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How the SEMrush Link Building Tool Can Help You: Tips and Tricks

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How the SEMrush Link Building Tool Can Help You: Tips and Tricks

Jenna Fehrle
How the SEMrush Link Building Tool Can Help You: Tips and Tricks

What is the SEMrush Link Building Tool?

The Link Building Tool provides you with a list of link building opportunities for your website and helps you with your backlink campaign to potentially acquire links. Having this tool directly in SEMrush makes it easy to run a competitive analysis on your rivals and operate an outreach campaign and strategy at the same time.

Within the Link Building Tool, You Can:

  • Research a large list of prospects based on target keywords and competitors.

  • Integrate your Gmail, Outlook, Office 365 or Exchange Online  account and Google Search Console integration

  • Monitor emails after they are sent to a potential backlink domain.

  • Automatic contact information retrieval for target websites.

Why Should You Use the SEMrush Link Building Tool?

Link building is the process of generating links pointing back to your website. These links are used by search engines to discover your website and to help them decide how high it will rank in search results. With our tool, you will be able to find these opportunities as well as track any links that you gain; it will save you time by generating prospects for you, instead of requiring you to manually look for websites to reach out for backlinks.

Initial Setup

When setting up the Link Building Tool in your projects section, it first asks you to list ten ranking keywords from your website. You are then asked for ranking keywords because we want to bring in prospects that are relevant to your domain and industry.

Next, add ten of your biggest competitors. We ask for competitors to see what backlinks they have that you could be potentially missing out on.

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TIP: Try to fill in all ten spots for keywords and competitors; it will generate more prospects.

Exploring Prospects

The link building tool collects prospects from several sources, including:

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There is an option to upload a list of prospects manually, and we check collected prospects for existing links to the domain in your project. We do this to exclude existing sources from your suggested list. Each prospect is represented by a domain name and a URL sample; a URL sample is introduced to help the user understand the website content. In most cases, it is valuable to request a link from the suggested URL.

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Each Prospect is Analyzed From Three Main Points of View:

  • Domain quality: We collect main domain metrics and rank prospects against each other (a link to corresponding SEMrush reports are available by clicking on the value).

  • Domain relevance: We intersect prospect categories with those of the project domain and also track competitors’ backlinks.

  • Domain health: The Backlink Audit tool makes an assessment, whether a link from a site will be risky for existing a backlink profile or not.

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TIP: You can filter your potential backlinks by:

  • URL type

  • Keyword

  • Top level domain

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You can see precisely what type of links you are going after. The different URL types include forums, blogs, news, review, wiki, and general.

Once filtered, you can inspect each domain by expanding the preview and can choose to move forward by adding the prospect to your “In Progress” report using the green button. To remove any prospects, you would just hit the X under the Actions column.

TIP: Once you expand the preview, which is under the Rating tab, you can see the domain information:

  • Domain quality

  • Number of backlinks

  • Number of ranking keywords

  • Monthly traffic

  • Common categories for the site

  • And if your competitors have a backlink to this domain.

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Integrations

Google Search Console

Within the link building tool, you are able to connect your Google Search Console. By connecting GSC, you will be able to automatically mark any backlinks already acquired and the most important backlinks that have been indexed by Google.

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Schedule Email Report

You can connect your Mailbox, (which is required to send emails), to get scheduled email reports. You are able to send the report to any email address that would like to receive updates. You can schedule an email report daily, weekly or monthly on the progress you have made.

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Managing Prospects In the "In Progress Tab"

The In Progress tab is designed to help users track their progress and reach out to site owners if needed. Prospects are moved to the "In Progress" tab after a link acquisition strategy is chosen in the Prospects tab.

The Link Building Tool automatically collects contact information including:

  • Emails

  • Contact forms

  • Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with the domain

For link building strategies which require outreach, the tool provides a “Send email feature,” which is available by clicking on the corresponding button. You can copy-paste data and use this email client, or there is an option to connect a Gmail account so that emails will be sent automatically.

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Once you send your outreach email to your prospect, SEMrush tracks the email for you.

We track:

  • When your email was sent.

  • When your email was delivered.

  • When your email was read.

  • And if the prospect replied to your email.

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Different Types of Outreach Strategies

The Link Building Tool offers different types of outreach strategies once you are ready to send your link acquisition email. In addition to our preset templates, you can create custom templates and save up to 15 different outreach strategies in your campaign.

Here are the different strategy templates we offer:

  • General - Personalize a link-building strategy with your emails

  • Manual link -  To get a link from websites that feature user-generated content (forums, article comments, user profiles, etc.), you can add your link manually with a submission to the site.

