Regardless of the time you’ve spent in the world of Search Engine Optimization, there is a word that is bound to show up somewhere. The word is “backlink”. Believe it or not, this word is a key component of SEO. The reason is that it can significantly boost your site’s ranking on the search engine. But, all backlinks were not created equal. Because of that, you need to know how to measure the effectiveness of backlinks. Of course, that is if you want to succeed in your SEO endeavors.
A good place to start building your backlinks is social media. Even though it technically doesn’t count as a backlink, it will come in handy. Just remember that there are things you need to know before you dive into the backlinks world. And to help you out, we will give you an overview of the most important elements of measuring the effectiveness of backlinks. So, let’s start.
What are you doing when you measure the effectiveness of backlinks?
So, the answer to this basic question is not too complicated. However, it’s not really easy. That is why we will try our best to explain this as simply as possible. So, there are two types of metrics you want to look out for:
- Backlink metrics
- Affected metrics
Once you understand these, you can go further. Of course, we are going to present to you what each of them means and hopefully, you will soon be able to create a great strategy for building backlinks.
Backlink metrics explained
When thinking about backlink metrics, there are four basic things you need to keep in mind:
- Referring domains – this is the metric that compares the number of referring domains with the total external links of your site;
- The total number of backlinks – this is the total amount of external links that are directing traffic to your site:
- The number of referring IPs – this needs to be compliant with the number of referring domains and consequently, it should be as high as possible;
- Referring subnets – this is very important and needs to be diversified since Google won’t rank your website high if all external links are coming from the same subnet. If that is the case, Google will recon that your links are not trusted. That is why you need to keep an eye out for this metric. Even though it might be appealing to create backlinks manually, you should be aware because Google’s sharp eye is never on the rest.
Think about the affected metrics when you want to measure the effectiveness of backlinks
Just like with the backlink metric, affected metrics can be looked at from two different aspects:
- The number of ranking keywords – this represents the number of well-ranked keywords on your site and is the surest way to test your backlinks’ health;
- The target site’s average rank – this is a sign that your backlink campaign is going well and any plummeting should be watched as a warning sign. Also, having this metric will allow you to fix whatever needs to be fixed.
What are the methods and tools you should use when you want to measure the effectiveness of backlinks?
To get a clear picture, we need to talk about methods and tools for measurement. When doing the measurement, you will encounter a wide variety of tools and methods that all have one thing in common – they automate the process and make it much easier. Thankfully, companies like Link Department offer you services that you won’t even need to check. Good, reliable, and healthy backlinks await you if you try out some of the offers.
The methods at your disposal
Just like you need to have an SEO checklist when you start your online presence, you need to know what methods of measuring backlink effectiveness you have at your disposal. While methods are abundant, we have selected three that are a great way of keeping track of backlinks. Of course, you can and we strongly recommend that you do, use these methods in combination. That way you will ensure the best outcome.
So, the first method is to measure new links. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply use Google Webmaster Tools. That will, of course, require you to first create an account. The way you are going to use this site is as follows:
- Open the site
- Click on the “Search Traffic” tab
- Click on “Link To Your Site”
- Go to “More” and press “Download Latest Links”
Once you’ve done all that, you will be able to log your backlinks by way of exporting them to a Google Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet can then be shared. This is by far the easiest method and is especially good if you are sharing information with a client.
The next method is to observe keyword ranking changes. This method is also simple. Tools like Moz, which we will mention later, can be of help here. The way this works is by exploiting the Google “trustworthiness” mechanism. So, the more backlinks from sites that Google knows and trusts you have, the higher your ranking. That’s the simplest way to put it.
The last method is connected to the first one. This method requires you to check for TLDs (top-level domains). These domains usually end with .edu, .gov, .mil, etc. They carry more weight and authority and that is why it’s good to have them from time to time.
Different tools that are at your disposal
Just as with methods, there are different types of tools that you can utilize for maximum efficiency. We will briefly mention some of the most popular in order of price:
OpenLinkProfiler – it’s free to use and is a fairly extensive tool for monitoring backlink, you can access it easily;
Monitor Backlinks – it’s a great tool that comes at the starting price of $25, but the prices go up as you progress to more comprehensive packages;
Ahrefs – it’s the most popular SEO tool for monitoring backlinks. It has a free test version and at the price of $79/month you can receive the full version;
SemRush – it has a constantly updated comprehensive database and comes at the one-time fee of $149 for the full version;
Moz – it is by far the most well-known all-in-one SEO tool which you can use for everything SEO-related. But, it comes at a price. The cheapest plan starts at $99/month and the most expensive costs a staggering $599/month.
It’s important to measure the effectiveness of backlinks. Regardless of the one you choose, you will get your money’s worth. So, don’t worry if you spend a few extra bucks because you will get a good ROI.