Mine Your Own Business

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A common tactic in link building is to try and maximize what you already have. Occasionally this takes the form of contacting webmasters who currently link to you and asking for improvements in link targets and anchor text. Instead of focusing on that, I’d like to examine how you can maximize your existing content (for link building purposes of course!) with 5 quick tactics. Considering the large variety of analytics packages out there, I’ll try to do so without getting too specific.

1. Identify new content needs

If you’re seeing tons of searches coming in for a specific keyphrase and you do not have a page devoted to it, perhaps you should create one. This works for a few reasons, most notably that it allows you to keep growing your site with new content, and to provide a more relevant landing page. Additional content means additional links, hopefully!

2. Identify new ways that people search

This is always handy, as not only can it help you market in other areas (think PPC) but it can also help you learn more about how your users use search queries. This is extremely valuable information because it can help you word your site in order to maximize quality searches. With respect to strict link building, if we go on the assumption that good content naturally attracts links, you can expect more targeted content with terms that are actually used (as you may know, loads of clients think they always know how people search!) to bring you more links.

3. Identify drops in search traffic

If you’re keeping a close eye on things, you should be able to easily tell when certain searches drop off. It’s normal for these to rise and fall a bit but if you notice something big, figure out why it’s happening. Is your information no longer valid, for example? Maybe you’re not in touch with new lingo? Just don’t overreact to seasonal dropoffs.

4. Identify peak dates

If you have peak traffic points for whatever reason, these are good to identify so you can release new content when you’re going to have more traffic. They’re also good to have in mind if you’re going to do any tricky site work, as you certainly don’t want your site down when everyone’s just seen your latest guest post and they’re coming to check you out.

5. Identify where your visitors are coming from

This can be especially helpful with getting a better link foothold in social media. For example, if you have a Facebook page and you only see 1 or 2 visits a month from it, that’s a clue that some of your offsite marketing needs work. Keeping an eye on your typical sources makes it very easy when new ones (that can be maximized perhaps) start to show up or ones that have previously done wonders for your traffic suddenly start to slow down. It could be as simple as an accidentally removed link from a site you’ve been writing for that sends you a nice amount of traffic, so check it out and see what’s going on.

In short, you probably have very valuable data in your analytics package, and you may not spend much time analyzing it in order to boost your link profile. However, just like with all the other methods of link building, using what you currently have in order to figure out what you may need is always a good way to go.

Julie Joyce
Julie Joyce owns the link development agency Link Fish Media, is one of SEO Chicks, and contributes to Search Engine Land and Search Marketing Gurus.
Julie Joyce

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  • Moosa Hemani

    There is an option in GA that always works for me that is Top exit pages… It think people should consider that as well… and if the top exit pages are like services or index or About us pages that indicates you change the structure or content on thee pages and make website more interactive so that visitor stay on the website and move towards the lead.

    Awesome Article over all!! Thanks Julie 🙂

  • Vlad

    Very good article Julie! One thing that I would add thought that isn’t necessarily related to one’s “own business”” is that examining what the competitors on top of you in Google/Yahoo/Bing are doing will also give you very valuable information. You can find out who links to them and to what content. Great article though

  • Julie Joyce

    Thanks to both of you for the nice comments! The top exit page point is fantastic and thank you for that!

  • Bad Credit Loans

    I like the idea of creating pages around the search words that land on your page. I actually have seen many hits on my blog from various searches for which I don’t have a specific page. It had not occurred to me to create one to feed those searches. Thanks for the article.

  • idietcola

    Personally i wouldn’t seek to change existing anchor text, that would just be a rather unnatural thing to do, especially from things like blog placements and such… Notably keeping a database of where you have placed links and what contact email address almost goes without saying… and thus yes i see the light in going round some old contacts and negotiating more links, new links, etc, but the internet is rather vast, and new link opportunities in my opinion – will always yield more than wasting your time changing old anchors about.

    Interesting read all the same. ta