Link Building ROI: How To Calculate The Value Of Backlinks


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Link building is really important for your site, but at the same time, you can’t pay the bills with backlinks. As nice as a higher domain rating is, it doesn’t really mean anything unless you see some sort of return and results with it.

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to get started on link building and exactly how to measure Return on Investment (ROI).

Link Building Doesn’t Happen Overnight

The first thing that I’d say is that because link building is a very slow process, you don’t see immediate results.

It’s not like Facebook ads, for example, where you can set up the ads one day, and then you’re going to see instant returns within a day.

Observe The Window Period

With link building, it takes a little bit longer to see results. If you’re going to measure the ROI of link building, use a 180-day window. You could use the 90-day window, but that’s potentially too early for you to see the full scope of your progress.

What you can do is check your organic traffic before you started building links, and then compare it with six months after you built links. You should see a positive correlation between the backlinks that you built, and the traffic to your site.

Build Backlinks and Produce Content

While you’re building links, it is also important that you are producing enough content that targets low competition and high volume keywords.

Link building will grow your website’s authority, but you’re not going to see the true benefits of ranking for keywords, unless you start publishing content for your site too.

The combination of backlinks and content is a must for your site. Especially when you want to grow your website’s SEO traffic.

You can easily do this by setting up the Google Analytics code on your website and then tracking the influx of traffic that comes in from SEO.

Don’t Measure To Early

If you filter specifically to SEO traffic on Analytics, it will give you an accurate picture of the results and returns from link building. The thing that you have to know when it comes to the ROI of link building, is that it’s like planting a seed.

If you plant a seed in real life and you’re expecting a plant to pop up the next day, you’d be kind of disappointed. It’s the same with link building. You have to wait, and be patient and persistent with link building before you start seeing a ROI.

Don’t measure the ROI too early. Give it a good amount of time before you start checking the results. Because you have to plant and cultivate, you’re going to harvest results later on down the line.

Be Patient and Persistent

Now you might be thinking, “six months? That’s way too long to wait. I want results right now. I don’t want to wait six months to see results on my website with link building. Why would I ever invest in that?”.

But, when it comes to link building, you have to be patient and persistent, and in the end the results will be 100% worth it.

For example, my link building agency has so many good reviews on Upwork, because my clients have seen thousands of dollars in sales simply by boosting the number of links to their site.

When you start building links to your site and you start producing more content, you’ll see a huge influx of new visitors, sales, and leads to your website. In the end, being patient and persistent is worth it for you to get your ROI.

Passive Output

Once you’ve got a good amount of traffic flow into your site, you don’t really need to do much more to keep that going. You have to maintain it, but once it is all set up it is a fairly passive process.

But, what I would normally recommend to clients, is to try to keep growing and improving on that previous SEO process.

How to Calculate Link Building ROI

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for link building campaigns is crucial for assessing their effectiveness. By following a step-by-step guide, you can determine the impact of your efforts and make informed decisions moving forward.

Identifying Costs

To calculate link building ROI, it’s essential to identify the costs involved in link acquisition and content creation. This includes:

  • Expenses related to outreach efforts, such as hiring an agency or investing in software tools
  • Costs associated with creating high-quality content that attracts valuable backlinks

Measuring Impact

Measuring the impact of links on website performance metrics is another vital aspect of calculating ROI. Consider tracking:

  • Organic search traffic: Analyze how links contribute to increased organic visibility and traffic.
  • Conversion rates: Determine whether links drive conversions by monitoring the number of leads or sales generated.
  • Domain authority: Assess changes in domain authority as a result of successful link building efforts.

Understanding the Formula

To calculate link building ROI, use this simple formula:

ROI = (Return - Investment) / Investment x 100


  • Return represents the value gained from link building efforts (e.g., increased organic traffic or revenue).
  • Investment refers to all costs associated with acquiring links and creating content.

By plugging in these values, you can determine the percentage ROI achieved through your link building campaign.

Remember, accurately measuring ROI requires ongoing monitoring and analysis. Regularly assess your results and adjust strategies accordingly to maximize returns on future investments.

Method 1: Conversion Tracking for Link Building ROI

Utilizing conversion tracking tools is crucial to measure the impact of links on conversions. By setting up goals and tracking events, you can accurately attribute conversions to specific links.

Analyzing conversion data from different traffic sources, including acquired backlinks, provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your link building efforts. This allows you to optimize your strategy based on what drives the most conversions.

To effectively track conversions, consider using tools such as Google Analytics or other conversion tracking platforms. Here’s how you can make the most of conversion tracking for link building ROI:

  1. Set up goals: Define specific actions that indicate a successful conversion, such as completing a purchase or filling out a contact form.
  2. Track events: Implement event tracking to capture additional interactions that lead to conversions, such as clicking on a certain button or watching a video.
  3. Attribute conversions accurately: Use UTM parameters or other tracking methods to attribute conversions to the correct traffic sources, including acquired backlinks.
  4. Analyze conversion data: Dive into your analytics platform and examine which traffic sources and specific links are driving the highest conversion rates.
  5. Optimize landing pages: Based on conversion data insights, make adjustments to your landing pages to improve their performance and increase conversion rates.

