It should go without saying that having visitors to your website is critical. If visitors can’t find you, they can’t buy from you, and that, after all, is why you have a website, to begin with, right?
Over the years, experts and non-experts alike have written gigabytes, maybe even terabytes, of articles on how to build your website traffic. More has been written on search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your website ranking than you could read if you spent the rest of your life doing nothing else.
But what about other ways of drawing visitors to your site? For instance, how can you get visitors to your site when they aren’t even looking for you? This is where backlinks enter the picture. And as a bonus, backlinks can also improve your page ranking.
Buying Backlinks 101
Indeed, digital PR is and should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Perhaps just as important for driving growth as SEO, if not more. Earning backlinks from authoritative websites and publications is an essential link-building tactic for growing companies. Audiences build trust when reputable organizations link to your content, helping to develop a diverse link profile to capture the right traffic.
In this article, we walk you through why and how to use backlinks for the best effect for building an online presence and overall brand recognition. We will also introduce you to BlueTree’s link-building services and professionals, who can help you create unique, linkable content that customers want to read about, get viral backlinks, and enhance your brand’s organic growth.
What Exactly Is a Backlink?
If you are new to digital marketing, perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of backlinks. But chances are you know about them in some form or another, and you have undoubtedly seen and used them yourself.
Also known as “inbound links,” backlinks are simply links to your site that appear on someone else’s site. There are types of links:
- Inbound links
- Outbound links
So why do backlinks matter? Because they provide you with an immediate seal of approval from the other site. Users who trust the information on that site will be more likely to have a positive initial impression of your brand simply because it shows up on a site they know and trust.
For example, let’s say you have a new financial services app and are looking to build your customer base, especially among wealthier clients. Then you would probably benefit from having a backlink to your site appear in online articles in Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Inc. magazines, for example.
However, if your focus is more on middle-income clients, you are better off having backlinks appear in articles from sites like Money or Kiplingers. Either way, you want your name and information to pop up on sites relevant potential clients trust for financial management advice.
Just as importantly, if not more, having a good number of quality backlinks helps move you up the page ranks on search engines. And as anyone with experience with page ranks knows, the earlier your site appears in search results, the more likely you are to have a visitor click through.
If you aren’t on the first page of the results, there is almost no chance of getting a clickthrough. But, surprisingly, the same is true if you are outside the top 3 results (the top 3 get 55% of all clicks).
What Is Backlink Buying All About?
The answer is self-explanatory – you pay someone to put a backlink to your site on theirs. You might be surprised to know that it is not all that easy to get free backlinks.
This is large because website owners have become very savvy about monetizing their websites. Selling backlinks is a quick way to build an extra income stream, and companies are taking full advantage.
You can consider many types of paid backlinks as part of your digital marketing plans. Some common examples of ways to purchase backlinks include:
- Paying for link insertions – you pay a site to put a specific link on their site (e.g., as a partner, a trusted source, an example in a blog post, etc.)
- Paying to place guest posts – you pay to submit a post with links to your site in someone else’s blog
- Joining a Private Blog Network (PBN) – a PBN is a group of sites whose specific purpose is to improve page rank using large numbers of links between member sites
- Using digital PR services – you pay someone to distribute press releases, for example
You need to know that search engines consider all of these options “paid links” (which we discuss in greater detail below), which can impact whether they contribute to your page ranking. And some of these options are more reliable and trustworthy than others. PBNs, for example, often rely on tactics that search engines like Google disapprove of, which may lead to more problems than benefits.
Doesn’t Google Reject Paid Links in Determining Page Rank?
While this mantra is often repeated, it is far from accurate. Instead, it relies on a misreading of Google’s guidelines on link schemes, which state:
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Right off the bat, this statement only indicates that certain activities MAY violate Google’s guidelines. And that is where problems with options like PBNs come into play. Because these networks create escalating cascades of links intended solely to influence Page Rank, with no concern for the quality of the links, they tend to violate Google’s guidelines.
But while Google explicitly lists purchasing links as one specific example, they also have a separate set of guidelines on paid links that note the value of paid links. They also provide detailed instructions on how to make links less likely to attract negative attention:
Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the web economy when done for advertising purposes and not for manipulation of search results. Specify that the links were purchased for advertising by doing one of the following actions:
- Adding a rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attribute to the <a> tag
- Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
English, please? You have to add a tag that tells search engines that the site providing the backlink to your site is not endorsing your site or your products or services. In turn, this means that the links will have minimal effect on your page rank (although they still have some).
Some companies apply these tags by default to any links contained in articles on their sites (like Forbes and Entrepreneur, noted above). But how search engines view the link is only one factor in determining whether backlinks are effective.
