How to Assess if Your Link Building Strategy Is Effective?

How to Assess if Your Link Building Strategy Is Effective?

Have you ever wondered why given phrases appear on Google after typing in a specific query? What affects website’s positions in the search results? Although the list of factors is pretty long, it’s worth pointing out that quality link building is one of the key elements that have an impact on website visibility.

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Obtaining valuable backlinks to your page can help you improve its visibility in Google rankings. So how to assess the effectiveness of your link building strategy? Today we’ll let the cat out of the bag and explain everything to you based on an example of an online store Delante has been doing an SEO process for.

Undoubtedly, every SEO specialist is familiar with the concept of link building. However, people who don’t have much to do with that rapidly developing industry may have doubts concerning the effectiveness of link building. We’ll start by explaining the meaning of this concept. To put it simply, this is the second easiest way (after SEO and on-site activities) to increase a website’s position on Google. Link building is about obtaining quality and unique links to your website.

It may seem to you that providing a few links redirecting to your website will make you the king of Google search results. However, that’s not necessarily the case. This process requires a lot of effort and patience from the SEO specialist.

Obtain quality and unique links

Link building is quite a complex process. It’s not enough to insert any links and wait for the results. You need to start by selecting a quality platform. Because of that, it’s possible to distinguish a few types of links.

Internal links are placed on the same site they redirect to. It’s worth benefiting from them as they’re a piece of cake. On the other hand, external linking is effective only if you obtain links from quality websites. Domain authority is affected by PageRank, Alexa Rank, age, and a number of links. Remember about Topical Authority and link to pages that discuss similar subjects. The number of links should gradually increase, so consistently expand the database of links to your site.

It’s advisable to stay moderate when it comes to obtaining links. Try to differentiate the links in terms of anchors and clean URLs. An anchor cloud should look natural with a prevalent number of clean URLs.

Do you want to find out what’s the anchor cloud for your website? For this purpose, use the Ahrefs tool. The site domain should be first, then its name and particular keywords. Below you can see an example of a quality anchor cloud:

anchor clouds in effective link building strategy
Source: ahrefs.com

So, what would be the perfect anchor cloud of your domain? The home page address should be ranked on the first position, only then you should see the company name. The next places should preferably be occupied by individual keywords. When linking, it’s important to keep the balance between the anchors of given keywords and the domain address.

Beware of spam links!

Spam links, which are links from low-quality sites, are a serious threat to your website. In the Moz Pro tool, you can check your Spam Score. The received percentage should be taken into account in relation to the quality of the external links to your website. This way, you can get rid of spam links that are harmful to the page.

It’s all about quantity and quality

When doing SEO for a selected website, we frequently wonder whether links from foreign pages are a good idea. Generally, links should come from local catalogs and domains. However, it’s advisable to differentiate the source and obtain at least some of the links from foreign pages.

But remember – these links shouldn’t constitute the majority!

If you want to do SEO for your page, you need to know that the number of linking domains and the number of links aren’t the same things. Links are individual redirects leading to a given site. It’s worth making sure that their number is constantly increasing. To be honest, artificial or one-time link acquisition won’t bring any benefits. The number of linking domains is more important than the number of links. That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure that your backlinks come from valuable sources.

So what should you do? It’s better to obtain 30 links from 30 different domains than 50 links from 3 pages. Keep in mind that SEO is mainly about quality, uniqueness, and diversity.

most common link building mistakes report

There’s no perfect recipe concerning the number of links you should acquire over a week, month, or year. When linking, it’s crucial to stay reasonable. If you have a new website, start your link building process very wisely and increase the number of links over time. Monitor how Google robots react to your efforts. The number of links and linking domains should grow gradually. It’s much better to obtain a few quality links a month than hundreds of low-quality spam links a day.

How to measure the effectiveness of quality link building?

You’re certainly wondering how to assess the effectiveness of SEO. If you benefit from the services of an SEO agency, you may be concerned whether it fulfills its responsibilities and conducts all the activities properly. Being familiar with the industry will undoubtedly make it easier for you to evaluate the effects. However, we’d like to briefly discuss what to pay attention to and how to recognize a quality SEO specialist.

As you may know, it’s best to support certain arguments with examples. That’s why, in today’s article, we’ll discuss one of our case studies. Superloko.de online store decided to expand its business to reach a wider range of recipients. Delante helped it increase the organic traffic on the website by 460% only within 6 months. Surprised?

Although numerous factors contributed to this success, effective link building had a deciding impact on the increase in visibility. Quality link building significantly improved traffic on the site which translated into greater sales. We employed long-tail SEO strategies that are based on slightly more elaborate but more specific phrases. A store with household goods, children’s products, home and garden accessories is highly competitive. That’s why doing SEO for general keywords meant higher costs and longer time needed to see the first results.

What helps to achieve higher positions of phrases?

