We all by now understand the importance of links when it comes to executing a successful digital marketing campaign. Links form the basis of your site ranking and being visible across the web. Everyday across the search marketing industry the importance of links & building engaging content is reinforced through talks, blog posts and twitter conversations.
What some people are missing however is having an in-depth understanding of what links already exist before any external work occurs. In an age where link building has become “link earning” and the message of “content is king” is perpetually shoved in our faces, we have to be much more careful with where we are getting our links from and who is already linking to us. If you don’t have an understanding of this it may only take a small nudge to send a site into the realms of link penalties and manual actions.
Being pro-active when it comes to your link profile and highlighting potential issues early on can help you avoid awkward conversations with clients because their site tanks. Walking into a digital marketing campaign before having a deep understand of your site’s link profile is tantamount to walking into a gauntlet blindfolded.
Understanding your link profile
The main areas that need to be analysed in your link profile are where those links are coming from, anchor text distribution and overall link quality. They are fairly simply metrics to measure, through a range of different tools and your own knowledge and experience of what constitutes a bad link.
Anchor Text Distribution
A healthy link profile is a natural profile. One of the main issues that lead to Google penalties from link profiles is unnatural anchor text distribution. In a natural profile you would expect a range of words used in anchor text, brand terms, “click here”, “read more” etc… Where unnatural link profiles fall is when the main anchor text used are all exact match keywords to their money terms.
Majestic’s anchor text tab can immediately show you if the site you are working on has profile issues.
Figure 1 – Anchor text distribution of WizzCash Payday Loan Company
Diving Deeper into a Profile
Auditing a link profile can be a long and drawn out process but it is vital to ensure you are building a campaign on solid foundations. The best way to audit a profile is by using tools such as Kerboo or exporting the profile from Majestic and manually checking each link. If manual checking simply isn’t viable from a time perspective, a tool such as Kerboo can help you score each link individually and provide you with the right data to know what links need removing.
Figure 2 – Kerboo’s Investigate Tool gives you the ability to scroll through each link and assign it to lists, e.g. Keep or Remove
Once you have audited a link profile and removed any potentially harmful links you give yourself a solid foundation to begin work on. This pre-emptive work is vital to help you further understand what work has been done in the past and it helps future proof a site against potential penalties. Who really wants to have the awkward penalty conversation with a boss or client because of historic failings?
For help getting to grips with your link profile, get in touch with the team at Marketing Signals today.