How to Analyse Backlinks with Semrush: A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide

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Do you want to beat your competitor and rank on Google SERP? To do this, you have to learn backlink analysis. Backlinks are links (hyperlinks) from other websites or blogs pointing back to yours, and search engines like Google Band ing see them as a sign of trust and credibility. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your website will rank in search results. But how do you actually analyse backlinks and understand what they’re telling you? If you’re new to SEO, analyzing backlinks might sound intimidating.

But don’t worry, and I am here to help. Let me introduce Semrush, a powerful SEO toolkit. In this article, I will walk you through how to analyse backlinks with Semrush. By the end, you’ll be a backlink analysis pro, ready to optimize your website for search success. Let’s start.

Analyse Backlinks: Getting Started with Semrush

First things first, you’ll need a Semrush account. They offer a free trial so that you can explore their features without commitment. Once you’re signed up, navigating to the backlink analysis tool is a breeze. Look for the “Domain Analytics” section and then click on “Backlink Analytics.” Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of information about your website’s backlinks.

Analyzing Your Own Backlink Profile

Now, let’s delve deeper into the “Overview” section of your backlink profile. This is where understanding the key metrics becomes crucial. Here’s a breakdown of each metric and its significance in the bigger picture:

  • Total Backlinks: This number tells you the total number of links pointing to your website from anywhere on the internet. While a higher number generally indicates a strong backlink profile, quality matters more than quantity. Having just a few high-quality backlinks (High DA Backlinks) from reputable websites can be more valuable than a large number of low-quality backlinks.
  • Referring Domains: This special metric shows the number of unique websites that link back to you. It’s important to have a diverse range of referring domains, as it demonstrates that your website isn’t just popular within a specific niche but also holds wider appeal and credibility.
  • IPs: This represents the number of unique IP addresses where your backlinks originate. This can offer further insights into the geographic distribution of your website’s audience and the spread of your backlinks across different servers.
  • Authority Score: Semrush assigns an Authority Score to each website, reflecting its overall influence and trustworthiness within its niche. Backlinks from websites with high Authority Scores are generally more valuable for SEO purposes, as they pass on more “link juice” to your blog or website, potentially boosting your search rankings.

Interpreting the Data

Once you understand each metric, it’s time to interpret how they paint a picture of your website’s backlink profile. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the total number of backlinks increasing or decreasing over time? This can indicate the effectiveness of your link-building efforts or potential external factors affecting your website’s backlinks.
  • Do you have a diverse range of referring domains, or are most backlinks coming from a limited set of websites? Aim for a healthy mix to demonstrate broader website authority.
  • Do your backlinks come from high or low-authority score websites? Focus on building backlinks from reputable sources with strong authority for maximum SEO benefit.

Analyzing your backlink profile with these insights in mind can help you identify areas for improvement and strategize your link-building efforts for greater SEO success.

Taking a Deeper Look at Backlinks

The “Backlinks” tab within Semrush unveils the individual stories behind each link pointing to your website. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of details to analyze and understand the quality and impact of your backlinks. Let’s delve into the key elements you’ll encounter:

  • Linking Page URL and Title: This provides the exact location of the backlink within another website. The URL helps you understand the context in which your link is placed, while the title offers insights into the topic and relevance of the page.
  • Anchor Text: This is the most visible text that users or visitors click on to reach your website. Ideally, anchor text should be naturally descriptive and relevant to both the content of the linking page and your website. For instance, if the linking page discusses “hiking trails,” a relevant anchor text could be “explore the best hiking trails in California.” Avoid keyword-stuffed or generic anchor text, as it might appear unnatural and potentially harm your SEO.
  • Follow/Nofollow Status: This distinction is crucial. “Follow” links are the gold standard, as they directly pass on SEO value to your website, potentially influencing your search engine ranking. On the other hand, “nofollow” links don’t directly contribute to your SEO ranking but can still be beneficial. They can get traffic to your blog or website, build brand awareness, and establish connections within your niche.
  • Referring to the Domain Authority Score: Do you remember the Authority Score we discussed earlier? Here, you can see the specific score for each website linking to yours. This helps you prioritize backlinks based on the potential SEO value they can offer. Backlinks from websites with high Authority Scores are generally more valuable than those from websites with low scores.

Advanced Analysis

By using the filters available within the “Backlinks” tab, you can delve deeper into your backlink profile. You can filter by:

  • Authority Score: Focus on analyzing backlinks from websites with high Authority Scores to understand which ones are contributing most to your SEO efforts.
  • Anchor Text: Identify backlinks with overly generic or irrelevant anchor text, which could be potential red flags, and consider contacting the website owner to request a more natural anchor text.
  • Backlink Age: Analyze the freshness of your backlinks. While older backlinks can still be valuable, newer backlinks from relevant sources can signal your website’s continued relevance and growth.

By analyzing these details, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the quality and impact of each backlink pointing to your website. This empowers you to prioritize link-building efforts, identify potential areas for improvement, and ultimately optimize your overall SEO strategy for long-term success.

Identifying Backlinks to Remove

Not all backlinks are created equal. Some low-quality or spammy websites can hurt your SEO efforts. These are called “toxic backlinks.” Luckily, Semrush can help you identify them.

Within the “Backlinks” tab, you can use filters to sort links based on various criteria, such as Authority Score or anchor text. Look for backlinks with very low Authority Scores or overly generic or irrelevant anchor text. These might be potential red flags.

Semrush offers a disavow tool to remove toxic backlinks from Google’s search algorithm. However, using this tool requires a deeper understanding of SEO best practices. It’s best to consult with an SEO expert before disavowing any backlinks.

Learning from Your Competitors

Backlink analysis isn’t just about your website. Spying (well, ethically peeking) on your competitors’ backlinks can be a great way to discover new opportunities. Semrush’s “Backlink Gap” tool lets you compare your backlink profile with up to five competitors. This can highlight websites that link to your competitors but not to you, giving you a roadmap for building valuable backlinks.

Conclusion: Analyse Backlinks and Dominate Search

By mastering backlink analysis with Semrush, you’ll gain powerful insights into your website’s online presence. You’ll understand how search engines perceive your authority, identify areas for improvement, and even learn from your competitors. Remember, consistent backlink analysis is key to maintaining a healthy backlink profile and achieving long-term SEO success.

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