Building Links is an invaluable part of SEO. In fact, it’s one of the top factors search engines consider when determining your ranking.
Whether you’re developing a new link building strategy or revising an existing one, it’s important to consider your current position. That is place one backlink strategy come play.
Let’s see what backlink analysis looks like and the tools needed to do the backlink analysis.
Reverse link analysis
What is backlink analysis?
Backlink Analysis is a comprehensive review of a website’s backlinks to analyze a website’s performance and identify issues that may affect its search engine ranking.
Backlink analysis is like SEO version of going to the doctor for a checkup. You should do it regularly to make sure everything is in order, but you should also do it when you notice something is wrong.
Completing this process is one of the best ways to understand the status of your website and understand what factors are contributing to your site’s ranking. Perhaps you’ve noticed a sharp drop in your ratings, or you simply haven’t seen the progress you were expecting.
The backlink analysis will also show you how your website measures against your competitors. You will have a better understanding of the strategies your competitors are using and what you can implement in your own process.
Ultimately, it’s your chance to identify new growth opportunities that you haven’t yet explored.
How to perform backlink analysis
- Select the web pages you want to analyze.
- Choose an audit tool.
- Get a quick overview.
- Analysis of details.
- See what your competitors are doing.
1. Select the web pages you want to analyze.
While it is obvious that you will be analyzing your own website, you will also want to narrow down the competitor websites you want to consider.
You may already have a few things to consider, but if not, you’ll want to pick sites:
- Provide similar products or services.
- You are currently ranking higher for your target keywords.
2. Select an audit tool.
While you can do a manual backlink check, using the backlink tool that already has the main features that you are looking for will be more effective.
There are a number of backlink checkers out there, ranging in price and availability. You will often see them as part of SEO tools, like Majestic and SEMrush.
Need help finding a backlink analysis tool? Find a few suggestions here.
3. Get a quick overview.
After you’ve chosen your audit tool, it’s time to start analyzing.
Enter your domain name in the search bar and see the results.
You will start with a lot of data. For a quick glimpse of how your site is performing, focus on these metrics:
- Total backlinks: The total number of links pointing to the site. For example, if site A writes a blog post and hyperlinks to a page on site B, then it is a backlink. If this number is very low, it could be the reason why your page is not ranking well.
- Domain prompt: The total number of webpages that are pointing to your site. Site A pointing to site B is counted as a referring domain. Categorizing these domains by agency can tell you how valuable these pages are for your ranking and give you ideas for reaching out later.
- Top linked pages: The pages on the site get the most backlinks. This may indicate the best type of content for link building.
Repeat this step with your competitors to establish benchmarks and find out where you are. Depending on the tool you use, you can compare these metrics on the same page without having to go back and forth.
4. Analysis of details.
Now it’s time to go into practical details and look at the indicators that will answer “why”.
Start by looking at your link text, the words used to hyperlink your website. This is a great way to identify spammy backlinks that can affect your rankings.
If you are unsure of how to know if the referring domain is spam or not, see if the anchor text is relevant to the content on your website. If it looks like junk in your email and includes plain language, it’s probably spam.
Once you have identified these links, you can contact the website to request removal. It’s a long shot but might work well in some cases. Disavowing those links is a more practical option, it is basically asking Google to ignore those backlinks.
Speaking of spam, you’ll also want to consider serving a top-level domain (ccTLD) by your country code. ccTLD refers to the last part of the URL, specifying the country in which the URL came from.
This is another way to identify sites that could be the source of your negative SEO (i.e. malicious behavior that has a negative impact on your rankings).
For example, if your website gets a lot of traffic from Haiti, then it won’t be a red sign of seeing lots of .ht backlinks. However, if you start noticing links like .cn or another unfamiliar TLD, you may want to dig deeper into this.
Next: broken or lost link. It is important to identify your broken and lost links when you miss out on “link juice”, the higher likelihood of ranking higher from a backlink. Additionally, it can make it harder for your site to crawl.
How do you fix it? There are several ways to do so:
- Contact the referring domain and request to fix it.
- Redirect the broken page to a new page on your site.
- Redirect the broken page to another page on your site with similar content.
5. See what your competitors are doing.
As you dig deeper into your domain, be sure to compare your findings with your competitors.
For example, look at referring domains for websites that rank higher than yours. If there is little overlap between your list and theirs, this can give you an idea of what domain to target.
It is also helpful to compare your backlink acquisition rate against your competitors. Are they growing at a much faster rate than you? It might highlight another part worth investigating.
Top backlink analysis tool
first. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool to check initial backlinks. You can see top metrics, like the total number of your links and referring domains.
The downside of this platform is that you cannot compare your website with your competitors. Still, it’s a good place to start to get a glimpse of your website’s performance.
Ahrefs is an SEO tool with extensive features to help companies optimize their websites.
The Backlink Checker is easily accessible through “Website Explorer” and allows you to quickly export data for further analysis. You can also visit the sections on the left sidebar to explore in depth each feature of the backlink.
Ahrefs is a paid tool that starts at $ 82 / month and goes up to $ 832 / month for agency level capabilities. You can also take advantage of their seven-day free trial for $ 7.
SEMrush is another top SEO tool that has a backlink tracking tool available to subscribers.
You can easily compare your reports with three competitors at the same time and use the chart to visually understand the data.
To see how it works, SEMrush allows free users to make 10 requests per day. While you will only get a limited view of features, you probably know how the console works.
For full access, you must subscribe. Prices start at $ 99 / month and go up to $ 449.
Moz is one of the top backlink creation tools in the market.
Dashboards make it easy to access quick downloads to focus on key areas of interest.
The “Spam Score” feature provides some insight into which links may break SEO efforts and how to reduce them. Another standout feature on the site is the “Discovered and Lost” section, which shows you the affiliate domains you gained and lost within a specific date range.
You can use Moz with a free 30-day trial or subscribe to one of their monthly plans, starting at $ 79.
Backlink analysis is an essential part of your SEO strategy and will require continuity. However, once you know what to look for, it will be a painless process.