Setting a goal for every campaign is a critical success factor.

Without goal setting, you’ll find yourself losing resources without hitting your target objectives at the end of the campaign.

In link building, most SEOs would like to hit a certain number of acquired links per month.

Is it a numbers game or are there other factors we have to consider?

In this blog post, let’s discuss these considerations and dive into what really matters.



Let’s face reality. If you’re dealing with clients for their link building projects, they often have a target number of links to hit every month.

This isn’t because it’s just a numbers game, but because they’ve analyzed enough their backlink profile against their competitors. This is where marketers, SEOs, and link builders should start.

There are two ways to do this.

The first is to analyze your own backlink profile specifically its link velocity. Compare your growth month over month, or year over year.

You should have seen good consistent growth in terms of unique referring domains — these means people are attracted to your site and are linking to your pages both organically and manually (manually — you building links through link request or content promotion outreach).

If your site is new, you shouldn’t expect much growth in terms of links. But if you’ve properly published linkable content assets, you should assume the momentum of links over time.

The second analysis that you can do is to look at your competitors’ profiles. These are competitors competing with you on products/services you’re also providing (and not competing for just content piece or page).

How many links are they getting passively each month? Ahrefs gives you a lot of insights into this.

Using the analysis of your site/client and its competitors, you should have a good sense of how many links you should be building and their range of authorities depending on the niche you’re in.

Factors To Consider For Number of Acquired Links Per Month

Brand Requirements

If you’re working on an enterprise link building campaign, head of SEOs or SEO managers have their own target number of links to acquire each month.

It could be based on their own analysis and decision making.

These types of websites with solid content teams have dedicated content hubs on their site ready to be promoted to its intended audience.

That being said, you may be working for just one content piece or set of content assets. This setup provides easy insights as to the supposedly hit link numbers.

Simply look at its content competitors (primarily competing pages on search results for its main/target keywords).

Using Ahrefs’ Link Explorer, you can quickly see the number of referring links each page received.

tuck lucid dream

From that, you can set a good range of target links to acquire each month.

Take note that you have to consider factors such as the competitors’ brand authority, its post publishing existence (if they’re the first one who covers the topic – they’re likely to get initial benefits of trust and visibility), plus all other factors competitors have an advantage when they created their content assets.

Scope of Target Industries

Your target industries will play an important factor to the number of target links you want to acquire each month.

The more expandable you can be with your target audiences, the more number of links you can tap.

However, it depends on what kinds of links you want. If you’re aiming for resource pages links, your target links depend on your intended linkable audiences. You can check out these two guides on resource pages and broken link building.

The bigger the scope of your audience targeting, the higher the number of acquired links you can target.

This doesn’t mean you have to expand your target audiences because this will sometimes detach you from your brand’s customer base.

Always check if it’s feasible to expand your target audiences.

Linking Velocities of Competitors

Search marketing is a serious competition.

If the competition thrives at increasing the quantity and quality of links every month, it would be best to cope up with their speed and velocity.

You don’t sacrifice quality here, but rather find ways to increase the types of links that matter to your site.

You can use Ahrefs to see your competitors’ link velocity status.

ahrefs link velocity

Prospecting Lists

The larger your prospect lists, the more likely you’ll get more links in your link development campaign.

You should also account for other factors such as the effectiveness of outreach pitches, response times of prospects, seasonality of campaigns, and all connected factors to link results.

That being said, when you increase your prospecting lists while at the same factor in good efforts to other contributing success factors of the campaign, you can expect a higher number of acquired links per month.

Find flexibility for websites you can reach out to. Are there any other industries or types of linkers you can tap with for content promotion?

Expand your link search capabilities.

You can use tools like Citation Labs Link Prospector to semi-automate link prospecting.

Actionable Tips to Increase the Number of Acquired Links Per Month

Uncovering Passive Link Opportunities

Link acquisition can work passively. By investing effort in the promotion of solid content assets for initial links, those pages become more visible to other linkers either through dominating the search results for its target keywords and/or getting radar on mentions in targeted publications.

Find any old evergreen content assets that are underpromoted, yet have acquired a significant number of high-quality links in the past.

Make it more comprehensive than its previous version by adding more latest data, new content formats to suffice other learnings styles (such as videos, images, infographics, etc..).

You can check out these resources on creating link assets in boring niches and link building for SaaS template pages.

Use Ahrefs’ Top Pages and sort by Best Links to find your site’s top linkable assets.

ahrefs best pages by links

By doing so, you’re not only relying on your manual link building outreach, but you’re also consistently gaining new passive links that are relevant to your brand.

Invest in organic link generation to get ahead with your monthly target links.

You can check out this latest podcast by Siegemedia on generating passive links.

Links as a Leading Indicator of Success

For SEOs and agencies, the lagging indicators are search traffic and rankings.

Links become just a by-product of pushing efforts to hit those lag measures. Links, for them, is a leading indicator.

This is an important mindset to hit your number of acquired links each month. You may opt for the number of links but later on not be able to achieve your lagging indicators.

If you’re building content assets from a search traffic improvement perspective, you get high-quality links along the process.

Factors and Processes

By knowing what matters most to your link building campaign and leveraging on processes — both major and menial initiatives – you’re likely to hit your number of acquired links per month.