An In-Depth Guide to Using SEMrush for Link Building

An In-Depth Guide to Using SEMrush for Link Building

By: Corey Philip
Updated: February 25, 2021

100+ Hours Using Semrush

40+ Websites Monitored

3 Tools Featured

20 Industry Experts Consulted

One of the crucial aspects of search engine optimization is through off-site improvements. Off-site SEO is one of the three vital SEO strategies, the other two being on-page optimization and technical optimization.

The first step in off-site SEO is to delve into profitable relationships with other webmasters and increase brand recognition on social media. Another factor for off-site optimization is linking your site from other sites, also called link building and backlinks. These factors will increase your website's page authority and brand awareness. 

Nowadays, search engines judge the site's quality that links your content, not the number of site links. Link building might seem time-consuming and complicated, but the fruit of this strategy is well worth the trouble.

The Fundamentals of Link Building and Getting Backlinks

Numerous factors come into play when using link building and backlinks to improve your search engine ranking. It's vital to:

  • Earn links naturally. Blog posts of your industry's niche might link your page if your content is worthwhile enough. From this, your site will get brand recognition and essential backlinks.
  • Create websites with authority, trustworthiness, and expertise. Websites will link your pages and respect your link building more if your website provides users with a great user experience and content.
  • Link relevant sites. Suppose your industry is primarily focused on mobile technology, but all your backlinks stem from a gardening website. In that case, Google will flag your website suspicious and might stop your site from showing in search results. Focusing on getting links from relevant sites will bring you qualified traffic and more traffic with long user sessions.
  • Organize your website. Linking other pages from your website without using proper anchor texts will make your page look messy and unflattering to users. Using anchor texts is crucial as it's a clickable link that incorporates keywords. It's important to note that fixing your metadata should go along with organizing your website's content.

Successful Link Building Tactics Using SEMrush Tools                                  

Tip #1: Let the tool do most of the work.

Brainstorming ideas for link building is often the most tiring part of off-site optimization.  But fret not. With SEMrush's Link Building tool, link building ideas will come to you by just entering ten keywords you wish to rank higher for.

The link building tool reports backlinks your competitors have, backlinks you have lost, mentions without any links, relevant authoritative sites, and domains that have linked your competitors. The tool also incorporates estimated prospects and websites you have to avoid.

Although the tool automates this all for you, remember to perform these checks manually for any oversights and gain experience in search engine optimization.

Tip #2: Less is more.

One backlink from an authoritative site is better than twenty backlinks from a spammy site. If all your backlinks come from toxic and spammy domains, search engines will flag your website and not show in SERPs. Checking the backlink's health for broken outbound links and relevance to your industry should be a weekly task to ensure healthy backlinks. The best tool to use for a more detailed backlink review is the Backlink Audit tool.

To analyze your backlinks, all you need is to add your Google Search Console, backlinks from the SEMrush database, and other third-party data. Once all the data is added, the tool will analyze for toxicity markers. After this process, you can choose to have your link removed or let the link remain if it seems safe enough.

Another benefit the Backlink Audit tool has is an integrated email interface to contact the website owners directly. All you have to do is add dubious links to the "remove list," You can email the website's owner directly from the tool's interface. Remember to check your backlink audit email from SEMrush to know if there's an unwanted spike of toxicity in your backlink profile.

Tip #3: Be mentioned!

Like removing toxic backlinks that will hinder your page's authority, we want to have backlinks from reputable and relevant websites. But sometimes, the website mentioning you isn't linking your brand's website. To find earned mentions, use SEMrush's Brand Monitoring Tool. With this tool, you can reach out to publishers and check if they update their mentions with your links. You also get notified whenever a website forgoes linking your content while talking about your brand.

Another benefit the tool has is to seamlessly email the website that mentioned you and link you all in the tool's interface. With this, readers of their site could quickly look at your website and check your content.

Tip #4: Study your backlink profile.

It's essential to study every tab the Backlink Audit tool offers you. There are vital sections you need to check for any lost backlinks you might have accumulated. To filter lost backlinks, check the "Lost" filter and the "Follow" filter in the Backlinks tab.

Another critical part of studying your backlink profile is link repositioning. This is useful when websites link to your homepage instead of the product page they're talking of. To reposition the link, talk to the website owner and ask them to link the product instead. 

Another importance of anchor texts is that it lets Google index your on-site keyword better. With SEMrush, you can access anchor reports that let you check domains that link to your site with a specific keyword. To streamline the process, create an email template asking to change other website's anchor texts linked to your page. 

Tip #5: Relevant content promotes consistent traffic from targeted audiences, and broken links hinder them.

If your brand is in the business of a particular niche, it's best to post relevant content. Incorporating content that users are interested in will help in link building and better search engine crawlability. The Prospects tab under SEMrush's Link Building can show you new content ideas that are backlink friendly.

Remember to check any lost and broken links in the process of getting relevant backlinks. Error 404 pages can occur when a website has linked an outdated URL of your webpage. You can check these in the Lost & Found tab under the Backlink Audit Tool. To fix this, try putting the linked page URL live again or contact the website to use the most current relevant page your website has.

To prevent your incoming audiences from encountering any page errors, utilize the power of smart redirects. Use permanent redirects, or 301s, to tell search engines that the previous page no longer exists and a newly updated substitute exists. With permanent redirects, search engines will pass the authority of the old page to the new page.

Bonus tip: You don't have to check every link if they're working or not; merely use SEMrush's Backlink Audit tool to monitor broken backlinks.

Link Building Metrics

Earning links is a tiring and resource-intensive strategy to ensure higher website traffic. So, it's essential to measure your success to know the value link building has given you.

  • Track new backlinks in the Backlinks Analytics tab in SEMrush's Link Building tool. In this tab, you can check new backlinks and see if there are any new follow links. By checking new backlinks weekly, you can see if your outreach activities, social media campaigns, and affiliate marketing worked.
  • Check your page's Authority Score routinely. Using SEMrush, you can see your website's overall quality and how your link building has affected your website.
  • Check the quality of the links you receive. Remember the phrase "less is more." Quantity isn't everything, so it's best to check if your link building strategy has gained you higher unique referring domains.
  • Count if toxic backlinks have lessened and if your follow links have trounced nofollow links. Proper link building strategies will help you reduce toxic backlinks that might let search engines view your site as spammy and help you gain follow links that'll help you rank higher.

Final Thoughts

It's important to note that trustworthiness goes a long way. Gaining trust not only from your customers but from search engines will help your business by a longshot. Your domain will rank higher by having good quality content and relevant backlinks, and your brand will be known better.

Remember that customers also value sentiment more than aggressive marketing. It's best not to pay any agency to create fake reviews for your business or your competitor, don't offer incentives in exchange for positive reviews, and check the review guidelines on what platform you are in.

Link building is a long winding road full of hard-to-tread pavements, but in the end, it'll be worth it. Digital marketing strategies continue to evolve as time goes by, so it's vital to improve our tactics. Being a link-builder will both help your business and yourself, too. The fruition of your brand's success is at your grasp; all you need is the tools that'll help you achieve it faster.

Corey Philip
February 25, 2021
Corey Philip

Founder of a home service / specialty trade contracting company (think patio's and deck) with a focus on customer experience. Quantitative investor. Data driven marketer. Runner.