Now that 90 percent of the United States uses the internet either at home or at public terminals, search engine optimization has gone from a neat tool to an absolute necessity for remaining competitive. You know from experience if you've used one that a link popularity check tool is one of the most valuable tools in your web marketing arsenal. But what if you're not already using a link popularity checker tool? Do you need one now? In this guide, we'll explore the basics of using a link popularity check tool and help you come to an informed decision about whether to use one as part of your search engine optimization strategy.
What is a Link Popularity Checker Tool?
Also known sometimes as a backlinks checker, a link popularity check tool is used to identify which websites are linking to your site and some characteristics of those links. Depending on which link popularity checker tool you use, you may be able to find out information about your inbound links, like “what is my anchor text for each link?” or “which links come from the same IP address?”
Using a link popularity checker tool has become very important because Google now bases most of your search engine rankings not on keyword density, but on your inbound links. By using a link popularity check tool, you ensure that you know where you stand with Google. Because Google also bases your link rankings on whether your links come from high quality websites, you may also want to monitor the quality of the sites your links are coming from—something that many of the biggest popularity checker tools do.
Which Link Popularity Checker Tool Should We Use?
There's no one right link popularity check tool that works equally well for all applications. In some cases, you may find that you actually want to use two or more different tools in order to get a better variety of information about each link. A good place to start finding a link popularity check tool is Google. Doing a search for “link popularity checker tool” will give you myriad websites, each of which has its own check.
It is very unusual for a link popularity checker tool to require downloading onto your machine. Usually, a link popularity check tool works completely online and will be hosted by the website of some other company. How do these companies make money by giving away a free link popularity checker tool? Easy—they are hoping that you'll be so impressed with their link popularity check tool that you purchase some of their less easily automated, more costly services.
Can a Link Popularity Checker Tool Improve SEO?
On its own, a link popularity check tool can just help you identify the sources of your inbound links. However, if you're interested in using these results to improve your search engine optimization, there are several things you can do.
First of all, you can make your search engine optimization efforts a bit more like the ones your most successful competitors are using. That's because information about inbound links is totally public, so you can use the same link popularity check tool to look at your competitor's website that you can use to look at your own. When you use the tool, let's say you find that many of your competition's highest value links come from having accurate and detailed information on various directory websites like Google+ Local. If this is the case, then you need to make sure you're also on those directory sites so that you are a little more evenly matched.
You can also use a link popularity check tool to learn which linking areas you're not really doing much in yet. Maybe when you run your check, you find out that there are only three or four links to your website coming in from social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. If you see this pattern, you can use your knowledge to start building new links on social networking sites—the lowest hanging fruit for your particular linking needs.
Alternatives to Using a Link Popularity Checker Tool
If you don't have many inbound links, using an inbound link popularity check tool won't necessarily help you very much. The data that these websites can give you is more accurate and more meaningful if you have a fairly large number of links.
For people just getting started out, a link popularity check tool can be substituted with a tool for identifying your competitors and finding niches for your content. If you find niches for your law firm using a niche market finder, you'll be better equipped to create pages that will get the attention of linkers. However, you should make sure to return to checking your link popularity once you've done several weeks of niche marketing and inbound link building.
Analytics and Your Link Popularity Checker Tool
Tracking your link popularity results through a long period of time is a great way to see how changes to your website's focus and design have affected your inbound links. The process of using data you've gathered to figure out the next step your website should take is called analytics. By using an analytics program like Google Analytics, you are using proven mathematical methods to understand what's going on when people visit your website and where they're most likely to come from.
You can do analysis of your link popularity check tool results relatively easily. Do you ever see a sharp spike in your inbound links, or a decline? Check what changed in your website or inbound link building strategy at that time.
You can also use analytics on your competition. By monitoring when they see spikes in their inbound links, you can see what strategies they're using and whether they're automating link submission. Keep in mind that your link popularity check tool can only see links that have been indexed by search engines—if you or your competition is having a tough time getting your links indexed, you may not be seeing the full inbound linking picture.