As a businessman you probably have a lot more important things to do than sit around reading a blog. But what if your business can get a boost from building quality backlinks and increased search results which lead to new customers knocking on your doorstep? Then you should definitely read this guide, because your business can benefit from building quality backlinks and increased search traffic on your website. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use an SEO trick that has stood the test of time; you just have to steal your rankings through competitor backlink analysis, meaning discovering your competitors’ backlinks and replicating them.
All you need to outrank your competition effortlessly is verify and use your competitors’ backlinks and you can accomplish this feat easily with a combination of free tools and a bit of elbow grease.
1. How competitor backlink analysis will help in increasing your rankings.
2. How to find out your competitors’ backlinks and steal the best of these backlinks.
3. Performing competitor analysis and building a database of the links.
The Competitor Backlink Analysis Method
Use any keyword of your choice and search for it on Google. Out of the millions of results you’ll find, the top 10 are the most important; and why do they rank on top? It’s simple, they have original content that is read worthy and relevant as well having a good on page SEO, but the most important part is these sites possess a backlink profile that satisfies Google.
So if you want your site to rank among these top 10 results, then it better have the same backlinks as not just the topmost or number 1 result, but similar backlinks from every single page in the top 10 results as well!
The Importance of Backlink Data
It is imperative that you collect backlink data from your competitors as it helps you to finding out how and why you (or your competitors) are ranking for any given search term.
This data will come in handy while building a golden database of backlinks which can be used as often as you need to drive traffic to your websites.
But you should be doing something else before you go into all that …
Building The Perfect Foundation
Figuring out things will take a lot of research which in turn is a drain on time & money so instead of wasting valuable resources why not use the easier method of snooping around and stealing your competitor’s’ best backlinks!
When you perform competitor backlink analysis in this fashion you’ll also be creating a great foundation link profile to your site.
When you’re replicating your competitor backlinks, a lot of the hard work involved in building links is already eliminated and an SEO newbie can also do it easily.
This is one clever tactic you can try employing with new sites before trying anything else as it helps in building a very natural profile which will eventually give you a great foundation to leverage.
Now you have one final task you need to complete before we go any further:
Identify and name your top 5 competitors?
If you already know the answer you just add their names to a spreadsheet:
But if you don’t, you need to browse through the web and find out before you read on. All you’ll have to do is run a Google search for your product, service, or niche and it should do the trick.
You could also use Ahrefs and in the Ahrefs Site Explorer, click on “Competing Domains” report to see the websites which rank for keywords that are similar to your domain.
As soon as you’ve got this data, you’re locked and loaded to find out how your competitor’s link building efforts can be leveraged to grab backlinks for your own site that will get the needle moving.
You not only need to know your competitors’ backlinks but also whenever they get mentioned; so you need to set up alerts for both Mentions as well as backlinks.
To keep track of our competitors’ current link building and online marketing set up a series of alerts in Ahrefs.
1. Get the Top 10 Results for the search term
Firstly, pick a keyword you want to rank for and do a quick Google Search. Make a note of each URL and gather the top 10 organic results for that keyword.
Now with the help of any of these tools mentioned below (backlink checker tools), run each of these URL’s through them!
2. Check Competitor Backlinks
It’s common practice to use the several backlink checkers available online to find competitors’ backlinks all for each of the top 10, but these backlink checkers whether they’re free or paid all suffer from the same problem that is while even the best of backlink checkers gives you complete overview of a URL’s backlink profile each of them will offer a range of results because they have very different databases.
So the best way to accomplish the task on hand is by combining the data from as many backlink checkers as possible.
3. Set up Backlink Alerts
Let’s consider the example of the tool Ahrefs: In the “Backlinks” section of Ahrefs Alerts, you will have to create backlink alerts for each of your competitors, this ensures that you get an email every week with all the new backlinks that Ahrefs has discovered for the site.
To set up backlink alerts on Ahrefs, go to Alerts > Backlinks > New Alert, enter the URL of your competitors and choose how often you want these emails.
Alerts for Brand Mentions
You need to set up alerts for every single one of your competitor’s brand names so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities by accident. So whenever they are mentioned anywhere online you will get a notification.
To set alerts for brand mentions, click on Alerts > Mentions > New Alert.
4. Check Your Competitor’s Branded Home Page Links
With time you’ll want to discover the backlinks used by every one of your competitors and look for opportunities while work your way through all of them.
But this can prove a bit of a daunting task when there are thousands of links involved, but using this hack that can make unearthing some of the easier to find links plain sailing. You’ll have to keep an eye out for branded anchor links that point to our competitor’s home page. And the reason is that these are likely to include links such as:
1. Guest Posts
3. Resource/Links Pages
These links can be replicated fairly easily and will contribute to your own domain authority.
