How to Do a Backlink Audit in 5 Simple Steps

Conducting a backlink audit is not as hard as it may sound. But, you first need to understand what a backlink audit is. To put it simply, it is the evaluation of all links that are pointing to your website. So, the whole process requires you to find these links, identify the good ones and the bad ones and afterward develop a strategy on how to deal with them. For instance, toxic backlinks can really hurt SEO and that is why you need to learn how to do a backlink audit.

Simple yet effective steps to take

Thankfully, it can be done in 5 simple steps which Link Department is going to present to you in this article. The steps are in chronological order and include:

  • Knowing all the links to your website
  • Reviewing your backlink profile list and identifying unnatural links
  • Measuring the penalty risks
  • Removing bad links
  • Comparing links to your competitors and starting a strategy for building valuable links

The first step in the guide on how to do a backlink audit is to know all the links to your website

It’s always good to have in mind how many backlinks to your website exist. Of course, in many cases, the question of what is a good number of backlinks may arise. Since no definitive answer can be given to that question,  it is so much pointless to even try.  However,  what is not pointless is to have the information about all the links to your website.  In fact,  it is crucial to know this information if you want to see whether or not you are a relevant factor in the digital marketing world. Once you have this entire list, you can move on to the next step in this guide.

Reviewing and identifying

So, what reviewing the backlink profile means is that you, before going into specifics, need to evaluate all of your links as a unitary piece. That way, you will be able to sport the strengths and weaknesses of your whole backlink profile. This can be accomplished in the following way:

  1. Identify the domain authority and link profile for each website by looking at referring domains and analyze links
  2. Check the natural growth tendencies of your backlink profile
  3. Compare do-follow links to no-follow links (both are good but there needs to be a balance between them)
  4. Check the authority distribution of your backlink profile
  5. Understand which websites do your links cover
  6. Evaluate the deep link ratio
  7. Find the strongest internal pages
  8. Check how many backlinks are coming from your homepage
  9. Analyze the relevance between a site and its inbound links
  10. Understand your website evolution
It’s always good to review everything and identify what is good, what is not so good, and what is bad!

Once you’ve gone through all of these, you can safely assume that you have done a thorough revision and move on to the next phase which is identifying unnatural links.

Trust us when we say that in the unnatural links identification phase the fun begins. An unnatural link includes everything that is linking to your website that doesn’t really fall in the same niche as it. It is exactly because of that, that you should check out some backlink monitoring tools that let you check your website backlinks. They are great, easy to use and some of them or even free. So, you should check it out definitely.

Measuring the penalty risk is an important aspect of the guide on how to do a backlink audit

The penalty risk is an important aspect of evaluating the impact bad links can have. Once you reviewed and identified all the bad links you can start with measuring the risk of penalties you might face if you decide to keep them. The main aspect of this is to look for unnatural link signals. Afterward, you can simply look for the reasons why some of them are considered unnatural or potentially dangerous.

Banana peal
When measuring the risk potential, be very careful. It’s a slippery slope.

Keep in mind that Google’s algorithm plays a very big role in the penalty you may get. In fact, any links that are recognized by Google to be an attempt to trick the search engine’s algorithm will be punished in two ways. Firstly, the website with those links can be taken down. Secondly, the ranking of the website will be so low that it would be like it is taken down.

Now, it’s time to remove all the bad links

Now, after you’ve done all of the aforementioned things, you can start to remove bad links. This is a very important step if you want to make sure that you don’t get penalized by Google while still remaining competitive. Additionally, it will significantly declutter the number of links you have. This is important because let’s be real, not all of them are valuable and lucrative assets.

Last part of the guide on how to do a backlink audit – compare and strategize

Last, but not least, you need to compare yourself to your competition. This might sound like a little bit of spying. And that is because in essence it kind of is spying. But, it’s not illegal. Since you are not appropriating any of the Link Schemes given by Google, you can’t be charged with anything. What’s interesting about this is the fact that you are able to compare your stats and your competition’s stats side-by-side and determine what your next steps are with regard to your position.

Face siluets
Comparison with your competition can only lead to progress.

The last piece of the puzzle is the direct result of comparing yourself to your competition. Also, it is an integral part of this step. Once you figured out your position in regard to the status of your backlinks, you can start with designing a quality strategy to improve what can be improved. This is entirely up to you. There is no magic formula with which you will succeed since every situation is different. So, good luck with your efforts! We hope that this article was helpful to you!


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