Do you want a better website ranking? Use these 4 tools to check the MOST important ranking factor for your website. Boost your website ranking today!
This is part 1 of a 6-part series on website marketing by increasing traffic to your website by ensuring search engines know what your website is about.
How To Check The MOST Important Website Ranking Factor For Your Website
I’m going to introduce various website ranking tools that we use at Lab41 to help clients grow a strong web presence. I’ve limited it to a few per article so that it’s manageable for you!
I suggest that you take a notebook out and jot down your notes in 1 place as we include many tangible website ranking action steps for you to follow which will help you strengthen your web presence.
Let’s Get Your Website Ranking!
If you’ve taken a good look at the front end of your website in terms of usability with our ‘25 Point Usability Checklist‘ and its impact on conversion, we now need to start looking at how to get your website some rankings.
If you haven’t done the checklist, you can get it here as we will regularly refer to it in our chat.
I’ll be honest that SEO is a very complex field that is always changing, and it can get very very technical. I don’t want to go down that route here though!
The MOST Important Website Ranking Factor
I want to focus on the MOST important website ranking factor that is still around since the Google founders were playing around with code.
What set Google apart from all other search engines, is that they looked at a website and decided where to rank it based on backlinks, not what keywords were placed on the page.
Previously if you wanted your website to rank, you just had to list your keywords on your page, and it worked.
This obviously created a very low quality search, since you could throw up a site, add some keywords, and then rank.
This caused a massive quality issue in terms of the rankings. So when Google came into the market it offered customers much better search results!
So what Google does is look at a website’s backlinks to decide on how they should rank. Google views backlinks from other websites as a ‘thumbs up’ or a sign of trust for your website.
It also looks at the quality of the website giving you this ‘thumbs up’.
Is the website a sleazy door-to-door type salesman website giving an endorsement?
Or is it the White House endorsing your website?
You can imagine who has more ‘clout’. Google can tell the difference.
What Does This Website Ranking Factor Mean For You?
It’s said that content is king, and if your website has great content or your service is amazing, then people will link to it and thus ‘endorse it’ or give it a ‘thumbs up’ from Google’s point of view.
With that in mind, you need to check who’s been giving you a ‘thumbs up’ or linking to your website.
How These Website Ranking Tools Work
Simply put they’re spiders very similar to Google and are continually crawling the web trying to map it out. They record who’s linking to who in their massive database.
When I mean massive when I last checked one of the tools they had found, crawled, and stored 3,308,300,585,782 unique URLs!
Not even quite sure how to write that large number in words!
How To Check Who’s Been Linking To Your Website?
There are a few free tools but all of them have limitations. I’ll focus on some of the best that you can use.
After Yahoo! Site Explorer’s untimely demise in 2011, Open Site Explorer (OSE) became one of the most popular backlink-checking tools.
OSE uses the freemium model, and without an account, you’re limited in the number of reports you can run.
Go on, put in your website URL, and have a look at who’s linking to your website.
The following screenshot shows an example report:
I’m going to look at a few more of these tools as they each find different links pointing to your website.
I now want to look at another tool that is similar to Open Site Explorer and also keeps its own index, which we’ll use to see who’s pointing links to your website.
Your Next Action Step
Pop your website into the tool and take a look at the quality of your backlinks. See who’s been linking to you and the value of the links that you have.
You can also see what type of terms and phrases people are using to link to your website, which is EXTREMELY useful!
You can even see which countries the websites are from and which of your articles or pages are the most popular!
So let me introduce the next one…
Majestic SEO Backlink Checker
Find out how all the websites on the internet link to each other with the largest link intelligence database on the planet.
No other site or search engine gives you as much detailed information about how the fabric of the web is knitted together.
Majestic SEO Site Explorer is another popular backlink-checking tool, and like OSE, it uses a freemium model.
Without an account, you are only able to access general summary information about a requested URL or domain (e.g., number of referring domains, number of external backlinks, number of referring IP addresses, etc.).
If you register for a free account, you receive additional summary information (e.g., a backlink breakdown), and you also get access to the top 5 backlinks, top 5 referring domains, and top 100 pages (based on the number of referring domains) for your request.
Your Next Action Step
Pop your website into the tool and take a look at the quality of your backlinks.
