How to Perform Backlink Analysis Like a Professional


Conducting a comprehensive backlink analysis stands as a pivotal element in maintaining your competitive edge and crafting a successful backlink strategy. Failing to delve into this crucial task is akin to navigating the intricate world of link building blindly.

For a dedicated link-building agency, the commencement of a new client engagement invariably involves initiating a thorough backlink analysis. This serves as the foundational step, yielding three invaluable insights that serve as the cornerstone for crafting an effective link-building strategy:

  1. Unearthing Existing Backlinks: This initial examination unveils the current landscape of the client’s backlink profile, shedding light on the links already pointing towards their digital assets.
  2. Identifying High-Performing Pages: The analysis unearths the pages that are champions in attracting and accumulating backlinks. Understanding which content is driving the majority of these inbound links is essential for strategic optimization.
  3. Uncovering Potential Pitfalls: Delving into the backlink analysis often reveals issues that necessitate attention and resolution. These could encompass toxic backlinks, broken links, or other anomalies that may hamper the effectiveness of a link-building campaign.

In the subsequent sections of this article, we’ll delve into the significance of a thorough backlink analysis, provide a roadmap for conducting such an analysis, and offer guidance on how to leverage the insights garnered to forge a powerful link-building strategy.

🎯 Significance of Backlink Analysis: Unpacking the key reasons why backlink analysis is indispensable for a successful link-building endeavor.

🔍 How to Execute a Comprehensive Analysis: A step-by-step guide on how to meticulously explore and dissect your backlink ecosystem, extracting the information you need for informed decisions.

🚀 Leveraging Analysis Findings: Once you’ve amassed the data, what should you do with it? We’ll guide you on how to translate these insights into a potent link-building strategy, addressing the identified issues and maximizing the potential of high-performing pages.

What is Backlink Analysis?

Backlink analysis stands as a comprehensive examination of a website’s backlink portfolio. This procedure involves employing a specialized tool, which we’ll delve into shortly, to gain a holistic perspective. Its primary aim is to furnish a complete overview of all the incoming links directing traffic to your website while uncovering potential areas for enhancement, including the identification and resolution of broken links, a concept we’ll explore in detail later.

A thorough backlink analysis serves to shed light on two crucial dimensions: the quality and quantity of your backlinks. Furthermore, it pinpoints which content on your site acts as a magnet for link placements. These insights play a pivotal role in assisting website owners in identifying both challenges and opportunities within their backlink strategy. By maximizing their off-page SEO efforts, website owners can ultimately enhance their search engine rankings.

Conducting a backlink analysis is a routine practice for websites under your ownership. However, its utility isn’t confined solely to your digital domain. You can also venture into exploring the backlink landscape of competing websites. This approach provides valuable insights into your competitors’ backlink profiles, fostering a deeper understanding of their strategies and tactics.

Both the examination of your website’s backlink profile and the scrutiny of your competitors’ backlinks constitute integral components of a well-rounded search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Without an effective analysis, your strategic blueprint lacks the necessary insights to outperform your rivals, making it a cornerstone for digital success.

What to look for when performing a backlink analysis

A comprehensive backlink analysis offers valuable insights that can significantly enhance your website’s search engine performance and online presence in various ways:

  • Identification of Unwanted Links: By conducting a backlink analysis, you can unearth any undesirable links stemming from sources like private blog networks (PBNs) and link farms. This is particularly crucial because inbound links from low-quality websites can potentially harm your site’s search engine rankings.
  • Remedying Broken Links: When an external link is broken, it hinders the flow of link authority to your site. A meticulous backlink analysis helps you pinpoint these broken links, allowing you to promptly address them and ensure that your site receives the maximum link authority possible.
  • Uncovering Link-Worthy Content: The analysis helps you discern which types of content on your site are particularly appealing and attract a significant number of backlinks. Armed with this knowledge, you can craft similar content to boost link acquisition and further bolster your website’s authority.
  • Optimizing Link Distribution: Not all pages on your website possess the same degree of authority or visibility. Backlink analysis can spotlight the pages that stand to gain the most from incoming links. By strategically directing links to these pages, you can enhance their search engine rankings.
  • Competitive Edge: Through a backlink analysis, you gain valuable insights into your competitors’ link-building strategies. You can compare your backlinks with theirs, identify the pages that attract the most links, and even discern the referring sites. This intelligence equips you to outperform your competitors in the ever-competitive digital landscape.

