Link Building takes up quite a lot of time when optimising a site for Search Engines. Monitoring your links enables you, over time, to see which channels are bringing you the most links or the greatest level of acceptance.
A good Link Building strategy is the creation of many links from lots of different types of good quality websites as possible. Some types of websites may however take up lots of your time as they have a small acceptance rate and some may always guarantee a link which remains as long as the site stays live.
The rate of acceptance can help highlight areas where you may be spending a lot of time but are gaining very little return for your efforts. General directories are a good example of this; you can spend hours submitting to directories, these may not be updated regularly and your link may never be accepted. Most human edited directories will take longer for your link to be accepted because of the manual nature of the directory. Dmoz is an example of this type of directory and it can take up to a year or more for your link to appear in their directory. Guest blog posts on the other hand may take much more effort to create, however the acceptance rate of these are likely to be 100% if you previously were in conversation with a blog owner about writing a post for the site.
By monitoring these, you can easily pick out areas where you have had success and failures, this can help you optimise your Link Building activities to concentrate on the quickest to source and the quality of those links.
How to Monitor Your Link Profile
There are various ways to monitor your link profile over time and a few tools which help you to do this. Here are a few that we have used and would recommend:
Yahoo Site Explorer
Yahoo Site Explorer allows you to explore a websites external links ordered by rank. This information can be exported into Excel which enables you to sort the information as you wish and document the information over time. You could choose to organise the list via site type and in time could spot trends in the types of links being picked up as a result of your Link Building activities. This is a good way of monitoring your links but will require work, initially to create a system (spreadsheet) to document the links.
Link Dex is a system which uses the data from Majestic SEO to help you manage your Link Building activities and document your efforts. They are constantly developing new features which will increase the functionality of the system and one of those features in the near future will enable you to monitor your Link profile over time and evaluate the success over time. We should point out that to use this system you have to become a pro member to the site.
IBP (Internet Business Promoter)
IBP is a tool which has a few different functions which are all useful. One of which is a tool to find existing backlinks to your site, these can be documented to help you manage your Link Building efforts. IBP is also a piece of software which costs, but can be very helpful.
The Drop out Ratio of Different Sites
After a few months of monitoring and documenting your link profile you can start to build up a picture of the number of links you have submitted and received. You will notice trends in the types of link that are being accepted and the rate of accepted links. Some sites are likely to have a better acceptance rate than others. Guest blog posts for example are likely to have a 100% acceptance rate if the owner of the blog has previously agreed to you writing a post for their site. General directories are likely to have the worst acceptance rate as they are not likely to all be checked and verified often.
You can pick out areas where you are more likely to receive a link and can start to pay more attention to sites which take less time to submit and more than likely guarantee a link.