Link Building Pricing Guide: How Much Should You Pay for Link Building in 2024?

Link Building Pricing Guide How Much Should You Pay for Link Building

If you’re reading this, you probably know that link building is an important part of SEO.

You might even be ready to shop for link building services.

But you might not know how much link building costs, or what you should expect to pay for link building.

If you want to keep your SEO costs low, without sacrificing the quality services you need to rank higher in search engines, you need a better understanding of building links prices in 2024.

So how is link building strategy pricing calculated?

What should you pay for high quality links?

And how can you reduce the cost of link building efforts?

Link Building 101: What Are You Paying for, Anyway?


The process of link building is crucial for any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Essentially, the goal is to boost the perceived authority and trustworthiness of your website.

Google ranks results according to relevance and authoritativeness; it prioritizes relevant results, but always favors results from more authoritative websites or sources. Links from sources that already have high levels of authority serve as a vote of confidence, boosting the authority of whatever site they point to. Acquiring links plays a crucial role in improving search engine rankings.

Simple enough, right?

But things get complicated quickly. 

These days, online publishers are highly selective. Competition for content is fierce. Bad and irrelevant links earn penalties quickly. And even the best-laid strategies aren’t always guaranteed to work.

Accordingly, most SEO experts want to work with link building specialists who know what they’re doing and can achieve reliable results. Only through highly relevant websites, quality links, high quality backlinks, complete with good content and adequate support, can you achieve the search ranking and organic traffic results that you want.

We’ll dig into the specifics of link building later in this guide. But for now, understand that the costs of custom link building campaigns are associated with many different people and many different responsibilities.

Pricing Models for Link Building

If you’re working with a link building agency or a link building freelancer, you’ll probably encounter one of the following pricing models.

  •       Price per link. Some people and organizations choose to charge a fixed amount of money per link, typically based on the domain authority (DA) of the source of that link. The more authoritative the source is, the more expensive the link is going to be. There are some good reasons for this, which we’ll elaborate on in the next section. This pricing structure is ideal for companies that want to build one link at a time. Ideal for  for a broader link building campaign.
  •       Price per month. Sometimes, the charge is monthly. You’ll pay a fixed amount for a recurring monthly engagement, with a specific number of links to be built each month. This pricing structure is ideal for companies that want to support their SEO campaign consistently for several months, at minimum.
  •       Total a la carte pricing. It’s also possible to find SEO professionals who charge prices in a total a la carte system. You can pay individually for things like keyword research and recommendations, content development, content publication, and more. However, this structure is rare, as most agencies that offer link building services offer their services as a package deal.

How Is Pricing for Link Building Calculated?

When you first look into link building, it may seem expensive.

Even for introductory campaigns, the cost can quickly climb into thousands of dollars per month.

But this pricing is typically justified, and for several reasons:

  •       Effort/time/quality. Publishing guest blog posts isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it’s still arguably the most consistent and most reliable way to build links for SEO purposes. Creating high quality content, takes longer to develop it. The higher the quality of the publisher, the harder it is to get content published. Accordingly, quality, time, and effort are all correlated with each other; if you want access to the highest quality services in the industry, you should expect to pay the highest prices. It’s technically possible to acquire links extremely cheaply, but these links probably won’t benefit your brand much – and may even harm your campaign. Spending a bit more is usually advisable, since you’ll get access to more ethical, more sound services.
  •       Supply and demand. Supply and demand also play a role in dictating pricing. Prestigious agencies with big client bases are in high demand, as countless local businesses seek SEO service partners who are capable of achieving meaningful, real results. With finite resources and practically infinite demand, these agencies are free to charge higher prices – and are actively incentivized to do so. Conversely, less experienced agencies and freelancers tend to charge less, as they have fewer existing resources and a harder time landing new clients.
  •       Strategic expertise/consulting. Many agencies freely offer strategic expertise and consulting in addition to link building services, and they may not charge for these consultations. However, they still demand time and effort, and they’re typically compensated for in the bottom-line pricing for link building services.

