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How to Measure Your Link Building Efforts

Although some would say we’re still in the Wild West days of internet usage, the truth is that search engines like Google have instilled a sense of order with their algorithms, putting an end to many nefarious, black hat practices that allowed unscrupulous businesses to gain unwarranted click-through via linking schemes.  These days, it may be a lot harder to nail down the high-quality, organic links you need to fly under Google’s radar and gain page rank, but it’s not impossible, especially with a strong strategy.

An important piece of the puzzle revolves around measuring the impact of your efforts.  If you don’t know how your strategies are performing, you can’t truly hone your strategy to ensure the greatest possible return on investment.  Here are just a few important tips for properly measuring your link building efforts.

Landing Page Traffic

If you’ve gone out of your way to tie certain campaigns to target pages, you need to track landing page traffic in the aftermath to see if you get a boost.  Naturally, you’ll want to track other metrics on those pages, such as bounce rates, engagement, and so on.  You not only need to know if your linking campaigns are bringing traffic to target pages, but also the subsequent response, so you can make sure your landing page content matches up to expectations when users follow links.

Referral Traffic from Viral Content

If you can promote relevant, timely, newsworthy content in such a way that it gets shared among media outlets and users, you have the opportunity to get embedded links shared in an organic way, which is desirable for two reasons.  First, this is the type of link sharing that scores points with search engines, and second, it can help to increase referral traffic.  Track metrics carefully in wake of successful content promotion to see if there’s a related boost in referral traffic.

Referring IP Volume

Google is definitely keeping track of this and you should, too.  It’s important to know where your referrals are coming from.  Search engines want to see if you’re not setting up referrals to your main site from satellites, but for your interest, you want to make sure that backlinks are associated with a diverse range of high-quality websites.

Organic Search Traffic

Having your backlinks spread in an organic way is the best-case scenario because this is what Google truly wants to see – authentic interest in your brand, your website, and your content.  If you’re up-to-date with your linking strategy, a lot of your efforts are probably going into building an organic network of links.

Of course, organic search traffic could be related to a variety of other SEO efforts, so you need to understand that multiple variables could be at play.  Still, this metric can help you to see subtle changes when you launch linking campaigns.  It’s definitely one to track if you want to measure the overall impact of your link building efforts.  With the right strategy, you can not only engineer a strong network of backlinks, but figure out which efforts are delivering the greatest return.

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