There are many different ways one can go about creating a link profile, but knowing whether or not something is really working can be a bit trickier. It’s incredibly important to understand what to look for so that you can improve. After all, a link profile is the best way to show Google that your website is quality and therefore worthy of a good ranking on a Google organic search engine results page (SERP). This will help consumers find you and hopefully convert—the ultimate goal.

For those who are unfamiliar, a link profile is essentially a profile of every link that is associated with your company. The types of things that are tracked and analyzed to create a link profile for a company include:

  • Types of Links. Links can come in different forms, mainly meaning links can come from different places. For example, links on authoritative websites often hold more weight than a link found in a directory.
  • Keywords/Anchor Text Used. This is one of the ways that Google will help you rank for particular keywords, or words that users will use to look for a particular company, article, or general query.
  • When the Links Occurred. Whether or not you acquired these links quickly all at once or slowly over time is a good way for Google to tell whether or not your links are reputable.

All of these different link components will make up your link profile, but the question is really whether or not you know if these components are bringing you success. What are the best key performance indicators (KPIs) when analyzing a link profile?

Top 5 KPIs for a Successful Link Profile

Below are a few surefire ways to tell whether or not you’re creating a winning link profile:

  1. Keyword Rankings – Companies should be following whether or not their ranking has changed for specific keywords. If they rankings have changed for the better, your link profile likely had something to do with it. Google saw valuable links coming from valuable sites, and so you are rewarded. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you want to be following the keywords where you see real search volume because these are the most beneficial.
  2. PageRank – There has been some debate over whether or not PageRank really means anything. It certainly isn’t the most important thing to look at because it doesn’t mean that you’re converting your visitors; however it does help you determine if your link profile is improving. Your link profile has everything to do with Google—so does PageRank.
  3. Google Alerts – Using Google alerts and documenting every link that is pointing back to your website is extremely important. You can now use the Google disavow links tool to make sure that no negative links are pointing back to your website. If you find through Google alerts that your company is only mentioned in a positive light, your link profile is surely successful.
  4. Traffic Volume – Make sure that you’re paying attention to where your traffic is coming from and whether or not it is improving. Traffic usually occurs because you have a good link profile, so make sure that you’re measuring this traffic based on each keyword so you know where you need to improve.
  5. Exposure – If a link profile is all about Google, why would exposure matter? The truth is that keeping an eye on your social media exposure and overall brand awareness is a direct results of a great link profile. This is a bit harder to track, but worth it nonetheless.

What are some of the KPIs that you feel work well for link profile analysis?