Reaching high Google positions requires a lot of on-site and off-site activities. To make sure that link building brings desirable results, first, you need to prepare your website. Category, product, and home page descriptions are some of the crucial elements. These texts ought to include relevant keywords. The Superloko.de store didn’t have any content on the home page and category subpages. After introducing unique blocks of text, website visibility on Google increased and Spam Score decreased. The client wanted to focus on the “gartengeräte online kaufen” phrase. Therefore, we applied it on the home page. Over time, the phrase’s position in the ranking started improving.

measuring effectiveness of link building strategy case

To increase the positions of selected phrases, it’s crucial to optimize headers and create title and meta description of every category and product.

Link building as a complement to your regular website activities

SEO activities for the Superloko.de online store have been complemented with external linking which aimed at increasing website visibility on Google. Both anchor and URL link profiles were natural. The link building strategy focused on unique, diversified actions on various channels.

According to Ahrefs, there’s been a significant change in the assessment of link quality before and after our activities. Before the cooperation, the online store was characterized by specific parameters:

effective link building strategy ahrefs
Source: https://delante.co/clients/superloko/

As you may see, the website couldn’t boast a lot of links and linking domains. However, these indicators improved thanks to our work and effective linking strategies. Check out the links to the Superloko.de store after 6 months of cooperation:

measuring effectiveness of link building example
Source: https://delante.co/clients/superloko/

Effective and quality link building has a positive impact on website visibility.The more unique links you obtain, the more potential recipients you attract. Google appreciates links that bring value to users.

In the case of Superloko.de, the number of links was increasing gradually. Thanks to it, we could achieve desirable website visibility and positions in Google rankings.

effective link building and online visibility increase example
Source: https://delante.co/clients/superloko/

Tools for measuring link building effectiveness

Currently, the market abounds in tools for marketers and SEO specialists that make it easier to measure the effectiveness of SEO activities performed on websites. Although most of these tools are paid, it’s still worth keeping an eye on the results of your actions.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are some of the most popular free tools. With their use, you can analyze traffic and impressions of the whole website and specific subpages. An appropriate link building strategy will help you improve CTR, average position of phrases and it’ll also let you obtain more words generating impressions and clicks. Below you can see how linking impacted the increase in the number of impressions in the search results. In the case of the Superloko.de website, the value was 313% after 6 months of cooperation.

measuring link building effectiveness in google search console
Source: https://delante.co/clients/superloko/

Both Semstorm and Senuto make it possible to check the visibility of the entire optimized website. Ahrefs enables a thorough analysis of external and internal links. With its use, it’s also possible to monitor links of your market rivals. Higher DR and UR indicators imply the effective work of the SEO specialist. Another appreciated tool, Majestic, allows you to assess the status of the profile of backlinks with the help of dedicated parameters. The well-known Moz displays DA and PA indicators for the linked subpage and the Spam Score.

If you want to increase traffic to your site, focus on analyzing your links. For this purpose, use the abovementioned Ahrefs tool that traces pages linking to your site. It also enables analyzing any selected domain (including your market rivals’ websites). The tool thoroughly checks the connections between the websites. In its analysis, Ahrefs focuses on 2 main elements: URL Rating (UR) and Domain Rating (DR). The first indicator shows the power of the URL linking profile. The 1-100 scale indicates how attractive a given website is in terms of linking domains. On the other hand, the DR indicator, using the same scale, shows how powerful the linking profile of the domain is. It’s worth spending some time to make sure that your website indicators are high enough.

Please note that Ahrefs draws attention to other important elements as well. From the analysis, you can learn about the number of backlinks and redirecting domains your website has. The Ahrefs ranking is internal and it’s used to compare your results with the results of your competitors. Sites with a lower value of this indicator are ranked in higher positions.

When linking, pay attention to DR and UR parameters of individual subpages. Link building should rely on valuable websites.

checking link building effectiveness in ahrefs tool
Source: ahrefs.com

With the use of Google Analytics, you can check your website traffic and its sources. Frequently, organic traffic from the search engine is ranked in the first position and it’s followed by direct visits. Below you will find Social (social media) and Paid Search including paid search results and Referral. The latter one simply redirects from other websites, after clicking on a link. This type of traffic is particularly important as users looking for information in a directory, article, forum or other places may get interested in your website content. Hence this source of traffic can bring you measurable benefits. Below you can see the importance of Referral traffic for an exemplary site.

Measuring the effectiveness of your link building strategy – the takeaway

Apart from SEO, link building is a basic element of website optimization that is definitely worth focusing on. It’s possible to see the first effects of an effective and quality link building after some time. Increased website visibility followed by more page impressions proves that your efforts have been appreciated by Google. When linking, remember to diversify your anchor cloud and use mainly clean URLs. And last but not least, keep in mind that monitoring individual phrases in the Google ranking is the easiest method of observing the effectiveness of your link building strategy.

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Author
SEO Specialist - Monika

SEO Specialist

In Delante since February 2019. Graduate of the Cracow University of Economics. Initially she saw herself as a Project Manager, but with time SEO became her passion. In her free time she experiments in the kitchen, her hobbies are dance and gym. She is a lover of cats, good company and trips.

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