  • Directory /catalog - To request a link from a website that features an industry catalog or directory.

  • Add a link to an article - For an existing article that is dedicated to your product or service, you can request a mention of your business.

  • Product review - Asking a blogger to review your content/product.

  • Link from mention - If a website has already mentioned your business, ask them to add your link to their website.

  • Guest post - Writing content (such as a guest blog post) on other websites to build links back to your  domain.

  • Recover lost backlinks - If you find a website with broken links that you no longer have, you can attempt to build links by offering a relevant page on your site to rebuild that “broken” link.

  • Custom - you can add a custom email templates.

Saving Custom Templates

Saving templates is a convenient way to save different approaches for email pitches; this will save you time if you know you are sending out emails to similar opportunities and for the same thing. You can customize your pitch, save the email as a template, and personalize the emails as you send them out to each prospect.

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TIP: Using the Monitor Report tab will be the next step in your workflow to see if any of your acquired backlinks have been lost or broken.

Moving An Acquired Prospect to Monitor tab

The Link Building Tool identifies all new backlinks and matches it with all prospects throughout the tabs.

When a backlink from a prospect domain in the “In progress” tab is discovered, it will be marked as ready for verification. After verification, you can move this prospect source to the Monitor tab to continue backlink tracking from this domain.

Tracking Link Status in the Monitor Tab

The Monitor tab is where you track acquired backlinks — active, lost or broken. You can move your prospects with the earned backlinks from your “In Progress” list and keep an eye on their status in this tab. The Monitor tab is designed to track one backlink per domain. If the tracked backlink is lost/broken, but there are other backlinks on this domain, there is an option to change tracked backlink.

TIP: If you spot lost backlinks or broken referring domains, move them back to your “In Progress” list and instantly contact your link partners to fix them.

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To narrow down your data, you can filter the table by the types of links. The table can also be filtered by types of backlinks, as well as Google Search Console index and redirect chains:

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  • Active links: Links that your website already has that SEMrush found while looking for your prospects.

  • Broken links: Links that previously led to your website but now are broken; this can happen when the page on the referring website is broken or was removed, causing the link to break.

  • Lost links: Links that used to lead to your website but have since been removed from the page that was linking to you. The date that the link was lost will be noted in the “Date lost” column.

  • Undefined: Links that were recently added to your Monitor list but we have not crawled them yet.

  • Rejected: This is a list of the links that you can choose to “reject” if they are not relevant to your outreach plan.

TIP: You can make updates for any changes that have been made acquiring backlinks by clicking the “Update data” button in the right-hand corner.

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Additional Filters:

  • The GSC index (requires integration with Google Search Console) shows if the referring domain page is indexed on Google or not. This filter will help you to ensure that all of your backlinks are visible, as links coming from pages that are not in Google’s index will have less of an SEO impact.

  • The redirect chains filter lets you see backlinks with or without a redirect chain on the landing page. Too many redirect chains on a link’s landing page can weaken the impact of the link on a website’s SEO.

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TIP: You can import domains that already link to your site into this report so you can monitor all of your existing backlinks and receive an email report if anything changes. Just use the “Import” button and add one domain per line in the dialog box.

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Exporting Backlinks

You can keep a record of your monitored backlinks by exporting them to a CSV file. Click on the export button to automatically generate a file from the links you have in the table in the monitor tab. If you have any filters applied, the export will reflect only the links seen in the table.

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Conclusion

Gaining backlinks can be a vigorous and long process, but SEMrush can help make the monitoring and outreach processes quick and painless. And at the same time, help you gain backlinks that can potentially improve rankings and drive traffic to your website.

Preview: SEMrush Toolkit for SEO

Successful SEO requires multiple interrelated activities on all fronts: competition, keywords, link building, on-page and technical optimization. It creates a need for diverse tools, which is expensive. SEMrush solves this problem with an award-winning all-in-one toolkit that includes 17 tools covering all SEO fields. We’ll walk you through your SEO workflow, explaining how to get the most out of our toolkit.

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Jenna Fehrle
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

Jenna is a Customer Success Manager at SEMrush. Jenna's main goal at SEMrush is to educate our users and give them the best customer experience they could possibly have. From solving technical issues, to problem solving, and anything tool related, Jenna is here to take our users to the next level.

