Finding Your Weakest Links: The Benefits and Basics of Backlink Analysis
Backlinks are essential for any online business. And, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 10 years, you already know this. What you don’t know is where to find them and how to get people to link to you.
Understanding Your Backlink Profile
Do you know what kind of backlink profile you have? Most people don’t. That’s why they hire a digital marketing agency. That digital marketing agency will then do an in-depth link analysis. What’s a link analysis?
It’s a process by which a marketer will look over the sites linking back to you and try to figure out whether or not your site is popular. A proper link analysis assigns weight to each link that points to your site. This weight is determined by the relative significance or importance of the site.
Authoritative links, or that is to say links from authoritative sites, tend to count more than links from other types of sites (i.e. non-authoritative sites).
Most agencies have automated or semi-automated tools to help make their job easier. These tools help them examine the anchor text of backlinks, check if the link is “dofollow” or “nofollow,” analyze the link deviation, the presence of reciprocal links, cont the total incoming and outgoing links, examine the IP addresses for all links, check the existence of rankings in Alexa and Google, and form an integrated linkbuilding plan.
Types Of Links
There are several major types of links, including domain-level or brand name, naked links, target keyword links or anchor text links, hybrid links, and generic links.
Brand name links include links from sites like Amazon, Google, and Walmart. These are huge companies with name recognition. Companies like these usually don’t need a huge “push” in terms of SEO. Sites link to them because they are really valuable sites.
Naked links are links that consist of just a URL and no text in the anchor. It might look like this: http://www.example.com/this-is-a-naked-link.
The link exposes the full URL path of the site. It’s useful as a resource link or as an in-content link if the author wants to simply point a link to another website but doesn’t know what anchor text to include (and doesn’t want to include any).
Anchor text links are targeted backlinks that contain keywords. While they are not as important today, at one time anchor text used to be a major signal for authority and thus helped improve ranking in popular search engines.
An example might be a site with the url: www.example.com/this-fancy-page but with the text for that link displaying the word “”example.com website” or “Example.”
Hybrid links use some composition of different types of link schemes. Finally, generic links are similar to anchor text links, but contain generic anchor text, like “click here,” “visit my site,” “learn more,” and “read here.”
While there is some debate over the optimal link structure, many people believe that your brand name needs to make up at least 40 percent of your total backlink profile, 40 percent needs to consist of naked links, 10 percent should be anchor text (targeted) links, another 5 percent should be hybrid links, and the remaining should be generic links.
Tips For Better Backlinks
There are no secrets to getting great links. You must create content that’s relevant, shareable, and that people want to read. This requires extensive research, and above-average writing talent.
The site the content is hosted on also needs to be trustworthy.
In many ways, there is a lot of common sense built into a good backlink profile. It needs to be natural, and the content being linked to needs to be genuinely useful content. For example, if you’re in the flower industry, and you sell flowers for a living, a post on the 100 most popular flower types, and what each one of them can be used for, would make for an excellent resource article.
It could be shared by those just starting out or saved on a hard drive of a die-hard flower enthusiast.
At the end of the day, what you’re looking for are merit-based links. The kind that Eric Ward is always going on about. They really work. Whether it’s publishing a press release, newsjacking, guest blogging, or some other type of promotion, you want to get your name out there in a way that almost forces people to share your stuff. And to do that, you have to be publishing really good stuff.
Now, “good” doesn’t necessarily mean technical or wordy. It usually means “actionable.” What is your target market having trouble doing? What can you help them do? That’s what you want your content to address in a fun, entertaining, and novel way.
Anthony Yap is the founder and search marketing expert at eBusiness Masters. They work as partners with their clients to generate massive returns on their online marketing efforts through proven Internet marketing strategies. Built as a custom SEO agency initially, the company has grown to offer full-service digital marketing services such as copywriting, logo design, Google penalty recovery, social media management, and web design. Contact them to see what they are able to do for your business.