How long does it take to see results from link building?

It’s almost a standard question: SEO clients want to know how quickly they’ll see results from link building efforts.

They want a positive change as soon as possible and that makes sense – a lot of time, work and money goes into building quality links.

Realistically, however, it may take 3-12 months to see a change in your site’s visibility.

It’s also worth considering a few important factors that influence the impact speed of link building.

Let’s look at these factors and some examples of how quickly link building brings results in different niches.

6 Aspects That Influence Link Building Effectiveness

In my experience building links for different companies, I have noticed these factors, but the results vary on individual cases.

Let’s break down these factors that influence link building effectiveness in more detail.

1. The authority of a site

Domain Rank (DR) is a metric that includes the number of backlinks a website has received from trusted resources. Usually, the higher the DR, the higher the trust score of the website.

You can check your site’s DR with tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, MOZ, and Majestic.

Sites that initially had a good DR will see results faster.

The lower the DR of the website, the longer you will wait for the links created to bring positive changes. But it also depends on the niche.

As a general rule, the DR should not be lower than 60 for B2B brands and 30 for B2C companies. If your domain ranks lower, you will have to wait longer for results.

Essentially, a website with good authority online can have a better chance of ranking even better.

2. Positive and negative traffic trends

Simply put, the positive trend accelerates the effects of a link building campaign, while the negative trend can hinder short-term results.

Google follows the momentum and gives preference to resources that show a stable growth trend.

If a website has a negative traffic trend, it may be difficult to get back to the original growth point for reasons that impacted the website’s relevance and trust score.

3. Brand popularity

One of the crucial factors in link building is whether a website you are linking from is an authoritative brand or not.

A useful indicator of this would be the percentage of branded traffic a given website receives.

You can check this with tools like Semrush.

4. Types of pages

As a general rule, links created to content pages bring positive results faster than business pages.

Typically, business pages only target a handful of keywords, greatly reducing your chances of success.

Also, remember that Google search gives preferences to content pages.

5. Level of competition in a niche

In B2B, for example, link building is popular, so choosing only this strategy to grow your website may not be enough. You need to combine it with producing high-quality content and building your brand.

But if you come from B2C, link building can become your competitive advantage.

6. Monthly and overall link building budget

The average cost per link in the industry varies. For example, Ahrefs discovered that it is around $350 during the siege estimate around $500.

However, the price per link depends on the authority of a particular site. For example, a link from a site with a domain rating by Ahrefs of 50 and organic traffic of 2,000 per month does not equal a link from a website with a DR of 80 and organic traffic of more than 100,000.

So, link building agencies often set different prices based on a site’s domain classification and organic traffic.

Based on this, a good starting point might include monthly expenses of $3,000 and an overall budget of $30,000.

However, you may need to invest at least $10,000 per month in certain niches to start seeing results.

And, it’s always good to stay realistic about your individual situation and focus on targeting the right keywords rather than taking a chance and failing.

Which factor is the most crucial?

All play an important role to some degree.

However, it is important to link to a branded website that sells an actual product or service.

These websites have the highest growth potential and the impact of linking to these sites will only increase over time.

5 Examples of How Link Building Works in Different Niches

Alright, we have discussed the factors that can speed up or slow down the results of link building campaigns.

But to avoid making empty statements, let’s take a look at a few link building campaigns and how quickly they managed to show positive change.

The first example is a real challenge that many people might consider a lost cause.

This site had zero organic traffic, zero authority, zero branded traffic and came from a very competitive niche – digital marketing.

It is therefore not surprising that the website showed no change in organic traffic in the first eight months, although the number of keywords the website ranked for in the SERPs slightly increase.

Then, more tangible results appeared after almost 12 months of work. The website acquired over 250 links with an overall budget of $100,000.

This is what the current trend of this site looks like. The number of referring domains increased gradually between January 2021 and January 2022.

Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The graph below shows when organic traffic to this website started increasing compared to when it started linking – almost 10 months later.

organic traffic growth ahrefs resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Right now, according to Ahrefs, the organic traffic to this brand’s website is 3,000.

However, Google Search Console shows it even higher.

Ahrefs increased organic trafficScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website took a little over a year to show the results of the link building efforts.

The following example is a B2C brand in the home improvement niche.

The company built 58 links to its website with an overall budget of less than $20,000.

Link building efforts began in December 2021.

ahrefs link building results Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Significant changes in organic traffic began to show less than five months after the brand launched its link building campaign.

You can see how traffic has increased in the graph below.

ahrefs link building effort growth chartScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Here are a few more cases to illustrate how link building results appear for B2B versus B2C.

This is a brand new B2B website without any traffic. This website acquired 40 links for an overall budget of $15,000 and ranked by search terms driving traffic worth $1,600.

ahrefs link building effortsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The first impact of the link building efforts appeared three months after – approximately from November 2021 to December 2021.

all time results via ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

It should be mentioned that this is an absolutely new brand.

But would link building results be faster if the brand was already known?

Yes. This business has been around for a while, with a website that gets tons of traffic and links. It is also a competitive niche of SEO tools.

In this case, the site had a slight boost with only 27 links to a page that already had a few links. So, it’s 27 links against 40 that the previous site had to create.

As a result, organic traffic to it doubled after five months.

growth of ahrefs for new brand link building strategyScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website must have created fewer links, but its effects also came much faster. The link building campaign started in August 2021 and you can see the first results in October 2021.

Another example is a new B2C brand selling supplements in the personal care niche.

He built over 50 links to his site with an overall budget of $12,000.

ahrefs backlink profile Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

As for the results, the link building campaign started towards the end of 2021, and the first changes in organic traffic appeared after two to three months.

link building for B2B brand resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Sometimes the deliverability of link building campaigns is faster for B2C brands, proving that link building in this niche is much less competitive than in B2B.

However, if you look at all the examples, you will see that when a company starts to see its first tangible results depends on each case.

To you

In most cases, results from link building efforts begin to show within three to 12 months.

However, it still depends on a few crucial factors.

  • Site authority.
  • Positive and negative traffic trends.
  • The popularity of the brand.
  • Types of pages providing the links.
  • Level of competition in a niche.
  • Your link building budget.

Also, link to sites that represent trustworthy brands. This way, the positive changes to your site’s performance will continue.

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Featured image: alexdndz/Shutterstock

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