Your link building strategy is one facet of your SEO plan that requires regular attention, maintenance, and monitoring. When you’re generating links on a regular basis, it’s crucial to know if you’ve built a solid foundation; you don’t want links that might disappear or get your website penalized.
Do you know where you stand regarding the quality of your backlinks? Can you be sure you won’t get hit with a penalty by search engines?
Is an unknown factor causing your pages to fall behind in the SERPs? Are you fine-tuning your link building strategy based on your current status?
If you don’t know where your backlink strategy stands on all fronts, it’s time for a backlink audit.
What is a backlink audit?
A backlink audit reviews your link generation strategy to identify weaknesses before your site suffers a rank drop – or worse – gets hit with a penalty. Performing regular link building audits provides the opportunity to adjust your strategy and/or change direction before it’s too late.
What does an audit look for?
An audit identifies weak points where your strategy can improve and also pinpoints where your strategy is working well. Once you know where you stand, you can analyze what isn’t working to beef up your strategy. Likewise, you can reinforce strategies that are working well and take them to the next level.
Link audits support your SEO strategy
Audits are designed to empower you in pursuit of your search ranking goals. A typical link building audit will:
- Identify bad links. Did you hire a professional marketing agency only to end up with links on spammy sites? An audit will uncover any bad links you might have. When you know about bad links, you can make different choices about how you build your links and who you partner with.
Unfortunately, some link building services don’t deliver quality link placements. Without an audit, you won’t know your links are bad until you get hit with a penalty.
- Identify strong links. A link audit will identify all the strong links in your overall backlink profile. If you’ve spent time and effort to build a strong link profile with high-quality links, that will be reflected in an audit.
- Identify irrelevant links. Are some of your backlinks located on websites you’d rather not have associated with your brand? Are some of your links embedded in pieces of content completely unrelated to your industry?
A backlink audit will uncover these situations so you can request link removals and gain control over your brand image.
Other components in a link building audit might include examining link quantity, diversity, source quality, relevance, and potential to generate traffic. For example, if you have hundreds of links on high-quality websites, but those sites are unrelated to your industry, you’re missing out on traffic. Once irrelevant links are uncovered, you can move forward with a more targeted, intentional plan.
Link audits give you an SEO advantage
When you know you’ve got bad links, you can be proactive about getting them removed whenever possible. If you do this before Google associates your site with spam, you can avoid the effects of a penalty – like losing your links when Google blacklists a link farm. Or, getting your site de-indexed because you have too many spam links.
A link audit will also tell you what you’re doing right so you can do more of that.
What makes a good backlink profile?
- Link diversity. Google and other search engines like diversity. You don’t want all of your links to come from the same three websites.
A professional link audit will tell you if you need to create more diversity in your backlink strategy.
- Relevance. Your backlinks should exist within content that is relevant to the content on the page being linked. The content should be informative and helpful to readers.
- Links on high authority sites. You want links on websites with a great reputation for being trustworthy and useful. Ideally, you want links on sites that have become household names.
Uncover the reason for rank drops with a link audit
If your rankings are dropping and you don’t know why, a link audit can help you uncover the mystery. There are numerous reasons why a page might drop in rank, but a bad or insufficient link profile is often the cause.
While not all rank drops are caused by penalties, some are. Google and other search engines care about where your backlinks come from. Websites that are heavily connected to sites deemed spam will feel the effects of a true penalty.
For example, say you’ve been using the same link building strategy for the last year and you’ve gained rank in the SERPs for a particular keyword. One day you check your stats and find a sharp drop in organic traffic overnight – people aren’t finding you in searches anymore.
A link audit reveals that you’ve acquired low quality backlinks from spammy websites recently blacklisted from Google. As a result, your site is suffering the consequences of association.
A link audit performed by a professional agency will reveal this information so you can fix it and get ahead once more.
Partner with us for a backlink audit
If you’re struggling to rank in the search engines or you’ve experienced a dip in rank, a thorough backlink audit will help. At Link.build, we’ll help you strengthen your backlink profile to get the search status and visibility you deserve. Contact us today to find out how we can help.