For most sites, increasing your inbound link counts is important. But one aspect of link building that is often overlooked is not actually link building, it is making the most of the links you already have.

Have you ever stepped back and taken a look at your links? Often times when we do site audits we find opportunities to significantly improve the value of links that are already in place. Improving the quality of your existing links usually takes some time, but not usually much money.

For links that you have gone out and built your self, chances are most are setup to work for you. Most will have appropriate link anchor text and will direct to the pages of your site you are looking to promote, but when it comes to links you have gained 100% naturally, this is not always the case.

Often times webmasters will link to your site using your company name. In many cases this is just fine, but more often than not company names will not include target phrases you wish to rank for. It is also common to see people linking in using your domain name as the link anchor text. While again, this is better than no link, it could be offering you more value.

Consider going through your inbound links and contacting any webmasters who have linked to you in a way that is less than ideal. While some will simply ignore you, others will accommodate and adjust the link according. You may also see opportunities where the link would be more relevant is directed at various internal pages. Check for things like anchor text and even surrounding text. While Page Rank is often useless, prioritize which links to try and fix based loosely on the Page Rank.

Also, it may surprise you to find links that you have which are pointing to pages that don’t exist! Check your webmaster tools account for 404 errors, and the source of these errors. You may find inbound links to pages you have deleted. (making the use of 301 redirects even more important when you change things). Contact these websites and try to get the links updated. If they won’t respond, at least placing a 301 redirect can help re-gain some of the value.