We’ve built countless successful backlinking building campaigns for our clients, and through plenty of research and testing, we know which link building metrics are crucial for success.
And since we’re not into gatekeeping, we’re sharing the eight essential metrics you need to track during your next backlinking campaign.
Whether you’re investing in professional digital PR or DIYing your link-building strategy, these metrics will help you get the best results.
What Are Link Building Metrics?
Link building metrics are statistics that help you analyze the effectiveness of your backlink campaigns. These metrics provide valuable insights into how well your link profile performs by tracking organic rankings, website traffic, domain authority, and more.
8 Best Metrics For Link Building
If you plan on launching a link-building campaign, here are eight essential metrics to track for better success.
Number of Backlinks
The first and most important metric is the number of links you’ve built. The number of links you have pointing to your website is a strong ranking signal, but quality is more important than quantity.
You can use this metric to compare your website to competitors – do you have an above-average number of links? Are you dragging behind your main competitor? This should be a good incentive to boost your numbers!
Knowing the specific number of backlinks you have compared to competitors can also highlight ranking differences. If your competitor has significantly more backlinks than you, they may rank higher even if their content isn’t as good.
One of the best metrics for link building is domain authority. Your domain authority (DA) or domain rating (DR) shows the overall trustworthiness and authority of your website. This score is determined by several key factors, including:
- The number and quality of backlinks (not including unlinked mentions)
- Content quality and relevance
- User experience (website speed and mobile friendliness)
- Age of website
- How often your website appears in SERPs
Your domain authority isn’t a Google ranking factor, but it does strongly correlate with organic rankings. The higher your domain, the higher your chances of ranking in SERPs, so this is another important metric to monitor over time.
Number of Referring Domains
Having a high number of domains linking to your website indicates credibility and authority, but it does depend on the quality of the referring domains.
When tracking this metric in your digital PR campaign, make sure to take into account:
- Domain rating: In an ideal world, referring domains would have a higher DR than your website. 70+ is ideal, but that’s not always possible if you have a low DR.
- Relevance: Are the referring domains in your niche? Getting irrelevant links can harm your SEO and signal to Google that you have an untrustworthy website.
- Referring domain links: If the referring domain page has dozens of links, it won’t have as much authority (or link equity) as one with just two or three.
The clickable part of the hyperlink is known as the anchor text. It helps search engines categorize content and shows users what they should find on a linked page.
When it comes to link building metrics, anchor text is important for two reasons:
- It allows you to assess your link profile and identify negative SEO attacks – which are attempts by competitors to build spammy link profiles back to your website.
- It allows you to assess the link profile of prospects – Any website you’re hoping to get a backlink from should have anchor text diversity. Over-optimized anchor text is seen as spammy and can hurt SEO efforts.
Most SEO tools allow you to check anchor text diversity and ensure you’re not getting spammy backlinks with irrelevant or over-optimized keywords.
Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links
There are two types of backlinks: DoFollow and NoFollow links.
DoFollow links allow Google and other search engines to point back to your website or blog. You want these types of backlinks because they improve your DR and boost SEO, traffic, and authority.
NoFollow links include the rel=“nofollow” tag, which prevents search engines from pointing back to your website. These don’t improve your DR and are usually used for sponsorships or paid opportunities, but they can be useful for boosting brand awareness.
Noticed a lot of unlinked mentions to your website? Here’s how to turn unlinked mentions into backlinks.
Linking Root Domains
Linking root domains is the number of distinct domains that link to your website instead of the number of raw links.
For example, if a publication linked to your website in five different articles, you’d have five raw links but only one root domain link.
The number of linking root domains is a stronger signal than the total number of backlinks because it is a true indicator of popularity and trust. If you were running for president, you’d want millions of votes from different voters, not millions of endorsements from the same voter.
Although multiple links on high-authority websites are good, there comes a point of diminishing returns, so you should aim to widen your net and get more backlinks from different publications.
This one is nice and easy – track your organic traffic each month to see if your backlink campaign leads to a boost in visitors. You can use external tools like the Google Search Console or your internal website analytics.
You can determine if your link-building campaign is delivering results by tracking your click-through rates, impressions, and organic traffic.
Although increased website traffic may not be your priority with your campaign, high-value links on high DR sites should lead to higher organic traffic.
Change in Rankings
One of the most reliable link building metrics is measuring the positive or negative changes in rankings, particularly for relevant keywords. Here’s a quick and easy method for monitoring this metric:
- Select relevant keywords that are important to your website’s SEO strategy.
- Use an SEO tool to establish your baseline ranking for those keywords – don’t worry if it’s low.
- Regularly check your rankings (daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your competition and niche).
- Check for local and global relevance – are you doing better in certain regions after a link goes live?
- Check your mobile and desktop ratings since these can vary.
- Record changes, particularly after a new backlink goes live on a publication.
Tracking shifts in rankings allows you to adjust your link-building strategy and target opportunities best aligned with your marketing goals. If you’re noticing a drop in rankings during your backlink campaign, consider what is causing it and make changes accordingly.
Link Building Made Simple
Building a strategic backlink campaign is one of the most effective strategies for increasing domain authority, boosting organic traffic, and skyrocketing brand awareness. But the key is finding the right opportunities and having a solid tracking process for your link building metrics.
At Linkifi, we build highly effective link-building strategies for our clients and secure high-authority backlinks from the top publications. What’s more, we take care of tracking for you so you can keep track of progress without the stress. Get in touch, and we’ll show you the campaign we’d create for you.