There’s a division in the SEO world between the experts who believe in just throwing down masses of backlinks, and those who believe that it’s useful to study your competition. More specifically, to perform an intensive backlink analysis of the site you’re promoting so you can understand what its current situation is (and watch how it develops) — AND of the competition’s sites.
WeBuildLink is firmly on the latter side. Backlink analysis is extremely important for any complete link building program, and today we’re going to talk about why.
The Importance of Backlink Analysis for A Complete Link Building Program
The list of reasons that an SEO Company might use backlink analysis at the beginning of any given campaign are myriad, but here are a few of the most often-cited:
- To figure out what the competition is doing — either to imitate strategies that are successful for them, or in extreme cases, to report them to the search engines for unethical linking behavior.
- To create a strategy that will create more — and/or higher quality — backlinks than they have without creating an unnecessary amount of work.
- To discover if the potential buyer has already engaged in blackhat techniques that might disqualify them as a viable client.
- To discover why a sudden problem (like an unexpected drop in the rankings) may have occurred.
- To see what a client’s previous SEO Company has already done, so as to avoid duplicating work.
- To audit the internal link profile of a client’s site and clear up any issues that might be confusing the search engines’ regarding the site’s focus.
- As a makeshift form of keyword research! Look at what other keywords a competitor’s site is pursuing (by reading his anchor text), and see if you can snag the top spot from them.
- To find communities that the client could be making themselves a part of, to build relationships with people interested in their field.
- To assess the client’s existing link profile — is it ‘natural’ enough that the search engines are giving each link full credit, or is it overburdened with one or two kinds of link and thus likely getting penalized for it?
(A good portion of the ideas featured on this list come from an article on Search Engine Land; full credit goes to them for this excellent interview.)
Needless to say, this really is just the beginning; the list could go on for pages and pages. But hopefully now you’re starting to get a glimpse of the kind of information that you can get from doing an in-depth backlink analysis of both your page and your competitors’. Now that you know, let’s take a glance at a few of the tools that the experts use to perform such analysis.
Some Useful Backlink Analysis Tools
Backlink analysis tools are designed to do two things: first, to get you huge reams of data on a site’s incoming backlinks. But just as importantly, it’s critical that a backlink analysis tool also give you a way — hopefully several ways — to sort and arrange those links by various attributes. Having a giant list of data is useless if you have to spend dozens of man-hours pouring over it bit by bit. Here are a few of the best:
- Yahoo! Site Explorer is best for the ‘snapshot’ kind of analysis — you only get the first thousand links and there’s no sorting, but it’s great if all you want is an impression of how a site’s link profile is doing.
- Google Webmaster Tools is only useful for your own client’s websites, because it won’t give you access to the list without verification, but it’s great for assessing your clients’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Open Site Explorer from SEOMoz is useless until you pay for it, at which point it becomes very powerful. It has, among many other features, a great tool that allows you to compare two sites side-by-site — extremely useful from a backlink analysis standpoint.
- Majestic SEO is a power-user’s backlink analyzer — you’ve got to be a techie to really get into the depths of what Majestic can do for you. It does, however, give you a history of when the backlinks it finds were created — a clever SEO Company can do a lot with that information.
- Link Research Tools from Cemper is the Bugatti Veyron of backlink analysis — it does everything (except link history, Majestic has them beat there), it does it ultrafast, and it’s expensive as can be. For £1,200 British per month, if your SEO Company has a subscription to Cemper’s LRT, you know they mean business.
The Complete Link Building Program from WeBuildLink
WeBuildLink’s most comprehensive SEO service, the Complete Link Building Program, always starts with backlink analysis — we analyze your site, we analyze your competitors’ sites, and long before any fingers hit any keyboards,
We plan out how to correct any mistakes we see in your existing link profile. We plan out how to take advantage of the resources your competitors are using to achieve top rankings. We plan out how to use resources they aren’t in order to take over their top spot. And as we work, we continuously re-analyze everyone’s backlink structures so that we can keep track of how your site is progressing — and how quickly we must work to stay ahead of the competition.
Our tools are several, our team is vast and dedicated, and with our help, your site can achieve top-tier rankings and get the traffic it needs to be successful. Talk to WeBuildLink about starting a Complete Link Building Program for your website today.
Of course, there is an easy way to make sure that there’s a link-building plan in place for your website, and that it’s being meticulously followed: hire We Build Link to create aComplete Link Building Service and Plan as well for your website. We Build Link has a plan — in fact, we have several for you to choose between depending on your specific goals — and we’re happy to execute them flawlessly for you. It’s not as cheap as doing it yourself, but we guarantee it’s less stress and much more effective.