Home Marketing How to Measure Your Company’s Link-Building Progress

How to Measure Your Company’s Link-Building Progress

As we embrace a more digitized era, the importance of link-building as part of an effective SEO strategy has become increasingly clear. Businesses today are leveraging link-building to improve their website’s visibility. It can reach a wider audience, and, drive more sales. Yet, one of the most complex aspects of this strategy lies in measuring Link-Building progress and success. Understanding these metrics can guide decision-making, inform strategy revisions, and show an ROI.

Benefits of Link Building

Increased Online Visibility

Link building improves a website’s visibility by acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites. This increased visibility can lead to higher organic search rankings.

Targeted Audience Reach

Link building plays a crucial role in reaching relevant audiences. By acquiring backlinks from websites that cater to the same target audience.

Establishing Authority and Credibility

Link building helps businesses establish authority and credibility in their industry or niche. When reputable websites link to a business’s website, it signals to search engines that the business is trustworthy. This can enhance the brand’s reputation and credibility. This can attract more customers and increase conversions.

Improved Search Engine Rankings

Search engines consider backlinks as one of the important ranking factors. Link building helps businesses improve their search engine rankings by acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. Higher rankings lead to increased organic traffic, visibility, and potential customers.

Brand Exposure and Awareness

Link building, helps businesses increase brand exposure and awareness. When a website gets a link from other reputable websites, it exposes the brand to a wider audience. This exposure can lead to increased brand recognition and awareness among potential customers.

Competitive Advantage

Link building gives businesses a competitive advantage in the online marketplace. By implementing an effective strategy for acquiring quality backlinks, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors. It will increase their online visibility, and attract more customers.

Defining Key Metrics for Link-Building Success

The first step towards understanding the success of your link-building strategy is defining key metrics.It should align with your business objectives. These metrics are often referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART).
One fundamental metric is the number of backlinks. This refers to the count of external links from other websites that direct users to your site. It’s a direct reflection of your link-building efforts and a strong signal of your website’s authority. Remember, though, it’s not just about quantity—quality matters too. High-quality backlinks from reputable sites can boost your website’s credibility and search ranking.

Quantity of Backlinks

The number of backlinks acquired is a straightforward metric to gauge link-building success.

Quality of Backlinks

Not all backlinks carry the same weight. Evaluating the quality of backlinks is crucial. High-quality backlinks come from authoritative websites in your industry or niche. Factors like domain authority, relevance, and trustworthiness of linking sites contribute to the quality of backlinks.
According to Seek SEO, one of the link-building resources available to businesses nationwide, “…We understand that backlinks are crucial for enhancing your website’s authority and boosting your search engine rankings. But not all backlinks are created equal. We believe that great backlinks have a few key characteristics.”

The Anchor Text

The visible, clickable text in a hyperlink, is another critical metric. It provides context about the linked page and can impact your website’s SEO. So, optimizing anchor texts to be relevant and descriptive can enhance the value of your backlinks.

Consider Tracking the Referral Traffic

This involves monitoring the visitors who arrive at your site through backlinks. High referral traffic can state that your backlinks are not only visible but also enticing enough to prompt click-throughs.

Do-follow or ‘No-follow

Another important KPI is the link’s ‘do-follow’ or ‘no-follow’ status. ‘Do-follow’ links pass on link juice, contributing to your site’s authority and SEO rankings. Whereas ‘no-follow’ links do not. It’s beneficial to maintain a healthy balance of both.
Tracking the diversity of your link sources can help identify new opportunities and potential risks. A good link-building strategy aims for a diverse range of high-quality links from a variety of domains.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives for Link-Building

Setting clear, concise goals and objectives is paramount for any successful link-building strategy. Without them, you risk conducting aimless campaigns. That has no clear sense of accomplishment or direction.
Start with a broad goal, like improving your website’s search ranking. From there, break this overarching goal down into specific, measurable objectives. These could be obtaining a set number of high-quality backlinks. Reaching a certain referral traffic level, or securing links from industry-leading websites.
Goals should also align with your wider business objectives. If your primary business goal is to increase brand visibility. Link-building objectives might include securing backlinks from high-traffic websites or relevant influential blogs. If your aim is to generate leads, you might focus on acquiring links that direct to conversion-focused pages.
Remember, objectives should evolve with your link-building strategy. Regular review sessions can help adjust these targets in response to the changing landscape and your company’s growth.
Ensure that the objectives you set are realistic and achievable. Setting the bar too high can lead to frustration and demotivation, while setting it too low may result in complacency and a lack of progress.

