SEMRush Backlink Gap Tool Tutorial

Hi guys, so I’m just going to show you the backlink gap tool and what it does. So, the backlink gap tool is another one of SEMrush’s great little features that not everyone knows about. You can basically see from the dashboard here where it says enter yours and your competitor’s domain names. They will analyze the website backlink profiles and discover untapped backlink opportunities. It also says you will receive a list of domain names to target in your link building campaign, so great little tool. If that can do the grunt work for you, then why not?

You know, if you were going to do spreadsheets and compare backlink data from your website to one of your competition’s, then it would be a lot of work. So, where do you find the tools? So, you’ve got your SEMrush dashboard as you can see down the left hand side, and if I just close this over, you’ll see there’s an option here, gap analysis, so if I just click on the little arrow there, you see we’ve got keyword gap and backlink gap, so we want to select the backlink gap tool for this particular tutorial.

As I say, it brings up this nice dashboard here. Now, basically what you can do, it’s very simple and easy to use, you can enter your domain name and up to four of your other competitors’ domain names. So you simply add the domain names in these boxes up the top here, so I’m going to add in my own website. I will add then Andy Drinkwater’s, iqseo.org. I will add in Matthew Woodward’s.co.uk, and I will also add in Matt Diggity, diggitymarketing.com.

Now, it’s very simple and easy to do. You just enter the root domain name in here and you can add that, as I say, you can add up to four of your competitors, and I’ve only done three just now just for demonstration purposes, and then you see a green icon in the top right hand corner. So, if you just zoom in here and click on that green button, it will then give me an overview of the backlink profiles of these websites.

So, you’ve got here you can look at that data from the last three months to the last year to all time. It basically gives you a graph there from the past year, or if I zoom into all time, then I can check our backlink profiles over all time. So, you can see the blue line which is my website. The orange line’s Andy Drinkwater’s, green line’s Matthew Woodward’s and the brown line is Matt Diggity.

So, you can look at these over a period of time, but I am going to set this back to three months, and you’ll see people’s graphs are kind of steady. Not any kind of major increases or anything like that. So, you can look at this chart scope here and it will have my website, as I see Andy Drinkwater’s, Matthew Woodward’s and Matt Diggity’s. If for any reason you would want to exclude anyone from this graph, you can see untick Matthew Woodward and it will remove the green line.

You may also want to remove Andy Drinkwater’s and do a direct comparison between myself and Matt Diggity, or add someone in, remove Matt Diggity. You can play about with this and do it to suit yourself.

Another cool feature is notes. If you’re using VAs or you’ve got team members as part of your team, then you can add notes in here as well so you could put a title in and description and leave a note for someone who may be working on your account, and you can obviously put the date in or whatever it may be as well. So, you can add notes in here which is quite a cool little feature.

Basically, if you scroll further down past the graph, you’ll be given a list of referring domain names. Now, it will give you the referring domain name here, then it will give you an authority score. Now, the authority score is just the score that SEMrush give you and it’s calculated based on paid score, domain score, trust score and some other data internally through SEMrush. That gives you a kind of idea as to how powerful your particular link’s going to be.

So, for example, google.com 99, wordpress.org 96 and so on. So, the authority score is listed there and you can see quite clearly if you’re asking me which links would I be looking for, I’d be looking for ones with decent authority scores. The other ones that pass the most linkages, and the links that you probably you want to get first and foremost. So, that is what authority score is.

Matches, now that’s a total number of analyzed domain names that are linking to a particular website that we’ve put in here. So, for example, google.com, Matthew Woodward has got 23 links from google.com, and myself, Andy Drinkwater and Matt Diggity don’t, so that’s an opportunity for us.

Now, we can click on this number 23 under Matthew Woodward, and it takes us to the backlink too, and it automatically adds the filters here and it will give us exactly matching google.com and it will basically give us a list of the links that Matthew Woodward has got from google.com, and you can see the length here and all that kind of stuff.

So, you can actually see what Matthew Woodward’s got and then you can obviously try and go and get that for yourself. And you can do that for any domain name out there that’s on here. So, you can click on the number, so for example, if I look at weebly.com, there are four out of four matches, so there are four websites listed on there, and all four of us have a link or multiple links on weebly.com.

So, that’s not a backlink opportunity for me because I’ve already got one. GitHub.com, one out of the four guys have got a link on GitHub, the lucky guy there, Matthew Woodward again. So, obviously Matthew’s a very well known SEO guy and does a lot of tutorials and been around for many years, so he is likely to have the biggest bunch of stuff out there. But that as a guy starting out from now or two years ago, you’re going to find these opportunities, so you can continually go through this list to find opportunities for yourself that Matthew Woodward’s got or Matt Diggity’s got or Andy Drinkwater’s got, and try and acquire these for yourself.

There’s literally tons of data here, and you want to go through all of this data to make sure that you get the best opportunity that you possibly can to beat your rivals. At the end of the day, we all want to get as many links as we possibly can.

Now, you can also export this data, so over on the right hand side here, you can export this data into an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file, entirely up to yourself what you want to do. But basically, the tool is very simple and easy to use. It will allow you to quickly establish what links one of the other guys have got that you don’t and then you can work on how you’re going to get them, whether you do outreach or you’re paying a VA to do the outreach or whatever it’s going to be.

You want to give them this list and say here’s the opportunities that I want, these guys have got it, try and make it happen for me. So, that is basically how the backlink gap tool works. You can select a domain name that you’d like to analyze and get new ideas, so you can analyze my website here, and see what that particular domain name can do compared to some of the other guys.

So you can see there, it’s not going to give me any kind of green boxes because it’s analyzing my domain name, but it’s given me these other opportunities all in these green boxes here, highlighting them for me as links that I don’t have.

So, you can very quickly go through that spreadsheet and see there that Matthew Woodward has loads and loads more domain names than me. Andy Drinkwater has a few and Matt Diggity has a few as well that are untapped opportunities for me, and as I say, you get a light green shading on it, as you can see that’s white. Then it’s got the light green shade, then I can click on these to see that those opportunities are, and it just again takes me to the backlink tool, and it’s going to give me the exact links that Matthew’s got that I don’t.

So, it’s really simple and easy to use, and it just identifies those backlink opportunities very easily for you, rather than get into a tool, checking what they’ve got, and then you do a bit of outreach and then you forget what the next step is. This puts it all in one nice dashboard for you, and that’s what the backlink gap tool can do for you. It’s not got any cool other functions and features, it’s just very simple and straight to the point with this particular tool.

If you do have any questions, I’m sure, or any feedback you can also send feedback to SEMrush in the top right hand corner, so if you feel there’s something else that they should add to the tool, feel free to send that feedback through to SEMrush and they also do have other link building tips on there, which you can have a look at.

So, thank you very much for watching this tutorial. Hope you enjoyed it.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 17 years.

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