If you’ve ever researched the topic of SEO in an attempt to improve your website’s rank, chances are you’ve come across a few articles about link building. From understanding follow and no follow links to putting together a solid link building strategy, it can seem overwhelming by the amount of information on the web.
On top of making sure your website and links are optimized to meet current SEO practices, you’re probably wondering how your links measure up to your competitors’ websites. Analyzing and understanding a competitors’ backlinks is one of the most valuable ways you can improve the rank of your website both now and in the future. In today’s blog, we’ve put together an overview of backlinks, common analysis tools used, and tips & tricks you can use to improve your strategy. Take a look!
What are backlinks?
Some of you might be thinking “What are backlinks?” and “Why would I have to worry about a competitors’ links?” The answer simpler than you think. For years, marketing professionals, online gurus, and advertisers have worked tirelessly to boost sales and ensure customers buy specific products and services. From laptop manufacturers to local bakeries, businesses across the globe have fought in a digital area to ensure their websites and related content are found first when a customer types keywords into a search engine.
In the area of SEO, links and backlinks influence how search engines choose which websites are among the first on results pages and which sites end up in file 13. Professionals have debated about methodologies and tactics behind link building, but overall the value of addressing links is indisputable.
Genuine in-bound links to a website’s domain help improve organic search ranking and can help not only improve awareness for your brand but hopefully sales in the future. By finding, analyzing, and developing a strategy for links to your competitors’ websites, you will be in a better position to make link building decisions in the future and improve the rank of your website.
Uncovering Competitors’ backlinks
Thanks to leaders in the SEO industry, finding links to a competitors’ website is becoming easier and easier. The foremost authorities on SEO, Moz and SEMRush, have created simple tools that you can use to find and evaluate your competitors’ links. Here’s a rundown of a few VIG favorites.
Moz Open Site Explorer
The Moz Open Site Explorer has helped online professionals uncover deep insights into websites for years. By simply typing in the URL of a website, you can see metrics like the title and URL of a linking page, link anchor text, spam score, and linking opportunities. You can also see how links rank by certain factors like page and domain authority.
Professionals have sworn by Open Site Explorer for years when analyzing competitors’ websites as well as their own. Another great perk about Moz is their dedicated community of developers, SEO specialists, and enthusiasts that are willing to answer almost any of your questions through their many open forums.
SEM Rush Backlink Checker Tool
Similar to the Moz Open Site Explorer, the Backlink Checker tool by SEM Rush provides you with detailed information about the links on your competitors’ site. The interactive dashboard shows you key data like the domain authority of a landing page and even the link type. With this, you can begin to form a detailed analysis of the source of your competitors’ links.
One of the most interesting features of the Backlink Checker Tool is the “Geolocation” feature. This innovative feature allows you to see not only the source of links to a page but also their geographic location as well. This helps if you conduct business internationally or are trying to put together a local search campaign.
Making Backlinks Work for You
So far, we’ve explored what backlinks are, how they affect your website and different tools you can use to learn more about their performance on your competitors’ websites. As I’m sure you’re aware, finding and analyzing links is only the beginning. To truly improve the performance of your website, you need to make your competitors’ links work for you.
Doing a basic search you can come across many different blogs and articles that provide mischievous methods for benefiting from competitors’ backlinks. Some may prove effective and others may be complete duds. When it comes to link building for your website, there are a few universal truths.
When it comes to links, quality will always triumph over quantity. If you see a long list of spammy backlinks on your competitors’ websites, stay away. This usually translates to a poor domain authority and even poorer page rank. To get the most out of these links, look for ones from credible sources.
Maybe your competitor published a blog recently and another author cited the article in a trade publication or on a local news outlet. Links like these are quite valuable in the right hands and can boost your page rank. Another example could be product reviews.
If your competitor just released one of their latest products and a critic is giving great reviews, you may want to reach out the next time one of your products reaches the market. In-bound links from industry bloggers and critics are another great way to create genuine links to your site.
In the ever-changing world of SEO few things have remained constant. From building quality links to optimizing your website, professionals around the world have spent countless hours researching the best ways to climb the ranks of search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Whether you choose to use your competitors’ backlinks for improving your website or keeping up with the latest industry trends, keeping a watchful eye is always a great idea. We’ve seen companies rise and fall in organic rankings and realized the benefits of educated link building are almost invaluable.
Are you looking to improve the rank of your website? Think VIG!