Here’s how you know whether your backlinking strategy is worth its weight.

When you’re trying to up your SEO game, few tactics are more successful than a judiciously placed backlink. But to determine the strength of your overarching SEO strategy, here are the metrics every content marketer should consider.

1. Domain Strength

A metric coined by the SEO gurus at Moz, domain strength is a domain’s aggregate value. It takes into consideration a site’s age, popularity, and size, giving you a sense of its overall authority.

While measuring your own domain’s strength is important (and informative!), it is equally essential to measure the strength of any domains that link back to yours. By focusing your energy on sites with strong domains, you can ensure that the links they provide have a larger impact on your own SERP ranking.

2. Pagerank

Whereas domain strength is the most important metric in determining which newly created pages you want to link back to your site, pagerank is the best way to determine whether having your link added to a pre-existing page is worth your time and money. So before you commit to acquiring a new link, calculate the pagerank to find out how much clout the site you’re pursuing actually has in Google’s eyes.

3. Number of Links

If your focus is link-building, it’s essential that you know just how many links you’ve managed to build.

As far as metrics go, that’s fairly easy to calculate — just make sure you keep tabs on which links have gone live, which are in progress, and which are no longer active. If you’re looking to see how you measure up, Moz recommends checking competitors’ links to see if you’re right on track, or ahead of the game.

4. Number of Domains

In addition to knowing how many backlinks you have floating out in the ether, it’s also useful to know how many distinct domains have linked back to your site.

Contrary to what you might assume, the number of domains that link to you actually has a more significant impact on your site’s ranking than the total number of backlinks you’ve earned — so be sure to diversify!

5. Position of Links

Although any backlink is a good backlink, having a site link to you in the footnotes of an article won’t have nearly the same impact as a link placed in the body of the article. This is because the latter will be attached to relevant anchor text, whether that’s your company name or a term related to your industry.

What’s more, Google ranks a link’s importance based not only on the reputability of its host, but also by its position on the page. As a rule of thumb, for a link to be considered truly important, it has to be “above the fold,” meaning it should appear before a reader would have to scroll down the page.

6. Relevance of Linking Page

In order to convert visitors into customers, you should be driving targeted traffic to your site. With that in mind, look at what percentage of backlinks are from pages that will attract your target audience. This way, backlinks will act as more than just an SEO booster — they’ll be a direct source of new revenue for your business!

7. Cost Per Link

When you’re looking for ways to improve your ROI, it’s essential to understand what all that money’s going to in the first place. After all, the cost of link building isn’t limited to time and money spent procuring leads: it also includes salaries of link builders, design costs, and more. So before you spend another dime on improving your SEO, consider whether you’re using all of the above metrics to maximize not only your visibility, but also your profitability.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer search engine optimization and analytics services to help businesses transform their websites into visible sources of knowledge online and answer the questions that matter most to your prospects. Learn more about SEO and analytics here.