Whether you are an agency or simply a marketer or blogger, you may want to identify and determine the quality of the links pointing at your website. There are many tools available to help you do this.

As a specialist search agency, we use a number of web tools that help us identify and analyse the volume and quality of links coming into our clients/prospected clients websites. This is important and a fundamental task to perform for SEO purposes, as link building is a huge part of building your website’s authority, increasing rankings and driving traffic to your site.

So What Are The Web Tools?

We use a number of different tools everyday. So I’m going to provide some information on the 3 that I think are the best and easiest to use for backlink analysis:

Open Site Explorer

Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE) is an awesome tool to discover a number of website factors. We use this on a daily basis to discover the domain authority of a website. Domain authority is basically an overall score your website is given, based on the strength of the content within the site and the backlink profile. It’s a prediction of the ranking potential in search engines based on an algorithmic combination of metrics. We also use OSE to determine the amount of linking root domains and social shares within the website.

The good thing about OSE is that you can break down the entire backlink analysis to find what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for an individual link, the anchor text distribution, the source of a link or whether a link you built has been indexed or not, OSE is one tool that should provide the answer you are looking for.

Figure 1

Figure 1 provides a snapshot of the anchor text distribution for a particular website. We can see that their top targeted non-branded term is [basketball uniforms]. However they have a strong branded profile with majority of their links containing branded anchor text, whether it be the URL, domain or simply the brand name itself.

You can filter through the data in order of preference, by simply clicking on the category in the menu, to help make your analysis or search as easy as possible. You can also conduct a link metrics comparison in conjunction with your competitors, to see how strong their website is and how many links they have coming into their sites.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is another great tool to use. It provides much of the same information and specifics that OSE, however its main difference is the trust flow of the link profile and the visual chart of anchor text distribution analysis. I wrote a post recently about the importance of trust flow and anchor text distribution in backlink profiles.  This is the tool I use to find this data!

Figure 2

Figure 2 provides a snapshot of the summary page from Majestic SEO. It displays the amount of external links, referring domains and the trust and citation scores, based on all the external links. In the navigation menu, you can also filter through to find exactly what you are looking for, whether it be anchor text distribution, backlink sources, landing pages and new/lost links. You can delve into these quite thoroughly during your analysis.

AHRefs

Last but not least, AHRefs. The good thing about this tool is that it provides a break down of the new vs lost links, as well as an analysis on the key anchor texts.

Figure 3

 
Figure 3 shows in detail the anchor text by breaking down the keywords from 2-4 terms, plus the percentage of total referring links using that anchor text. This will provide a good insight into what keywords you should continue to target. You may find that you lack branded terms, or vice versa. You may also discover that you have over optimised for specific terms. For example, [basketball uniforms] has 69% of the overall ratio for 2 word terms, therefore might be time to start using other anchor text and start targeting something else that is relevant.

Conclusion

Each tool is very similar, but each portray something unique that the other does not. The data you find in one, may also be slightly different from the other, however it is a good idea to use a number of different tools to conduct your backlink analysis. I generally use all 3 of the above and find important data from each, therefore using each is beneficial.