4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit

4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit
  • Backlink building is a core part of SEO and can help you increase your website's position on search engines.
  • However, there's a stark difference between good and bad backlinks – bad backlinks can pull your rankings down and even result in penalties.
  • The good news is that you can identify and manage backlinks by doing a backlink audit. Audits are a key part of an effective link building strategy. 
  • In this article, we share some tools, tips and best practices to do a backlink audit and stay on the right side of search engines like Google. 

There are a lot of approaches to search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. However, not all of them are equally effective.

Backlink building is considered one of the best tactics to strengthen your organic website position on Google. However, there is still a need to control your backlinks’ performance and effectiveness. You can do this by doing a backlink audit.

In this article, we'll share some tools and tips to help you conduct a backlink audit and get better SEO results. 

What Is the Difference Between High-Quality vs Poor Backlinks?

To do an effective backlink audit, you first need to draw a clear line between good and bad backlinks. Bad backlinks are those that:

  • come from a website with low domain authority;
  • don’t fit the website content;
  • aren’t embedded organically; and/or
  • look like spam. 

On the other hand, good backlinks come from reputable websites and make sense when used in their content. 

The best backlinks are those that appear 100% organically when your high-quality content offers such value that it is cited and shared by other website owners.

Also, keep in mind the following rule: fewer quality backlinks drive better results than multiple poor backlinks. So, the primary goal of your backlink audit is to identify them, remove poor links and strengthen the good ones. 

You can do this automatically or manually, but the smartest option is to use both for a holistic approach. 

What Are the Top Backlink Audit Tools?

There are many online tools to help control backlinks and conduct audits automatically. As practice shows, SEO specialists use both specialized tools and manual audits. Below you will find a list of tools that you can use to monitor and review your backlink building efforts:

  • Serpstat: This tool is ideal for SEO strategies, and backlink building is no exception. You can use it to get the best domains for backlinks.
  • LinksManagement: This platform provides products for an automatic link-building launch. The product allows you to build a natural backlink profile and manage your links.
  • SEMrush: This is what you need to conduct an audit. It will help to analyze your website and also give a picture of the competitor's links.
  • Ahrefs: This is another top tool that will keep all your links under control and create an effective strategy. It is possible to analyze competitors with it as well. Ahrefs is also one of the most promising platforms for keyword research. 
  • Moz: This tool is popular among experts. It is possible to create a link base quickly, check domain authority and create a backlink profile.

Using audit tools is time-efficient and can offer valuable insights. The manual check is also effective, especially if you are building backlinks to promote your website. 

4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit

Conducting an audit is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance, and you do not need to be an SEO specialist (although they do offer backlink auditing services if you'd prefer to outsource). The tips below, in tandem with auditing tools, will allow you to eliminate all poor backlinks and build an effective link strategy:

  1. Discover irrelevant links
  2. Analyse the domain 
  3. Don't rush to delete links
  4. Check links on broken pages 

4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit

1. Discover Irrelevant Links

You already know the difference between good and bad backlinks. The first stage of an effective backlink audit is to find and remove the latter ones. For example, you are selling professional cosmetics, and your site is mentioned on a platform that offers car rental services, then such a link is irrelevant. It has no value for the users of the website that cites you. There will be no benefit from such a link, even if we are talking about an authoritative resource. 

Also, make sure you have no backlinks from fraudulent websites. If there are a lot of them, you may use Google Search Console to fix the problem. You can create a list of site restrictions from which you will not receive links to avoid a negative impact on SEO.

2. Analyze the Domain

4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit

When looking for relevant and irrelevant backlinks at the first stage of your audit, you will be able to identify the sites that link to you most often. But as you know, the authority of the third-party resource affects your SEO performance. Therefore, analyze the domains of the sites that link to your website most often.

Be sure to check the quality of these resources. If they bring a positive effect for SEO, think about how you benefit from cooperating with them. For example, consider guest posting – it will help you build even more relevant links and capture interested users.

3. Don't Rush to Delete Links

After analyzing backlinks, many people immediately decide to remove all links. However, this is not the right approach as search engines will immediately notice such changes on your site. That’s why you should deal with link removal gradually so that search engines do not impose a penalty on your site. 

Below are some tips to remove links gradually:

  • Contact the site owners and ask them to delete the link. To be realistic, this method does not always work, but conscientious site owners will fulfil your request. So start with this method.

  • If contacting the site owners doesn't work, check out the Disavow tool. Using this tool, you can hide indexing from sites with a low level of domain authority.

4. Check Links On Broken Pages

4 Tips to Conduct an Effective Backlink Audit

Most likely, you know that if a user clicks on a link and is redirected to a non-working webpage, then your SEO indicators will decrease. Often, site owners are faced with such a problem that there are backlinks to non-existent and non-working pages. For this reason, you have to check all of these points.

So, what should you do with such links and pages? The best option is to set no index tags for the pages that should not be indexed. This tag will exclude such pages from Google results.

How Often Should You Conduct a Backlink Audit?

There is no ultimate answer to this question since the frequency of checking directly depends on your activity regarding the backlink building. Therefore, the more actively you implement this strategy, buy links, or use guest posting, you should conduct an audit more often.

Online tools will allow you not to spend a lot of your time on this, but to get the result automatically, but you still should check the results manually from time to time.

The Bottom Line

Since the presence of high-quality backlinks is crucial for good SEO results, staying aware of your backlink building efforts and the benefits they drive is essential. Use the tips and tools we've shared in this article to be fully aware of how your website can move towards top positions in SERP. 

Marie Barnes

Marketer at Freelance

Marie has worked for many major publications, but she also ambitiously pursues challenging freelance projects. Her love for traveling motivates her to explore the world. Marie wants to inspire people to follow their dreams by sharing her experiences online.