It’s not enough to have a social media presence and blog posts. Your work is not done. There are always ways in which you can improve your website. Backlink audits are one of them, and it is essential, especially with Google updates in the future.
A backlink audit is an analysis of the backlinks a website currently has. It can tell you who links to your site, which links point to your site, and where they appear.
The importance of backlink auditing is to help you identify strategies to earn more links or actions you can take to remove harmful links. In 2022, there’s no way around it: You need to conduct a regular backlink audit for every site in your portfolio. This article outlines the steps to do a backlink audit and why you should care about it.
A backlink audit is a process that helps you identify the quality of your website’s backlinks. It can locate spammy or low-quality links and help you understand how your competitors get their links. To assess the quality of a link, you’ll need to consider factors like:
- How old the link is.
- Where it came from e.g., Google or Bing.
- What anchor text it uses.
You generally want more links from high-quality sites and fewer links from low-quality sites. The importance of backlink auditing is you may find that your site has high-quality and low-quality links. In this case, you’ll need to decide which links you’d like to keep and which ones you’d like to remove. A good backlink audit process should include at least the following:
- A list of all inbound links pointing to your website, including their anchor text and source.
- An analysis of each link, including its quality and value.
- Recommendations on how you can earn more high-quality links.
Steps to do a backlink audit start by identifying competitors in your industry and doing research on them. This research will help you understand what kind of links they’ve built and where they’ve been going wrong.
You can also use this information to create a list of potential link sources. This includes influencers, journalists, and the likes who may be interested in linking to your site.
The next step in conducting a backlink audit is to get a list of all the backlinks pointing to your site. You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz for this purpose. Alternatively, you can use a free tool like MajesticSEO.
Once you have this list, use it to check for any links that might be causing problems for your site. To do this, go through each link and check whether it’s still live and working correctly. If it isn’t, you should remove it from your list so that you don’t risk having low-quality links affect your rankings in the future.
When it comes to a backlink audit, you are looking for links that can be classified as spammy. These can include:
- Links from guest posts on suspect websites.
- Links from low-quality directories.
- Links from sites that have been penalized by Google, for example, have been flagged as spam.
- Links from sites that are unrelated or do not provide value to your site’s content.
The next step in a backlink audit is to check the quality of each link. This is the importance of backlink auditing, as you’ll find out if your site is penalized by Google or if it’s just a few bad links that need removing.
The best way to do this is by using a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo. These tools will show you the following:
- How many clicks a particular URL receives.
- How many referring domains there are.
- Other metrics that let you determine whether or not a link is worth keeping.
Two main factors determine the quality of a link:
- The PageRank of a page is determined by how many other websites link to it and how authoritative they are. A link from a high-quality website can significantly impact 100 links from pages with low authority.
- Authoritativeness is related to the number of links on a page but also factors in how relevant those links are. If you get a link from an article about baseball bats, that’s more authoritative than getting a link from an article about cooking pots.
The next step is to sort your links into categories based on quality. This is where you will start to see the importance of backlink auditing. The best way to sort links is by using a backlink audit tool or a spreadsheet and sorting them into different categories.
Here are some examples:
- Low-quality links. These are definitely not helping your site and should be removed or disavowed as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to follow Google’s guidelines for rejecting toxic links.
- Medium-quality links. These are neither helping nor hurting your site, but they could be good in the future, depending on how they were built. You want to keep these links unless they have no value in the long term. At this point, you can consider removing them or disavowing them.
- High-quality links. These are helping your site and should be kept as long as possible but with regular checkups.
This is the most critical part of the steps in doing a backlink audit. You must identify which links are irrelevant to your site and remove them. You can do this through:
- Manual review of all your backlinks – This is time-consuming, but it’s the only way to ensure you remove only the bad links. You will have to look at each individually and decide whether it should be removed from Google’s index.
- Automatic link removal tool – There are several tools out there that can help automate this process. They simply analyze your backlinks and automatically let you know which ones should be removed.
If you’ve been doing things right and disavowing backlinks as soon as they appear, you’ll know what links are being indexed and when. If not, use the disavow tool to submit all links you know about.
This is a good time to double-check that you’re not disavowing any legitimate links. Ensure to review all of them before submitting them to Google.
The best way to monitor your backlink growth is with tools like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO.
They both provide free trials for 30 days that will let you see how many new links are coming in each month. You’ll also see details about where they’re coming from, etc. You can also check Google Search Console’s Pages section, which shows the number of indexed pages per month over time.
You’re missing out on a powerful SEO tool if you’re not following the steps to do a backlink audit regularly. A backlink audit aims to determine the quality of your website’s backlinks. This will help you understand how much work you must do to improve your backlink profile’s overall quality.
The reasons why a backlink audit matters in 2022:
- Google has stated that they have no plans to remove backlinks from their algorithm. This means that they will remain crucial in determining how well your content will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- A good backlink profile can help increase the authority of your website. This makes it easier for users to find it when they search for relevant keywords on Google or other search engines.
- If you have a poor backlink profile, you risk getting penalized by Google or other search engines. This is because they want to protect their users from low-quality websites. They might try to cheat their way into higher rankings by building spammy links.
The best time to run a backlink audit is when you start a new site or are about to launch a new product. This is because when you add new content to your site, you want to ensure it’s well-optimized from the beginning.
So if you have been running your site for some time, it might be a good idea to check its performance. You’ll be able to see if there are any issues with backlinks or links coming from low-quality sites.
When you’re just starting with SEO or building a new site, it’s good practice to follow the steps to do a backlink audit. This will ensure you’ve got some decent content on there before thinking about how to build backlinks.
The importance of backlink auditing is it enables you to do more with your online content. It allows you to look at the websites linking to your content and even provides data on some of the most popular anchor text.
If you audit your links regularly, you can repeat strategies that work, like guest blogging. Auditing your backlinks also allow for better link building, thus new potential opportunities. So take some time to start with the steps to do the backlink audit above, and you’ll be glad you did.