A banklink audit is one of the primary steps when performing SEO, whether optimizing a website off-page or on-page. Wondering why? Let me tell you.
Backlinks help you get referral traffic when readers on other websites click your backlink. If visitors you have earned after investing effort and money are not guided properly towards the right address, they will get lost and eventually bounce back to other sources.
According to Google’s parameters, a higher website bounce-back rate damages your website’s credibility. You don’t want that, right? So, perform a backlink audit to ensure you have quality backlinks that will help you optimize.
Read further to know the importance of backlink auditing, steps to do a backlink audit and some backlink audit tips to do it right.
What is a Backlink Audit?
Backlink auditing is a process of evaluating the backlinks you have used to win organic traffic throughout the pages on your website. Auditing backlinks helps you identify quality and harmful links that may affect your SEO campaign. Backlink audit is one of the major factors in SEO.
3 Things a Backlink Does:
- Gives you a chance to win referral traffic.
- Gives you more visibility to your target audience.
- Boost SEO credibility on search engines by a vote of confidence from other sources.
Now that we understand what backlinks do, it's time to understand the importance of backlink auditing so there are no loopholes.
Importance of Backlink Auditing
Multiple factors make backlink audits important for your website. We discuss some of them below.
More Chances to Rank
When you audit your website for faulty backlinks, there is a good chance to replace broken or wasted links with dofollow links where they didn’t exist. This makes your website more specific to the content and allows you to grow online.
Better Outreach Network
You can measure the importance of backlink auditing by working towards an email outreach approach. You can reach out to potential host websites and inform them about broken links on their site. Offer them yours as a replacement and expand your network.
Increases Website’s Value
Your website’s authority depends heavily on the backlinks it is associated with. When you sort the bad links from the good ones, you’re a clean and trustworthy source for search engines. More websites trust your content and like to quote you, and you get more domain authority.
Attracts Target Audience
Linking to high-quality websites that offer relevant services or are related to your line of work is a great move.
You can achieve this by enhancing the specificity and relevance of your backlinks to the services you provide to your audiences. By doing so, you gain access to websites with audiences that, in one way or another, are similar to your own.
These are some obvious benefits that make backlink audits important for your website. Let us conclude the blog with some practical and easy backlink audit tips to help you get started.
What to Look for in a Backlink Audit?
There are two types of backlinks that affect your ranking and it's beneficial to understand the importance of backlink auditing before you begin the site auditing.
You must identify the backlink types we discuss below when auditing backlinks for Search Engine Optimization. This audit will allow you to improve your website’s SEO and help you avoid link penalties.
Types of backlinks to audit:
- Harmful backlinks
- Useful backlinks
When performing a backlink audit, you aim to eliminate or discard harmful backlinks that are either spam or from a scammy source. One way to identify these bad backlinks is to use a tool or expert help and check if the backlinks belong to a trusted domain or if they are relatable to the context you are presenting.
Harmful links damage your search engine ranking as they don’t add substantial value to your website and your demographic.
A useful backlink is a high domain authority source that relates to your content and takes visitors directly to the linked web pages that are specific to what the reader or visitor would like to know in depth.
Quality backlinks are fruitful in terms of SEO as it signals to Google that your website has beneficial content. Your backlink audit focuses on using more useful/quality backlinks.
Now that you know the basics of backlinks and audits, we will tell you steps to do a backlink audit next.
5 Steps to Do a Backlink Audit
The steps to do a backlink audit are simple. But, it needs attention and a problem-solving approach. The steps that we will define below will help you get started.
Step 1: Have a Full Picture of Deployed Backlinks
The first step to auditing backlinks is to be aware of your current backlink situation. Figure out which backlinks are functional and which ones are not. This full picture of your website’s backlinks is called a backlink portfolio.
The good part? You don’t have to use any paid tools for it. You can simply access Google’s console. The process includes two simple steps.
Follow these steps:
- Log into your Google Search Console
- Choose your Dashboard
- Go to ‘Links’
- Click ‘External links’ to know the links that direct traffic to your website.
- ‘Top linked pages that are most viewed.
The studying backlink portfolio step will uncover the stats, and you’ll know where to start your backlink audit.
