Backlinks Gaps, Why they Occur, and How they Affect SEO Rankings
Posted on 22-01-2023
Being an SEO professional means focusing on the things you are not doing yet, the aspects you have not covered, and the potentials that remain unlocked. This is why addressing backlink gaps is important to any SEO strategy.
In simple terms, a backlink gap is the difference between the backlink profile of your website as well as that of your competitors. Conducting a backlink gap analysis helps you to identify the opportunities you are missing by not ranking for the domains that your competitors have in their backlink profiles.
However, as any SEO expert will tell you, things are not always so simple. Therefore, it’s important to look into what backlinks are exactly and why they are important to SEO before exploring backlink gaps specifically.
Explaining Backlinks and Backlink Gaps
Backlinks are inbound links from other websites to your website and the strategy of acquiring relevant backlinks, known as link building, is an important aspect of SEO today. This is because search engines crawl new web pages by following links from existing pages.
Hence, many site owners have prioritized acquiring backlinks from reputable web pages so that the link juice from those sites may be passed along to theirs. This is a way of establishing the authoritativeness of a site.
Another way in which backlinks enhance SEO is that they boost discoverability, especially for newer and less established websites and brands. As a tech website, for instance, people are more likely to discover your posts via a link from TechCrunch or any other big tech magazine than they are to make the discovery through social media or any other means.
More so, the more reputable the source of the backlinks, the higher the rating people give to your site as well. Clearly, not just search engines, but also visitors consider quality backlinks as an endorsement. This is why every SEO professional worth their salt must excel in this area.
For the newbie, this understanding creates an immediate challenge. If backlinks are considered a badge of endorsement, then it simply makes sense to acquire as many backlinks as possible, right? Wrong. In fact, the number of backlinks matters less than the quality of backlinks you get.
Consider the screenshot above, which is a result of backlink analysis using the Eye10 Competitor Research tool. The domain furthest to the right has the fewest backlinks and referring domains – less than 500, whereas the other websites boast hundreds of thousands. Yet, the same domain is the highest ranked of all five displayed in the analysis. This shows that backlinks are not merely a matter of numbers. There is more that goes into this.
Talking about the quality of backlinks, this refers to the authoritativeness of referring domains. This can be easily measured using automated scores like Domain Authority by Moz or Domain Rating by Ahrefs. You can also check this through the Eye10 Competitor Research tool, as well as access other details concerning the competition for keywords with your website.
Therefore, when it comes to link building, we emphasize, not the number of backlinks, but what is called the backlink profile, which takes into account all the backlinks to your site, their quality, authoritativeness, anchors, etc.
With this understanding, we are ready to dive into what really happens when there is a backlink gap.
Discovering and Addressing Backlink Gaps
There are processes you must undergo to discover and address backlink gaps, and they occur in a step-by-step manner if you follow this section closely.
1. Conduct a Backlink Analysis
The obvious first step is to identify what you are missing in your link-building strategy. There are backlink analysis tools, but these provide results too narrow to have a comprehensive overview of your website’s backlink profile. Therefore, the Eye10 Competitor Research tool comes in handy here, providing results that compare your website with up to 20 websites over several metrics, including backlink analysis.
2. Identify the Most Important Referring Domains
After identifying the top websites competing with you for search engine ranking, you have to identify the most important domains that are referring to them. This is where the gap is and those are the domains you must target.
Avoid targeting low-quality domains as this can backfire because Google penalizes sites for such. Using the Eye10 Backlink Checker tool helps you to achieve this. You can see an overview of the backlink profile of any website and identify the referring domains to that website.
3. Request Guest Posts and Features
After identifying the top referring domains, the fastest way is to set up an outreach strategy so you can start pitching those websites for guest posts and features. Note, though, that some reputable websites, especially blogs and magazines might only agree to feature a backlink to your website if it is a nofollow link. This is a reasonable standard according to Google itself. Nofollow links do not pass any link juice but you still win because now your website is discoverable to even more users.
4. Create High-Quality Content
Not every site will agree to a guest post or a feature, even if it is paid. That is where the next strategy comes in, which is creating high-quality content. Aim to create content that is so irresistibly good that the high-authority domains in your field cannot overlook it. Do this by creating evergreen content, posting fresh updates in your industry quicker than other sites, covering topics from unique angles, and publishing important statistics and other resources for people in your niche.
Like any other SEO-related analysis, checking for backlink gaps is continuous progress. As long as your competitors don’t stop trying to get better, then you should not take breaks from enhancing your SEO strategy through regular analyses and fixing of issues.
This is why Eye10 exists, providing a wide range of tools that can help you take your SEO to the next level. From Competitor Research and Backlink Monitor to the Industry Checker and On-Page SEO, there is a tool for every aspect of SEO. More so, the reports are simple and easy to understand, but also detailed enough to be very useful. Supercharge your SEO today by jumping on the Eye10 train now.
How long does it take to see the result after addressing the backlink gaps?
The time can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the website's industry, the quality of the backlinks acquired, and the quality of the content created. It can take several months to see the results after addressing the backlink gaps. Patience is an attribute any SEO professional must possess.
What about other tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz?
These are good tools for SEO analysis, but they are priced out of the reach of many SEO professionals and site owners, especially beginners. The lowest of these is priced at $99, yet, with Eye10, you can access all the tools for only $39. What's more, there are even advanced features available for only $60 more. Eye10 presents reports in friendly formats and provides extensive details.
Why do backlink gaps occur?
Backlink gaps can occur for a variety of reasons. It could be that the website's competitors have been in the industry for long and have had more time to build up their backlink profiles. It could also be that the website's competitors are more active in link building and content creation, which makes them more likely to attract links naturally.
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