Something I have learned after decades of experience in the SEO realm is that backlinks are important. In fact, they are so important that they are still considered one of the top-ranking factors in the Google algorithm.
An easy way to think of backlinks is that they're like a vote of confidence in your website from another website. You can build backlinks to your site by finding the websites that are already linking to your competition. After all, if the company is already linking to your competition, there's a good chance they will link to your site, too.
That said, here are a few steps I have discovered through the years that'll help you find your competitors' backlinks to boost your own.
1. Find Your Competition
When conducting a competitive analysis, the first step is to find your competition. There are two main competitors you can analyze:
- Traditional competitors: These businesses offer the same services and goods as you and are probably in the same local area.
- Search competitors: Websites that rank for the same keywords you have targeted in Google.
Search competitors will likely look different from traditional competitors. However, some may overlap.
Create a list of both competitor categories and their websites. You can then choose to analyze the backlink profile through a backlink checker on the page- or domain-level. Domain-level link analysis will consider the backlinks that look at an entire domain. The page-level analysis will just analyze a specific page on the website.
Find Sites Currently Linking to the Competition
An effective way to find websites linked to the competition is to use a link-intersect tool. This tool works by analyzing several competitors' backlink profiles to find sites currently linked to the competition but not the website.
The idea behind this is that if a website has linked to several competitors, there is a chance they will link to your site, too.
Engage in Ongoing Monitoring of Competitor Brand Mention
Another tip is to trace competitor brand mentions, which can help you find even more potential backlink opportunities for your site. Competitor brand mentions occur when someone mentions the company online. Tracking these mentions helps you find websites covering your competitors that you can start to target and use for coverage of your brand, too.
Along with tracking mentions of a competitor's brand name on social media, you can also set up alerts for branded services, CEOs, founders, and business name variations. This allows you to find more opportunities when the brand name has not been mentioned. I've found that the best way to do this is by using Google Alerts.
Using the tips and tools here, you can begin gaining traction and finding new backlink opportunities for your business. If your competition already has a strong backlink portfolio, there's a good chance they have already used the steps mentioned above. Now it's time for you to level the playing field.