Posts Tagged ‘Management’

How to Measure the Value of a SEO Link Building Program

April 13th, 2022

There’s been a lot of talk by SEO experts for years about the importance of incoming links, sometimes referred to simply as “links.”

But, as much as we talk, SEO’ers haven’t always done such a great job of explaining what links are, why they’re important and how to measure the value of an SEO link building program.

The What

When the search engine optimization community uses the term “links,” it really means a link from another website going to your company’s site.

And not just from any other website. SEO link building requires that the site linking to yours must be trustworthy and related to your business. Valuable links come from places like:

Universities or colleges that your company has a relationship with
Associations and organizations your company or employees belong to
Local business groups or chambers
The local versions of major search engines
Any number of relatively unknown but reputable business- and industry-related directories
Industry-related publications and news sites
From an SEO link building standpoint, worthless links come from places like:

Outfits that promise thousands of links within a very short period of time
Sites that scrape (i.e. steal) content and directory listings from other websites
Pay-per-click programs
Your parent company or sister companies, along with websites that your company owns
The Why

Of course, from a business perspective, it makes sense to have links between companies that are related by ownership. You just can’t expect to get an SEO boost from them.

The reason is simple: The search engines basically view each incoming link to your site as a vote for your website. Valuable links are counted as votes because the search engines assume that the site providing the link doesn’t have a vested interest in linking to your site.

In this light, a link from your parent company’s website isn’t counted as a vote for SEO link building purposes, because it would be like accepting your mom as a reference for a job application. Yeah, she’s a nice lady, but…

This “links = votes” analogy also explains why incoming links to your website are important, rather than links from your site to somewhere else. Links from your site don’t tell the search engines anything about your website, whereas incoming links from reputable websites demonstrate your site’s trustworthiness and value.

The How

Sometimes, there’s an actual financial cost to SEO link building, say when an industry association requires an extra fee for a link in their directory. In general, there’s also an indirect cost associated with accruing incoming links, related to the time and effort required to solicit them.

Because of these direct and indirect costs, it’s critical for companies to remember their SEO link building goal when measuring the effectiveness of incoming links. From an SEO perspective, there’s only one true measure of an incoming link’s value: as a link from an appropriate website, it’s a vote in your website’s favor in the search engines’ eyes.