Content may be king, but without any links you won’t get any traffic to your site. A link manager can help you do the following:
- Identify websites that are currently linking to you.
- Keep track of reciprocal links and notify you if a link disappears.
- Track the link popularity of incoming links based on their Page Rank and Alexa value.
ALM does a surprisingly good job of finding incoming links. You are probably familiar with using Google and Yahoo to find links by searching for something like:
If you’ve ever used this, you’ll also know that the search engines don’t like to show you everything they know. Google in particular only shows a small number of links which can make it very difficult to know exactly where you have links coming from. ALM will give you one single consolidated view of the links identified by all of the major search engines. This gives you a much more accurate view of where your incoming existing links are. In addition, ALM will verify the links by visiting the website and making sure that there is indeed a link to your page, keep track of the follow/nofollow status of the link and note the anchor text. This information is very useful because it helps you identify not only who is linking to you, but how they are linking and what terms are being used.
ALM is also very well suited for link building. It lets you keep track of who you have sent link requests to and tracks the results. It even has a feature to send emails requesting links–something that seems very prone to abuse, but could have legitimate uses if used sparingly. It even includes a POP3 client so you can manage incoming emails and track responses directly in the application. This type of capability would probably be especially useful with the server version where multiple people may be working on link building activities for the same domain and the same time. The tracking and email features can help insure that multiple employees are contacting the same person over and over again.
The reciprocal link tracking lets you track pretty much any type of link exchange. It goes well beyond a simple “you link to my site and I’ll link back to yours. You can track agreements like: “I will link my site A to your site B, if you will link your site X to my site Y.”
ALM has a feature in the enterprise version that will help you identify other sites related to your topic (link partners) where you may be able to obtain links or do a link exchange. This feature allows you to sort links by various attributes and then add them to a list of sites you are targeting in an attempt to obtain links. The other tools lets you track your efforts and results toward getting those links and the built in email client means you don’t even have to leave the tool for your entire link building process.
One thing that both Advance Link Manager and Advanced Web Ranking get right is the idea of tracking things over time. Without this feature it is very hard to tell whether you are improving or not. The graphs showing your rank (for AWR) and your link count (for ALM) make it very easy to measure your progress–especially if you only go in and use the tools once every few days or are tracking a large number of sites and pages where it is easy to get confused.
So how do you use a link manager to help increase your traffic? Obviously the link exchanges mentioned above are one way, but the tool can be very useful even for someone who isn’t interested in exchanging links. Keep track of who links to you can help you develop relationships with people interested in your site and in you niche by identifying people who have already linked to you. Establishing a relationship–even something as simple as sending a thank you email–can help make sure your link stays active and can encourage more links in the future.