SEMRush Link Building Tool Tutorial

So, the other day I did a SEMrush webinar with my fellow Scotsman, Ross Tavendale. Although we sound completely different, we’re both from the same place. And it was a SEMrush toolbox webinar where we were discussing the link building tool. So, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of the tool itself. You can watch the full webinar, there is a link below this blog post, so you can watch the full webinar if you want to know more about what Ross does, but I’m just giving you the tool tutorial here.

Where is the Link Building Tool on SEMrush?

So, where the find the tool is the first thing. So, it’s the link building tool, so if you go to your SEO toolkit on your SEMrush dashboard, and just under link building you will see link building tool down there. So, it’s a great link building tool that will give you ideas, and you can even do outreach using this tool as well, so you can find it here.

So if you click on the link building tool it will bring up the projects that you’ve got. So I’ve used my own website as the demonstration project, so you just add in your URL and stuff like that.

SEMRush Link Building Tool Tutorial

Configure Google Search Console for More Data


Now, one of the first things that I would recommend to anyone does is connect your Google Search Console, because data’s key, so you can add in your Google Search Console.

And it will tell you here to add that user so that it can access all your data, so make sure you do that first before you do anything.

Now, before I go anywhere, there is a user manual on the top right-hand side here, which shows you everything about the link building tool on SEMrush anyway.

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Configuring the tool, link building, outreach, and everything else, it’s all in here, and it also tells you why you should use it. So there is a good manual there for you to use, but I know people like to see visual demonstrations, hence this video. So yeah, make sure you connect that search console first though.

Setting up Emails for Outreach

The next thing, if you’re going to do outreach from the tool itself, then, just here, you can see where it says add, you can configure a mailbox, Gmail, Outlook, Office 365, or any other one to do your outreach, but we’ll show you how it all works before we would go into the outreach.

So overview, it’s going to give me the main prospects, it’s going to give me keywords, competitors, it’s is not got anything from mentions and it’s not anything for lost backlinks, that just because there’s not enough data for that at the moment. I’ve not got mentions or anything like that setup, so you can configure everything properly to get all the data.

SEMRush Link Building Tool Tutorial

But in terms of, the main prospects, we want to look at the competition, so we just click on the competition here, and it brings up a nice dashboard there. So it’s all prospects, the keywords, competitors, everything else. So it’s going to show me the URL, the URL type, the domain score, the trust score, and the rating out of five. So SEMrush basically gives it a rating out of five, based and over 50 different factors, and that would give you an indicator as to whether that domain name was worth going for, or not.

Trust score, again, it’s an internal SEMrush score out of 100, and domain score, again, out of 100. These are indicators, though it’s an internal score it’s not something is the be all and end all of the world, but it’s a great indicator as to whether that is going to be a good link for you, or not, based on a number of different metrics.

Within here, so say for example I wanted to go for this particular link here, I can go to add with, and I can do a manual link, add a link to an article, product review, link from mention, guest post, or recover lost backlinks. So picking what outreach strategy you’re going to use is quite important at this point. So, I’m just going to put in a guest post, for example, for that one.

Which Links to Reach out too?

Now, you can go through it all with the prospects here, and add them, based on what you think. You can also use the little arrow here to make sure that you go for the highest rated ones, obviously, you’re not going to go for the lowest rated ones. By default, SEMrush does show you the highest rated ones anyway, so you can use the little arrows there to mess about, and you can look for specific domain names as well. So, if you’re looking for specific domain names, you can put that in there, and there are some advanced filters as well, URL type, and stuff like that.

So, there are some cool filters there, and you can export this data to a CSV file as well, by clicking the big export button. So that’s what prospects are. Now, when you’re going through your prospects you’re adding it to the in progress, as I mentioned earlier. So we’re going to go to the in-progress tab, so what happens is, you’re taking all the links that you want to get, and it will come into this in progress tab here.

SEMRush Link Building Tool Tutorial

Now, it will show you the URL, the rating, the outreach strategy that you want to use, we’ll select a guest post for that one, and then you’ve got actions here, and you’ve got the status of what’s going on there as well. So, if you wanted to send the one out, you know, if you wanted to do outreach to this,, you can click on send, and you can prepare an email template there. Now, what is really cool here is that SEMrush pulls up the relevant email address for the people to email, so you can either manually add the recipient, or you can select one of the ones that SEMrush have scraped up.

