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What Is Competitor Backlink Analysis?

Link building is one of the most important parts of SEO. It is actually one of the top factors considered by search engines when determining your website’s ranking. One of the first steps in either developing your own link-building strategy or determining what is required to achieve your competitors’ organic research is competitor backlink analysis.

What Is Competitor Backlink Analysis?

Competitor backlink analysis is a link-building process of finding the websites that link to your competitor’s websites. If you look at the backlink profiles of your competitors, you can get insights into their backlink strategy and use the data gleaned to develop your own effective link-building strategy.

Why Is Competitor Backlink Analysis Important?

Competitor backlink analysis helps you to:

  • Identify Link building Strategies Used by Competitors: This is where you review your competitor’s websites to find out what they are doing differently, and you will eventually come up with new strategies to implement on your own website.
  • Find Your Competitors’ Most Important Backlinks: You will also identify the backlinks that help your competitors rank well in your niche. Ideally, look at the quality and number of websites linking to your competitors.
  • Identify Ways to Replicate Your Competitors’ Backlinks: If you analyse your competitors’ backlink profile that makes them rank well, you will identify which backlinks to replicate and how to find backlink opportunities on the same websites.

Tools Used for Competitor Backlink Analysis

It is virtually impossible to do comprehensive competitor backlink analysis without using advanced tools. They help automate collecting the data required to identify your top competitors, their best backlinks, and the links they have that you might currently not have. 

Here are the top 3 tools used for competitor backlink analysis:

  1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is perhaps the best tool for competitor backlink analysis. The tool allows you to view all your competitor’s backlinks in one dashboard courtesy of the Ahrefs Site Explorer. You can then export those backlinks in a CSV file to form the foundation of your own strategy. Ahrefs offers a $7 trial that gives you full and complete access to the tool for 1 week.

  1. SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the best Ahrefs tool alternatives for competitor backlink analysis. It provides you with competitor backlink data that can be filtered based on the criteria you set. SEMrush also has a free trial that gives you access to this powerful tool with relevant data sources and an easy-to-use interface, but the data it provides is limited.

  1. Majestic

Majestic completes our list of the best competitor backlink analysis tools. It is famous for its Flow Metrics score that helps you identify the most authoritative domains based on their Trust and Citation Flows. The Link Context feature also identifies each type of link it finds. From there, you choose which type of backlink to pursue first for your own link-building campaign.

What Is Competitor Backlink Analysis?

How to Perform Competitor Backlink Analysis

To effectively perform competitor backlink analysis, you should follow the 7 steps below:

1). Identify the Websites You Want to Analyse

Competitor backlink analysis obviously focuses on your competitors’ websites, but it is important to first narrow down the websites that you would like to review. Ideally, you should pick websites that offer similar products and/or services and currently outrank you for your target keywords.

2). Pick an Auditing Tool

You always have the option of doing competitor backlink analysis manually, but it is always more efficient to use a tool designed specifically for this. The 3 tools featured above, i.e. Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEMrush are all good options for this.

3). Overview

Once you have purchased and opened your auditing tool, it is now time to start the analysis. At this stage, you want to try and get a bird’s-eye view of how you compare to your competitors when it comes to backlinks. You should take note of the backlink quality and the number of referring domains.

4). Find the Differences

Now that you are done with the overview, you should find out what your competitors are doing that you are not. To do that, you need to use a detailed comparison tool in the auditing tool that you have chosen to use.

5). Evaluate Competitor Backlinks

If you are using a tool that automatically evaluates your competitors’ backlinks as part of the comparison process, you can skip to the next section. If that isn’t the case, you should use the following criteria to find your competitors’ best backlinks manually:

  • Backlink Quality
  • Backlink Relevance
  • Backlink Placement

Go through your competitors’ backlinks one by one, assessing them based on the 3 metrics outlined above. You should then come up with a list of 5 to 10 promising prospects that you can start out with.

6). Diving into the Specifics

You should now get a bit more acquainted with the list of prospects created in the previous step. As you probably already know, there are numerous varieties of backlinks. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Editorial Backlinks
  • Image Backlinks
  • Comment Backlinks
  • Profile Backlinks
  • Guest Post Backlinks

Obviously, there are too many varieties to list all of them here. So, run through your list and take note of the strategy you believe was used by your competitors to acquire each of those backlinks.

7). Replicate

Finally, you should start replicating the backlinks from your list using the same strategy that you have determined your competitor used. It is practically impossible to replicate every single backlink, but any success you have will have a positive impact on your website’s SEO and organic traffic.

Final Thoughts

Competitor backlink analysis should always be one of your go-to tactics if you are looking for a reliable way to improve your website’s SEO. If you take a closer look at your competitors’ best backlinks, you will gain valuable insights into the strategies they use so you can replicate their successes.

Obviously, competitor backlink analysis takes a lot of work and you may not necessarily be up to the task. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of doing your own competitor backlink analysis, you should consider reaching out to an experienced SEO agency.

To learn how to use link building to improve your marketing efforts, please call us at ETRAFFIC today at 1300 887 151 or book a free strategy session below.



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