Indeed, viewers of the links won’t see the tags and still will have the sense that your site has the imprimatur of reliability and expertise. Especially when the backlink appears on a highly trusted source, viewers will find it credible. And that can generate click-throughs without ever going through a search engine.
So, you are welcome to use paid links for digital marketing, despite Google’s effort to minimize their effect. Just do it acceptably. This means that when purchasing backlinks, you need to look for ways to get quality links that will not raise red flags with Google. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your money.
Why Should I Consider Buying Backlinks?
So you might be thinking, “Doesn’t it diminish my credibility if I am paying someone to link to my site?” Absolutely not, and you should not let such concerns stop you from buying backlinks.
No matter whether you are paying an in-house marketing team or you have outsourced marketing services, if you don’t plan on paid backlinks as part of your marketing budget, you are doing yourself a huge disservice and missing out on a golden opportunity.
First of all, you can be confident that at least some, if not most, of your competitors are using paid backlinks.
But, even with more and more companies finding value in paid backlinks, it is painfully clear that most web content does not take advantage of them. Indeed, as of early 2020, around two-thirds of all sites had no backlinks pointing to them at all. So, as you can see, the opportunity is there for you to outpace many of your competitors and jump to the front of the pack.
However, as we discussed earlier, it isn’t simple to get “natural links,” where someone decides to link to you for free. Perhaps you have good relationships with popular sites or content providers. If so, you should leverage them for all they are worth.
But the more likely scenario is that you cannot influence whether important content providers in your industry will link to your site. It’s a very different story when you are willing to pay them.
Another important factor you should consider when buying backlinks is how much time you would need to invest in getting similar results from natural links. Just think how much time it would take to make yourself such an expert that others naturally find your content to cite.
If you can trade a small monetary investment to free up your time substantially, it can be well worth it.
That said, there is more to the process than simply finding the first provider you can and seeing what they can offer you. Backlinks, like the providers who help you get them, come in different qualities. You need to find a source that can get you the highest quality links at the best price.
What Is a Quality Backlink?
There are many different ways to evaluate the quality of backlinks and several factors that can go into any quality analysis. These factors include:
- The position of the link (for example, citations in intros and conclusions can carry less weight than body links) ✅
- The number of other links around yours ✅
- The keywords present in the anchor text for the link ✅
- The reliability of the site hosting the backlink ✅
Let’s take a closer look at that last point. Having a backlink that appears only on an unreliable site or on a site with very little traffic isn’t going to help you much. So you want to know how to assess the sites from which you might buy backlinks.
One method is to find what is known as a Domain Authority (DA) rating for your potential referring site. DA ratings indicate how credible and frequently seen a particular site is. The higher the rating, the better quality backlink you will have. Providers of these ratings include Moz, Semrush, and Ahrefs.
Although it’s not always predictable, following key directions on how to rank higher on Google will improve your traffic at least by some degree.
Let’s return to our financial services app provider. They have an opportunity to get a backlink in an article that will appear on the Forbes website. So how reliable is Forbes as a source? Well, let’s look at the domain authority of Forbes on Semrush.
As you can see, on a scale of 1-100, Forbes scores an 86. Moz has a similar service, and the DA for Forbes is 95/100, while it gives Forbes.com a Page Authority rating of 84 (Page Authority measures the value of a specific webpage rather than an entire domain). Pretty good, huh? But you need to analyze the issue further before saying this is a good fit.
What you can quickly do is compare it to other sites. For example, if one of your other options scores 51, they are probably either less reputable or have fewer visitors than Forbes. Spend accordingly.
DA ratings are also one way to help you distinguish between providers of backlink services. For example, if you are considering a service offering a typical DA range of 20-60, you should probably look elsewhere. For example, professional link building services like BlueTree focus on DAs of 70-90 or above. And link building can very much be a case of you getting what you pay for.
So How Much Will It Cost Me to Buy Backlinks?
Just as the quality of backlinks varies from site to site and provider to provider, so does the cost of purchasing backlinks. Factors that impact your overall cost include the number of backlinks you want and the quality of those backlinks.
But prevailing estimates suggest anywhere from $100 to over $20,000 per month.
Of course, these numbers mean little without some additional context. If you have a provider offering 100 links a month for $5000, that might sound like a great deal. But if they are all on sites with a DA of 20, you might as well drop your $5000 in the trash.
On the other hand, if your $5000 gets you only five links a month, but they are all on sites with a DA over 70, and those sites are highly relevant to your prospective clients, then you are probably making a good investment. Why? Because you are reaching the right demographic through a site they already trust and through content relevant to them and your products or service offerings.
Can’t I Do This Myself?