5. Compile a Master List of your Competitors’ Backlinks
For each of the top 10 results you have to collect all the backlinks you can from as many sources as possible and as soon as this is done, we can move on to the next step which is:
- Copying all of these links into one file and save it somewhere, this is your master file.
- Then check for any duplicates and remove all the links that you don’t need with the help of a tool like DupeRemove tool which also happens to be free.
You might have to trawl through a lot of links and data but it’s in your best interests to grab ALL of your competitors’ backlinks.
Once this is accomplished we’ll move onto the actual competitor backlink analysis.
If your competitor has broken links, fix it!
When we say “fix it”, you don’t repair them but instead you’ll have to grab them for yourself!
And even though building of broken links is not as scalable as it used to be, it can still give you good results.
Start off by checking for broken links that lead to your competitors. With the help of Ahrefs find the broken links, then reach out to the site bringing these broken links to their notice and offer your site as alternative or if it is possible just add your link.
6. Analysing your Competitors’ Backlink
Right now that master list of competitor backlinks you’ve complied could be pretty large – so ensure that you work efficiently you’ll need to pick the best ones among these backlinks which needs us to do a bit of competitor backlink analysis.
- So generally, you’d look out for priority links which are basically backlinks that are indexed in Google and have some kind of a PR value.
- After the priority links are noted down, you’ll need a list of secondary links in your list which means links that are indexed in Google but don’t have a PR value.
- The general rule of thumb here is a link is good enough to link to your site if it is indexed in Google.
A complete backlink analysis not only helps you in discovering your competitor’s best links but it also reveals a lot about your competitor’s link building strategies which is why it’s considered good practice and recommended to run a complete backlink analysis.
7. Replicating your Competitors’ Backlinks
At this stage you’ll just have to examine each of the links, one at a time and use your head.
Check to see how your competitor got their link on that page, for this you’ll have to open each link in your browser.
If it is a blog comment, you’ll just have to post your own comment; or in the case of it being a guest post, you can send an email to submit your own guest post or if it’s a post on a forum, you’ll have to register and involve yourself in the discussion.
You’ll understand more about the process as you work through the list replicating links and in turn you will find links you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise as well as enhance your knowledge of link building & SEO in general.
8. Creating a Database of these Golden Links
It is imperative that you get as much value out of your time as possible which is why you need to keep a track of everything that you do, make a list links which have been replicated/submitted as go through the task of replicating links.
And then you have to bulk check for which of the links you now have a live backlink from after you’re done replicating your competitors’ backlinks. These backlinks are invaluable.
Create a spread sheet with a list of all of the backlinks that work for you, this is your separate links database.
Over time, as you gain more and more expertise on the subject you will have a huge list of powerful links which will help to drive the top 10 results.
And this spread sheet is a wonderful asset for your business as it will serve you in future as well where you can use it for other projects often.
You could also add a “Niche” column which lists options like Technology, Business, Finance, General etc under it and aids in filtering the links based on the topic.
So now you know, competitor backlink analysis has stood the test of time & algorithm updates and is still a wonderful link building tactic and with all the free or paid tools available online these days just about anyone can do it easily.
And the outcome of all this hard work will be that you’ll also have all of the backlinks that your top 10 competitors have pointing to your site.
Finding Competitors Backlinks
1. Make a list of your competitors’ URLs.
2. Find competitor backlinks using free or paid backlink checkers online.
3. Collect all your data and put it into a master list
4. Analyse all these links
5. Replicate the backlinks to your own site
6. For future use, create a central source of backlink data that you can refer to later as well.
So before you do anything else on that new site of yours, use this link building strategy and it will surely get you good rankings which ensure you have the perfect natural foundation to leverage further.
Finally, you can’t bank on just replicating your competitor’s links because it should just be part of your overall link building strategy and always know that there are thousands of tricks you can employ to spy on your competitors and grab their backlinks. You’re not aiming to just play catch up with your competitors; you need to overtake them to be no.1, so use this link building campaign for this particular purpose.
To gain that no.1 position, you’re going to need to:
1. gain new links that your competitors haven’t already got, and
2. work quicker on those links than your competition, because they won’t stand still waiting for you to overtake them.
But the good news is that you’ll have gained a deep insight into what’s working in your niche by following the processes above meaning that you won’t just have identified backlinks which can be replicated but you’ll gain some solid ideas about the topics and content formats that will resonate with your target audience.
Armed with this knowledge, you can create your own unique campaigns and no one can stop your site from climbing to the top of Google soon.