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Link Building Basics: Tracking results

Hello, and welcome to the newest edition of my Link Building Basics series here on Biznology.

This installment marks the conclusion of my six part series on the basics of building links. In previous posts we covered the basics surrounding:

In this final post we will discuss one of the most crucial portions of link building – tracking results.

Results tracking is important in all online marketing practices, but it’s especially vital in link building because the work is very difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative to know what tactics are working and which are not.

Not only is tracking important for measuring the performance of your current tactics, but the data you collect will also guide your decision making further into your campiagn. Link building is an ongoing and long-term strategy. By leveraging the information you glean from tracking your current campaign you can optimize your strategies in the future for increased efficiency.

There are a number of various metrics worth tracking throughout the course of a campaign. However, since we are covering the basics, here are the fundamental factors you should be tracking:

  • Outreach performance
  • Anchor text distribution
  • Link types
  • What’s working

Let’s discuss each individually.

Outreach performance

As we learned in the last post in this series, outreach sets the table for the success of your entire campaign.

Tracking the response rates of your outreach is key. This will give you a better idea of which outreach strategies are working.  Look at the various aspects of your outreach messages to see which are the most successful. Consider things like:

  • Subject line
  • Greeting
  • Personalization
  • Message formatting
  • Message length
  • Number of outreach attempts
  • Signature
  • Type of link attempted
  • Etc.

Taking all these factors into account will allow you to perfect your outreach messaging and increase your response rates.

Anchor Text Distribution

Another feature of your campaign worth tracking is anchor text distribution.

It’s important to track your anchor text because you want to maintain a natural distribution and avoid over optimization.  A healthy mix of anchor text will include the following:

  • Branded
  • Domain name
  • Naked URL
  • Partial-branded
  • Partial match keyword
  • Exact match (very small portion)

As you can see above, it is acceptable to have some anchor text that is an exact match to your keywords, but these anchors should represent a very small portion of your overall distribution. Too many exact match anchors will raise a red flag to search engines.

Link Types

You should also track the types of links you are building.

As with anchor text, over-saturation of an individual link type should be a concern as well. The same type of link over and over again will be viewed as manipulative, and it is necessary to diversify your tactics.

Every link building campaign is different, and you should implement a customized strategy that leverages a number of different methods and techniques. Track the types of links you are getting and ensure you have a wide variety of link types in your backlink profile.

What’s working?

Finally, it is important that you track which strategies are the most effective.

In order to optimize your campaign moving forward and work more efficiently, you need to know which strategies work best. Every niche is different, and chances are there are some specific link building strategies that work better than others in your particular industry.

One factor you should consider when tracking the efficiency of your campaign is successful landing pages. Look at which pages performed the best in terms of links and consider focusing on these pages moving forward.

Another aspect you should track is popular content. Take inventory of your past content regularly – examine the number of backlinks and social shares to help guide future content ideation.

Recap

Tracking is an important part of any marketing campaign, and it’s essential to link building. With proper tracking you can focus on what works and cut out what is ineffective, increasing the efficiency of your campaign. Some basic items you should be tracking include:

  • Outreach performance
  • Anchor text distribution
  • Link types
  • What’s working

This final post brings an end to my link building basics series. Again, you can find the other parts of the series here on Biznology:

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