You’ve identified your link building strategy, you’ve designated roles for your campaign, and now, your first step is to look for link opportunities relevant to your site.

But how many link targets do you need to look for every week?

how many websites your link prospector should be looking for

This is a recent question from a community user of Traffic Think Tank:

“What is the maximum number of link opportunities that your link prospectors find? Mine are assigned 300-400 per week. I often wonder whether that’s a high number or a low number. It often takes about 6 weeks before new link prospectors hit that, so I feel it might be high. But would like to know how many all of your link prospectors find on average?

The basic answer to this question is: it depends.

Before you close this page, let me explain.

Your link prospecting starts even before you actually jump onto your Google search and type in industry keywords to find blogs or sites.

You plan the link prospecting campaign based on different factors. The rate of your link discovery depends on your own concluded decision specific to your client’s or your website’s needs.

These are the factors that will help you estimate the number of link prospects you have to discover every week:

  • Historical data (average or estimate link placement rate of your past link building campaigns)
  • Industry links per content on average (based on links on average per similar content assets in your industry)
  • Metrics stated on agreement (for agency alike)

Since these factors may require some thinking, I’ll dig into each of the factors here.

Let’s start.

 

HISTORICAL LINK DATA ON SIMILAR STRATEGY

If you’ve done link building campaigns in the past, you may have a data to look at and see how many links you generated from a number of link opportunities.

Remember that the data you will combine from two or three campaigns should correspond to the type of link building strategy you use.

For example, you can’t combine historical data of link placement rate (manual links acquired over link prospects) of a broken link building campaign from data gathered in a guest blogging campaign.

These two campaigns are different in their approach and have their own sets of factors to consider.

BACKTRACK YOUR LINK PLACEMENT RATE

If you have two or more link acquisition campaigns — for example, infographic outreach, you can check the average link placement rate by dividing the number of links you acquired over the link opportunities you discover.

In your next campaign, you’ll now set a target based on the average link placement rate. Let’s say you’ve got 4.6% based on your historical data.

If your goal is to reach at least 15 links per content asset for the site you’re working on, a good number of link prospects’ goal should be 326 websites.

Realistically, 450 to 500 websites or pages should be on your list, considering the fact that there are bounced emails, broken pages (404 pages) at the timing of your pitch, and so many other factors. So having an allowance of additional 100 to 150 is highly recommended.

WHAT IF IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME TO EXECUTE THE LINK STRATEGY?

If you’re doing it for the first time, here is a good outreach placement rate: 5% to 7% range.

Siegemedia has this 5 to 7% outreach placement rate, to say the least.

Considering that the content you deliver to prospects is linkable, you are nailing it if the campaign reaches 5% of the total link prospects gathered to be actual links.

For broken link building, it may vary a little bit. In our experience at SharpRocket, 2 to 5% link placement rate is a good benchmark.

From that, you reverse engineer the number of linking websites you should be searching for.

TYPE OF CONTENT

The form of content you are pitching to matters in how many link opportunities you should be aiming for your content – which again, will depend on the root – outreach placement rate.

If you’re pitching a high-end story, very localized in targeting, you may be getting a mid-to-high conversion rate, as it is very specific and could be exclusively covered by publishers.

Meanwhile, resource guides will require 300 to 500 links pages to expect at least a minimum of 10 resource links for a given linkable asset (for 2 to 5% link placement rate).

So, when knowing how many link opportunities you should be searching for in a given week, whether you are a solo link builder or an agency, you need to consider how linkable the content asset is and if’s the type of content that gets the highest link reception.

INDUSTRY/VERTICAL LINK ENVIRONMENT

Every vertical has different link landscape.

For example, lawyers don’t tend to link out compared to mommy bloggers. That’s not to say that lawyers can’t give you a link. If it’s highly local in nature and your content is highly linkable, you’ll get a chance to acquire links for sure.

mommy blogger example

There are industries that don’t use blogging as their main platform to earn money besides their profession.

But for mommy and fashion bloggers, they get some affiliate commissions and earnings from advertisements of different kinds online. Thus, they get more free time to engage in any online marketing activities including SEO and link building.

Consider this fact as you decide on the number of link opportunities for a given niche client.

TIME SPENT ON PERSONALIZATION

The higher the number of link targets you can discover, the more time you’ll have to spend in personalizing outreach emails.

This is a must to consider as you don’t want to sacrifice quality of pitches just because you’re looking for a higher number of link opportunities per week/month.

After all, the outcome is more important than the link opportunities rate.

If you are pursuing a larger size of link opportunities, you need to consider the time spent on personalizing your email pitches. Remember without proper personalization, you’ll just lose the prospects, either they won’t respond to your pitch (ignoring your emails overall) or delete them immediately as soon as it arrives.

METRICS

Lastly, setting a benchmark for link prospecting should be considered in assessing how many link prospects you should look for in a given week.

The higher the benchmark is for metrics, let’s say DA50 and above for all link targets, the less websites or pages you may be including in your link list.

That’s not to say that benchmark isn’t good; it’s for assessing quality as a baseline.

Nonetheless you have to consider your metrics if you want to cast a wider net in link prospecting.

FURTHER READING:

VARIATIONS ON LINK PROSPECTING NUMBERS

While there are many factors to consider in checking the average number of link opportunities your prospectors must look for either in a week or in a month: historical link data from past campaigns, type of content, industry, time spent on personalization and metrics, make sure to increase allowances in numbers.

By increasing more of the link prospects allowed, you increase the likelihood of getting more links for a given campaign.