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Backlink Case Studies: Does backlinks really work? We share our client's results.

One of the most common questions we hear from business owners is if backlinks really works. Questions they often have includes:

  • Will backlinks work for my business and niche?
  • How long does it take for backlinks to work?
  • How much does it cost to buy backlinks?

In this post, we'll look to answer these questions by providing 2 case studies of our current clients, and then using these case studies to give readers some tangible answers to these above questions.

Case Study 1: New business (no prior SEO work)

Business Profile:

The first case study features a client started her business back in 2018 but never really spent much effort on digital marketing or SEO. She relied primarily on word of mouth and emails to get new clients. In 2019 she began doing a bit of SEO work but efforts didn't really take off because her business was in a highly competitive industry. After a few month, she signed up with us in early 2020.

I'll make a note that if this journey sounds similar to your, then you're not alone. The vast majority of our clients started off somewhat neglecting SEO efforts before getting some assistance. Below, I'll detail what we did to help this client, as well as the results we achieved after a few months of work.

Plan of action:

One of the first things we needed to look for when clients from competitive industries want to improve their keyword rankings is just how competitive their primary keywords are, and whether there are any opportunities to rank in the top 3 for these primary keywords.

Winterplay Case Study 1


We can see that the keywords this business is targeting is either highly competitive (and expensive), a bit vague ("it consulting"), or has very low search volume. What we needed to do is to find keywords that are relevant to this business, while also have a good amount of monthly search volume. We ended up using these primarily keywords as seed keywords to generate new ideas that are:

1. More relevant

2. Had search volume

We found over 300 keyword ideas that are relevant for this business, filtered for the most volume while removing keywords that isn't a fit while working with the client.


Once we found a list of good keywords candidates, we went ahead and used our Large Backlink plan starting in early January of 2020. We ran the monthly campaigns while rotating through the keywords we identified in the initial research. After 8 months of work, here are the results.


We were able to grow this client's organic keywords from under 150 to around 600 in 8 months utilizing our Large plan. Her organic traffic also tripled. Note that she started seeing results within 2 months because she already had a lot of good content on her site. While this was great, we still had a lot of work to do to continue to grow this client's business. Because of the competitiveness of this client's industry, the team and client had began more content marketing by setting up a blog, and starting to promote more informative blog posts instead of direct landing pages.


Case Study 2: E-Commerce Website

Business Profile:

The second case study features an E-commerce business. This client launched his business back in 2017 and has been operating on a steady basis while growing his online presence and organic backlinks and keyword profile. In late 2019 he reached out to us to help grow his online business

Plan of action:

Something we noticed very quickly was that this client had a very large product portfolio on his website with great product descriptions (read: a lot of potential keywords and content). We quickly got working on a list of more than 5,000 keywords for his site. Due to the large number of keywords we wanted to target, this client had 5 Large plans running with us in parallel, each targeting 15 keywords per month for a total of 75 keywords per month.


Our efforts started in July of 2019 and we started see a noticeable increase by November.



This client began starting a major update in traffic and and organic keywords by new years, and over the course of 2020, we continued to grow this client's organic keyword and traffic profile. As for future plans, this client has started work on a new brand and we are working with him to grow this brand's online presence.

Common Questions:

So coming back to the questions we had posed at the start of the post. We'll look to answer these questions while drawing on the two case studies above as examples of what you can potentially expect.

Question 1: Will Backlinks work for my business?

The answer is undoubtedly yes, however this excludes some industries we don't accept, like adult and gambling businesses. Other than specific industries, we can generally find very effective keywords for just about any business and industry.  A big part of SEO is effective research, and this is where we'll need to understand the business in order to find high quality keywords for your SEO strategy. A friendly reminder, just like all marketing efforts, SEO isn't guaranteed to produce an adequate return on your investment. However when done correctly as we've seen in these two case studies, it can seriously grow a business in a fairly short period of time.

Question 2: How long does it take for backlinks to work?

It depends! For established websites with 1 year+ of domain history and some blog posts (content), it can take as little as 2 months. New sites without much content can take anywhere from 3 - 6 months. Industry competitiveness also plays a role. Certain industries, including finance, payday loans, law, and insurance are highly competitive and takes longer to rank higher in Google than industries with less competition. From our experience, it typically takes 3 - 6 months for most of our clients to see significant improvements.

Question 3: How much does backlinks cost?

We typically recommend our clients use our Large Backlink Plan, which costs $250 per month. While you can elect to only use this plan for 1 month, we highly recommend being on the plan for at least 3 months to really get the most benefit because the reality is that SEO results takes time, and anyone that promises fast results is likely just in it for a quick buck. Since we typically guide towards 3-6 months for significant results, we recommend clients budget $1,000 - $1,500 for SEO promotions.


On our Backlink plans page, you'll be able to see the full list of links that are included in our Small, Medium, or Large plans. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our support team through our Contact page.