When to Perform a Backlink Analysis

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Now that you have a clear understanding of the concept of backlink analysis and the advantages it can bring to your business, let’s explore several scenarios where conducting such an analysis can prove valuable.

While it’s a common practice to conduct a backlink analysis as a preliminary step before initiating a link building campaign, this isn’t the sole situation in which this analysis can be beneficial.

Below are a few other instances where backlink analysis can offer valuable insights:

Before link building

Performing a thorough backlink analysis is a crucial step when embarking on new link-building initiatives. This process provides valuable insights that serve as a foundation for gauging the impact of your endeavors.

By scrutinizing your existing backlinks, you can gain a deeper understanding of the most productive strategies for enhancing your link profile. This analysis can unveil the specific content types that possess a strong potential for attracting additional inbound links.

Periodically, to measure the impact of your link building strategies

After implementing your strategy, it’s essential to conduct ongoing assessments to gauge its effectiveness.

Regularly comparing your initial status to your current results will help you ascertain the continued relevance of your link building approach.

Make it a routine to examine critical SEO metrics on a monthly basis to verify that your link generation efforts align with your expectations.

After a ranking decrease

Low-quality backlinks have the potential to harm your website’s search engine rankings. When you notice a decline in your website’s performance metrics, conducting a thorough analysis of your backlinks can be a valuable strategy to pinpoint problems and initiate a positive turnaround.

When you receive a manual penalty

In specific cases, you might encounter a manual penalty within your Google Search Console dashboard. This penalty is imposed when a human reviewer determines that your website has violated one of Google’s established guidelines.

When your website is subjected to a manual penalty due to issues with its link profile, it is imperative to undertake a comprehensive backlink analysis. This analysis helps identify any low-quality or spammy links and facilitates their removal or disavowal, ultimately working towards the restoration of your website’s search engine optimization standing.

Before buying a website

Conducting a thorough analysis is a crucial step in the process of acquiring a website. This pre-purchase evaluation empowers you to make a well-informed decision regarding the feasibility of the deal.

This examination not only allows you to identify potential concerns, such as the presence of harmful backlinks, but also reveals opportunities, such as the possibility of rectifying numerous broken links through redirection or repair.

If you haven’t done one before

Performing a backlink analysis is a valuable task, even if you don’t find yourself in any of the situations mentioned earlier. Conducting your first backlink analysis can be beneficial at any stage.

Embarking on your initial backlink analysis is always a wise decision, no matter where you stand in your link-building endeavors. This process will provide you with invaluable insights into your achievements and areas where enhancements can be made.

How to Perform a Backlink Analysis

To dive into the intricacies of conducting a thorough backlink analysis, you’ll require a reliable SEO tool capable of providing comprehensive insights into your backlink profile.

At LinkCrafters, we rely on Ahrefs for our backlink analysis needs. However, there is a plethora of alternative options available in the market, including Moz, Majestic, and Semrush, each with its unique features and advantages.

Should you be in search of the ideal backlink analysis tool, we recommend perusing our in-depth guide that offers valuable insights on selecting the most suitable tool to match your specific requirements.

Start with a website overview on a backlink checker

To embark on optimizing your website’s backlinks effectively, your initial task involves gaining a comprehensive insight into your site’s backlink landscape, revealing key foundational data. The following essential metrics are paramount in this pursuit:

  1. Referring Domains: A referring domain denotes a website that links to your own. Multiple links from a single domain are consolidated for clarity in your results.
  2. Referring Pages: This figure signifies the number of distinct pages hosting backlinks directing traffic to your site.
  3. Lost Links and New Backlinks: This metric highlights the net change in the number of backlinks over time, accounting for both acquired and vanished links.
  4. Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): The ccTLD reflects the top-level domain code associated with the websites linking to yours. This data is especially valuable for recognizing links originating from specific countries. For instance, “.in” typically signifies links from India, while “.uk” points to links originating in the United Kingdom.

