Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building
An SEO link audit is the process of pulling the inbound link data of your site and of your competitors using an SEO tool like SEOMoz and analyzing each existing link that points to the sites. It involves manually visiting each link and categorizing the link. Categories could include article links, press release links, blog/blog comment links, directory links, industry/business profile links, social media links, and more. It’s certainly a time consuming process and it’s not all that much fun, but it’s a necessary component of an SEO strategy.
Here are 4 reasons to conduct a full SEO link audit:
Know Where You Stand
Inbound links are a huge part of SEO. They help to convey trust to the search engines. The quality of links that point to your site are typically in line with the quality of the site itself. Lots of good links from good sources can help to boost your trust and ranking. By taking a good hard look at your inbound links you should have a fairly good idea about how the search engines view your site.
Shape Your Link Strategy
Once you’ve categorized all of your links it will be obvious to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. Maybe you’ve relied heavily on directory submissions and have a listing in nearly every industry directory and local directory. That’s great, but it’s really only one type of link. The search engines like to see a well rounded link portfolio. Some of the most important links for SEO purposes are the content based links, specifically because they are the links that are most likely to be passed along and shared within social media. So, if you see that you are lacking on the content side of things, that’s something that should be a priority in the link building strategy going forward. Ramp up your content marketing by keeping an active blog, looking for guest blogging opportunities, submitting articles, and publishing press releases whenever there is anything newsworthy going on in the business.
Find Competitor Opportunities
Just as important as it is to check out your own links, it’s also advisable to conduct an SEO link audit of your competitors. This can provide you with a glimpse of how they are approaching SEO and how the search engines are viewing their sites. You can go through and check out their links in order to find some new opportunities to capitalize on. Maybe a competitor is listed in a great niche directory that you hadn’t found yet. Now, you can get listed there too. Just remember that just because a competitor has a link on a site it doesn’t mean that the link is a good one that you should go after too.
Opportunity to Do Some Clean Up
As a site ages it’s likely that some of the inbound links that point to the site aren’t the greatest kind of link. Even high quality sites get links from spammy sites. Luckily the search engines don’t pay attention to a few bad links and focus on the majority. However, if you conduct a link audit and find that there are a significant number of bad links it’s worthwhile to go through and attempt to have them removed.