Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building
In my opinion, a website owner or marketing manager should reevaluate their link building efforts at least once a year. It’s important to ensure that your link profile is as diverse and natural looking as possible and a link analysis will help keep your efforts on track.
Here are a few things you need to look for when conducting a link analysis:
1. Anchor text distribution.
The Google Penguin update went after sites that used too much exact match anchor text in their link building. There is no “right” number of keywords you should use as anchor text but you want to vary it as much as possible. A link analysis will breakdown exactly what keywords you’ve been using and how many times. Mix your branded keywords (which should probably be the most used in all honesty) with your priority keywords being targeted on your site as well as any long tail variations that may have been left over from your keyword research. I like to create a master anchor text guide and use keywords at random when I need them to keep my anchor text use as natural as possible. To help diversify it even more you could create multiple versions of the list and use one version for your blog, one for your PR efforts and so forth.
2. Link type.
As you conduct your link analysis it’s important to categorize each link. Is it a blog comment? PR link? Industry association? Social signal? The search engines like to see a variety of inbound links coming to your site so you want to make sure you haven’t been relying too heavily on one or two types of links as this leaves your site vulnerable. Where are the holes in your link building strategy? What opportunities are your missing? You might not even realize you’re pushing too hard and too fast with one kind of link unless your conduct a link analysis, especially if you’ve got a team of people working on your link building and you don’t oversee every link they build.
3. Cost versus value of a link.
Chances are you belong to a handful on industry associations where you buy an ad on the site or pay a membership fee. Although most paid links can get you in trouble with Google these links are typically good, solid, quality links and actually help your link profile. However, when you do your link analysis it’s important to weigh the cost of those links against their actual value. Let’s say it costs you $500 a year to belong to some association. Double check that link against your analytics and see if you got any traffic from it. Only get 5 visitors? That’s $100 a visitor—is that worth it to you? If you get to write for the association’s blog because you’re am member or get access to various events then it might be worth the $500 even if you don’t get much traffic, but you ultimately have to decide if that link is worth the price.