Off-site or off-page optimization is a crucial process in search engine optimization that does everything to boost your website via actions outside of the actual website. Through the help of link-building with backlinks on other high-traffic websites, your business will gain traction from readers. The most notable method of using backlinks is through guest posting on websites that offer that opportunity. Most importantly, on websites that are in the same niche as what your business represents and with high traffic rates to ensure the link isn’t merely there for show. Off-site optimization requires consistent work to notice results, but it doesn’t hurt to do it tactfully as well. Competitor backlink analysis is an optimal way to open paths to new, prospective websites to acquire backlinks on if you’re running out of good choices. Let’s dive deeper into what this exactly entails and how it can be of immense value to your SEO strategy.
What Is Competitor Backlink Analysis?
Thorough research is the first step in any effective SEO task at hand and competitor backlink analysis is a type of research that you shouldn’t be leaving out. But what exactly is competitor backlink analysis? It involves investigating what websites and platforms your competitors are using for link building to generate leads. Let’s highlight a few of the benefits of doing competitor backlink analysis:
- It’s a helpful process not only for first starting outreach activities but when you’re starting to run out of optimal prospects to apply to. You’ll gain insight into new websites and platforms that your competitors are utilizing that you may have not seen before or brushed over in the past.
- You’ll gain a better understanding about the off-site link building strategies that your competitors are making use of, which in its turn will give you a better idea of what you can do to improve.
- You’ll gain knowledge of keywords that are worth targeting that you may have not considered for your niche/industry.
How To Do Competitor Analysis
Now that we’ve pinpointed what is competitor backlink analysis and how it can immensely benefit your SEO strategy, let’s understand how it can be executed. The most efficient approach to find your competitors’ backlinks is via a competitor backlink analysis tool. It can be found in reputable SEO online tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush. For the sake of simplicity, let’s briefly look at how this process generally looks like:
- Compile a list of URLs of your competitors.
- Find an SEO tool that has a backlink checker. Paid tools may offer more accurate and extensive data for you to work with, along with supporting a great number of backlinks with one query.
- Look at the spreadsheet of backlinks exported from the tool that currently link back to your competitors’ websites.
- From this point onwards, the analysis may be simpler if you have a premium SEO tool that will automatically point out no-follow links and others from the export that are worth filtering out. If not, you will have to go through them manually and distinguish your prospects.
There is also a way to do competitor backlink analysis to an extent without a paid tool. You can merely type the keywords you want to target in the search engine and investigate what pops up. What are the websites that come up? And, most importantly, what businesses have backlinks on these websites? It is not an entirely accurate approach since you may end up with results of overall competitors instead of targeting local competitors, but it will give you some backlink insight if you don’t have the resources for a dedicated tool.
Filter Relevant Competitor Backlinks
Not all backlinks are a gold mine, as you would know if you have a firm grasp of search engine optimization. That’s why it’s important to make a list of all the backlinks you extracted from the analysis and take a deeper look into each one before actually pursuing activities on the links. Here are a few of the most important points to consider during this process:
- Niche — if the niche/industry of the backlink opportunity does not align with your own, it’s not the best idea to invest time or resources in getting a backlink there. Do a cost-benefit analysis to determine how valuable that link actually is to your competitor and therefore yourself.
- Domain authority — Take domain authority into consideration because the higher it is, the more value it has for you. High authority domains are websites that have a large number of backlinks, high-quality content, and a positive user experience, and hence pass more authority through their connections. That’s the type of backlink opportunity you want to aim for.
- dofollow/nofollow links — Nofollow links aren’t entirely useless, but they don’t benefit your rankings. It’s fine to have nofollow links, but don’t waste your time trying to gain more of them through competitor analysis.
Begin Utilizing Backlinks for Outreach
Now that you have extracted the worthy backlinks through investigation, it’s time to start incorporating them into your workflow. You can kickstart your usual process of looking into the requirements for securing a backlink in the given websites, the context in which your backlink will be tied to (blog, listicle, footer,etc.), along with the submission requirements of the website. Then, you’ll be able to create and submit the content with an email template that corresponds to their requirements. Once you’ve utilized all of the backlink opportunities, you can conduct another competitor backlink analysis a few months later to see if anything new pops up.