Link building is a crucial part of SEO. It focuses on acquiring high-quality links from other websites to yours to improve your search engine rankings and visibility. As with any type of marketing or SEO campaign, certain metrics will indicate whether your efforts are delivering results. However, not all link building metrics are indicators of success. It’s critical to know which metrics you should be monitoring and what they mean.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most important metrics you should monitor to determine the effectiveness of your link building efforts.
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Key Link Building Metrics You Should Monitor
Below, we’ll cover the most important link building metrics. These metrics will help you to understand the impact of your link building efforts and make informed decisions about your strategy.
Organic Growth in Search
One of the most important link building metrics to monitor is organic growth in search, particularly if your primary goal is to boost your SEO and generate organic traffic. This metric refers to the increase in your website’s visibility in search engines as a result of your link building efforts. This includes an increase in keyword rankings and search engine visibility.
To measure this metric, you can use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You can also use paid tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs. Monster Analytics is also a very useful tool if your website is built on WordPress, and has both a free and premium version.
Improved Ranking of Target Page
The improved ranking of a target page is another key success metric. This measures the improvement in the position of a specific page on your website in search engine results, also known as your SERP rank. This is particularly important if you are trying to get a particular page to rank for a specific keyword or phrase.
To track this metric, you can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, SEMRush, or Ahrefs to monitor changes in the position of your target page over time.
New Referring Domains
The acquisition of new referring domains is another critical metric you should be monitoring. This measures the number of new websites that are linking to your site. If you’re consistently getting new links from high ranking domains within your niche, it’s a good indicator that you’re sharing valuable, informative content that’s relevant to your audience. You can monitor new referring domains using tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Moz.
Backlink Quality and Authority Score
Backlink quality and authority score are also important metrics to monitor. The quality of your backlinks, as well as their authority score, can impact your search engine rankings and visibility. Metrics like Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Trust Flow can be used to measure the quality and authority of your backlinks. Tools like Ahrefs or Moz can provide this information.
Toxic links are one of the primary reasons you need to monitor new referring domains, backlink quality, and authority score link building metrics. Sometimes, sites with a poor score will link to your content, which can harm your search engine rankings. In cases like these, you need to remove them by using the required tools provided by Google.
To measure this metric, you can use tools like Ahrefs or Moz to monitor your link profile and identify toxic links. You can then use the Google Disavow tool to remove these links. Always keep a backup of your Disavow file, just in case!
Increased referral traffic is the final metric we recommend you follow. This measures the increase in traffic to your website from backlinks in particular, excluding results from organic search.
This is an important metric because it provides an indication of the impact of your link building efforts on your website’s visibility and traffic. If a referral link isn’t providing you with any traffic at all, it doesn’t mean that the link is completely worthless. If it’s from a high ranking domain, you’ll still benefit. However, the ideal backlink will provide both authority and traffic to your site.
You can monitor referral traffic using tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and SEMRush.
Vanity Metrics That Are Not Indicators Of A Successful campaign
Vanity link building metrics are measurements that look impressive but don’t necessarily indicate real success.
Some vanity metrics in link building campaigns include:
- Number of Backlinks: Just having a high number of links doesn’t guarantee success, especially if they are low-quality links from spammy websites. In fact, they may even have a negative impact on your target page and site as a whole.
- Link Velocity: The speed at which you acquire backlinks is not a reliable indicator of success. It is the quality and relevance of the backlinks that matters more.
- Anchor Text Diversity: Having a diverse range of anchor text used in your backlinks can be important, but focusing solely on this metric can lead to ignoring the quality of the backlinks. Instead, it’s more important to focus on the relevance of the anchor text to the content on the target page.
- Domain Age: While older domains can carry more weight, the age of the domain itself is not a guarantee of success. It’s more important to look at domains with a high domain authority or rank.
- Social Shares: While social media shares can drive referral traffic, they are not a direct ranking factor for search engines and are therefore not a reliable indicator of success in a link building campaign.
- Page Views: While high page views can be a sign of success, it is important to consider other metrics such as conversions and engagement to get a full picture of the effectiveness of a link building campaign.
Monitoring and analyzing the key success metrics of a link building campaign is crucial to understand the impact of your efforts. These metrics include organic growth in search, improved ranking of target pages, new referring domains, backlink quality and authority score, toxic links, and referral traffic. Keep in mind that not all link building metrics will give you actionable insights, so make sure to assign less value to vanity metrics.
By monitoring the metrics we’ve discussed, you can make informed decisions about your link building strategy and improve your search engine visibility and rankings.