SEO Competitor Analysis - digital marketing blog

SEO Pros Guide To Outranking Competitors

Ross Crawford
Ross Crawford/August 5, 2019

For most webmasters, Link building is the equivalent to slogging away in a competitive market in the hope of winning it big someday. Well, Link Building is no walk in the park. It’s an area in the SEO landscape that demands painstaking research. However, the more time and energy you invest in enlargening your link portfolio, the further the low-hanging SEO rankings seem to drift away. The next thing you know, people grow disheartened by the lack of results and lose hope of ever reaching heights they always dreamed of. Well, don’t write off your chances just yet.

Link building is a fun game when you know what to do to get results

Backlinks continue to be the most crucial ranking factor in SEO universe. As a rule of thumb, as a webmaster, you should conduct a link audit for your website from time to time. It’s arguably the most effective way to understand the merits and demerits of your link profile. With a timely audit, you can see easily separate the wheat from the chaff and decide which links should stay and which should go. More importantly, you get chances to dive into the link portfolio and reemerge with opportunities for building links that can help you rank better.  

So, how do you spot link building opportunities for your site? What if I told you there was a hack to outrank your competitors using a link building strategy! Well, it’s high time you looked into the competitive analysis.    

When it comes to advertising, you use various user metrics like behaviour, interests and demographics to inform your marketing strategy. All this data is available, and just a click away. If you go to such great length to use the marketing data, imagine what you can achieve by performing a detailed competitive audit. Understanding the link profile of your competitors is the first step to discovering similar link building opportunities for your business. Have you ever wondered where your competitors get their high-quality links?  Wouldn’t you like to find out what it takes to acquire those links?

“Do I need to invest a lot in Link Building process?” 

If you are someone who isn’t too big on spending big, there’s good news for you. Free SEO tools like Ahref and Majestic enable you to perform competitor link analysis to a certain extent. You harness the data and turn it into your advantage.

Why should you do a competitive link analysis? 

It’s a complex process through which you can get insights into the link portfolio of your competitors. Your job as a link builder is to extract the right data and use it to find relevant websites that may like to link to your website. The best way to beat your competitors to high-quality links is by creating better web properties than theirs. This will put you in a more reliable position to ask referring domains to link to your website. Look for broken or redirected pages and reach out to the referring websites by offering them a relevant version of the page on your website. Carrying out a proper competitive link audit requires you to do some legwork on your own. Standard practices such as outreach and guest posting may not bring you success at all times, but it’s certainly worth pursuing.     

Getting started the right way 

Firstly, you need to have a clear-cut picture of what you intend to achieve with a competitive audit. Some may be looking to improve their domain authority while others may be just looking to rank for specific keywords. The first step to performing a competitive analysis is to check out the quality of inbound links. You should use tools like Majestic to find out which pages receive the most number of incoming links, their traffic flow and keyword ranking. Follow these strategies to determine what works best for your website.

Major benefits of running competitive link analysis 

SEO Audit

An effective link building analysis forms the foundation of every successful content strategy. Of course, the content used for link building may vary from industry to industry. Learn more about what your competitors’ link portfolio comprises of, and how diverse it is.  If you see that a competitor website is linking to a specific domain with some level of regularity, it will certainly want to link to it again. It might just be an indicator of the link’s availability. This will give you a better chance to exploit link building opportunities.  

Competitor link analysis will give you insight into the keyword-based competition 

A competitor link audit is your doorway to better understanding the connection between your rankings and backlinks. You can use this data to decide whether it’s worthwhile spending your time and energy on building links.    

How to build backlinks from competitive link analysis 

You can use tools like Ahrefs and Small SEO tools to pull competitor backlink profiles. It’s important that you pick a comfortable tool and transfer the downloaded backlink data to CSV. You may want to focus on popular local business and find out how its backlink portfolio differs from its competitors. The data collected from this link analysis should present you with a good springboard for building your own backlinks. Collect all types of information including the anchor text, indexation status and URL parameters. Using the tool filter you categorize the data based on metrics such as backlink volume and referring domains.

In the SEO universe, not all links are created equal

You must figure out the right strategy to publish similar content that works well for a competitor’s link portfolio. With a solid link analysis, you can find a set of specific URLs that generate considerably more inbound links. This is where you can delve deep into landing pages and see what type of value they produce. On a closer examination, you will see that most of these pages carry greater rankings and share worthiness. 

Collaborate with your content team to conceive of powerful content that will have users prefer your website over competitors’. 

Keep these general guidelines in mind while developing content: 

  •   Creating lengthier pieces of content that positions you as a better authority
  •   Translate well-researched content into infographics 
  •   Repurpose content and link to an authoritative source.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for linking opportunities 

It’s one thing to create content but a whole different thing to promote it among the right people. So after you have prepared the content, you should shift your attention to manual outreach. When you reach out to someone, you should not appear too imposing. For instance, the purpose of your email should be to inform the receiver about how their website is pointing to a broken link. Diplomatically explain to them how such practices may ruin the user experience and in turn adversely affect the website rankings. Remember, the success rate of your email outreach will solely depend on how persuasive you are with the copy. It’s important not to be disheartened by the lack of success of your campaigns.  

Let’s get one thing straight, most webmasters today are damn hard to please. Offering your material at cheaper rates or in higher volume is just not going to pass the muster. So let’s look at some ideas that could get webmasters interested in the content you offer. 

  •   Authoritatively elaborating on an article featured competitor’s site
  •   Demonstrating how your piece contains more relevant and recent details
  •   Include in your article quotes and citations of industry leaders  

Once you sent out emails, it’s time to close your fingers and look forward to hearing good news. Be that as it may, if you don’t get a response in the next two weeks, you should make a point of following up. 

Promoting content and outranking your competitors 

Use any of your favourite SEO tool to perform a comprehensive content audit. Segregate your competitor’s data based on factors like backlink profile and number of shares. This is perhaps the best way to understand what kind of content resonates with the audience, thus allowing you to identify the keywords and content you should optimize. You can essentially determine the rankability of certain pages by monitoring the quality of the backlink profile and engagement level. Buzzsumo is a wonderful little tool that allows you to find out the number of shares earned by competitors. It also helps learn the dos and don’ts for your content creation. Nine times out of ten, the keywords on these backlink profiles have probably outranked yours on every platform imaginable. 

Type in the best-ranking keywords and look for their backlink sources. Create backlink profiles comprising of the highest quality pages, and filter out from them the most authoritative backlinks based on ‘one link per domain rule’. Take that extra step and explore guest posting opportunities by reaching out to collaborate with industry experts.  

A competitive link audit will equip you with all the right resources to earn high-quality links on your own. Ideally, your next step should be to develop a huge content resource that will help you earn high-quality backlinks. 

As you explore the innumerable possibilities associated with competitive link analysis and marketing, it’s only natural for you to seek professional guidance. Reach out to Link building experts at Mr Digital to take your business to the next level.  


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