Keyword Research: Designing a Targeted Approach for Your Link-Building Efforts

A targeted link-building strategy begins with thorough keyword research. Keywords serve as the cornerstone of your SEO efforts. They should align with your business offerings and the search terms your target audience is likely to use.
Start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords related to your business, products, or services. Think about your USP and what potential customers might search for when trying to find your offering.
Once you have a basic list, use a keyword research tool to expand it. These tools can provide insights into keyword search volume, competition, and related search terms. They can also help you identify long-tail keywords and more specific search phrases with less competition. These tools can also show higher potential keywords for conversion.
Armed with your expanded keyword list, start identifying opportunities for backlinks. Look for reputable websites, blogs, and forums where these keywords are being discussed. Then, think about how you can incorporate your website link into these discussions.
Your keyword strategy should also take into account the anchor texts of your backlinks. An effective anchor text strategy can improve your site’s ranking for specific keywords. Remember to make your anchor texts as natural and contextually relevant as possible.
Remember that keyword research is not a one-time activity. Search trends change and your target audience’s interests and needs can evolve over time. Regularly revisiting your keyword strategy can keep your link-building efforts targeted and effective.

Monitoring Keyword Rankings and Organic Search Traffic Progress

Monitoring the progress of your link-building efforts involves keeping a keen eye on your keyword rankings and organic search traffic. These metrics offer a snapshot of your SEO performance and provide valuable insights into the efficacy of your strategy.

Keywords Ranking

Start by regularly tracking your keyword rankings. Are your targeted keywords moving up in search engine results pages (SERPs)? A consistent improvement in keyword ranking can signal the success of your link-building efforts.

Increase in Organic Traffic

Pay attention to your organic search traffic—the visitors who arrive at your site through a search engine. An increase in organic traffic often correlates with improved keyword rankings, indicating that your website is becoming more visible in searches.

Conversion Metrics

The success of link building is not about traffic but also about conversions. Assessing conversion metrics such as lead generation, sales, email sign-ups, or other desired actions can provide insights into the effectiveness of your link-building campaigns.

Social Signals

Social media plays a role in link building, as social signals can influence search engine rankings. Monitoring social signals, such as shares, likes, and comments on content linked to your website, can indicate the success of your link-building efforts.

Other Analytical Metrics

Consider using a tool that provides a more in-depth analysis of your organic traffic. Look at metrics like the bounce rate, the average session duration, and the number of pages per session. If your website has a high bounce rate or a low average session duration. It means that even though people are visiting your site, they are not finding the content valuable.
Check the progress of individual pages as well. This can give you a sense of which backlinks are driving the most traffic and which pages are performing well in terms of user engagement and conversions.

Analysis of Competitor

Don’t forget to track the progress of your competitors. Keeping an eye on their keyword rankings. Also, watching organic traffic can provide valuable insights and help identify new opportunities for your own link-building strategy.

The Link-Building Tools for Measurement and New Insights

A plethora of tools are available that can help measure link-building progress. These tools can provide new insights for strategy refinement. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, several tools stand out for their comprehensive features.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that provides insights into your website’s search traffic and performance. It can show you which keywords your site is ranking for, how many clicks you’re getting, and the sites linking to you. It also allows you to submit your sitemap for indexing, making it easier for Google to crawl and understand your site.


Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers a wide range of features for link-building progress. From tracking backlinks and keywords to performing competitive analysis, Ahrefs is a valuable resource for any SEO professional.


SEMRush is another popular tool that offers features like backlink analysis, keyword research, and competitor analysis. Its Position Tracking tool allows you to track your website’s rankings for specific keywords over time.

Moz Pro

Moz Pro is another robust option, boasting features like link exploration, keyword research, and a site crawl that can identify potential issues with your website. Moz’s Link Explorer tool also allows you to track your website’s backlink profile over time.


BuzzSumo is particularly effective for content-based link-building strategies. It allows you to discover high-performing content in your niche and identify influencers who could potentially link to your site.

Majestic SEO

Tools like Majestic SEO offer unique insights such as ‘Trust Flow’ and ‘Citation Flow.’ It measures the quality and quantity of your backlinks, respectively. These metrics can help you understand the overall health of your backlink profile.

Final Words

Understanding and measuring the progress of your link-building efforts can seem daunting. Yet, with clearly defined metrics, specific goals and objectives, targeted keyword research, and the right tools. It becomes a manageable and invaluable part of your SEO strategy. Remember that link-building is not an overnight process. It requires consistency, patience, and constant tweaking. By diligently tracking your progress, you’ll gain deeper insights. Enabling you to refine your strategy and steer your company toward greater digital marketing success.

Waqar Hussain is the founder of The Business Goals. He writes about entrepreneurial strategies and is an SEO consultant by profession. He is a B.Com, GDM, and an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business.



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