Link building itself may seem like a single action, but it takes an entire team to achieve meaningful results.

  •       Link building managers. Link building managers are typically at the center of the process, working with individual team members from different departments and publishers directly to ensure that content is written, posts are published, and that links remain up.
  •       Writers. Writers are responsible for developing the content supporting links that need to be built. Since quality content is practically a prerequisite for any link of value, you need a team of excellent writers to generate momentum.
  •       Assistants. There are many background tasks associated with developing and externally publishing content. That’s why most teams include assistants, who can help manage communications, make edits, load content, and troubleshoot issues.
  •       Publishers. Publishing content for free isn’t a thing anymore. Most publishers will require you to pay for what you publish, in one way or another, with most publishers charging a fee for each guest post you make on their website. Additionally, it’s important to maintain good relationships with publishers so they remain open to publishing your content in the future.
  •       Software. Tracking and managing everything is tough, but there are plenty of software products that can help you do it. Unless you plan on building your own systems, you’ll need to pay for existing systems.
  •       Account managers. Some agencies also staff dedicated account managers to serve as consultants and advisors for their clients. They manage communications with clients as well as other responsibilities, adding to the costs of link building.

One way that many businesses are tempted to save money on link building is to build an in-house team and handle quality link building internally. This isn’t a bad idea, but do keep in mind that you’ll probably need to find dedicated experts in each of the above categories if you want to make the link building team cohesive and productive.

Hiring, vetting, training, and coordinating all these people will likely increase your costs to the point that hiring an agency becomes the obvious choice – but with the right strategy and enough dedication, you may be able to make the in house link building approach work.

Average Costs for Link Building

What are the average prices for link building services?

This is a difficult question to answer concisely, since there are so many variables to consider. However, there are some objective studies we can look at to give us a starting point for the conversation.

One study from Ahrefs found that the average cost of buying a backlink directly from other websites is $361.44, across all industries. Siege Media found something similar, estimating the long-term price for an average link to be $500. Another study from AuthorityHacker established a range of $150 to $1,000 for a link, depending on quality and other variables.

All in all, you can expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars for each link built for your organization. If you are engaging in a monthly campaign with a few links per month, that’s going to add up to $1,000 a month or more. If you only want natural links from the best-quality publishers, you can expect to pay $1,000 or more per link.

Anything outside of this range should make you suspicious. If a link building agency is trying to charge $10,000 for a single link, there better be a clear justification, or you may be able to write it off as a scam. Similarly, if link builders promise to build you a link for $25, you can be reasonably certain they’re cutting some corners.

Factors That Affect Link Building Pricing

There are many factors that affect the price of link building.

  •       Consulting/strategic direction needs. Imagine that you already have strategically valuable target keywords, you have a publisher in mind, and you know exactly what you want to do with your content. Most link building agencies will be able to start working with you immediately under these circumstances, and you can expect to pay a bit less for link building package as a result. Conversely, if you need to work with strategic consultants and plan your entire SEO campaign before you even start link building, you’ll pay a bit more overall.
  •       Bundling and other services. Many link building agencies offer a variety of different SEO services, including technical analysis, onsite content development, social media marketing as support, and analytics. If you’re willing to work with a single agency for all these services, they may be willing to extend you a bundling discount.
  •       Industry. Link building efforts isn’t equally difficult for all industries. Controversial industries and those with low demand for link worthy content, like the gambling industry, sometimes have trouble getting their links published and accepted. Accordingly, they tend to be more expensive. Other industries, like the video game industry, are relatively uncontroversial and benefit from heightened demand for new content. Accordingly, they tend to be less expensive. You can’t control which industry you’re in, but you can adjust your pricing expectations in accordance with your industry dynamics.
  •       Brand authority/prominence. The visibility and notoriety of your brand may also play a role in your link building pricing. If you have an established, nationally recognized brand, it’s going to be much easier to get your content published in major publishers – and they might even be willing to publish some of your content for free. If you’re just starting out and you have little to no name recognition, you can expect to pay a bit more.
  •       Content quality. If you want high quality content, you can expect to pay for it. More relevant, more thought provoking, more detailed, more engaging content is only going to come from experienced writers, and experienced writers are more expensive than less experienced ones. Many link-building agencies employ a range of different writers, with different levels of experience and different backgrounds, so they can handle a variety of clients with different needs. It’s advisable to work with the best-quality content creation you can afford, but this is going to increase your costs.
  •       Publisher targets. We’ve already established that the domain rating or domain authority (DA) of a publisher is going to influence the cost of a link from that publisher. But it’s also worth noting that some publishers are easier to work with than others, even within the same DA band. Your choice of publishers may dramatically affect your link building prices.
  •       Creative flexibility. Publishing links sometimes requires compromise. If you want your brand name to be mentioned in a major publisher, you need to make sure your content is in alignment with the needs of that publisher’s audience. If you are completely rigid about the type of content you want to see, you may be limited in terms of which publishers you can use and your costs may increase. If you’re more flexible and willing to entertain creative approaches, you’ll have more options and your costs will be reduced.