In addition to these fundamental metrics, most SEO tools incorporate a domain authority assessment:

  • In tools like Ahrefs, this is represented as Domain Rating (DR).
  • For Moz, it is encapsulated as Domain Authority (DA).

These domain authority metrics offer a concise summary by condensing the extensive information from your backlink analysis into a singular score, typically on a scale of 1 to 100. This score furnishes a quick snapshot of your website’s backlink profile.

It’s essential to note that while these aforementioned backlink data points may not directly shape your link-building strategy, they serve as a crucial baseline to understand your current positioning and measure the progress of your SEO efforts.

Discover Your Top-Performing Pages

A valuable aspect of conducting an analysis lies in uncovering the webpages on your site with the highest number of inbound links. When using Ahrefs, for instance, you can access this information by navigating to the “Pages” section in the sidebar and selecting “Best by links.”

This report provides insights into the specific pages on your website that attract the most backlinks. Furthermore, it offers a breakdown of the number of dofollow and nofollow links associated with each of these pages.

Seeing which pages attract links is useful for three main reasons:

Creating similar content

Some forms of content inherently possess a greater potential for garnering valuable backlinks. These include original research, statistical compilations, interactive tools, and thought-provoking articles that establish industry authority. These content categories typically outshine more general informational content when it comes to attracting links.

Understanding which content types have the link-building advantage empowers you to strategize more effectively. When you discern the types of content that are most link-worthy, you can tailor your content creation efforts accordingly to generate a higher quantity of backlinks.

For instance, if you observe that a statistics page on your website has accumulated a significant number of backlinks, this serves as a clear indication. It suggests that creating similar statistical pages on different subjects or within distinct niches can be a successful approach to further enhance your link-building endeavors.

Use content as linkable assets

A link-building approach known as the “Skyscraper Content” strategy involves proactively contacting website owners to request links to specific content on your site. This method capitalizes on the appeal of existing organic links, as they serve as clear indicators that people are willing to link to these pages.

Share page authority (PA)

Boosting the authority of certain pages on your website can be achieved through strategic backlinking. High-authority pages tend to accumulate numerous backlinks, which can significantly impact their influence. To harness this authority and spread its benefits across your site, consider identifying your most linked pages, often brimming with valuable content, and connect them with other articles on your website. By doing so, you can enhance the rankings and overall impact of these top-linked pages while creating a cohesive and informative web experience for your audience.

Find pages that could benefit from backlinks

When devising a strategy for your link-building campaign, the crucial next phase involves the discernment of pages that stand to gain the most from valuable backlinks.

Selecting the appropriate pages for linking is pivotal, as it plays a pivotal role in optimizing the effectiveness of your campaign for your website.

Numerous elements can indicate the potential benefits of linking to a specific page.

High-value pages

The key to maximizing revenue for your business lies in prioritizing high-value pages. Depending on your specific industry and goals, these could take various forms. E-commerce stores tend to focus on product and category pages, while SaaS companies often emphasize their sales pages. Affiliate websites, on the other hand, frequently revolve around reviews and “best of” content.

By strategically acquiring backlinks to these crucial pages, you significantly enhance their chances of achieving higher search engine rankings. As a result, a larger pool of potential customers will have the opportunity to discover and engage with your valuable content. In essence, this approach acts as a powerful catalyst for increasing the visibility and profitability of your business.

Pages ranking outside the top five

Identifying potential link-building opportunities often involves pinpointing pages that appear towards the lower end of the first search results page or on the second page. The rationale behind this strategy is that Google has deemed these pages trustworthy enough to include in the search results. By adding just one or two links to such pages, you can potentially propel them up the rankings. This small boost in their ranking can translate into a substantial increase in organic traffic.

In contrast, consider the effort required to build links for a page residing on the fifth page of search results. Even if it manages to climb 30 positions, it won’t reach the coveted first page of results, limiting its visibility to potential visitors.

