Link Building Worksheets – Organize Your Campaign

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I have said numerous times how much I love using Excel to get better organized. And using it for managing your link building campaigns is a must. Below I am listing a few examples created by others (maybe I’ll follow-up sharing my own).

In any case, what I’d like to emphasize is that I do not recommend using exactly one of the below variants, instead use them as samples: you are free (and even encouraged) to add your own fields, to modify and make them better (and of course, share in the comments what you plan to change and why).

Advanced Link Building Work Sheet

Garrett French of suggests using the following link building work sheet, which I love for a number of reasons:

  • It offers you to evaluate each linking page (and then the whole project) link building relevance (tracking keywords in the title, body text and within H tags);
  • It is comprehensive, yet concise;
  • It promotes that advanced approach to link building which I’ve always been advocative.

Link building work sheet - Ontolo

Directory Submission Work Sheet

Kalena’s link building post describes how she recommends organizing directory submission (may be applied to other types of link building by submitting, e.g. article distribution). The link detail spread sheet is organized into the following columns:

  • Column A – Number
  • Column B – Directory Name
  • Column C – Directory URL
  • Column D – Link Page (address of the category page you want your site listed on)
  • Column E – Submission Page (address of the page where you submit your site)
  • Column F – Date Submitted
  • Column G – Date Added
  • Column H – Submission Comments

Here’s a good addition from the comments (credits to Eric Ward):

Assign one column for “type” of submission. This will then allow you to use excel’s autofilter and sorting functions. For example, six months from now, imagine you have made hundreds of submissions. You could then, with a quick filter button, see every submission that met any given criteria, be it simple like “blog”, or a more complex, like “regional directory” + “fee based” + “link obtained” + Non-recip, etc. Having the ability to output that on a single sheet has so many benefits.

Basic Link Building Work Sheet

YourSEOplan offers to focus on the following criteria when compiling your link building work sheet:

  • URL of Linking Page
  • Requested Landing Page
  • Contact E-mail
  • Date Requested
  • Link Received? (Y/N)
  • Notes

Your SEO plan link building work sheet

Additional reading: Using Excel in SEM.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • Ilium

    Nice post, the link for the advanced link building work sheet returns a file not found error for me though.

  • gudipudi

    Hi Ann, thanks for sharing this excellent piece of stuff. but as llium mentioned even i am getting the same “not found error” for advanced link building..

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Yeah, the Ontolo sheet was working when we put this together, and I’ve nofollowed it and posted a note for the link.

    Garrett should be working on getting it back up and I’ll upate when it’s running.

  • Ed

    I’ve been preaching this to the other web desginers and I have been too lazy to make a organized one myself (still doing it by hand…). Would love to see the Ontolo one so I could use it as an example fo the rest of the group. It looks like (from your screen shot) that they did an excellent job of laying it out!

    Great Post!

  • Kalena Jordan

    Thanks for the link love Ann. I should probably point out that although I developed the link s/sheet, the blog post was written by Sarah Parker my Virtual Assistant and chief Link Researcher πŸ™‚ Will look forward to seeing the Ontolo s/sheet when it’s working again, there should be more of this sharing resources in SEO eh?

  • Foot In Mouth

    We used to use Excel inhouse to keep track of links, but with multiple clients over time you get stacks and stacks of excel files that need to be updated.

    I honestly believe that the link manager in Raven Seo does a much better job- It not only picks up the link automatically through a Firefox toolbar, but it also databases all of the site’s you’ve gotten links from so you can search and find link possibilities from your previous keyword research.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Ok, Ontolo’s link is back up, thanks πŸ™‚

  • KristinMA

    Great emphasis on link building Ann. One of the tips I have come to learn about link building is the importance of the actual organization of your site. To develop rank-boosting links, it all starts from a well-optimized site with targeted keywords.

    WordStream, Inc. explains better in detail tips for building quality links for FREE:

  • McCormick Web Marketing

    Thanks for the idea, I have been using something similar for 2 years now, its truly about organizing…NICE POST!

  • SearchMarketingSales

    Thank you for sharing. Yes I would certainly agree that management is a must for an effective link building campaign. Nice post !

  • Sam

    Thanks, that’s saved me a lot of time πŸ™‚

  • Need More Backlinks?

    Interesting post, a lot of effort made on setting up the strategy, but it all comes down to asking for a link in the end doesn’t it?

  • Bert

    Or you can use the free link management tool @

  • Kalena Jordan

    Hey Ann, just thought you should know that Top Positions have scraped this post and published it as their own: Revenge can be fun?

  • Randy Wheeler

    Link building is always a bit tough.
    Thanks for the help


  • Hooliga, Sports Bar Search

    Much of this I do in my head, but it’s good to see it organized. Thanks some new links as well.

  • Shane

    I actually got my start reading SEO an hour a day. They have a lot of good info in the book and the downloadable worksheets are great (if you use them…). Thanks for the other links.

  • Gaurav Rajput

    The good one for help to make a excel sheet for link building.Thanks