Step 6 – Links
An introductory tutorial video covering Step 6 of the Analytics SEO Welcome Programme:
Welcome to Step 6 of our Welcome Programme. Here we will be looking at the link building and outreach functionality within Analytics SEO, primarily under the Links tab.
The Links tab will show you your most recent “freshest” backlinks (taken from Majestic SEO), unique referring domains tracked over time against key competitors, lost links and will also allow you to directly assess your competitors’ backlink strategies.
This is split into two parts: i) analyzing your existing backlinks vs the competition and ii) helping you develop new relationships and links by producing lists of possible relevant link prospects and giving you link management tools to keep track of them.
Firstly, what we do in Link Analysis is show you where you get links from and we compare your growth in links in terms of total numbers to your competitors’ growth over time.
There are a few things you might want to monitor or assess here. Firstly, the gap between you and your competitors. Secondly, “link velocity”, the speed at which you or your competitors are gaining links, as steady growth in good quality, relevant links will usually help your site, but sudden growth in poor quality links may be a “red flag” to Google reviewers and lead to you incurring a penalty; it could, of course, also be an indication that one of your competitors is engaging in “negative SEO”, but this is, thankfully, probably a rare occurrence.
You might also want to compare the Link Analysis and Domain Analysis charts side by side as a massive increase in the number of links but only a small increase in the number of referring domains may indicate that a site has thrown up site-wide or footer links, which is not normally a good thing.
Other things to consider here are where around the world your links are coming from. You can, of course, filter by any of these columns.
Do you need to “disavow” any of these links? It’s a pretty quick process to filter by anchor text, Trust Flow and region, for example, download those links into a CSV file and then cut and paste them into Google’s disavow tool. This can be a good pre-emptive strategy against recieving Google penalties for having a ‘spammy looking’ link profile, although the general recommendation is that you try to get these links taken down or removed before using the disavow tool.
The Domain Analysis module will provide you with details of all your referring domains. As you can see from these columns, we provide you with the Country Code, the domain’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow – NB: the Trust Flow and Citation Flow in the Link Analysis module reflects the metrics for the particular referring page and not the domain itself. If you click on the “Links to You” column, you’ll be redirected to a filtered Link Analysis module, which will give you a breakdown of those links from that referring domain.
If you want to see exactly where your competitors are getting links from, you can use the Competitor Links module to examine your competitor’s backlink profiles.
This provides you with the same level of data as the Link Analysis module, but for all your competitors on the campaign. If you add another campaign to the site with more competitors, you’ll get more competitor link data to analyse and you can use all this data as a source of link prospects.
Of course, as with all tables, you can filter using column headings here. So you might want to, for example, filter by greater than 20 in Trust Flow to find the links your competitors have that may well pass a reasonable amount of “link juice”.
If you find a link prospect you like the look of, you can use the action column to create a “Track Link” task in relation to that prospect. Of course, you can also multi-select rows and create multiple “Track Link” tasks all at once, using this option.
The other aspect of link building, of course, other than the fact that good quality backlinks from relevant pages can help your site rank better is the fact that backlinks can also send you referral traffic and the Link Referral module will give you a breakdown of the traffic you’re receiving from backlinks. (This data comes from Google Analytics). If you’re making use of the Link Building process in the platform, this module will also report on any links you’ve built as campaign links.
There is also a Lost Links module. This will compare what we receive from our Majestic imports from one week to the next. If we notice that a particular link showing up one week is missing the next, we will recrawl that link to make sure it’s definitely gone and hasn’t just been archived by Majestic into their Historic Index. Anything truly lost will show up here. Whether you then try to get those links back is entirely up to you. If you do, I would recommend just cutting and pasting the details into a Custom Task in your workflow.
You also have a link archive here in “New Links” which will keep a record of all links acquired during a campaign. This can be useful for reporting purposes. You can use this to provide a monthly breakdown of your freshest links in a report.
We also have a Link Building module which gives you ideas for other link prospects where we use a mix of data from duckduckgo.com and Majestic SEO (and also use social sharing data).
If you make use of this part of the system by generating link prospects using this option – “Research New Links by Keyword” – you will also notice that beyond providing you with a whole host of other link prospects for your site, the system also breaks your competitors links down in a slightly different way to what you have just seen in the Competitor Links module.
As discussed in an earlier step of the Welcome Programme, this can present you with opportunities for “quick wins” in link building. Please bear in mind, of course, that just because your competitor has done something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea!
You can also Import Links you’ve already shortlisted, in which case, we’ll then populate this table with social and Majestic SEO data for those domains too.
You can also use this “Import Existing Links” button to update the platform with your current link building progress. You will need to download a template, complete it and then cut and paste straight from Excel back into this white box. Please note, that is a very fussy import process, so it is essential you use the same date format presented in the template (UK) and don’t add extra columns to the template, as the import will most likely fail if you do this. The template includes some sample lines, which you should obviously delete before you cut and paste your own details across.
The import will run some validation to check you’re importing valid domains. Once you have done this, this will automatically update the pie chart you see above the table. It will also display a flash message to show that you are tracking some more links. Click on “View Details” to be taken to a filtered task table.
As you did with the Competitor Links module, the next thing you might consider doing is filtering by Trust Flow as typically anything with a Trust Flow of 20 or more will pass some “link juice” to your site, but anything too high may present you with an unrealistic link target.
We also enable you to target selected link prospects and track the progress of that link building activity using the built-in workflow or Tasks tab.
To “work” a link prospect, after you’ve done some filtering, simply click on the Actions column and select “Work Now”, add some notes and change the status. This will add a “Track link” task into your Tasks tab for this site.
Alternatively, multi-select the rows and use the “Work later” option to mass create “Track Link” tasks. You can therefore use this table for “link mining” and do your “link building” later on.
The next step in this series will cover Reports and Dashboards.