Updated: Oct 16
Findings from the State of Link Building 2022 Report:
Methodology Adopted and Respondents Background [from Aira]:
The survey opened on 16th March 2022 and closed on 2nd May 2022. During this time, 270 SEOs responded to the survey from across agencies (51%), in-house roles (33%), and freelancers (16%).
The survey received responses from 31 different countries. The majority of respondents were based in the United Kingdom (45%) and the United States (16%), followed by India (6%) and the Netherlands (4%).
34% of respondents have been working in digital marketing for over ten years, followed by 30% who have been working in digital marketing for five to ten years, closely followed by three to five years at 27%.
Team Leaders/Heads of Departments and Seniors make up 49% of respondents.
Link Building Survey Studies and Key Findings:
1. Top Techniques for Link Building:
Content as a way to build links (68%). The next two most popular techniques were competitor analysis (54%) and guest posting (47%).
2. Top Tools for Link-Building Purposes:
Ahrefs (82%), Google Sheets (60%), and SEMrush (56%).
3. Best Tool for Link-Building Purposes:
Ahrefs (51%), followed by SEMrush (9%) [HARO: 5%].
4. Top Tools Trusted [Link Data]:
Ahrefs (64%), Google Search Console (14%), and SEMrush (10%)
5. Top Metrics to Measure the Authority and/or Quality of a Link:
Domain Rating (Ahrefs-67%) and Domain Authority (Moz-42%)
6. Best Metric Chosen to Measure the Authority and/or Quality of a Link:
Domain Rating (Ahrefs-44%)
7. Top Primary KPIs to Measure the Effects of Link-Building Efforts:
The clear winner with 53% was rankings, followed by search visibility at 36%.
8. Estimated Time for Securing a Link:
1-2 hours (32%) and 3-5 hours (24%).
9. Brand Mentions Influence Organic Search Rankings:
10. Effectiveness of Link Building in Influencing Organic Search Rankings:
The average score is 7.8 out of 10 scale.
11. Google Signals:
The vast majority of SEOs (94%) said they believe Google will continue to use links as a ranking signal for the next five years.
12. Estimated Time to See the Impact of Link Building on Rankings and Traffic:
1-3 months (49%) and 3-6 months (30%).
13. Important Determining Factors Whether a Link is Topically Relevant or Not (Topical Relevance):
Most popular with 62% was the topic of the page where the link is placed. This was followed by the topic of the domain where the link is placed (52%).
14. Link Building Positively Influences Rankings:
Yes (48%) and 34% then said yes, but with a caveat that the website has no major technical SEO issues.
15. Buying Links can Positively Influence Rankings:
The majority (69%) said that they believe they do positively influence rankings.
16. Strength of Target Page or Domain:
58% of SEOs felt that links to a target page were most effective in getting those pages to rank, as opposed to the domain as a whole.
17. Attributes of a Link that Positively Influencing Organic Search Rankings:
72% of the votes was links from sites specifically related to a niche, followed by 51% saying that links from new domains (i.e. they haven’t linked to previously) are a key attribute.
18. Influence of On-Page SEO Signals in Improving Organic Search Traffic:
19. Number of Links Building in a Campaign:
The topmost selected range for a link-building campaign to achieve was 1-9 links (53%), followed by 10-19 links (49%).
20. Number of Links Acquired Deemed to be Successful in a Link-Building Campaign:
The majority (65%) of SEOs believe that a range of 1-19 links per campaign is successful.
21. Usual Course of Action for Missing the Link-Building Target:
The most popular answer from SEOs (48%) was that they move on to another campaign.
Just behind this at 41% was the action of keeping going up to a limit of time or budget.
22. Length of time SEOs Spend Outreaching a Single Campaign:
The most popular answer was 3-4 weeks which 36% said was the usual length of time for outreaching a single campaign.
Next up was 25% of SEOs who said that there was no fixed end date for outreach on a single campaign.
23. Affect Website Rankings:
SEOs felt that links that aren’t related to the core topic of a website can positively influence rankings (49%).
24. Most Challenging part of the Content-Led Link-Building Process:
According to respondents, getting links from outreach targets is the hardest part of the process with 40% of the votes.
In second place was coming up with ideas for campaigns which 20% of respondents said they struggled with the most.
25. Top Formats found to be Most Effective for Generating Links:
Long-form, report-style content (56%),
Interactive piece of content (42%),
Blog posts (39%), and
Static infographic (27%).
26. Pricing Model Used for More Clients:
Retainer fee (45%),
Price per campaign/project (27%),
Hourly rate (20%), and
Price per link (8%).
27. Top Hardest and Easiest Industries to Build Links in:
Hardest: Healthcare or Pharmaceuticals (31%), Accountancy, banking or finance (25%), and Law (21%).
Easiest: Beauty/Personal Care (35%), Marketing, advertising or PR (26%), and Leisure, sport or tourism (24%).
28. Budget for Link Building:
The most common budget range for in-house SEOs was $10,000-$25,000, with 25% of respondents saying that this was their average monthly budget for link building. Close behind with 19% was the $2,500- $5,000 range.
29. Percentage of SEO Budget Dedicated to Link Building:
If interested, you may access the complete Survey Study Report here.
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