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A Comprehensive Guide to the Backlink Audit Process

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Backlink audit is one of the most crucial aspects to build an effective SEO strategy. Getting appropriate high-quality backlinks to your websites can help your rank better on search engine result pages and drive higher targeted traffic to your website. 

Building backlinks is a process that every website undergoes while building its SEO strategy. However, once they implement the strategy, most websites fail to monitor the results achieved from backlinks. 

There must be a continuous audit of all SEO parameters so that the SEO strategies can be refined for the future and better outcomes can be achieved. 

Website backlink audit plays a significant role in achieving a higher ranking for websites. A website’s visibility substantially improves if you get high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. Conversely, the presence of low-quality links to your web pages can be highly disadvantageous for the growth of your website.

That is why it is important to do a backlink profile audit of your website to avoid negative SEO and enhance your website profile. The fundamental goal of the SEO link audit is to find links that are low in quality and replace them with authoritative links that can help you to outrank the competitors and prevent SEO penalties from search engines. 

To ensure the best results from your SEO campaign, we have put together a backlink audit guide to provide you with the best tips on how to do backlink audit and optimise your website for success.

What is a Backlink Audit?

The backlink audit process refers to the evaluation of the quality of links pointing towards your website from other domains. The aim is to identify any spammy or unnatural links hindering your website’s SEO performance or resulting in a Google penalty

Numerous tools available on the internet, such as Google Webmaster Tools, Backlink Checker by Ahrefs, etc., leveraging which you can review the quality of your backlinks. 

Apart from that, you can take the help of professional SEO companies that are experts in handling and optimising your content with the required SEO parameters.  

How to do a Backlink Audit?

The process of a backlink audit is fairly simple. The following steps are designed to provide you with the knowledge of an ideal link audit procedure and how to conduct it successfully.

1. Perform Competitor Analysis 

When optimising your website for results, it is important to consider your competitions and their strategies. It not only helps you understand their link building strategies but also helps you gain insights into the process using which you can reasonably evaluate your backlinks. 

When performing competitor analysis of their websites, some of the things that you should consider are:

  • The Number of Referring Domains or Backlinks

Find out about the total number of links for your competitive website. It will help you determine the lead or trail of the backlink footprint for your website.  

  • Referring Domains

You need to check which are the most prominent referring domains of your competition that are deriving the best results for them. It will help you understand if you need more domains than your current standings. 

  • Types of Backlinks

Backlinks can be linked to various types of content. Therefore, you need to find which of your competitor’s website content is most linked to. 

  • Authority Score

It is the score assigned by the search engines to websites and web pages to differentiate between good and bad websites. Hence, find out which domains provide links to your competitor website.

2. Search for your backlinks

Now that you have analysed the profile of your competitors, you need to take measures to outperform your competitor’s website. Start by searching for the external links that are coming to your website. 

Make a list of all of them to take appropriate actions for the links that are not enhancing the growth of your website. Here are the things to consider while finding backlinks to your website:

  • Number of Backlinks

Find out the number of backlinks coming to your website. If the number of backlinks is too high, it could suggest a spam attack on the website. Contrary, if the number of backlinks is too low, you might not be publishing sufficient content on the website, making your website look spammier to viewers.  

  • Domains Referring to your Website

Make sure that all your backlinks are not coming from a single domain. If so, limit the number of backlinks on that particular site else Google will consider it as spam and will not rank your website. 

  • Backlinks Variation in a Certain Period

Check if there is a sudden spike in the number of backlinks in a particular period so that you can find if anyone is trying to harm your SEO strategy.

3. Analyse your backlinks to look for spammy links 

Another crucial aspect to consider while performing link building in SEO is looking out for spammy links. Spammy links come from toxic websites or a single website that provides extensive backlinks to your website. 

Identify how many of such links are coming to your website and check for their attributes. Then, check the referring domain of those links along with their toxic score. High toxic scores can result in negative SEO or poor link building. 

Therefore, find and analyse all the backlinks for your website and see if they are genuine or spam. 

4. Check for Link Penalties 

Google can levy a penalty on your website if the content you publish is inappropriate, misleading, or posted with the intent to spam. Recovering from a Google penalty can be time-consuming and disastrous for your website. You can find about any penalty from Google Search console tools. 

Typically, there are two kinds of Google penalties:

  • Manual Penalty

This penalty is imposed by a member of the Google quality team on the occurrence of a negative parameter linked to your website. The penalty can have an adverse effect on the whole of the website or partially on some of the website’s web pages. 

  • Algorithmic Penalty

This is an automatic penalty levied by Google on identifying any wrong parameter linked to your website. Algorithmic penalties do not get shown in Google Search console tools. Hence, make sure to stay clear of Google penalties. 

5. Disavow or Remove Spammy Links 

Once you have found spammy links pointing to your website, the next step is to remove or disavow them permanently. There are two ways to do this:

  • Reach out to the referring domain owner and ask them to delete the link. 
  • Send the link to the disavow list and export it to the Google Disavow tool.

Reaching out to the owner of a referring website isn’t considered the best option as most of such sites are spam, and there are very few chances of contacting the owner and making them remove the link.  

Therefore, it is advised to follow the second method and disavow the link so that Google does not penalise you. Check the toxic score of the links that you think are spam and add the relevant links to the disavow list using the Google Disavow tool.

6. Enhance Your Backlink Profile

The next step for the successful backlink audit procedure includes optimising your website profile with desired SEO backlinks for the best outcomes. Until this step, you would have already gained a considerable amount of knowledge about backlinking and its usage. 

Next, you need to create strategies that can earn good backlinks to your website. Here are a few measures that you can take:

  • Generate qualitative content that your audience will share: Create and post unique and quality content on your website regarding the trending topics related to your business. This will attract more viewers to the website, and if they find value in your content, they will share it enabling higher website awareness. 
  • Ask customers and partners to link back to your site: Your partner and clients are the biggest sources that help you earn good backlinks. So you must ask them to view and share your content.
  • Keep Blogging: Keeping your audience aware of the latest trends and topics of your field is a good way to get assured backlinks 

7. Build Valuable Links 

The right link building procedure can offer you the opportunity to improve your link building strategy. To obtain higher traffic on your website and get links from reputed websites, the given steps can help:

  • Tools: Tools such as Google Search Console, SEMRush, Ahrefs provide valuable insights to find the target websites whose backlinking can help you grow. 
  • Examine the data of referring domains: Find out the domains that are backlinking to your website. See if they are authoritative sites or just spammy sites. You can remove the sites that have high toxic scores.
  • Higher a Professional: If you want to see swift results, it is better to hire SEO auditors that can professionally help you build a good website profile. 

Conclusion 

Backlinks play a significant role in empowering your website’s SEO strategy by enabling the search engine to know that your content is found valuable by some other website. The power of backlinking has helped thousands of sites make their way to the top-rated websites. That is why a backlink audit of a website is a must and should never be ignored if you wish to achieve higher visibility for your website.

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