Step 2: Lookout for Bad Backlinks
Once you know which links get you more traffic, it’s practically easier to identify harmful backlinks throughout your website. If you do the job manually, the backlink portfolio will help you locate useless backlinks.
You can also use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs that are paid but more effective. If you’re tight on budget, you can use their free versions for backlink analysis.
2 Signs to Identify Harmful Links:
- Broken link: When you click on a backlink, and it shows ‘Error 404’, it means the link is broken.
- Wasted backlinks: wasted backlinks are the ones that are not bringing any traffic to your website.
When you know which backlinks are damaging for your site’s reputation, you can delete them and replace them with better web pages to divide traffic. We will teach you how to eliminate these backlinks in the next step.
Step 3: Delete Bad/Harmful Backlinks
Low quality backlinks damage your website’s SEO and makes it difficult for them to rank of Google’s first page which is why you must delete them.
Deleting bad links may seem simple, but sometimes websites are not very responsive and it's tough to audit backlinks manually. You can use tools like Google Console’s disavow for free.
3 Steps to Use Google Disavow:
- Have a list of URLs backlinks to disavow through auditing your website’s backlinks.
- Upload a disavow list of properties to your website’s Google console.
- Delete property disavowals that are bad for your website’s SEO.
Using Google disavowal page to clear out the given property is a simple task but it's effective compared to other free tools. You can also click Cancel Disavowal to restore a mistakenly deleted. You can also hire SEO resellers to help you with backlink audits.
Step 4: Evaluate Referring Locations
The proportion of referring pages to authority sites is another intriguing measure to be aware of when starting with a backlink audit since a website can have many backlinks from the same address, which signifies an unhealthy backlink profile.
From Google’s algorithm’s viewpoint, having numerous backlinks from a wide range of domains is more advantageous. You may see the quantity of referring domains and backlinks by visiting the summary page of your website that Ahrefs provides. After viewing the analytics, you can make changes as needed.
Step 5: Focus on Link Building
You’ve done everything there was to be done about the backlink audit. We appreciate your consistency and focus. It’s time to create new backlinks for your website right now!
Link building has a significant role in promoting your website and increasing its authority. There are certain strategies that you can follow to foster your website’s Search Engine Optimization.
These are some strategies you can use for building your website’s links.
- Guest posting.
- Email outreach to promote your content.
- PR or advertising your content.
- Point broken links to replace them with your backlinks.
You should also link your backlink audit to your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts. Semrush now has a complete picture of your traffic as a result.
Following these simple steps to do a backlink audit by using free tools for backlink auditing, you can seamlessly audit your website for better rank in search engines.
5 Useful Backlink Audit Tips
The importance of backlink auditing is an unavoidable process when establishing your website’s reputation on search engines. One mistake can cost you a lot of money and effort. Hence, we share some useful backlink audit tips that will support your SEO journey.
- Always review the change before you click ‘Done.’ It's one of the most important backlink audit tips we have to share with you. Some website owners forget to back up their data. This is dangerous because what if you disavow a property with zero issues? You can undo this change, but it’s good to be careful.
- Look for spammy links if you have found any in your backlink audit process. Keep them saved and understand the similar pattern (similar anchor text pattern) in their URLs to prevent the website ranking from falling next time.
- Check the collected disavow links against the new ones you’ll use in your SEO campaign. These links will be saved in the Disavow folder in your Google Console. If not done right, your site can face penalties.
- Remember to test the backlinks you’ve used. It ensures they are working, and you can benefit from the saved time and effort by verifying it beforehand.
- Only disavow links that you think are harming your website and take things one by one instead of going bananas in panic.
Considering the importance of backlink auditing, it’s in your favor to use these backlink audit tips when auditing your website.
Have ideas to share? Comment and connect with the community and us!
A backlink audit helps scaling businesses improve their web performance and land on target. You can earn more website visitors, making your business more profitable.
You can perform a backlink audit yourself by following the steps to do a backlink audit we have given above.
But, if you don’t have time or want things to be done perfectly, reach out to dedicated specialists with a good track record. The charges may vary depending on their skill set, but it will be a worthwhile investment.