How Many Links Do You Really Need to Rank Well? | Ep. #373

In Episode #373, Eric and Neil discuss how many links you really need to rank well. Tune in as Eric and Neil remind us of the TWO most important factors for SEO. They’ll also explain why The Penny Hoarder gets more traffic than Neil does and why Eric builds links for a post that is already driving traffic.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: How Many Links Do You Really Need to Rank Well?
  • 00:39 – Two main factors in SEO are content and links
  • 00:57 – Eric and Neil uses Ahrefs
    • 01:01 – Ahrefs has a keyword explorer tool that will show you the difficulty and guidelines for using a certain keyword
  • 01:23 – The Penny Hoarder is a popular blog which was in Inc 500 list
    • 01:32 – They make 8-figures/year in revenue
    • 01:35 – The blog has more traffic than Neil’s blog
    • 01:40 – They get more traffic because of their content
    • 01:43 – Neil has more backlinks and domain authority than TPH
    • 01:52 – “It just comes down to content”
  • 01:58 – You don’t need too many backlinks
    • 02:02 – You need MORE content
  • 02:06 – If you want to build up your links, use infographics or Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique
  • 02:25 – Eric didn’t build links for the top 5 keywords for which they’re ranking
  • 02:46 – Focus on the domain authority
  • 03:03 – Eric has one post that ranks for the most marketing keywords
    • 03:16 – Eric has built links for that post to boost it
  • 03:41 – Check Eric Enge’s: Do Links Still Matter
  • 04:05 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription to Crazy Egg which is a heat mapping tool that helps you increase your conversion rate
  • 04:58 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. Content and links are the main factors for SEO—keep track of them.
  2. Having too many backlinks may not always boost your post; rather, focus on creating GREAT content.
  3. Check the posts whose keywords are ranking well and build links to boost that post.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we're going to talk about how many links you really need to rank well. Just a quick recap for everyone. Neil and I talk a lot about link building on this podcast. Two main factors when it comes to SEO, content. Number two, links. Again, a lot of people tend to forget about links, but if you're looking to build more links, the question is, "How do you get more links and how many do you need to rank well for a specific keyword?"
I'll start it off by keeping it very simple. The tool that Neil and I love is called Ahrefs and Ahrefs actually has the ability to have a keyword explorer tool. Let's say I type in the keyword 'online marketing' for example. It's going to show me how difficult that keyword is and approximately how many back links I need to get to a top 10 position. Again, that's just a guideline, but a guideline is always a good place to start because then, you can start to set targets for what you want to do from a link-building perspective.

Neil Patel: I was looking at a site called The Penny Hoarder the other day. The Penny Hoarder is a really popular blog. They're in the Ink 500 list, which is the fastest 500 growing companies in the US. They do well into the eight figures, so over 10 million a year in revenue. You know what? They have way more traffic than me. What's the difference? It's not links, it's content. I have, I think, four or five times more back links than them. They only have roughly 5,000. It's not about quantity when it comes to back links. I also have more domain authority than them. It just comes down to content. After you have a few thousand back links, sure. Can more help? Of course, but you don't really need too many more back links. Instead, what you really need is just a ton more content and if you're trying to build up your links in the beginning, you can use things like infographics or Brian Dean's Skyscraper Technique. Those are two simple ways to just generate way more subscribers.

Eric Siu: When I look at some keywords that we're ranking for, like marketing funnel or sales funnel, for example ... or on my other blog, Growth Everywhere, Sales Team, for example, those are all within the top 5 and I didn't really build any links towards those. Those are just a reflection of what Neil is saying. We have a higher domain authority and then our blog is seen focused on the marketing space. So that's why we tend to rank well for things like that, which is why when we're starting to publish news articles ... We're starting to rank well for marketing related news articles as well. So 100% agree, focus on that domain authority, but then if you're looking for a much more pointed thing for a keyword that you want to rank for, you can check out the keyword explorer inside of Ahrefs.
Neil, anything else?

Neil Patel: Well, you have this one person that ranks for everything that's marketing related, right. Like marketing company, marketing ...

Eric Siu: Yeah, that's one that ranks for internet marketing company, like digital marketing company, and things like that.

Neil Patel: And how many links did you build to that post?

Eric Siu: That one, initially it was ... We basically used a older post, but we upgraded it. And once we upgraded it, then it started to rank well. Let's say top 10 on average. And then we started to build a couple of links towards it. And then, now it's ranking even better.

Neil Patel: Yes. So if you want to build links, you should consider building links to articles that are already doing somewhat well. That'll help boost 'em up. But yeah, in general, as Eric mentioned, we built a couple links, it's not like you need to build thousands and thousands.

Eric Siu: And there's actually a good post on this. If you google Eric, E-R-I-C. Last name is Enge, so it's E-N-G-E. Eric Enge do links still matter? And there's a table on the effects of link building, so check that one out. I think I've referred to it a couple of times. But, that's it for today. But before we go, we have another special giveaway. This is a one year annual subscription to Crazy Egg, which is a heat mapping tool. And Neil, I'll let you describe what it is.

Neil Patel: Sure, so Crazy Egg is a visual analytics tool. It shows you where people click, where they don't. It also shows you things like how far people are scrolling down your page because if your call to action buttons are really low, then you'll know to adjust them and place them higher. You can also see how people are navigating through your website, through the video recordings. And if you want to make changes based on all the data, you can do so in the wiziwig editor. You don't have to be a designer or developer. You can make design changes, content changes, remove elements. You can even run AV tests with a few clicks of a button.

Eric Siu: All right. So if you actually want to get in on this giveaway, we're giving away one per week. So that's one year annual subscription every single week. And you can actually get multiple entries to this. So if you want to learn more about how to get in on this, just go to to learn more, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics, to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to write a review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

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