What Is a Backlink Analysis?

What Is a Backlink Analysis

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

July 5, 2022

Colorado Springs SEO Agency

A variety of factors play a part in the ability of your website to rank high on search results.

The most crucial aspect is backlinks, which are the hyperlinks from other websites which point to your website. Search engines such as Google regard these links as an indicator of your site’s authenticity and reliability, and the more backlinks you get from other trustworthy sites, the more highly your rank.

It is a fact that creating links is crucial for SEO effectively. To do this effectively requires a deep knowledge of your current links as well as the information you have about the links of your competition.

The study of backlinks will provide all of the information you need. In this article, we’ll explain what it means and how to conduct your very first analysis. You can contact us online or call us at 833-777-RANK now to speak to any of our specialists!

What are the reasons to perform an analysis of your backlinks?

As we’ve mentioned, search engines consider links to be an indicator of the authority of your website. A backlink analysis will show you every link they’re considering and provide you with a greater comprehension of the site’s potential to be highly ranked in search results.

Backlink analysis helps to identify bad links. Links that appear to be unnatural or come from sites that are spammy could be the cause of an Google sanction; however, identifying and disavowing them will keep your website reputable.

However, your website isn’t the only site you need to analyze. You must also analyze backlinks on the main competitor’s sites.

Examining your competitors’ websites can help you understand how difficult it is to rank them higher. It can also reveal any link opportunities you’re missing out on and offer suggestions to develop your own link building strategy.

How do you do backlink analysis?

If you’ve never conducted backlink analysis for your website or those of your competitor’s websites, here are a few fundamental steps you can follow to start:

1.     Select the websites you wish to study 

The first step in backlink analysis is deciding which websites you would like to research. Your site is your primary focus; however, you might have to conduct some investigation.

You’re probably aware of who your primary competitors are. For a local company, you’ll find other businesses within your region that provide similar services. If you’re an online retailer, these are the other sites offering the same items. These sites should be the top priority on your shopping list.

From there, you’ll be able to find potential competitors using just a couple of quick Google searches. Enter your most important keywords on the Google search box and take a look at the websites that are ranked for them. These are the websites you’re trying to rank higher than by analyzing their backlink profiles can show the way you can surpass them.

Depending on the program you choose to use, you might be able to see the list of websites competing with you for the same organic search terms.

SEMrush is a good example. It offers a list of the top organic competitors based on the number of organic keywords two websites are ranked for.

2.     Choose an analysis tool for backlinks

Once you’ve decided on the websites you’d like to investigate, then choose the tools you’d like to use. It’s mostly dependent on your preference; however, one of the most well-known choices include:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • Moz Open Site Explorer

They are all paid-for tools. However, all offer an option of a free trial, so we suggest taking a look at them all as your first analysis of backlinks and selecting the most appropriate to your requirements.

Here at Rank Fire, we use the three tools to conduct a thorough analysis for our site as well as our clients’. If you’re just beginning your journey with these tools, any of these tools are able to give you enough details to help you make an informed choice.

3.     COLLECT INFORMATION OF EACH domain you need

Once you’ve chosen your websites and the research tool, type every domain you want to research into your tool and begin collecting data. We’ll go over the specific parameters you need to employ for each website in the following article, and it’s essential to have a strategy for recording all the information as you go.

Analyzing backlinks involves the process of scouring through lots of information, and unless you track the information, you’ll not be able to make educated choices about how to implement your Internet strategies for marketing.

However, your method of tracking isn’t required to be complex. A simple Excel sheet or Google Sheet will be enough.

4.     Which characteristics should you search for in the analysis of backlinks?

As with many other online analytics tools, backlink analysis is a tool that provides users with an abundance of data. While all the information is valuable to some degree or another, it could be overwhelming and time-consuming to go through every single one of them.

So, you must choose a few essential elements to keep track of for each website you visit. The information you select is dependent on you, but at most, we’d suggest three of them:

5.     The total number of links and unique domains

The most fundamental measures are the number of backlinks that link to a website. Comparing this number for your website to that of your competition will understand how you are positioned with respect to credibility.

Also, examine the number of domains that are referred to. This figure tells the number of unique websites that connect to a particular website. In the example above, when a website has 1000 backlinks in total and 600 domains with a referring domain, 400 of those links originate from websites that already have links to them.

A lower number of domains that are referred to than the total number of backlinks you have is normal, and it’s not a negative indication. But, the goal should be to build a varied link profile with numerous domains and getting links from websites that already have links to your site isn’t as beneficial as getting links from new websites.

6.     Referring domains

Alongside the number of domains referred to, You should also look at the domains’ details.

For your site, This will indicate where your best hyperlinks are and to what pages on your site they refer to.

When you examine your competitors, the information you gather is more important. By analyzing these domains, you discover links that could be beneficial to your website – and, after all, if they link to your competitor, they’ll likely link to your site, too.

We suggest your domains be sorted based on their quality of authority, also known as “domain score”, as it’s known in SEMrush, and then compile an authoritative list of sites that link to your competitors. Keep this list to refer to when you develop new content and look for opportunities to reach out.

7.     Top pages

Also, consider the pages of your site (and those of your competition’s) that contain the highest number of hyperlinks towards them.

In the majority of cases, the top page is always your homepage. If your business is mentioned in a news story or mentioned as an authoritative source, it is usually the location where the link will be.

In addition, you can determine which pages are the most popular for hyperlinks. If you’ve ever conducted outreach for one of your particular pages, you’ll find them at the most prominent of your lists.

You can then browse through popular websites to determine what kind of content is the best choice for building links to your website. If you’ve published original research, for instance, and see lots of links that point to the page, then the publication of more original research could be a good idea to build links.

If you notice that certain pages related to an area have received the most links, it means that it’s a very safe choice to continue to research and write about it.

Comparing your competitor’s top pages is usually more insightful as compared to yours. Check out the pages of each website of your competition and discover which types of content are the most useful for their link building strategy.

As an example, suppose one of your biggest competitors has created a number of hyperlinks to a case study on their website. If you’ve not published a case study, that’s a strong indication that it’s worthwhile to write one and publish it.

These pages can serve as general guidelines to build links rather than specific topics. In the end, if you write an article about the same subject as your competition is unlikely to succeed.

Bloggers and news sites don’t connect to websites just to get links. They want to provide something original and intriguing. That means that you’ll be more successful when you take your competitors’ websites as a source of content, but you must take a different perspective or conduct your own study.

Are you ready to begin looking into your competition?

Analyzing backlinks are a must for every SEO plan. It will give you valuable information about your website and the competition when executed correctly. If you’re looking to work with an expert, Rank Fire can help.

We conduct a thorough analysis of backlinks for all our clients to assist them in developing a successful link-building strategy. We’ll also perform the same for you.

Call us now for more details or to request a quote for a no-cost estimate!

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