How to Create a Comprehensive Backlink Report12 min read

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Comprehensive Backlink Report -

In SEO, the quest for that elusive first-page ranking often leads us down the rabbit hole of metrics, algorithms, and a bewildering array of jargon. Backlink reports are a roadmap to understanding a website’s position in the digital ecosystem.

Recognizing the role of backlinks and creating a comprehensive backlink report can set you apart from your competitors. This guide will empower you to dissect your backlink profile, pinpointing valuable links and untapped opportunities, all while decoding the metrics that impact your search ranking.


  • A comprehensive backlink report is vital in SEO for understanding a website’s position in the digital ecosystem, identifying high-value links, and uncovering untapped opportunities.
  • A variety of tools, including SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs, are essential for creating an in-depth backlink report. These tools help you analyze important KPIs like the total number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text distribution.
  • Google Analytics, while not a specialized backlink checker, can also provide insights into referral traffic and can be used in conjunction with other tools for a well-rounded backlink analysis.
  • Creating a comprehensive backlink report involves identifying your backlinks using SEO tools, analyzing their quality and relevance, and understanding key metrics like number of backlinks, unique domains, anchor text distribution, and domain authority.
  • Backlink quality, diversity, and relevance are more important than sheer quantity for effective SEO. Good backlinks not only improve search rankings but also drive direct referral traffic to your website.
  • Interpretation of the report helps distinguish between good and bad backlinks, which are vital for your SEO strategy. Bad backlinks should be removed or disavowed, while techniques for gaining high-quality ones include partnerships, content creation, and competitor analysis.
  • is a CRM tool that centralizes your backlink data, automates outreach, and helps in crafting a long-term, data-driven SEO strategy, freeing up resources for other SEO tasks like content marketing.

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What are Backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as ‘inbound links’ or ‘incoming links,’ are links from one website pointing to a page on another website. They can be thought of as digital recommendations that validate a website’s credibility.

Backlinks can come from a variety of sources, such as blog posts, articles, social media profiles, and even directory listings.

Each backlink serves as a vote of confidence, indicating that others find your content valuable enough to reference and share with their own audience.

Understanding the Importance of Backlinks

The term “backlink” may sound technical, but it’s simple.

Imagine reading a research paper. It’s frequently cited by other scholars, it’s probably a significant and authoritative document. Similarly, if many authoritative websites link to your site, search engines infer that your content is valuable and credible.

However, it’s crucial to remember that accumulating a vast number of backlinks alone won’t guarantee SEO success. It’s the quality, diversity, and relevance of these backlinks that truly matter.

Why are Backlinks Important for SEO?

Backlinks are essential for SEO because they signal to search engines that the content is credible, authoritative, and of quality. Google, and other search engines, use backlinks as a critical factor in their ranking algorithms.

Imagine it this way – if SEO were a political campaign, backlinks would be endorsements from influential personalities. But the important thing to note here is ‘influential personalities,’ because that’s what makes things credible.

The quality and relevance of the linking sites play a significant role in determining the impact of backlinks on SEO.

Additionally, backlinks also drive direct referral traffic to your website.

When users come across a backlink to your site on another website, they may click on it out of curiosity or interest, leading them to your content. This not only increases your website’s visibility but also brings potential customers or readers directly to your virtual doorstep.

Tools Needed for Creating a Backlink Report

As they say, “What gets measured, gets managed!”

Given the significance of backlinks, having a comprehensive backlink report can provide invaluable insights. To create a robust and insightful backlink report, you’ll need to arm yourself with the right tools.

While there are several free backlink checker tools available, here’s a list of specialized tools that can dig up a treasure trove of backlink data within seconds, a few elite ones with a name in the SEO industry – SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs.

By utilizing these tools, you can gain a deeper understanding of your backlink profile and make informed decisions to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Using SEMRush for Backlink Analysis

This SEO tool offers a stellar backlink checker tool that aids in uncovering your backlinks along with the referring domains pointing to your website.

analysing quality of backlinks pointing to your site using semrush

To navigate through SEMRush:

  • Log in to your SEMRush dashboard.
  • On the left sidebar, select ‘Backlink Analytics’
  • Input your domain (or competitor’s) to get a detailed backlink report.

The report highlights various important KPIs such as the total number of backlinks, referring domains, anchor text distribution, DA distribution of referring domains, and more.

