Link building

What are the real goals of link building campaigns?

What is the purpose of linking?

Obviously, links are the goal of link building. Law? Well, not exactly.

Links are an important metric to track because without links your campaign obviously fails. But links alone are not the goal. We don’t build links for links’ sake (or at least we shouldn’t), but rather because of what links accomplish and stand for.

We build links to grow a website’s reach, network and visibility. These are the real purposes of link building.

Links remain fundamental to the web, to navigating the online world, and to ranking in competitive search.

SEOs and marketers should build links to develop relationships, tap into new audiences, and of course, increase search traffic.

Today, I want to discuss potential metrics to track in your own link campaign, to ensure that you’re meeting these larger goals and maximizing your link campaigns.

The importance of personalization

How do you determine which metrics to track?

Some metrics will be universal (all link campaigns should track links, for example), but some metrics will depend on your campaign goals, reach, and expectations.

Metrics help measure campaign effectiveness and affect how you create reports. Therefore, the metrics you track should be based on customer expectations and key performance indicators (KPIs). It is your responsibility to define reasonable expectations, the scope of the project and the corresponding KPIs.

This post will do not to be a universal guide for what steps to take in a link building campaign, but rather to serve as a list of reasonable steps you could track in a link building campaign.

The metrics you actually track should depend on the specifics of the campaign.

It should be noted that it is very difficult to constantly improve without knowing the hard data of your performance – which these metrics will reveal.

Divide our metrics into meaningful segments

There are three parts to a link campaign:

  1. The work needed to build relationships.
  2. Links successfully built.
  3. The performance of your site.

The first step— the work involved in making connections — over which we have absolute control.

Like Rand Fishkin recently featured at SearchLoveas marketers, we need to better track and measure our output (the work) and its effect on results.

Dr Pete publish on Moz also takes this perspective, showing the benefits of moving from the lag result (rankings, in our case) to primary metrics (work).

The second step– by successfully securing the links – we have some control, although ultimately we cannot create a site link to ours. We are not magicians, just SEOs strategically promoting our clients’ digital assets to others. Whether or not a link is established will always be at the discretion of the site manager/owner, under their editorial control.

The best we can do is persuasively market ourselves and influence their decision.

The third step– improve the performance of our website – over which we have the least control.

This is our shift goal; the end results we strive for. It is the expected result of all our efforts and what we measure ourselves against.

Site performance is often at the heart of reporting, but requires well-defined expectations and must be managed with the context of other segments: the work required to build the links, and the links themselves.

Of course, if a website is not ready for links our ability to move the needle will be greatly reduced.

Let’s move on to the actual metrics you should consider for each segment.

Link Building Work: The Metrics

Depending on the method you use to build links, the activity boils down to a few aspects:

  1. Sites found.
  2. Websites launched.
  3. Content involved/created.

Content may or may not be involved, depending on what part of the process you are involved in. If you’re helping guide a campaign, you need to be involved in the ideation and creation process. If you are hired to help market/improve performance, you may not be part of the creative process.

The link campaign process can vary in complexity. For the purposes of this article, let’s not dig too deep into the potentials and stick to the metrics.

Metrics to track during link building work:

1. Prospecting Metrics

  • Prospecting method
    • google
    • Social
    • Competitive analysis
    • BuzzSumo
    • Discovery of BuzzStream
    • Other tools
  • Number of sites found
  • Time spent prospecting

2.Quality Assurance (QA) Metrics:

  • SEO Considerations
    • Do Not Track Policies
    • Explore/index
    • Redirects
    • Link neighborhood
    • Any other element that may have an impact on the quality of the link.
  • Site quality:
    • AD
    • Pennsylvania
    • Flow of trust
    • Citation stream
    • Traffic (SEMrush)
    • Commitment levels
  • Relevance
  • Number of sites removed during quality control
  • Time spent in QA

3.Presentation/Awareness Metrics:

  • Number of responses
    • negative percentage
    • Positive percentage
    • Total percentage of placements that received responses
  • Time spent pitching
  • Awareness method:
    • E-mail
    • Social networks
    • Web form
    • Call
    • Alternative
  • Number of pitches sent
    • Initial
    • To follow
    • Unique
    • Number of chats/conversations (total number of contacts required to secure a link)
  • Reasons for Refusals

4. Content Metrics

  • Content type
  • Public
  • Angle
  • Resources required
  • Development time
  • Project issues
    • Types
    • Number of problems
    • Timeout

There are a wide variety of jobs that can go into a link campaign. The above should give you an idea of ​​typical metrics to track.

Keep in mind that any work needed to build connections will be worth tracking – both for internal effectiveness tracking and external reporting.

Links built: metrics

The heart of a link building campaign is of course the links.

So what metrics should you follow to improve your understanding of the overall campaign? What metrics could you report in terms of links?

Here are some suggestions.

Link metrics:

  1. Number of links built
  2. Date of publication/online
  3. Method/tactic
  4. Prospecting method
  5. Website type
  6. It’s time to conclude/negotiate
  7. Niche/industry
  8. Link quality
    • Domain authority
    • Page Authority
    • Flow of trust
    • Citation stream
    • Location/link location
    • Anchor text
    • Single referring domain
    • Block C
    • Other links on the page
  9. Relevance
  10. Tools needed/used
  11. Campaign cost
  12. Intangible (relationships, other marketing opportunity, brand image, etc.)

The link part of a report should be more than a list of links. Concise and clear information is important, but if you don’t explain link metrics, you rob your reports of value.

link fence

Also, keep in mind that the metrics you focus on will naturally be the metrics you work toward in your link campaign.

Specialized campaigns require finding and focusing on the right metrics.

The Purpose of Link Building: Site Performance Metrics

The ultimate goal of link building is to increase the performance of your website. You really want more traffic, engagement, and conversions.

You want your site to generate more revenue.

Link building is far from a magic panacea, and nothing happens overnight. Consistent link building will improve your keyword rankings, assuming your pages meet searcher intent, have solid on-page SEO, and your site isn’t suffering from technical SEO issues.

SEO isn’t just about links, but links are an essential part of the SEO equation.

Here are the site performance metrics to track in link campaigns.

  1. Site-wide performance
    • All traffic
    • Organic traffic
    • Rankings
    • Conversions
    • Commitment
    • Keyword Growth
  2. Page-specific performance
    • All traffic
    • Organic traffic
    • Reference traffic
    • Rankings
    • Thematic keywords
    • Goal Completion
    • Page value

All of these can be recorded month-over-month, year-over-year, and a three-month moving average.

Again, what you follow depends not only on the work you do and the links you have secured, but also on the site itself. The performance metrics you will track for a smaller site should be very different than for a larger business site.

And of course, there will also be a variety of other factors at play. Chances are that if there is a link building campaign in place, other work is also being done on the website. . Any other work must be taken into account.

Hopefully this gives you an understanding of the different metrics you can track in a link campaign and inspires future SEO/link building work.

Metrics are the key to improving reporting efficiency and success.