By leveraging conversion tracking tools and analyzing relevant data, you can gain a better understanding of how link building impacts your website’s ROI. This method allows you to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks that generate meaningful conversions aligned with user search intent.

Remember, effective link building should not only drive traffic but also result in tangible business outcomes – an increased number of conversions that contribute directly to your bottom line.

Method 2: Traffic Analysis for Link Building ROI

  • Use web analytics platforms like Google Analytics to assess the traffic generated from acquired backlinks.
  • Identify patterns in referral traffic behavior and engagement metrics to determine the effectiveness of your link building efforts.
  • Compare bounce rates, time-on-site, and page views between different referral sources to understand which backlinks drive high-quality traffic that converts.
  • Analyze organic search traffic and referral traffic separately to estimate the amount of converting traffic each source brings.
  • Utilize Google Analytics’ traffic sources feature to identify the specific websites or platforms that are driving the most valuable traffic.
  • Take a manual approach by calculating the conversion rate for each referral source by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of visitors from that source.
  • Repeat this process on a monthly basis to track changes in traffic potential and identify any new high-performing backlinks.

By analyzing your website’s data using these methods, you can gain insights into which backlinks are delivering quality traffic and help you make informed decisions about your link building strategy. This approach allows you to focus on acquiring links from sources that have proven to drive converting traffic. Remember, consistent monitoring and analysis are key in maximizing your link building ROI.

Method 3: Backlink Quality Assessment for Link Building ROI

Evaluating the quality and relevance of acquired backlinks is crucial. By using various SEO tools, you can assess the effectiveness of your backlinks and make informed decisions to improve your ranking.

  1. Assessing Domain Authority and Trust Flow:
    • Use tools like Moz or Ahrefs to determine the domain authority of websites linking to yours.
    • Analyze trust flow metrics to gauge the credibility and reliability of these links.
  2. Identifying Toxic or Low-Quality Links:
    • Look out for links from spammy websites or those with a history of penalization.
    • Check for excessive anchor text optimization, as this can be seen as manipulative by search engines.
    • Scrutinize links from irrelevant sources that do not align with your website’s niche.
  3. Implementing Strategies for High-Quality Backlinks:
    • Focus on acquiring links from authoritative websites in your industry.
    • Seek opportunities for guest posting on reputable blogs or publications.
    • Engage in content marketing efforts to attract natural, high-quality backlinks.

By prioritizing quality over quantity, you can enhance your link building ROI. Remember that assumptions about link quality can be misleading; instead, rely on data-driven assessments to ensure optimal results.

Now that you understand the importance of assessing backlink quality, implement these strategies to maximize your link building ROI.

Maximizing Link Building ROI

Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to calculate and measure your link building ROI. By implementing the methods discussed in this blog post, you can ensure that your link building efforts are delivering maximum returns for your business. Remember, link building is not just about acquiring backlinks; it’s about driving conversions and increasing traffic to your website.

To maximize your link building ROI, focus on quality over quantity. Build relationships with authoritative websites in your industry and aim for high-quality backlinks that will drive targeted traffic to your site. Continuously monitor and analyze the metrics discussed earlier to evaluate the effectiveness of your link building campaigns. And don’t forget to optimize landing pages and improve user experience to increase conversion rates.

Now it’s time for you to take action! Start implementing these strategies today and watch as your link building efforts pay off in increased traffic, conversions, and ultimately, revenue.

Domain Rating

If you want to almost instantly track the ROI of link building on your website, then what you can use is the domain rating. This is a measure of your website’s authority, that is directly linked to the number of backlinks you have to your site.

Using a website like, type in your website and you will see your domain rating and how it has changed over time.

You can track it and see if the needle is moving up, staying the same, or going down. If you build in links that are high quality to your site, then 9 times out of 10, you’re going to see the domain rating gradually increasing.

But, like I said at the beginning of this article, you can’t really pay the bills with a domain rating. And it doesn’t really mean anything unless you see results and more organic traffic coming to your site. So, it’s kind of like a vanity metric.

It does give you a slight indicator of the ROI of your link building, but at the same time, it doesn’t have a direct impact on your website’s revenue. Therefore, I don’t recommend it as the number one factor for measuring link building. 

Why Does It Take So Long To See ROI From Link Building?

So, why does it take so long to see the ROI from link building?

Usually, it’s because Google Scholar has to find all the links that you have scattered around the internet. And because the internet is an extremely big place, it’s hard to find and crawl each of these backlinks.

This is why it takes time for the results to gradually crawl in.

It’s important to remember that if building your own website was easy, everyone would do it. Everyone would build their own website, get a lot of links, and start ranking on Google.

But the truth is, link building requires patience and persistence. The results will be 100% worth it, but many people simply don’t have the patience for this process.

Think About Long-Term Goals

If you can bypass the need for instant gratification, then you will see much better results with SEO link building for your site. Thinking about long-term goals is the right approach when it comes to any type of business. 

If you are persistent and have patience, you will eventually see amazing results with link building. But, it does take time. In my own personal experience, I can’t think of anything that is quick and easy, that is actually worthwhile.

When it comes to business, or your website, it’s always better to think long-term. Think about how you can grow your website, and what you can do next to continue your progress. 

This will likely benefit you in six months’ time. If you can do that, you’re gonna see amazing results with link building in SEO.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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