Alex Petrovic, Advanced SEO strategist – Dejan SEO company
Main activity – Link building team leader.
Personal twitter account: http://twitter.com/Alex_DejanSEO
Company twitter account: http://twitter.com/dejanseo
Acquiring competitor backlinks should be one of the top priorities in your search engine optimisation campaign. One-way backlinks are one of the major factors in determining your search engine ranking.
The backlinks that your competitors currently have may hold clues as to who you can contact for backlinks. Even if those particular competitor backlinks do not give you direct dofollow links, they still provide valuable insight as to what types of links your business will need in order to do well in the search engines.
How to Find Competitor Backlinks
A simple search of backlinks using any number of free available tools can easily show you the backlinks of your competitors. The problem is that many of these links are unique to your competitor, and may include clients, or some other personal relationship that may be difficult for you to break into.
The secret to finding competitor backlinks that are relevant and have value for your company is to study the trends of the top ranking backlinks of many of your competitors. Chances are that if a backlink appears on many of your competitor’s lists, then it is a backlink that you should and can also have.
You can simply perform a background check on the top URLs that show up for your target keyword. You can then export these results into a spreadsheet of your choice in order to sort and do some trendspotting.
Some advanced operators in Google also have the ability to give you this type of backlink research. However, the secret is, not simply to copy your competitors, but to do better than they have.
When you search for backlinks using Google, try searching for the keywords for which your competitors were trying to get ranked, and the ones in which they actually did. This “spread” represents where you can step in and get ranked higher for valued keywords.
Analyzing Link Priorities
As stated before, you want to go for the backlinks that show up in a number of your competitor’s profiles.
The first step is to really analyze and hone the keywords that you need for your business. This may best be done by a carefully monitored PPC campaign.
After this, your top priority should be to analyze the newest tactics that have worked. Therefore, hone in on your youngest, yet most recently successful competitor. Their tactics are the most likely to still be valid.
After this, hone in on the aforementioned “spread” between the on page and off page keyword targeting that your competition is doing. If your competition is not ranking highly for a keyword that is relevant to your business, and they obviously wanted to, this is your opportunity and should be your top priority for keyword competition.
Acquiring Competitor Backlinks
Once you have analyzed the backlinks of your competitors, it is time to start grabbing some.
The first and easiest method is simply to analyze the broken link pages that your competitors still have up. This may be a disgruntled client or a broken relationship upon which you can capitalize. Check all of the 404 pages on the web sites of your competitors.
Check your competitor’s web sites with old links that are broken. If they are going to advertise their past relationships, it is worth it for you to explore.
The Bottom Line
Proper backlink research and execution requires adding something to what your competitor has done. If you simply copy what they do, you not be able to top them. Your content, your relationship building, and your research should allow you to leapfrog your competitors and create an even stronger backlink web.
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