Link building is a critical part of SEO. When search engines analyse your website, they will look at the number of other sites that link back to your web pages, and sites with a greater number of high-quality links tend to rank higher. This means that in order to get into those top spots for your target keywords, it’s essential that your site has a superior link profile to your competitors.

But, how do you know whether your link building efforts have been successful, and how do you figure out where you need to improve? To help you measure the performance of your outreach campaigns, we’ve put together a short list of the key metrics and KPIs to monitor for link building activity. Take a look below to get started.


Links Generated/Placement Rate

The starting point for measuring any link building campaign is, of course, looking at the number of links it generates. This will be the primary metric for the success of your campaign; the more links you get, the more you can celebrate. However, as well as the overall number of links, it’s good to consider the number of journalists you sent it to.

Placement rate is one of the more effective ways of doing this. It gives the percentage of sites you contacted that actually gave you a link, highlighting the proportion of contacts who found it interesting. This is a useful metric, as two or three links will look great if you only sent your release to about 20 sites, but not so much if you contacted every news outlet in the country.

A good placement rate is considered to be anywhere between 5-7%, so that can be used as a measuring stick when assessing whether your campaign was a success in this area.


Domain Authority (DA)

Of course, link building isn’t just about quantity; it’s also about quality, and perhaps the simplest way of measuring this is domain authority (DA). This is simply a score out of 100 which measures how likely it is that a website will rank. Sites that have a higher DA will have a bigger impact on your own rankings if they link to you, so it really pays to go after those larger, more reputable sites when link building.

You can easily check a site’s domain authority using one of the countless free DA checkers available online. Once your site gets a link, check its DA straightaway to get an idea of how much it’ll help your own rankings.


Coverage type

Frustratingly, some sites might not include a link when publishing your campaign, so you’ll need to check this when you find a bit of coverage. If they didn’t include a link, then it likely won’t have too big an impact on your SEO performance.

Don’t fret, though, as a citation for your brand is still excellent for boosting awareness, especially when it comes from a highly reputable website.


Relevance and publication type

Sometimes, measuring the quality of the links from your campaigns requires a more manual approach. Links from sites that are closely related to your own industry are often more valuable, meaning it’s important to measure relevance, too. So, for each link your campaign generates, consider categorising the site by its publication type and give it a score based on its relevance to your site.

First, categorise the linking site by the type of publication it is. Is it a general news site, or does it focus on a specific industry? You might want to tweak these categories to suit your own needs depending on the industry you operate in.

When it comes to relevance, you can simply give the linking domain a score out of five based on how closely related it is to your industry. It isn’t easy to do this in a way that’s consistent, as a site’s relevancy to you is open to interpretation, so you’ll have to use your own judgement. However, If you’re struggling, look at the other topics the site has covered and assess how closely tied they are to yours.


Together, these measures will give a neat picture of how suitable the linking domain is to your website.

For more valuable digital marketing insights, take a look at another of our helpful posts on our blog. Alternatively, for professional support with your digital marketing strategy, get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team, today.