The ROI of Link Building

It’s useful to think about link building cost, but if you’re more concerned about the bigger picture, the more pressing priority is return on investment (ROI) on such links. 

In other words, you should be more concerned about how much value your link building creates compared to what you spend than you are about how much the link building strategies itself costs.

As a simple example, would you rather spend $100 and make $200, or would you rather spend $500 and make $10,000? The latter scenario is clearly more valuable, even though it demands more money up front.

You can think of effective link building strategy in a similar way. Oftentimes, paying more for better content, better publishers, and better support means you’ll see a much better return down the road.

How to Get Better Link Building Pricing

What steps can you take to get better link building pricing?

Before we address this question with strategic tips, we need to address an important point: a “better” price isn’t necessarily a lower price. This is especially true if ROI is your biggest priority.

There are a few reasons why it’s prudent to avoid searching for the lowest possible price.

First, there are link schemes, which will actively harm your campaign if you attempt to take advantage of them. Link schemes tend to be priced very attractively to lure more people in, but they’re far more trouble than they’re worth.

Second, lower prices are often a byproduct of shortcuts. If a link building agency works with mediocre writers, spammy links, and only fringe publishers, it can keep costs low and pass those savings onto you – but they’re not going to earn the same results as agencies devoted to quality and ROI. 

Third, price is only one of many variables you’ll need to consider. You need to work with an agency that shares your values and your campaign vision on your own website – and sometimes, that means searching longer and paying more.

Still, there are some strategies that can help you attain better pricing, all without necessarily compromising the quality of the services you receive.

  •       Review all the options. Review as many options as possible, including in-house options if you’re open to those. The more diverse sources you review, the more confident you can be in your final decision.
  •       Do your due diligence. Always do your due diligence. Who is this agency? Who have they worked for? What kinds of results have they seen? What is their philosophy? What kinds of reviews and testimonials do they have to show off?
  •       Prioritize quality. When in doubt, prioritize quality. It’s almost always worth paying more for a better writer or a better publisher. At the very least, you should be confident that your links are going to be reliably established.
  •       Bundle and go long-term. Whenever possible, bundle link building services with other SEO services – and don’t be afraid to engage in a long-term contract. You can reduce your per link costs dramatically by bundling and securing a longer arrangement.
  •       Build your own relationships. Even if you’re primarily working with an agency, it pays to build good relationships with external publishers. It will help you support marketing and PR campaigns beyond SEO in the future.
  •       Evaluate ROI and adjust. Always take the time to calculate your link building ROI, even if you have to merely estimate it. ROI is arguably the best objective metric for evaluating the value and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a marketing campaign. Use it to inform and guide your future efforts.

Are you looking for the best value in link building?

Are you ready to scale up your existing campaign?

Are you having trouble dethroning your competitors on page one of the SERPs? is exactly what you need.

If you’re ready for a free consultation, or if you want to learn more about our services and pricing, contact us today!

Samuel Edwards