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Comments

2000
Pano Kontogiannis
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Link building is endless process and semrush tools is the best for this job.
Paul Lovell
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

This is one you your many great tools i have not spent enough time working on or understanding thanks for sharing this I will be enabling it for all my project now thanks
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

thanks for the providing SEM information it will really help us. I will try to do these activities as you mention in your article. I have run my own business and have own website name iCustomBoxes.i thinbk it would help me alot
Daniel J. Sullivan
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

@jenna. This article is BEAST! I've barely scratched the surface of SEMRush and my jaw keeps dropping. thanks and keep this helpful stuff coming!
Nick Samuel
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Daniel J. Sullivan
You took the words right out of my mouth! There's SO much tools within SEMrush I need to get acquainted with, this one in particular looks awesome! If only we had some clients that would sign-off infinite time to link-building :-P
Jenna Fehrle
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

Daniel J. Sullivan
Thank you so much Daniel!! If you would like to see certain articles/blog on different SEMrush tools please let me know!
Daniel J. Sullivan
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Jenna Fehrle
We're new users of SEMRush, but not new to the content marketing game, as we have been Hubspot users since 2010. I have to say the absence of an effective keyword tool has held us back, a large, unforced error. We've repaired around 1000 issues in around 3 weeks, due to the site audit toolkit, and now we are unearthing opportunities daily.
We're looking at the next 90 days as 3 steps.
Fix. Refresh. New Content.

Content I'd like to see from SEMRush
#1
Refreshing existing Blog articles, combining SEMRush's tools and the Hubspot topic cluster framework (please integrate with Hubspot in some useful way!)
a checklist would be super-useful. Many of our blog posts had poor meta-descriptions, tags, not enough keywords, etc. After we fix those technical issues, we are re-writing the articles using the SEO Writing Assistant, adding images, infographics, internal and external links, then republishing the articles. We'll add video intros using the Hubspot - Wistia integration.
We found this article from a SEMRush user helpful (https://brandongaille.com/how-to-build-a-blog-to-over-1-million-monthly-unique-visitors/), and we are adapting his playbook to our own context.
#2 Using SEMRush for job postings. We are a recruiting firm and it would be very useful to optimize that content as well.

I could go on. Great article by someone just getting started in this field!
Kajal Rawat
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thanks for the information,this really helped me. Our company also give backlinks services to the company who need a good boost towards their business and help them in building links on different social media platform so that they can be in touch with the audiences and make them aware about their services.
GorillaSpace
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Excellent! I found this article because I checked out the brand monitoring tool earlier this morning and saw that we had organically gained a new backlink (media mention).
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Thanks for the information, really helpful for me
Casey Markee
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

The "redirect chain sorter" is bad-ass. I can't tell you how many times I've managed to salvage link juice but removing needless server hops. That's the epitome of a "quick win" when we talk link building.

Very nice guide.
Jenna Fehrle
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

Casey Markee
Thank you for the great feedback, Casey! I really appreciate it!
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

my website ranking down today 1st page to 8 page why ? please suggest me
Editors' Pick
Casey Markee
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Rojgar Result
Editors' Pick
How about the following:

- you got hit by a core update
- you got hit by a manual penalty
- you made a technical mistake which caused a crawl interruption
- you "lost" links that could have been helping you
- new competitors entered your market and they are better than you.

I could go on.

You haven't given myself or anyone for that matter enough information to competently assist you. So I suggest you consider hiring a professional or you learn how to conduct a traffic drop audit.

Start with a Technical Crawl - https://www.semrush.com/kb/810-technical-seo

Then a Content Audit - https://www.semrush.com/kb/760-auditing-website-content

And sign-up for our next SEM Rush Webinar on content auditing and repurposing here:

https://www.semrush.com/webinars/work-smarter-not-harder-how-to-dominate-2019-with-reusable-content/

Good luck!
LyricsRaag Solutions
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Very informative article. Just placed a trial package.
Mike Levine
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

This article is very informative! Can't wait to get started on my Link Building Campaign!
Krista Tidman
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

This SEMrush workflow will help any SEO with running their competitive analysis on their rivals and operate an outreach campaign at the same time. Great strategies, Jenna!
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Always looking forward to your articles, Jenna! Keep it up!
Araix Rand
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

SEMrush rock :-), SEO, SMM, PPC all you need. Perfect backlink building tips
Jenna Fehrle
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

Araix Rand
Thank you Araix! Greatly appreciated!
Akhilesh Singh
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Nice post Jenna, no doubt SEMrush tool is much helpful to webmaster to all prospect where easily he can analysis which is best sites to create ink for that own website.
Jenna Fehrle
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

Akhilesh Singh
Thank you so much Akhilesh!

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