Before starting a link building campaign, record how many links you have according to Google, Yahoo! and any other backlink checker you can count on. Record how many links are pointing to your competitors as well. There are several reasons why you want to do this…
Sets a benchmark; either to have more links than you had before by a certain time or to see if you can get more links than your competitors.
You can gauge yourself compared to your competition. You can get an idea on how many links you really need to compete for various terms.
If incorporating title tags (given by Yahoo! to export), you can see just how relevant the linking sites must be compared to your competition
If incorporating other metrics like anchor text, you can see just how many links saying your targeted keyword, you’re going to need.
If presenting to someone, you can show proof that link weight is what they need to even have a chance in the search engine popularity contest.
If reporting to a client your link building service progression, you can show how many links (recognized) you’ve acquired over any given time.
Main Reason – To see why you’re not #1
As I have stressed before anchor text is HUGE and topical relevance & strength of that page containing the anchor text determines how huge that anchor really is.
However, back to backlink counting…
Record all the URL’s pointing back to your site and its competitors. If you use a search engine like yahoo site explorer and search link:yourwebsite.com, you can see total backlink count and titles of the page linking to any website you check. If you’re using backlink tools like the backlinkwatch or webconf’s back link anchor text analysis tool you can see the anchor text of the links as well. If you can mix excel, yahoo & backlinkwatch together, you can find some really powerful link building data.
Why is this important?
It’s easier to track your efforts and understand why things work in an organized format in order to take the most efficient route to the top of the search engines for any given keyword.
I’m in the process of creating a free SEO backlink tool that will analyze backlinks and a few backlink attributes (title, PR, URL, etc) that will give you the ability to export to csv. But, that’s free time, experiment work that I’ve found myself to have less and less time doing.
Here’s a link building video given to some of my friends/clients to help them understand a back link benchmark report I use when I put on my link building expert service hat, and to give you as well a better idea of recording backlinks and their anchor texts.
Some SEO link building fun to consider
See how many links are pointing to your top 10 competitors. Then record the ages of your competitor’s domains. You can either see have many links they’ve acquired monthly on average by dividing total backlinks by total months online, or you can measure it exponentially. Like month 1 they obtained 20, month 2 they obtained 30 or 40, month 3 they got 40 or 80. Using the right formulas will unlock just how fast you really can “naturally” build links.
Also, check out my most recent ezinearticle expert article: Link Building Tips for Obtaining Relevant Backlinks