Competitor backlinking is an SEO strategy that involves analyzing the backlinks of your competitor’s websites within a vertical search. The result of this activity is aimed to increase organic search engine rankings and increase an understanding of the link-building strategies used by business competitors. By analyzing the backlinks of the competitor websites, it is possible to gain insight into the number of links and the quality of links required for high ranking in SERPs.
Types of Competitors:
They include those websites that compete with you in the SERPs, on the whole. They publish content in the same niche as yours and compete with your site for a variety of different keywords.
You can use Ahrefs to find your domain-level competitors, for example in the below screenshot we have checked the competing domains of Marketing Lad.
Our most significant competitors are linkbuilder.io, outreachmonks.com, backlinkboss.com etc in SERPs.
You can export this data to Google Sheets and make a note of the five most-significant competitors on Google Sheets.
These sites compete with you on a page level for a particular topic or keyword and are not your competitors on the whole.
For example, we have a post called,’’ SEMSCOOP REVIEW: A KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL IN 2022’’, which targets keywords like ‘’SEMScoop Review’’.
As you can see from the above screenshot, bloggingforge.com isn’t a domain-wide competitor, they still compete with us for this term. Their SEMScoop review ranks in the top 10 above us!
How to find page-level competitors?
Pick a page or a post on your website and paste it into the Keyword Explorer of Ahrefs. Then scroll down to check the SERP overview for ‘’SEMScoop Review’’.
All of the above are page-level competitors, sometimes there is an overlap between domain-level and page-level competitors.
Steps to find Competitor Backlinks:
Find your main keywords:
The first step in finding the backlinks of your competitors is to determine the particular keywords that contribute to your website’s search visibility. For that, you need to use advanced keyword research tools like SpyFu, SE Ranking, Ahrefs, Moz and SEMrush. For example, you can enter your competitor’s domain in Site Explorer of Ahrefs and you will get the amount of search traffic for each keyword, your position in SERPs, those particular keywords that are driving traffic to your site, etc as shown in the below screenshot.
Find your primary competitors:
In order to find out your main competitors you can follow the below steps:
- You can start by doing a ‘related’ search on Google. In this way, you will get a list of websites that have topics related to yours.
related:[your URL website]
For example, the search query for youtube.com would look something like the below screenshot.
Another way to find your competitors is to use Ahrefs.
You can discover thousands of link opportunities by researching your competitor’s homepage links.
Go to Site Explorer→Backlink profile→Anchors
Most of the links use branded anchors because users tend to link to home pages when making a general mention of a brand rather than something more specific. In this way, you can analyze your competitor’s homepage links that will tell you where they are getting mentioned.
For instance, linkbuilder.io is one of our domain-level competitors and has been mentioned on 600+ websites.
Now, the question is ‘’Why did they mention them (linkbuilder.io) but not us (marketinglad.in)?
Let’s find out!
Enter one of your domain-level competitors into Site Explorer, go to Backlinks report, and add a dofollow filter. You will get a list of all the backlinks pointing to your competitor’s homepage.
You can usually figure out the reason by quickly looking at anchor text, surrounding link text, and the page title. By analyzing your competitor’s backlinks you can get to know the DR of their website, the number of referring domains, the number of backlinks, the URL rating of the referral pages, the top backlinks, anchor text, and web pages.
Assessing the URLs of page-level competitors:
In this step, you don’t have to perform backlink analysis on the entire website but you need to audit only one URL at one time. You need to click on the ‘’Exact URL’’ option as shown below.
It restricts the backlink analysis to a specific URL. You can use any backlink analysis tool to check the competitor backlinks.
We have given some of the ways by which you can find competitor backlinks. You can use any backlink checker like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, etc and you can analyze each backlink carefully and build a strong link-building strategy to improve your position in SERPs.
P.S: Read our Question Answer Blog here!
Shahid Shahmiri is a digital marketer who helps online businesses grow with smart marketing tactics to improve sales and leads. He is passionate and driven to grow businesses online and is responsible for analyzing marketing, SEO, growth and managing promotional and media channels.