Using Your Own Subject Line and Email Templates

Now, you can use your own subject lane, pick that wisely, and prepare your own email template which you want to send to the people in question, and use whatever schmoozing tactics you want to try and get that link. So, that is essentially how you would do outreach to some of these here.

Now, you can obviously recover lost backlinks as well, so for example, this second link here, I can go, click on send, and again, it was BrightonSEO, which I’m sure many people who will watch this video will know, and it goes straight to Kelvin, so SEMrush have scraped up that data, you can tell it’s accurate because Kelvin’s name’s there. Now I can change that, it’s got a pre-selected template in this one, saying, “I was recently researching and I found a few data links on your page, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and Kevin may go, “Oh, thank you. I didn’t realize that was there,” and add the link again. He may not… It was really up to the webmaster themselves, but I’m sure a lot of these things are all of the oversights, and you know, with BrightonSEO changing, and different speakers, and different topics, and everything else, then, you know, with the ever-changing content they may have a few broken links here and there, as every website does.

So you can do that, send that off to Kelvin, so down at the bottom where it would send and proceed to next. Obviously, I would have to set up my email to do that, but send and proceed to next, it would just take you onto the next part, or the next message that you’re going to send out. So, you can do your email here, and it’ll tell you whether your email was sent, whether it was delivered. It will also tell you if it was read, and it will also tell you if there was a reply received on that particular email.

So the status is quite an important part as well, and you can see what stage you’re at, so if you’re using different members or staff to do this kind of stuff then, again, it’s quite important for you to just be able to go in and have a good oversight of what’s going on there. So, that is quite a cool feature in the progress tab, and again, it’s got some advanced filters and stuff, if you have a whole ton here that you want to filter out.

Monitoring your Outreach Campaign

The monitor is the next one, so it’s going to monitor certain domain names on here, and it’s going to, again, tell me whether links are active, broken, lost, undefined or rejected. Now undefined, we’ll talk about first. If I click on it, it’s going to show me a bunch of links where the server’s timed out, trawl error, or something like that. In most cases that’s just, you know, the bot maybe not getting access to that page because the website’s down, or under maintenance, or whatever it may be. So, it will come back to it.

Now, it does give me a bunch of lost links and opportunities that I may want to go after. So, I can simply click on the green button and add that to my lost link outreach campaign. Broken links, so there are some links here that are broken. Some of these have good ratings, two and three out of five, so I may want to, again, add that to recovering lost backlinks, if that was a worthwhile link. So you can have a good look at what’s going on and monitor the links that are on here. Now, you can import your link data as well, and you can keep an eye on what’s going on with your backlinks and stuff like that, so quite a cool tool.

But going back to prospects, prospects is one of the biggest tabs, and where you can get a lot of data, and the data is the key part of this kinda stuff. So you can add more keywords in here based on search terms, so whether that’s your own name, you know, the location you’re in, you can add 10 keywords here. Now, what is really important as well, is you can do in the advanced search query as well, and you can do different keywords, or in URL, or whatever it may be, you know, blog URL, in title, site, and stuff like that. So, it does have the advanced search query as well, so you can further expand on that keyword list.

You can add up to 10 competitors as well, so just stick them all in there. This automatically prefills on the rankings for the search terms that you are primarily going for. Mentions, as I say, you can put in keywords, your own brand, whatever it may be, you can stick up to five and here, and make sure of that you fill that out as well because as I say, data is key. And, you can also add a whole bunch of other domain names to your prospect list as well, just to make sure that all your domain prospects are as padded out as you possibly can. The more you have, the more opportunity you’ve got to outreach, and the more links you will build.

SEMRush Link Building Tool Tutorial

So, for me, the SEMrush link building tool is quite good if you’re doing your own campaigns, and you just want to plug away, do competitor analysis, do some outreach on your own, you don’t have to pay for other tools, or whatever, you can do it all from one dashboard, which is quite good.

And, I think, the other part that I really like is the in-progress part, so obviously you’re going to be delegating some of these tasks in a lot of cases to other people, so you will be able to monitor what’s going on and how much of it’s going on.

One thing I would say is the daily limit for sending outreach emails is 500, so just make sure that you’re not abusing that or going over that because you will run into problems.

So, that is the SEMrush link building tool in a nutshell. Great tool. They are always looking for feedback. If you think there’s something that SEMrush can do to make the tool better you can go up to the send feedback button and put in your suggestions there, they are very good at taking that information on board, and hopefully giving you what you need. So, hopefully, you enjoyed that tutorial, and I will post another one soon.


You can watch the full webinar below.


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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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