Link building analysis is a vital part of any good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, as well as one of the trickiest. The goal of link building is to generate hyperlinks from other websites that lead back to your own, something that can seriously boost your position in search engine results.
Although the algorithms used by search engines such as Google are relatively mysterious, most SEO professionals agree that obtaining high-quality links is a great strategy to demonstrate the trustworthiness of your site, making it an excellent way to improve your rankings and contribute to the successful growth of a company. But how can it be done?
Link building analysis and its benefits
There is no one way to go about link building. SEO professionals have been honing the art for a number of years through a range of techniques including:
- Asking for backlinks
- Setting up a blog
- Writing guest posts on other blogs
- Listing sites in trustworthy directories
- Building relationships with online communities
None of these methods are guaranteed to work, however, and can sometimes waste precious time. This is where link building analysis comes in.
Designed to help you build valuable links that will boost your SEO efforts, link building analysis will help you discover the link building strategies that have worked for your competitors and to understand your sector in more depth. Indeed, successful link building and off-page SEO techniques will differ across industries, so it is important to do your research before getting started.
How to conduct link building analysis
If you’re looking to start researching your link building options but are unsure where to start, we’ve put together a few helpful tips.
1. Consider who your main competitors are
Write out a comprehensive list of your main competitors, ranking them by importance and relevance. This will help to guide your research.
If you are unsure of your competitors, try typing some SEO keywords relevant to your business into Google and noting the first few websites that appear in the search rankings.
2. Gather some link analysis data
Find a tool that will give you some valuable data such as this Link Explorer tool. Other helpful tools include SEMrush and ahrefs, all sites with the potential to offer you a range of useful data including:
- The websites that are linking to your competitors but not to your website
- Metrics of success including Spam Score, Page Authority (PA), and Domain Authority
- The Spam Score of links pointing back to your site
- Where your competitors are earning their links and how
- Whether there are any broken links to your site
- The kinds of pages that outperform others
- How sites are linking back to yours, including the anchor text data for every URL, link and domain.
3. Collate and cross-reference your data
Once you have collected the above data and entered it into a spreadsheet, you can go about thinking about what it could mean for your link building strategy. Visit the sites that link to your competitors but not to your site and think about how you can go about changing that.
Do they have options for free links? Is it possible that you could write a guest post for the site? Finally, do they use AdSense? If so, you could target pay-per-click ads at the high-quality websites in your industry.
If you have, say, a list of 100 unique domains, you can add columns for the URL, domain authority, page authority, as well as for actions that you may take in relation to the data. If you decide to email the webmaster of a site, you can then input details such as the date of sending and the person your email was addressed to.
4. Write a few emails
Link building involves reaching out to webmasters who could provide you with valuable backlinks. When sending an email, remember to:
- Tell them why including a link could be good for their users
- Tell them why the link could improve their site
- Keep it short and don’t feel the need to be too formal
- Stay away from making overly ambitious promises
Remember: Link building is an on-going process
The world of SEO evolves quickly and you will need to maintain a solid link building analysis strategy in order to stay competitive. Try to maintain a valuable spreadsheet detailing the strategies of your competitors and try to stay ahead of the game at all times.
For more tips, visit the Segment SEO Blog and check out our article on off-page SEO.