They have a metric called ‘Trust Flow’ which measures the trust that’s flowing from your website and you’re wanting to at least be a 30+.
This trust flow is mainly determined by the number AND quality of the website links pointing at your website.
Those are the biggest backlinking tools on the market but we’re going to look at one more which we feel adds the most value. It’s the one we find ourselves using the most.
The BEST Website Backlink Analysis Tool
Ahrefs Site Explorer
Ahrefs is the newest entry into the link research tool space.
They use their own bot and their own index (which they state is based on information from a trillion website connections).
They claim their index is updated every 30 minutes and the fresh data is available to their users within 30 minutes of the actual index refresh.
What Do You Get?
Firstly, you get a fantastic overview report which is self-explanatory.
In addition to the overview report, you have other research options to chose from:
- New Links
- Lost Links (great opportunity for you to swoop in and alert the linker + sell them on linking to you and your resources)
- Anchor Text Profile
- Pages Crawled on the Site
- Referring Domain Breakdown
- SERP Positions (organic ranking report)
- Raw Export of the Data (up to your limits based on your pricing plan)
Your Next Action Step
Take your website and insert it in the tool and take note of the data it shows you!
Now that I’ve covered the major tools I want to include a few extra ones that when used correctly add massive value.
Link Diagnosis By iAcquire
Link Diagnosis is a completely free backlink-checking tool that has recently been updated.
However, unless you install the corresponding Firefox extension, you will only receive a limited view of the results (the “lite report”).
Without the Firefox extension, the tool displays the first 250 backlinks, along with each backlink’s anchor text, mozRank, Page Authority, and Domain Authority.
For small websites this is fine, but if you have many backlinks, it’s just not enough data to be useful.
With the extension installed, the 250 backlink restriction is removed, and the tool presents each backlink’s title (i.e., the title of the linking page), link type (e.g., nofollow), PageRank, outbound link count, modified outbound link count, and LinkStrength (in addition to the information displayed without the extension).
What Does This Tool Show?
The same as some of the previous tools, it’s just that its database of URLs is substantially smaller.
Still, it might show you some links or opportunities that the other tools didn’t show, which is why we always take a quick check.
Putting It All Together
So now we’ve covered the 4 biggest website backlink research tools and you should also have a report or spreadsheet from each one.
What you want to do is look at the quality of website backlinks pointing to your website as well as the number of these quality backlinks.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself About Your Website Backlink Profile
Once you have reviewed your website in the various tools, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Are there any great websites linking to your website?
- Are there any customers, or associations you can ask to link to your website? If so, take action! These links can make a massive difference to your ranking!
- What terms do people associate with your website?
- What countries do most people come from who link to your website?
- What pages are your most popular? Can these be improved?
- Do you have thousands of low quality links that could be harming your rankings?
Once you have a better understanding of the links pointing to your website you can quickly identify any opportunities and weaknesses in your link profile.
If you have very few quality backlinks, then you know the biggest reason that you’re not ranking.
We have so many customers who can’t understand why they’re not ranking and just by doing the above steps, they can quickly see that nobody is even linking to them!
If you want to massively impact your click-through rate, your site should look amazing in the search results! Learn how to do that here!
What Can You Do About Your Link Profile?
Start link building!
It’s a painful and slow job but worth it!
Every good link pointing at your website you acquire adds trust and will help your rankings.
Getting good rankings brings in a stream of free traffic and customers.
When you add it up over 5 or 10 years it can make a MASSIVE difference.
Using Link Research Tools Like a Ninja
You’ve probably already put two and two together, but in case you haven’t, I’ll share it here.
- You need lots of quality backlinks for your website.
- You need to get more of these.
Where do you get these links from? You’ve asked your associations, clients, and suppliers, and you’re fresh out of ideas.
Well, why not look at what are the backlinks that are powering your competitor’s rankings?
So take their websites, put them into the 4 tools and you can then see exactly where they are getting their links from and then go out and get these links too!
Now that’s effective!
You’ve just finished part 1, please click on the link below to view the next article in the website marketing series!
3 Website Performance Tools to see how Fast Your Website Loads
Would you like us to review your website and provide you with some actionable insights to give your web presence a boost?
If so, please look at the ‘Lab41 Website SEO Audit‘ which has a special running at the moment.