How to do a backlink audit (Step by Step guide with images – 2019)


How to do a backlink audit

Why is it important to do a backlink audit?

Keeping track of and managing backlinks for a site can be an overwhelming task but something you need to do as a toxic backlink profile can result in penalties from Google or hinder future SEO efforts. While there are many tools out there that will help you with this process the backlink audit feature of SEMrush really stands out which is why we will be using it for this guide. So lets get started!

  1. Find the backlinks
    The first step is to identify the backlinks in order for us to analyze them. In SEMrush, click “Backlink Audit” in the menu column and then click “Set up” for the project you want to perform the audit on.SEMrush Backlink Audit ToolOnce you’ve selected the project on which to perform the audit on, you need to select the scope of the audit. Generally picking the Root domain is the best option unless you want perform the audit on specific URLs. Select “Root domain” and click “Start Backlink Audit”.Backlink Audit SettingsSEMrush will now scan through its backlink index and analyze them. Once its done you will be presented with a short summary of the audit results. Now its time to analyze the results, click “Go to results”.Backlink Audit Complete
  2. Analyze your backlinks
    I would recommend starting off by clicking ‘Connect Google Search Console’ as this will enable you to identify additional backlinks and download disavowed backlinks from Google Search Console. Now that SEMrush has identified your backlinks and classified them by toxic score the next step is to decide how to deal with them. Click the ‘Audit’ tab to see a list of the identified backlinks.SEMrush Backlink Audit
  3. Audit your backlinks
    For every backlink listed you need to decide how to deal with them. You can decide to keep them by adding them to a whitelist, flag them for removal or delete them by adding them to the disavow file. If you add them for removal SEMrush will try to identify how to contact the site owner so you can contact them in order to remove the backlink. Let the corresponding toxic score guide you how to deal with the backlink but we recommend checking the backlinks identified as ‘potentially toxic’ manually.SEMrush Backlink Audit Audit Tab
    Once you are done with this step you will end up with two lists that require action: ‘Remove’ and ‘Disavow’. The remove list will guide you in the process of contacting site owners and you can send emails directly from within SEMrush. The tool will even let you track the progress of each mail sent letting you know when it is delivered, read and responded to. In the case of ‘Disavow’ you can export all the backlinks from this list to a text file ready to be submitted to Googles Disavow tool.Managing your backlinks can be quite a gruesome task but SEMrush makes the process very organized and simple, I highly recommend you check it out! In partnership with SEMrush we offer an exclusive 14 day free trial of their Pro version so check it out by click the banner below!semrush 14 day free trial

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