Of course, the world’s search giant keeps telling us that its major algorithms are primarily focused on high-quality content that delivers real value to the user. No doubts, the content is still the king. Nevertheless, organic link profile of every website remains the second most important ranking factor for Google. That’s why no need to say that quality backlinks are among the core components of the modern concept of Search Engine Optimization. I mean acting wrong with your backlink profile can not only fail to deliver any measurable gains but might as well hurt your current ranking progress. Moreover, if Google suspects your website or blog in cheating, it may even come to extremes when everything ends up with deindexing from the search results once and forever (otherwise, a permanent ban on search). That’s why analyzing competitor backlinks - with their most promising gains and severe missteps - would be a well-formed decision you need to run the safest link building strategy possible. And I’m going to show you how to analyze your competitor backlinks. So, below are three simple steps to run a proper research and make the most out of your market rivals.
Identify Your Niche Opponents
Before researching any competitor backlinks, you will need to identify the most successful websites owned by the close opponents in the market niche, or your main sphere of industry. And the task is actually much more manageable, that you might think. As for me, I used to act proactively and studied wins and failures of my rivals in advance. Ideally, identifying your market opponents should be done long before your website or blog goes live. Anyway, now it’s high time you proceeded with running a comprehensive competitive analysis to use the best competitor backlinks for your own advantage. Don’t know where to start? I recommend using Serpstat, a free online tool that helped me a lot with understanding my main niche opponents. Putting it in plain English, you can use this tool to find the websites of your more successful rivals. Considering the number of keywords, the average size of the site, and the fact that it ranks well, you will understand where to start.
Know Your Main Targets
Most commonly, PA (page authority), DA (domain authority), as well as PR (page rank) are the main properties of every website’s backlink profile. Apparently, your aim is to have the highest score namely on these three metrics. That way, you should also know the following data - the number of your competitor backlinks at scale (with referring pages and domains), and the big picture of anchor texts optimized for SEO (their number, distribution, and diversity of the keywords, branding, and the rest of critical properties).
Analyze Your Competitor Backlinks
Of course, there is no universal formula for success. Nevertheless, using analytical tools to get the in-depth understanding of your competitor backlinks is probably the best way to stay out of the market competition. So, you will need a competitive analysis for each website with a worthy link profile found on the top of the relevant search. That way, I recommend trying one of the following backlink analysis tools - Open Site Explorer (Moz), Semalt Analyzer, Screaming Frog, or Ahrefs - I tried them all. As for me, however, the main set of their functions is fully comparable, even despite several tailored features and a couple of advanced filters provided by Analyzer (Semalt) and Open Site Explorer (Moz). So, it’s only up to you to decide which one you’re going to try first. Once you grabbed the right insight, all you need is to replicate the most powerful backlinks of your opponents, or at least get a complete understanding of link building process in your niche.