Pages with fewer backlinks than your competitor’s site

A competitive analysis is a valuable tool for crafting link-building strategies that can give you a competitive edge. When rival pages boast a higher number of links than your own, they enjoy a significant advantage in search engine rankings.

To level the playing field, consider implementing a strategic approach to building backlinks, particularly for your blog posts. A key starting point is identifying the pages on your website that are currently outranked by competing content, even though you believe you have the potential to match or surpass the number of links they have.

Realism plays a crucial role in this process. If a page you’re competing against has amassed thousands of backlinks, it may be an arduous task to replicate such a vast number. Instead, focus your link-building efforts on pages where the disparity between your page and your competitors’ is just a handful of links. This approach allows you to make incremental gains and gradually bridge the gap in the link-building race.

Identify Broken Backlinks

Identifying and rectifying broken links constitutes a crucial component of effective backlink analysis. This practice is indispensable in ensuring that your website harnesses the full extent of authority from its backlinks.

Broken backlinks usually manifest for two primary reasons:

  1. Deleted Content: The backlink directs to content that you’ve removed or no longer exists on your website.
  2. Typographical Errors: Mistakes were made when inputting the link, resulting in a non-functional connection.

Fortunately, locating and addressing broken backlinks is a straightforward process with most backlink analysis tools. If you’re using Ahrefs, for instance, you can navigate to the “Broken Backlinks” section.

How to fix broken backlinks

Addressing broken backlinks can be a challenging task, especially when you lack control over the links that are directing traffic to your website. However, several strategies are available to tackle this issue effectively.

  • Recreate or Redirect: In the event that the error is a result of you deleting a specific webpage, you have two practical options. First, you can recreate the deleted page, ensuring that the original content is restored. Alternatively, you can set up a redirect, which will seamlessly guide visitors from the old URL to a new, relevant page of your choice.
  • Typo Troubles: If the broken backlink issue stems from a simple typo, reaching out to the website owner can be a solution. Politely request them to make the necessary correction on their end. In some cases, they may be responsive and fix the link promptly.
  • Self-Initiated Redirect: In instances where the website owner is unresponsive or unwilling to address the issue, you retain the option to take matters into your own hands. Setting up a redirect from the erroneous page to the correct destination can ensure that visitors are still guided to the intended content, circumventing the broken link obstacle.

By applying these methods, you can effectively manage and mitigate the challenges posed by broken backlinks, ensuring a smoother and more user-friendly online experience for your audience.

Find Spam Links

Spammy links often originate from subpar domains, such as Private Blog Networks (PBNs) or link farms. Detecting these low-quality backlinks is crucial during your analysis to avoid potential manual penalties or a drop in your website’s search engine rankings.

While there isn’t a single definitive signal that conclusively labels a link as spam, there are distinct indicators that can help you pinpoint toxic backlinks.

Here are three of the most commons.

Irrelevant country code domain

Be vigilant about affiliating your website with linking domains that sport a country code incongruent with your target audience. For instance, if your aim is to engage with an English-speaking U.S. audience, it’s essential to assess your backlinks and ensure they are not predominantly sourced from domains bearing country codes like .cn (China).

Suspicious domain names

Occasionally, the very domain name you’re dealing with might raise suspicion. It’s crucial to stay vigilant for red flags such as names that lack coherence, domains suggesting explicit or adult content, or domains stemming from unrelated niches that don’t align with your website’s purpose.

Anchor text

Frequently, link spam is characterized by anchor text that bears no relevance to the content of your website. Consequently, analyzing the anchor text report can prove invaluable in identifying potentially suspicious links.

What Is Anchor Text?

Anchor text serves as the clickable text within hyperlinks leading to your website. It plays a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience.

The anchor text chosen by other websites when linking to your site should ideally be pertinent and valuable. Relevance ensures that users have a clear idea of what to expect when they click the link, and search engines can better understand the context of your content.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that you don’t always have direct control over the anchor text others use when linking to your site. It’s not advisable to force the use of keywords in every anchor text either, as this can appear unnatural and harm your SEO efforts.

