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Every New Year’s, we tend to take stock of the past year and plot out a course to do it a little better in the coming year.  This is the reason for link audits as well.  They give you a chance to take stock of your SEO and website efforts and see what you can improve upon.  But unlike our resolutions to eat better, work out more, or indulge less, you’ve got to stick to your SEO resolutions!  Conducting a link audit is the first step.

The goal of a link audit is to see where inbound links are coming from and determine the quality.  For instance, are a lot of the sites linking you to spam or link farms?  Or are you getting links from blogs who want to connect their readers to your content?  You can also analyze if your links tend to be from within your industry or in the social media realm.  You want to have a balanced, diversified portfolio, just as you do when you’re investing.

You can pay to have a link audit conducted or, if you have a little more time than money, you can do one yourself.

  1. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and find the Link and Query Traffic option.
  2. This tool gives you a list of all the sites that have linked to yours.
  3. Manually check each link.  Go to the URL and see what type of site it is.  Is it a legitimate website, blog, or article database?
  4. What type of sites/blogs/etc. link to your content?  See which areas you are weak in and which you are strong in.  For instance, if you have a lot of inbound links from blogs, that’s great.  But do you need to pick up the efforts for other social media links?
  5. Save this link data.
  6. Work on link building in weak areas.
  7. Periodically conduct link audits (perhaps quarterly) and compare your link profile to the previous report.

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