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A technical SEO audit is the foundation. How to perform a link check?

7 minutes of reading
A technical SEO audit is the foundation. How to perform a link check?
Category SEO

When working with link building, there are always technical elements that you’ll need to take into consideration. Whether you’re looking to remove bad links or build new ones, you’ll want to be sure that you’re doing things right to make the most of your time and efforts. To learn more about how to conduct a proper link building audit as part of your technical SEO process.


What are you trying to achieve?

In addition to helping your ranking on Google and being an integral part of a digital marketing strategy, building links can also help you validate your own content. By testing the strength of any links you generate by using link building audit tools, you can effectively get an inside look at what’s working and what’s not. You should be thinking about the long-term goals for your site when choosing which technique or tool best fits your needs, some options are more time-consuming than others. What are some short-term goals that help move your long-term goals closer? Make a list of steps and set benchmarks for these steps.

How should an ideal website look like?

Your ideal website should look clean and have an air of professionalism. Ideally, your site should be easy for people to navigate, with minimal amounts of navigation bars at the top or other elements on the home page that could potentially distract visitors from your content. Your site should feel welcoming and respectful of your users time. Be concise and clear in order to have success in enticing the reader.

Conducting a link audit can provide insights that can lead to improvements in the quality of web pages. Link building is an important step in technical optimization process and as such, it should be given enough time and attention. Doing a link audit allows you to identify broken links on your website and make repairs or redirects when appropriate. It will also help you to find out what linking sources are bringing traffic to your site.

Site structure: internal links

Site structure is important for the user’s experience. We recommend starting with site structure, because it has the potential to affect both other on-page factors (such as title tags and content) and off-page factors (such as links). Typically, we audit a site by looking at things like category and subcategory structures, internal linking, whether any redirects are necessary, or if certain pages might be confusing or misleading.

Site authority: external links

It is necessary for you to audit the domain’s site authority and perform an external link profile audit in order to determine which links are good and which links will help drive higher rankings. Once you identify the links that need reevaluating, then it’s time for you to go about implementing a plan of action by removing bad links or disavowing those who refuse.

Who links to relevant pages on your site?

Where do you want your linkbuilding efforts to be concentrated? The first place to start is by looking at the backlinks of your website. Search engines now weight websites that link out more heavily than those that only link in. By examining who links to your relevant pages, you’ll have an idea about where you should focus your time and effort in building links for your site. By reaching out, it will not only benefit you, but also provide additional visibility for their own site.

Are there any broken links on the page?

Broken links could lead to broken content and can have the opposite of your intended effect on your website. When you find a broken link, check the URL and make sure that it is still active by visiting it from another device. If the link isn’t up anymore, simply search for alternatives or check if there are pages in your site that might be missing content as a result of linking to broken URLs.

What anchor text did you use?

Anchor text is one of the key factors that impacts rankings on the search engine. To audit your site’s anchor text, go through each page of your website and categorize each instance of an inbound link as organic or paid by adding this detail to your spreadsheet. You should also add what type of anchor text was used if it was paid, as well as how many pages are on your site and how many external links there are.

Are there too many exact match anchors?

Exact match anchors often have low relevancy in the eyes of Google. If there are too many exact match anchors in your link profile, it can be risky as it looks like you are trying to boost rankings. We recommend having no more than 10% (only one out of ten) of links in the profile being exact matches with the same anchor text and URL structure.

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Tools for the technical SEO process

Step 1 – Google Search Console Alerts

A little-known way Google Search Console Alerts can help with link building audit is by tracking old links pointing to your site that have now gone dead. This provides insight into potential outbound linking opportunities you might not otherwise be aware of. Clicking on the URL for each query in GSC will show which sites are linking out to that domain and potentially point you in the direction of more link opportunities.

Step 2 – Copyscape Plagiarism Checker Tool

This tool checks if your content has been copied from other sites or published before and displays the percentage. It can be used when you are creating content as well as after publishing it. You can also check for duplicate content by searching for specific phrases in the search box and selecting duplicate content. You will see a list of pages with identical text which you then need to rewrite or improve with different keywords.

Step 3 – Domain Authority Google Chrome Extension Tool

A quick and easy way to track link authority and trust is with the Domain Authority Google Chrome Extension. This tool gives you an idea of how many links, both inbound and outbound, are pointing at your site from other domains or sites. You can also see how many PageRank that domain has based on the number of links they have pointing at them.

Step 4 – Run link diagnosis on Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is an online tool that is great for diagnosing link problems on the back end. To use this tool, go to its homepage and enter the domain of your site into the search bar at the top of the page. You will then see an Index section on the left side of your screen that shows links from your website with metrics.

Step 5 – Run link diagnosis on Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an all-in-one solution for conducting an in-depth link building audit. You can upload your site and analyze every aspect of your on-page optimization, backlink profile, competitive analysis, content marketing analysis, keyword research, search engine traffic analysis and more. With Ahrefs you’ll have all the information needed for determining the best course of action in order to optimize your website or blog.

Work with the SEO agency

To conduct an accurate link audit, it is best to get professional help from an SEO agency. Considering that the technical aspects of link building are often very detailed and complicated, it’s hard for one person with no experience in these matters to get it right without assistance.

In conclusion

Taking the time to understand how and why links work can save you time and money in the long run. Having a technical understanding of your link profile will allow you to develop the best strategy for dealing with future issues that might arise.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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