Backlinks are needed for any company's SEO strategy. This guide will explain how to monitor your company's best links.
Backlinks are an essential resource for enhancing brand visibility and driving traffic to your website. Quality backlinks will allow you to do that if you are trying to rank high on Google.
On the other hand, a bad backlink can tarnish your website's reputation, and you may get de-indexed. A broken link may discourage potential customers from revisiting your webpage. Hence, you need to be monitoring backlinks consistently.
This article aims to help you formulate a robust strategy for effectively monitoring backlinks.
How to Monitor Backlinks for SEO
- Monitor the status of critical links
- Ensure a steady stream of backlinks
- Track your campaign links
- Report suspicious backlinks
- Use backlink monitoring tools
Monitor the Status of Critical Links
Did you know that, on average, the number 1 ranking websites on Google have 3.8x more backlinks than the remaining top 10 sites?
Most of these backlinks are critical to the website and contribute significantly to driving traffic to the site.
There are various types of backlinks, but critical links are the most valuable of all. They are 'do-follow links' to your site, coming from domains with high authority. Backlinks with a do-follow attribute allow search engines to crawl and follow the link. These backlinks are extremely powerful since they count as votes. As such, they increase your domain’s authority, improving your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
For the longest time, website links on guest posts were considered one of the most important backlinks for a brand. This is because if you receive a backlink on a guest post reaching a wide audience, there is a potential to get more referral traffic.
Remember, when you receive a link back from another domain, you essentially receive some “link juice.” That means that the reputation of the website linked to your page is being shared with you. This is valuable for SEO since Google continues to use ‘link juice’ as one of the several criteria for page ranking alongside factors such as user experience, site speed, and mobile friendliness.
Hence, monitoring backlinks, especially critical ones, will allow you to assess and improve the authority your site receives from other credible domains.
Ensure a Steady Stream of Backlinks
When ranking a page, search engines prioritize a steady stream of fresh backlinks to consider your page relevant. Therefore, you must ensure you have any or more of these campaigns in place:
Guest Posting Campaign
You can receive good backlinks for your website if you can successfully collaborate with bloggers and content creators for guest posts. Why? Simply because you can build great backlinks with content, especially if they are coming from authoritative sources.
To build good backlinks, however, you’d need good content. Make sure all the content you submit also follows the style guides of the websites you reached out to for your campaign.
Several brands run testimonial campaigns to secure new backlinks to their site.
Below is an example of how Ahrefs featured a testimonial from a client (with their site linked in the testimonial). Look for organic backlinks to raise your rankings on the SERPs. Organic backlinks are voluntarily created by other users, i.e., you are not paying or reaching out to those websites to get the backlinks.
It is not difficult to earn press coverage for your business, but you must carefully monitor the backlinks. Make sure the right site is linked in the article, there are no broken links, and the content of the coverage is largely positive. The links generated by such a campaign are called outreach links, a category you will find on your monitoring dashboard.
You don’t have to run all these link-building campaigns at once. Just make sure you strictly monitor those you do choose to run so that they’re yielding the results you want.
Track Campaign Links
Let’s say you finished running your link-building campaigns. Well, your job doesn’t end there.
You still need to monitor backlinks from these campaigns and ensure they’re as they should be. After all, you have no control over these websites that carry your backlinks. That means there’s always that possibility of mishaps that can harm your website's reputation.
For example, the website editor where your guest post was published may have inadvertently replaced the anchor text of your backlink with an unsuitable one. You get the drift.
So, once all your campaign backlinks are up and running for your site, your link monitoring would entail checking precisely the anchor text, eliminating any bad links, ensuring the linking text is relevant to the linked page, and so on.
Send the website editor an email if you find an issue. You can use an email tracking tool to monitor whether your email has been opened or not. If it hasn’t been opened for a long time, you can look for another contact person to reach out to for the issue to be fixed.
Report Suspicious Backlinks
Bad or broken links pose a significant threat to your website's rankings. To understand the consequence of a broken link, place yourself in the reader's shoes. You’ll have a terrible user experience if you click on a site's link and end up on a page with a 404 error.
Suspicious links threaten your site’s credibility and impact your SEO ranking. If you’re unsure how to identify a spammy link, look for specific indicators.
For example, the anchor text might not match the link, and you might experience a sudden spike in traffic to your site from geographical areas that aren’t your target audience.
If Google notices a pattern of too many spammy links pointing to your website, they may penalize your website resulting in a drop in rankings.
Monitoring spammy backlinks and reporting them helps you take them down as quickly as possible. The good news is that several backlink checker tools online can help you identify bad links.
Here’s an example of how you can check for toxic links with a backlink checker, too like the WebCEO Toxic Link Checker:
If you find any such bad links, report them to Google Search Central. Your complaint will be verified, and the link will be taken down if accurate.
Use Backlink Monitoring Tools
It’s challenging to oversee all external domains linking to your site manually. Investing in a backlink monitoring tool is better to ensure an efficient and optimal monitoring process.
Below is an example of the metrics you can track via a backlink monitoring tool called Monitor Backlinks. As you can see, the personalized dashboard of the backlink tool will help you track aspects of your backlink profile, such as keyword rankings, inbound links, external links, and more.
A tool for monitoring backlinks can automate many time-consuming processes for you. For example, these tools can automatically report a bad link, saving you time and effort. Here are other things you can do with such a tool:
- Quick backlink check of your competitor’s site - You can run a quick backlink check on your competitor’s site to find their high-quality backlinks. This can serve as inspiration for your link-building strategy.
- Complete backlink profile analysis - You can do a deep dive into your backlink profile. This in-depth profile analysis will reveal your active links and crucial stats about the status and quality of your backlink profile.
- Broken link recovery - As the name suggests, a monitoring tool can help you recover a broken link from an expired domain or a domain that has been relaunched as a new website.
A link monitoring tool is the most effective SEO tool to monitor your valuable links and secure a detailed analysis of the same. Your brand’s SEO strategy will remain incomplete without this vital investment.
Additional Reading: '2022 Small Business SEO Report'
Getting Started with Backlink Monitoring
Backlinks are a crucial ranking factor. Unfortunately, they can also be your undoing if you don’t stay on top of your backlink profile. You must monitor your link profiles regularly to get rid of suspicious backlinks.
In this article, we shared five ways to monitor your backlinks. Monitor the status of critical links, maintain a steady flow of backlinks, track and report suspicious backlinks, and monitor campaign links. You also want to utilize a reliable backlink monitoring tool to smoothen this process.
With this knowledge, we’re confident that spammy links will not stand a chance in your website’s backlink profile.
Happy backlink monitoring!
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