Obtaining quality backlinks (links pointing back to your website) is one of the fundamental building blocks of SEO success. Essentially, search engines view backlinks as ‘votes’, so consistently receiving links from a variety of high-quality websites indicates your web content is useful and popular; it’s been ‘voted’ for and ‘recommended’ by the wider Internet community. Thus, you’ll be rewarded with higher rankings in the search results.
Majestic SEO have a paid for subscription-based tool online, called Site Explorer, but in this guide we’ll be looking at the metrics you can access for free from Backlink Analyzer.
Majestic: The King of SEO
We strongly advocate publishing articles on authoritative websites that are relevant to your niche as part of our approach to strategic content marketing. Not only does this ensure your content is seen by your target audience, putting you front and centre in the mind of potential customers, but it also works to boost SEO in the background, achieving valuable links from respected websites.
However, if this procedure is to be successful, you have to submit something meaningful in order for it to be published. Thinly-veiled sales messaging will get you nowhere, as website editors won’t let it see the light of day, so you should only pitch content that is genuinely insightful, helpful or entertaining in some way.
Likewise, if you place a links to your onsite content within the text of your guest article, you better be sure it’s to an equally useful resource and not a ‘salesy’ page, or else the editor will be likely to remove it. It’d be too easy to ‘vote’ for yourself in this manner and it won’t appear natural to editors, readers or search engine bots, so err on the side of caution and only link to your site if you’ve got the creative content writing skills to back it up.
Website editors are the gatekeepers, the ones who decide whether or not to allow your content to pass, so do all you can to satisfy their criteria. They shall cast the final ‘vote’. Incidentally, if you publish on sites that have no editorial integrity, i.e. they let anyone publish anything without any moderation, that’s a sure sign of low-quality that the search engines will have also spotted, meaning your hard work is unlikely to benefit your SEO in any discernible way.
There are various methods to researching the best websites for outreach marketing, but once you’ve worked up a list of target publications, the Majestic toolbar can quickly help you further refine that list and highlight the cream of the crop.
Majestic’s key metrics measure ‘Citation Flow’ and ‘Trust Flow’ to give you scores out of 100, both indicating the overall quality of the site in question.
What is Citation Flow?
Citation Flow (CF) is a metric that predicts how influential a website is perceived to be, based on the number of other websites linking to it (other people referencing or ‘citing’ the work on the website in question).
Ultimately, you want to target the highest quality sites which are in some way related to your line of business, and if a site with a high CF links to you, your CF will be given a boost as well, as some of their authority passes onto you.
Sites with a higher Citation Flow will pass a relatively stronger influence to pages that they link to, and therefore you will benefit more from earning links from domains with a high CF metric than those with a lower CF.
What is Trust Flow?
Trust Flow (TF) is the metric that indicates how trustworthy a website is, based on traffic flowing through inbound and outbound links and its proximity (in terms of links) to other trustworthy sites. In essence, trustworthy websites usually link to other trustworthy websites, and the trustworthiness extends with every link, presuming that there’s a clear relevancy between the sites in question.
Thus, if a site with a high TF links to you, you’ll benefit from some of their perceived trust passing onto you. Or, by them ‘voting’ for and ‘recommending’ you, they are endorsing your content as being of sufficient quality to link to, giving the search engine bots a clear sign that they should value your site as well.
This video explains CF and TF further
Quality not Quantity?
One thing to be wary of is that, as CF only counts the number of links rather than the quality of links, a site with a high CF won’t necessarily have a high TF. That is to say, less scrupulous websites might generate hundreds of spammy links pointing their way from decidedly untrustworthy sources, resulting in an obviously skewed graph:
As a result, TF is probably the most important metric to weigh up when looking for publishing opportunities, as a site with a high TF will normally have a naturally high CF as well, so there shouldn’t be much disparity between the scores on the sites that you approach. What you should ideally see is a teardrop shape on the scatter diagram, with the link profile clustered around the median line. Something like this:
Using Backlink Analyzer for prospecting
Aside from aiming to obtain backlinks from the highest quality, most trustworthy sites based on CF and TF, Majestic’s snazzy tool also allows you see what other websites are linking to any given URL.
A list of five backlinks is presented, alongside a link to view more (unlocked with a premium account), detailing anchor text, CF and TF. Thus, you can review these other (hopefully related) websites and see if they offer any potential publishing opportunities for your content as well.
The ‘Anchor Text Detail’ tab will also give you a clue as to potential keywords and phrases you should be targeting (only available on the paid-for version, although some of this information is available for free on their website summary).
If you want to get noticed online, it’s imperative to be savvy with your SEO efforts, so being mindful of Majestic’s metrics is crucial to ensuring your content works harder. High-quality, Google-friendly link building is all about creating outstanding content that naturally gains attention, and a solid outreach campaign can elevate your efforts to the next level.
Content is king, context is queen, and Majestic can certainly help you court the right websites to help you rank highly. You can also read our guide to the Moz toolbar (the major competitor to Majestic’s toolbar) to broaden your research efforts.
If you’d like further SEO advice and a chat about content strategies that cut through, please get in touch to organise a call and book a FREE Digital Health Check.
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