Being competitive in search results is a constant and long-term struggle. First, you need to make plenty of quality content to even consider making it to page one. Second, you need to invest a lot of time and effort in building a good backlink profile. Of course, this helps rank better in organic searches, but it can be a tremendously slow process. Fortunately, there are other ways to accomplish it. One particularly successful strategy is that you can use your competitor’s backlink profile to gain more links. There is always an option to check what your competitors are doing and learn from them. It will give you an insight into their successful strategies, and help you reverse-engineering the entire game to your benefit. As a result, you can get a percentage of their traffic and generate more sales.
Ways to use your competitor’s backlink profile to gain more links for yourself
In essence, Google uses backlinks as signals of confidence when evaluating the usefulness and credibility of your pages. If you have plenty of backlinks from websites with high authority, Google will bring you closer to the audience. They do that by increasing your ranking position in search result pages. However, accomplishing this is not an easy job to do, and often requires help from professionals such as Link Department. They have experience in implementing other practical strategies as well. This is when analyzing your competition comes into focus. In general, you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” when starting your SEO. All you have to do is to check what others are doing with success and copy.
Why it’s important to check your competitors?
For the given niche, you and your competitors occupy and compete for the same space. In this case, it’s your position in SERPs. If you have competitors ranking higher than you, they are clearly doing something better. So, you need to find out what and how. It’s a great way to get enough materials for building your own guidelines. By doing it, and acting upon it, you can increase your chance to surpass your competitors. Whether it is the number of their backlinks or their quality, you will get an explanation about why they rank well. Upon acquiring such information, you can use it to develop a new strategy and improve your website rank.
Tools that can help you analyze competitor’s backlink profile
There are many tools available that can help you analyze the backlink profile of your competitors. They are a useful asset in finding an opportunity to gain more quality backlinks. Some of the most popular tools are:
- Moz Open Site Explorer
- Ahrefs suite of SEO tools
- and many more
Analyze your competitors
The first thing you need to do is to make a list of your competitors. The easiest way is to use some of the tools to see websites similar to yours that share the same audience. You can classify your competitors into two groups, in general:
- Domain competitors – those are the websites in the same niche that compete for more than just a few terms throughout the entire website.
- Page competitors – those that compete with you over a smaller scale for specific terms on a page level.
It’s important to realize that there are many sites that can compete with you for the same keywords but don’t belong to your niche. They might not be direct competitors to your business, they are just competing for the same words. However, they too can offer valuable information about what strategy to use.
Check their backlinks
Once you have the list, it’s time to conduct their website analysis. Check the number of backlinks they have, and their sources. Websites with a great number of backlinks will, of course, provide you with more useful information. However, don’t focus only on sheer quantity because high-quality backlinks can worth more than dozens of low-quality ones. Overall, here is a couple of things you need to focus on in reports when evaluating your competitor’s backlinks:
- Link strength – shows how strong particular backlinks are, based on the authority of the linking source. When planning your strategy, you should also aim at those sources.
- Relevance – best way to make sure their backlinks are relevant is to check linking pages. If they are not relevant to the subject, they will be of no use to you.
- Placement of links – see where your competitors are placing their backlinks. Choose those that exist in the body of the content, closer to the top of the page.
- Links with the most traffic – find the pages and links that drive the most traffic to your competitors so you can identify the ways to do the same for your pages.
Finally, filter the results to exclude no-follow links. Don’t include them in your strategy creation since they are not relevant for SEO.
Choose which backlink opportunities to use
After the analysis is complete, save the list of good backlink opportunities. With the list of strong, relevant, and potentially beneficial opportunities, it’s time to get them. One of the most popular, simple, and still efficient ways is email outreach. However, there is a couple of rules you need to follow for full effectiveness:
- Avoid using email templates if possible
- Try to personalize each email
- Provide directions about how they can easily link to you
The point is to make contact and ask them to link to you. But, before you do it, choose one of the strategies for obtaining backlinks.
The Skyscraper method
This is generally quite a popular method of obtaining quality backlinks. You need to find the best post or article and make the better one. After that, you can get in touch with website owners and propose them to link to you instead.
Post at same places
For this method, you can offer your content in the same places next to your competitors.
Post on hubs
These are simply places that link to more than one of your competitors. If they have all your competitors linked, chances are they will link to you as well. Basically, they are excellent places for starting your link building.
The broken links method
You can also find the broken links of your competitors and offer to replace them. This is one of the best ways to take over backlinks from those who don’t audit their backlink profile so often.
Eventually, some of these strategies to use your competitor’s backlink profile to gain more links will show results after a while. Maybe you will not outrank your competitors right away, but given enough time, and using the right combination will definitely show results. It’s a long process, overall, oftentimes hard, but it can be an effective way to create a good backlink profile for yourself.