Using Moz for Backlink Analysis

With its widely recognized domain authority metric, Moz offers a free backlink checker besides its entire suite for search engine and website analytics.

Here’s how you can navigate to your backlink analysis report on Moz:

  • Navigate to Moz’s ‘Link Explorer’
  • Enter your domain

Moz free tool for backlink analysis

Examine valuable metrics like inbound links, top followed links, and domain authority of referring domains alongside other important metrics to analyze your backlinks.

Using Ahrefs for Backlink Analysis

Often touted as having the most extensive backlink database among SEO tools, Ahrefs is a goldmine of backlink data. To leverage Ahrefs to review backlinks:

  • Log in to your Ahrefs Dashboard
  • Navigate to the ‘Site Explorer’ Tool
  • Input your domain
  • Navigate to your ‘backlinks’ section on the left sidebar.

measuring backlink index and analysing more backlink data- Ahrefs

You can now view your total link count, dofollow/nofollow links, referring domains, earned and lost backlinks along with other important backlink KPIs.

Using Google Analytics for Backlink Reporting

Google Analytics remains one of the foundational tools for SEO experts, providing valuable insights about your website’s performance online and analyzing your SEO strategies’ performance.

Google Analytics Dashboard

While not primarily a backlink checker tool, Google Analytics can still be leveraged for insights into incoming links. However, it does require a little bit of navigation to find this treasure of information. Here’s how to unearth this goldmine of data:

  • Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to your website’s profile.
  • Navigate to ‘Acquisition’
  • Click on ‘All Traffic’
  • Click on ‘Referrals.’
  • Click on ‘Inbound Links’

identifying valuable backlinks and referring domains using Google Analytics

For a deeper analysis, you can use UTM parameters to track specific link-building efforts and attribute them back to specific campaigns.

To find inbound links specifically, you’d need to integrate Google Analytics with Google Search Console.

While Google Analytics is a comprehensive tool and helps identify referral traffic and related websites, it doesn’t provide other SEO metrics like link attributes, anchor text, or domain rating.

Example of a report in CSV format

However, you can always export your backlink data to a CSV file for a more in-depth analysis, to cross-reference with data from other backlink checker tools like SEMRush, Moz, or Ahrefs.

Steps to Create a Comprehensive Backlink Report

Creating a comprehensive backlink report involves several steps that require detailed attention. Let’s dive into them.

Identifying Your Backlinks

The key to a solid backlink report lies in the thorough identification of your backlinks. Free backlinks checker tools can also offer some insights but usually in a limited scope. To perform more extensive backlink analysis, paid SEO tools are often considered more effective.

Your selected SEO tool should provide an exhaustive list of your backlinks, which form the foundation of your report. Make a note of all the metrics that your tool can explore like the anchor text used, the number of backlinks, the quality of referring domains, and the overall health of your backlinks.

Analyzing the Quality of Backlinks

Analyzing backlink quality is the next step to formulating your backlink report. Tools like Ahrefs offer deep insights, revealing metrics such as domain rating and link attributes.

analyzing various metrics to differentiate between backlink quality

Watch for anomalies; a sudden spike in links from a single domain could signal spam or an untapped opportunity. Additionally, don’t overlook lost link recovery. Reclaiming lost links from significant sites can offer immense value, so always be vigilant to capitalize on all such opportunities.

Evaluating the Relevance of Backlinks

Beyond the quality, it’s crucial to evaluate the relevance of backlinks. Backlinks from relevant sites weigh more heavily in search engine algorithms and can significantly boost your rankings.

When evaluating the relevance of backlinks, consider the industry or niche of the linking domain. Furthermore, it’s important to assess the context in which the backlinks are placed.

incorporate contextual link building opportunities for better strong backlinking profile. Image Credit - Backlinko

Are they naturally integrated into the content, or do they appear spammy and forced? Search engines value organic and relevant backlinks that provide value to the users.

Overall, creating a comprehensive backlink report requires a meticulous analysis of your backlinks’ identification, quality, and relevance.

Interpreting Your Backlink Report

Creating a comprehensive backlink report is one thing, interpreting it is another. To make the most out of your report, you need to be familiar with various metrics and know how to differentiate between good and bad backlinks.

