When you’re searching for ways to make your search rankings more competitive, you need to consider the two main factors that search engines give a lot of attention to; site content and backlinks. In this article, we’ll dive into backlinks and methods that help you to gain these links for yourself. 

What is link-building?

Link-building, in its purest form, is nothing short of genius. It can also be vital to the success of your website. Link building describes all of the actions we undertake to increase the number and quality of inbound links to any one particular webpage. This in turn, should steadily increase the search engine rankings of that particular page or website as well as add increased interest for visitors to your site. Successful link building requires excellent communication and creativity as you will need to approach other websites for their permission to link from their page to yours. Search engines love link building, but you must ensure that the sites your link to are good quality, and in some way relevant to your own website.

Isn’t link building obsolete?

It isn’t. Link building is still live and kicking. It still remains one of the most important factors when it comes to improving our organic search rankings. According to a report by Moz, some of the most crucial factors that Google uses to influence and rank websites are actually in direct correlation with backlinks. Unfortunately, there are still many businesses out there who pay extortionate amounts of money for backlink services who in return provides them with high volumes of, albeit low-quality, backlinks.

How else can link building help?

Some of us may already know that backlinks play a pivotal part in our SERPS positions and our SEO efforts. However backlinks also have benefits that aren’t necessarily related to organic rankings.

For example:

  • Referral websites – Backlinks are able to reap in traffic from these websites. Often they will be hyper targeted and are valuable to your website.
  • Branding – The more your audience sees your brand being associated with certain keywords, you’ll be able to help them familiarise your brand with those keywords and help to establish yourself as being an expert in a particular field or industry. The more they see your authority and presence in a field or industry, the more likely they’ll trust you.

It’s quite disheartening to learn that there are many companies and industries that neglect the importance of link building strategies and fail to utilise them.

Which backlinks should I look for?

There are numerous answers to this question however the most effective, and quite often ignored, are competitor backlinks. Competitor backlinks are the backlinks of rival websites, which if analysed and used properly, could help you develop your own site’s backlinks.

Competitor Backlinks

Here are questions you should ask yourself to assist your backlinking efforts:

1. Who are my organic competitors?

In regards to SEO, it’s often assumed that your competitors are already dominated by huge, established brands in the industry, but that can be misleading.

Picture this.

Imagine a keyword like “fast food”, the companies that come to mind probably included the likes of McDonalds, Burger King, or KFC, all of which are established, giant corporations. However, if you head over to Google and search for this keyword, you’ll most likely find that they aren’t necessarily listed on the first page.

The take away from this is essentially understanding who your SEO competitors are, not the biggest players in the field.

2. What backlinks do my SEO competitors have?

For this walkthrough, we’re going to find competitor backlinks by using SEO SpyGlass by Powersuite.

  • Open SEO SpyGlass
  • Click new project and insert your the URL of your website
  • Click Link Explorer and then next
  • Choose the total number of backlinks
  • After the assessment you’ll be presented with the data

3. Which websites will link to my website?

Using the same software, you’re able to identify domains that could potentially link to your website. This can be achieved by establishing which domains are giving your rivals their competitor backlinks.

  • In Domain Comparison, find the Link Intersection option.
  • After the assessment and collection of backlinks, you’ll be presented with the data.
  • Sift out the websites that link to your competitors (these are likely to link to you). Do this by choosing Potential backlink domains under the Help tab.

4. So I’ve found potential, how do I get in touch?

Great, you have yourself a list of potential websites that may link back to your site, but how do you find contact information like an email? Your results may have brought up a wealth of data which can be challenging to sift through. By using the LinkAssist software for this example, here’s a convenient method you can utilise to save time:

  • Open a new project
  • Under Prospects, click Add
  • Head back to the backlink domains you collected; copy and paste them into the space provided.
  • Untick Add these URLs as your current backlinks and hit Next
  • The software will collect the email address for the individual domains (if available).

We’re here to help

The steps in this article will have hopefully given you more clarity in competitive and competitor backlinks. Understanding who your actual competitors are, which domains are linking to their sites, and how you can take advantage of this by learning which domains are likely to link back to yours.

Getting backlinks starts with hosting high-quality content people will want to link to, and this is where we come in. Give our experts at The Content Works a call on 0207 305 55 99 to have a chat about how we can make your website the best that it can be.

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  • Shashank Sagar

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