Home : Tracking the progress of your link building campaign

The secret of a successful link building campaign is perseverance. With tens of millions of websites out there, there's always a new source of potential links waiting to be tapped, if your approach is right.

You can simplify the process by maintaining an accurate and up-to-date record of the progress of your link building campaign.

What to Track

You need to record the details of all link submission attempts (via form, email or other means), whether successful or unsuccessful. You also need to keep track of any submissions still in process, or awaiting additional information or a specific decision (e.g. you've identified a possible promotion venue, but you need to decide whether it's worth paying for an enhanced listing before you submit your link.

How to Track Your Progress

One easy way to maintain a record of your progress is to use an Excel file, with the following columns...

  • Submitted To
    The URL of the site or page you submitted your site to.
  • Submission URL
    If relevant, the URL you actually visited to submit your site.
  • Submission Mechanism
    Form, email or other submission mechanism.
  • Contact
    If relevant, the name of the contact person you sent the link request to.
  • Email Address
    If relevant, the email address you sent the link request to.
  • Title
    If you're using more than one title in your link submissions, the title you submitted.
  • Description
    The description you submitted.
  • Submission Date
    The date you initially submitted the information.
  • Verification Date
    The date on which you last checked to see if your link had been added to the target site.
  • Follow-up date
    If relevant, the date on which you sent a follow-up email.
  • Result
    Listed, not yet listed or rejected. Once the result is "Listed", you may want to highlight that row of the table with a different background colour so that you know that particular submission is complete.
  • Notes
    Any additional information relating to the submission, for example any evaluation time stated on the site, amount you paid for a premium link, etc.

Update the appropriate row in your Excel file every time there is a change in that submission's status. For instance, if you notice a site has started sending you traffic as a result of linking to you, you can update that entry to "Listed" status.

Each time you submit your site to a new resource, delete that URL from your shortlist of places to promote your site, and add the relevant information to your Excel tracking file. That way, you can see at a glance exactly how your submission campaign is progressing, and how many more places you still need to submit to.

Exploiting the Information You're Tracking

Make a habit of regularly checking the submissions that are not yet "Listed". If you run down your list every week or so, you will be able to stay abreast of all new incoming links. If nothing changes within a few weeks, consider submitting a follow-up link request. The process should stop at that point - if there's no response after 2 attempts, you're almost certainly out of luck with that particular resource.

One side benefit of accurate record keeping is repeatability - if you ever find yourself needing to promote a different site in the same niche, you can do so very quickly and effectively by working your way down the list of contacts and successful submissions you've been maintaining.

I'll leave you to get on with your link building campaign. If you haven't yet checked out the Directory of Directories, this is a great time to do so!