How do you measure the effectiveness of backlinks?

Written by Karen Gardner

August 6, 2021

You know you need to implement a backlink strategy to be successful with SEO, but how do you measure the results of link building to make sure the strategy is effective? 

As SEO experts, we understand the importance of measuring results. Digital marketing is the most measurable and attributable type of marketing. That said, there are a few key metrics that show the effectiveness of backlinks. 

Page and Domain Authority

One metric that shows the results of backlink building is authority. Each page on your site has its own page authority rating, and your domain as a whole has an authority rating as well. Domain and page authority illustrate how easy or hard it will be for your site to rank for organic keywords. Google favors higher authority sites over lower authority sites when determining rankings for the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). 

Page and domain authority are calculated based on multiple factors: how many unique domains link to the page/site, how many total links point to the page/site, and the authority of the sites that link to you. Backlinks from high authority sites are much more valuable than links from low authority sites. You never want to get links from spam sites. These can hurt your site more than help it. 

When tracking the results of your link building strategy, you should look at the page authority for the URLs that you are targeting with links as well as your domain authority. Every SEO tool uses a different scale to measure authority, so it’s important that you use the same tool from beginning to end to track improvement. For example, you may start out as 14/100 on Moz and 20/100 on SpyFu, and move up to 20/100 on Moz and 25/100 on SpyFu. So switching from one tool to the other can misinform you about your progress.

Organic Keyword Rankings

The results of backlinks are a chain reaction. Backlinks build your site authority, which is an important factor for organic keyword rankings. Therefore, the effectiveness of link building can be shown through organic keyword ranking data. As domain and page authority rises, rankings should improve for the keywords and pages included in your link building strategy. 

Organic Traffic

The last link in the link building results chain reaction is organic traffic. When organic keyword rankings improve, those pages receive more organic traffic. The higher the page is listed on the SERP, the higher its click-through-rate. Studies have shown that the #1 rank gets about 20% of clicks, while the next two positions only get 13% each, and it gets much lower from there. Therefore, moving your page up even 1 or 2 ranks on the first page substantially increases the amount of traffic the page receives. 

So, backlinks build authority which improves keyword rankings and brings more organic traffic to the site. All three of these metrics indicate the effectiveness of your backlinking strategy. 

Contact one of our link building experts to start planning your link building strategy today.

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