How to Do a Backlink Audit: The Complete Guide

Digital marketing undoubtedly plays a huge role in today’s marketing campaigns. When businesses or organizations lay out a plan, digital strategies should always be a part of it.

One of the most obvious reasons behind this is that we are living in a digitally-influenced world. The majority of the population today heavily relies on the help of technology to make their everyday lives easier, so targeting them where they spend most of their time will yield favorable results. 

Under the digital marketing umbrella, search engine optimization or SEO has been proven to be one of the most effective. This technique helps organizations reach a larger audience and convert them into successful buyers.

And this is where backlinking comes in. Below, let us discuss what exactly a backlink is and a backlink audit. Followed by the steps on how to conduct a backlink audit and its importance easily. 

What Is a Backlink and Backlink Audit?

Backlinks are the type of links that point back to your website. So, having many backlinks means your website is accessible through different other sites.

However, not all kinds of backlinks are beneficial. There are some sites that contain illegal content, such as drugs or pornographic materials. This is one of the reasons why there is a need to do a backlink audit. 

A backlink audit will help you check the quality of these said backlinks. Through this, you can maintain the good ones and develop a strategy to keep out bad ones along the way.

5 Easy Steps to Do a Backlink Audit

Here are the easy-to-follow steps on how you can do a backlink audit:

Have an Overview of Your Backlink Portfolio

Know what you have on hand. Have an overview of your backlink profile or portfolio.

Gather information on the links that are currently sending traffic to your website or profile. You can do this by simply using Google’s free Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console (GSC)

You can follow these simple steps to get your current backlink profile:

  • Log in to your Google Search Console account, and in your Dashboard, click ‘Search Traffic’
  • Then click ‘Links To Your site.’
  • Then you will be able to view the total number of backlinks linking to your site

Using Google’s tool, you can view which sites link to you the most and which of your contents are linked the most. You can also check how others use your site context-wise.

Evaluate the Backlinks That You Have

With this information, you can now dig deeper. Review which sites are good links and which ones are bad or harmful. You can either do this manually or use a tool, such as GSC, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest, that can help you audit the link.

Here are some of the links you should look out for:

  • 404 errors: The first example of wasted backlinks are 404 errors or broken pages. The explanation is quite simple as broken pages really don’t contribute anything having no content to show.
  • No traffic: Backlinks on sites that have no organic traffic generated are also considered wasted backlinks.

Removing or Disavowing Harmful Links

If the bad links you have identified, manually or through a tool, somehow violate Google’s guidelines, you can ask the site with questionable content to immediately remove your links. However, there will be instances where you won’t be able to get your links removed due to unresponsive website owners. In this case, you can use Google’s disavow tool. Disavow allows you to get rid of bad backlinks

Here are some of the instances where you can opt to disavow bad links:

  • Backlinks from sites with suspicious backlink profiles
  • The link is spammy or low-quality
  • The link has caused or will most likely cause manual action on your site

And here’s a link to how you do that, using Google’s disavow tool:
Disavow links to your site

Review Anchor Text and Check for Spam

After the clean-up of bad links, make sure to review your anchor texts to avoid more bad links in the future. There are several free tools such as SmallSeoTools available online to help you check the quality of your anchor texts.

Build High-Quality Backlink Opportunities

A proper backlink audit does not only give you the opportunity to remove bad links. It will also be helpful in building more high-quality links.

You can reach out to site owners with high-quality suites identified using tools such as Pitchbox and start building more from there. You will also have an account of which sites to avoid and develop a plan on how to avoid these kinds of backlinks in the future. 

Importance of Backlink Auditing

  1. To Improve or Maintain Organic Ranking

Backlinks are categorized as good, neutral, or bad for your SEO ranking. Google’s search ranking algorithm will detect if your site is associated with bad content making the backlink a bad one and will ultimately affect your ranking. So, a proper backlink audit will help you disassociate from bad backlinks and help you keep a good SEO ranking.

  1. Improve Brand Reputation

Bad links will vary from illegal substances to pornography and violence. As a consumer, you wouldn’t want to engage in companies or organizations associated with illegal substances, pornography, or violence. 

So, a backlink audit will help identify these types of content and give you the option to remove or disavow them. 

  1. Improve the Quality of Your Search Traffic

If you are linked to content that is relevant to your business or organization, your traffic is most likely an interested individual. If you offer digital marketing services, your backlinks should be on content about digital marketing or marketing in general. This way, you improve the quality of traffic visiting your link.

With a good backlink audit, you can evaluate and review if your backlinks are on sites relevant to your business or organization. 

Wrapping up

Digital marketing, if done right, can do wonders for your business or organization. A proper backlink audit will help you monitor and improve your SEO strategies. You will be able to weed out the links that are beneficial and those that are hurting your website. So, follow these easy steps and evaluate your backlinks!

Related Reads:

15 Best Digital Marketing Metrics in 2022

Top 6 Paid Marketing Strategies For Your Business Growth

Top 8 SEO Lead Generation Techniques

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