Inbound links pointing to your site are taken into consideration as a part of the search engine ranking algorithms.A� Inbound links are what convey that your site is (or isna��t) a trusted source.A� As the search algorithms have become more complex, ita��s the quality of inbound links that matters as opposed to the quantity.
When getting started with an SEO campaign ita��s recommended to conduct a full SEO link audit, which is the process of pulling the inbound link data of your site and of your competitors using an SEO tool like SEOMoz.A� Once the inbound link reports are generated, you will need to manually visit each link and categorize it.A� Categories could include article links, press release links, blog/blog comment links, directory links, industry/business profile links, social media links, and more.A� Ita��s a time consuming process but well worth it as the insights gained can improve your SEO process.
Here are four reasons to conduct a full link audit:
1.A� To Get an “Inside Look”
Analyzing your inbound link portfolio is a good way to gauge how the search engines are viewing your site.A� The type of links pointing to a site are typically in line with the site itself.A� If the links are good, it makes the site look good by association.A� If they are bad, it makes the site look bad by association.
2.A� To Shape a Link Building Strategy
Link building is the ongoing component of an SEO campaign.A� The purpose is to build links that will improve search engine trust and also generate traffic back to the site.A� Before you get started with link building ita��s good to see what kinds of links you already have so you know what areas need work.A� If your link portfolio is heavy on industry and local directories ita��s necessary to switch gears and focus on other areas since the search engines like to see a well rounded link portfolio.A� The most important links to achieve today for SEO are content based links because they are more likely to be shared.A� As content marketing expert Ann Handley said in an interview that we conducted, a�?SEO and content marketing are BFFs.a�?A�A� If a link audit shows that you are lacking in content, it should be a focus of link building going forward.
3.A� To Find New Opportunities From Competitors
Once youa��ve analyzed your own inbound links and know what areas you need to work on, conduct an audit of your competitors.A� You might be able to find some great new opportunities that you hadna��t found yet.A� However, ita��s important to remember that just because a competitor has the link it doesna��t mean ita��s good or the right fit for you.
4.A� To Clean Up Your Link Portfolio
There are good links and there are bad links.A� Over time ita��s likely that your site may have some of the a�?bada�? variety, especially since many links that are considered to be bad today werena��t considered to be bad even just a few years ago.A� If you find that a significant number of your inbound links are in the a�?bada�? category, ita��s worthwhile to go through and attempt to remove them.
Image:A� Looking At Links via Shutterstock