Understanding the Metrics in Your Report

When it comes to backlink analysis, your report is as good as the metrics you track. Let’s dive into the essential KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can help you evaluate your analysis and should never be absent from your backlink report.

Number of Backlinks: The total number of backlinks refers to the sum of external links pointing to your website. This metric acts as a rudimentary indicator of a website’s popularity or prominence.

Number of Unique Domains: More important than the total number of backlinks is the number of referring domains. Having 100 backlinks from 10 referring domains is less advantageous than having 100 backlinks from 100 different domains. In SEO jargon, this is also known as the referring domain count, and it’s often more heavily weighted in search engine algorithms.

Anchor Text Distribution: In a backlink report, your anchor text- the clickable text in a hyperlink – should be diverse and relevant to your website. Over-optimized anchor text can ring alarm bells for search engines, potentially categorizing your links as spammy.

Domain and Page Authority: These SEO metrics, usually scored out of 100, indicate the potential of a website to rank on search engines. A high domain authority suggests that the entire website, as a whole, is well-regarded and authoritative. Page authority, meanwhile, focuses on the strength of individual web pages.

metrics related to authoritativeness - SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs

Trust Flow and Citation Flow: Developed by Majestic, these metrics gauge the trustworthiness and influence of the linking site. Trust flow measures the quality of backlinks and citation flow measures the quantity. Together, they give you a comprehensive view of your link profile’s strength.

Referral Traffic: One primary purpose of backlinks is to redirect traffic. Thus, monitoring the influx of visitors via these external links can provide insights into which backlinks are genuinely beneficial. Google Analytics is a valuable tool in this context.

Dofollow vs Nofollow Ratio: In simplest of the terms, backlinks can be categorized as ‘dofollow’ and ‘nofollow’. Dofollow links pass on SEO juice, while nofollow links don’t. A natural profile has a mix of both. Keep tabs on this ratio using the backlink checker tool of your choice.

There are more nuanced metrics like lost links, linked page relevance, domain rating, and link attributes. Remember, all these KPIs are interlinked, so all of these should be on your radar for a more in-depth analysis.

How to Spot Good and Bad Backlinks

Interpreting your backlink report requires a thorough understanding of the metrics involved and the ability to differentiate between good and bad backlinks.

Good backlinks are those that come from trustworthy and relevant websites. These sites are typically well-established, have a strong online presence, and are considered authoritative within their respective industries.

On the other hand, bad backlinks usually come from spammy or irrelevant sites. These sites may engage in unethical link-building practices, such as buying or exchanging links, links from penalized websites or link farms, etc.

These backlinks can in fact harm your website’s SEO and even lead to penalties from search engines.

Strategies to Improve Your Backlink Profile

Creating and understanding your backlink report is just the starting point. With the newfound knowledge, the task then becomes improving your backlink profile.

How to Remove or Disavow Bad Backlinks

Using Google Search Console to disavow links

If you find that you have bad backlinks, they should be removed or disavowed. You can contact the website owner to remove the backlink or use Google’s disavow tool to reject harmful backlinks.

Techniques for Gaining High-Quality Backlinks

Gaining high-quality backlinks is not a one-off task but a continual process that complements your overall link-building efforts. It requires a combination of creativity, strategy, and diligence.

Your link-building techniques for scoring high-quality backlinks could involve fostering partnerships with industry leaders, creating valuable content that others wish to link to, or even guest posting.

You can always use your backlink report to recover your high-quality lost links. Local directories specific to your industry can offer valuable links but avoid generic directories that may be considered link spam.

Competitive analysis using backlink checker tools can also provide insights into where your competitors are gaining their backlinks from, offering you similar opportunities.

Remember, in SEO, quality trumps quantity, and a diversified, high-quality backlink profile is the ultimate goal.

Using to Manage Your Build Backlinks is an essential CRM tool for streamlining backlink management and automating the process of prospect identification and personalized outreach. It centralizes your backlink data, providing insights on link health, SEO impact, and domain authority.

BacklinkManager Custom Reporting for Link Building

This simplifies the creation of comprehensive backlink reports accumulating all your backlinks built and managed in one place, allowing you to reallocate resources to other key SEO tasks like content marketing.

With, you’re not just accumulating links; you’re crafting a data-driven strategy for long-term SEO success.