In cases where you believe that the anchor text used by another website to link to your site is not advantageous or appropriate, you can consider reaching out to the website owner and politely requesting a revision to the link. Collaborative communication can help in enhancing the user experience and SEO performance of your website.

When delving further into anchor text analysis, the cues to watch out for closely resemble the indicators you’d consider when identifying questionable domain names.

Keep an eye out for anchor text that exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Incomprehensible or nonsensical.
  • Irrelevant to the content or topic.
  • Contains NSFW or adult content.

What to do about spam links

Identifying and dealing with potentially spammy links is an essential part of maintaining the quality of your website’s backlink profile. To confirm whether a link is indeed spam, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Suspicious Links: Begin by clicking on the links flagged by your backlink checker to inspect their content and source.
  2. Evaluate Content Quality: Look for signs that the linked pages may be spammy. Common indicators include:
    • Low-Quality Content: If the linked page has poorly written content, lacks depth, or appears to be generated solely for SEO purposes, it could be a red flag.
    • Unimpressive Website Design: A templated or poorly designed website might suggest a lack of authenticity and credibility.
    • Missing “About” or “Contact” Information: Legitimate websites typically have information about their creators or owners. The absence of these sections can be a warning sign.
    • Excessive External Links: If the linked page is cluttered with a multitude of external links, especially to unrelated topics, it may raise concerns about its credibility.
  3. Take Action: If the website hosting the link exhibits one or more of these characteristics, it’s advisable to consider removing the link from your backlink profile.
  4. Use Google’s Disavow Tool: Google’s Disavow Tool simplifies the process of removing spam links. Create a list of the domains you wish to disavow, and then upload this list to Google.

To understand the disavowal process in detail, consult Google’s official instructions for comprehensive guidance.

Ensuring the quality of your backlinks is crucial for maintaining a positive SEO profile and avoiding potential penalties from search engines. Regularly reviewing and addressing suspicious links can contribute to a healthier online presence.

Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles

The final step in refining your digital strategy involves a thorough examination of your competitors’ websites. This invaluable process can provide profound insights into the tactics and techniques they employ. By learning from their successes, you can adapt and enhance your own strategy.

Analyzing a competitor’s website can reveal a treasure trove of information, including:

  1. Identifying the types of content that garner the most links. By examining the pages with the highest number of backlinks, you can discern which topics and content formats are particularly effective in attracting attention.
  2. Discovering the websites that link to your competitors. Examining the sources of incoming links to your competitors’ sites can help you identify potential link-building opportunities and establish valuable connections in your industry.
  3. Uncovering content that manages to rank well without an extensive backlink profile. Recognizing such instances can serve as a golden opportunity to create similar content and secure a competitive edge in search engine rankings without a heavy focus on link-building efforts.

To delve deeper into the art of competitor backlink analysis, we recommend perusing our comprehensive guide, which delves into this crucial aspect of digital strategy.

What to Do Next?

After following the previously outlined procedures, you’ll gain a deeper insight into the composition of your link profile.

Utilizing the information you’ve collected, you can shape your link-building endeavors and adjust your content strategies to gauge your advancements and accomplishments.

For further direction on what to do next, we offer an extensive selection of articles to assist you in your journey.

Explore this page for a selection of highly potent techniques for acquiring links from authoritative sources. In the meantime, take a look at this resource that delves into our successful application of guest posting to secure remarkable links for our clientele.

Wrapping up on Backlink Analysis

Analyzing backlinks through the use of a dependable backlink checker proves to be a valuable method for assessing both the inbound links to your website and gauging your competitors’ performance.

Moreover, this approach can be a strategic asset in your broader link-building efforts by pinpointing trustworthy websites that you can approach for potential link opportunities.

Gaining insight into your website’s performance in terms of backlinks not only helps identify areas that require enhancement but also lays a solid foundation for a successful journey in link building.

We’re enthusiastic about sharing further details on the comprehensive link analysis we conduct at LinkCrafters to ensure our clients’ websites consistently operate at their peak performance. Feel free to reach out to us by visiting our website for more information and to start the conversation.

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