Getting a few links out on the web doesn’t sound all that hard, does it? So why can’t you skip the expense of buying backlinks and put a bunch of backlinks out there on your own? Well, it’s not as easy as it seems at first glance. And once you think about it for a minute, you will begin to see all the potential problems.
First of all, as we mentioned before, what you want are quality backlinks. And copious backlinks to yourself don’t come across with as much force and credibility as when your links come from another source. Instead, it looks like cheap attempts to sell yourself.
Should you backlink to yourself? Of course, but do it judiciously. Never make it your sole source of links, and people will avoid clicking on poorly placed backlinks.
Even when you do create your backlinks, you have to spend the time and money to build the content around them. This may include hiring content developers, whether in-house or freelance, as well as purchasing the tools they need to get that content out.
In-house vs. Hired Marketing Team
If your content staff is in-house, you have to pay salaries and incur costs for benefits, payroll taxes, and vacation time. And even if you use freelancers, you have to be careful that they are well-defined as independent contractors; otherwise, you may find yourself in hot water for not providing appropriate benefits and working conditions.
When you add it all up, building a team to help you create backlinks can cost you tens of thousands of dollars annually. Think about whether this money would be better spent on highly experienced, reputable, professional services that can get you the best quality links placed in the highest profile locations and who, in many cases, can provide you with valuable content.
Where Do I Go to Buy Quality Backlinks?
Finding the right sites to place your backlinks can be a time-consuming exercise. Perhaps you could identify a few trusted sources in your industry and start researching how to get them to accept your backlinks.
But there are more efficient ways to get the best result.
Naturally, there are now digital marketing companies with substantial expertise in link building who offer paid services. Providers like BlueTree offer valuable services that can save you time and effort. And because they have already developed relationships with authoritative sites, they know where you will find the most value for your backlinks.
We have already discussed the need to find a provider with high-quality placements, i.e., domain authority ratings over 70.
How to Recognize a Good Link Building Service Provider?
You should look for providers who will take the time to understand your business and your industry to know the best options for where to put your backlinks. And they should also understand what you already have to offer. Companies such as Blue Tree have experience in enterprise SEO services, which gives them an extensive knowledge of backlink options for companies of all sizes.
BlueTree, for example, uses a multi-step process that begins with analyzing your site for existing usable content that can be the basis for effective backlinks.
The best providers will also use their relationships with site staff to get buy-in for pieces containing your backlinks. What does this mean? It means that you aren’t paying the final site for your backlink. Instead, the site accepts what it views as useful and credible content that will help build its reputation. And that content just so happens to contain your backlink.
But this is a crucial distinction between link-building providers. Because with editorially approved insertions, you are effectively getting an endorsement. And the authority of the underlying site transfers to you.
Average vs. Advanced Backlink Services
Another issue you should consider when buying backlinks is whether you can get extra value from a single backlink. Many providers will dump your backlink on a page that quickly becomes an orphan – hard to find because it has few or no links.
Services that actively track their existing portfolio of content and make sure that it receives multiple placements and future backlinks can give you more chances to have your backlink seen and clicked through.
You should also look for providers with link-building plans that can scale your business. If you want your company to get noticed by potential partners, you can hire an agency that offers B2B SEO services to increase your traffic. If you are a startup, you probably don’t have a lot of free cash to put towards links, so you need a less intensive plan.
But you want the ability to increase your efforts quickly and easily once you have some customers and revenue that allows you to spend more on marketing.
|Regular Link Sellings||Our Services|
|Links on DA/PA 20-60 websites||Nearly all our site are DA 70-90|
|Placed in unnatural articles solely published for link promotion||Editorially earned. Our writers pitch editors, make edits and go live with links intact.|
|Nearly all link seller websites are one Google update away from a penalty.||Editorially earned links gain traffic, authority and links over time.|
|Buying a short term boost, long term liability.||Buying a valuable compounding long term asset.|
|Future risk of penalty jeopardizes future growth of acquisition prospects||All BT clients have a history of sustained strong traffic growth.|
|Placed links are often orphan pages with no natural inbound links.||Our work gets syndicated, cited and we build secondary links to boost rankings.|
With Blue Tree’s professional marketing services, your investment in backlinks will become a long-term asset for your company. Take full advantage of BlueTree’s network of industry authorities and well-known web publications to get viral backlinks and enhance your brand’s organic growth.
There is a world of opportunity for companies to effectively use backlinks to drive website traffic, build brand recognition and establish expertise. Backlinks are currently underutilized but are beginning to see tremendous growth, and getting ahead of the curve now will give you a leg up on your competition.
Buying backlinks from reputable providers is a cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes and one you should consider having as part of your digital marketing strategy. But make sure you are working with the right provider who can provide you with the right bang for your buck – delivering the highest quality backlinks in all the right places.