater number of backlinks of the same or better quality you will be able to outrank the competing webpages.

High Quality Backlinks

It is important to understand that the amount of backlinks is not as important as the quality. For example, a single high quality backlink can be equivalent to many low quality backlinks, so it is vital that you focus on getting the best backlink rather than the most backlinks to rank highly. Its understanding the subtle balance between diversity of referring domains and quality of backlinks you acquire.

If you can satisfy as many points below as possible, you will be making sure you are getting the right type of backlinks.

  • From a trusted source
  • From a new source to your current backlinks
  • Not reciprocal
  • Not easily obtained
  • Not purchased
  • From a relevant source
  • Sends visitors
  • Exact phrase or semantically related synonym anchor link text
  • As part of a paragraph of text inserted In-content
  • On a page with Authority and PageRank
  • Next to backlinks to authority websites
  • Not many backlinks on the page

Focus on On-Site Optimisation

Websites that are optimised will require fewer backlinks than a website that is not optimised. A poorly designed website will leak or dilute the flow of trust and rank from their backlinks. In order to make sure you optimise your website there are a number of points you will need to satisfy in order to lessen your dependence on backlinks.

  • Insert in-contact links to your most important pages
  • Do not link out to other site unnecessarily
  • Make sure that broken links are 301 redirected via your htacess file
  • Remove pages with thin content or combine them to create more content rich pages
  • Flatten site architecture so pages are only one or 2 clicks from the home page
  • Do not bury pages in over complex hierarchy’s that require more than two clicks to navigate to them
  • Focus the incoming authority on your most important pages that you want to rank well
  • Remove or fix broken links from external and internal pages