Backlinks have an essential role in improving your search engine rankings, and they are one of the top search ranking facts for Google. So when creating your website, building your business, or building your brand, it’s important to remember that the more high-quality backlinks to your website you have, the higher you will rank in Google.
Table of Contents
- What are Backlinks?
- Why Are Backlinks Important?
- Insight on you & your competitors
- What is a Competitor Backlink Analysis?
- Two Trees PPC Backlink Challenge
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks, also known as external links and inbound links, are when another website links back to your site. Link building is critical to a strong SEO strategy. Each backlink is a trigger to search engines that your website is trustworthy and valuable to readers.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Backlinks help with search engine optimization. They indicate that your site is valuable, trustworthy, and clickable. Therefore, having backlinks can positively impact your ranking on the search engine results page and boost your web traffic and conversions—websites with a higher number of backlinks rank higher on Google.
If you still need convincing on how important backlinks are to your Google ranking and SEO – here are a few statistics to keep in mind (Impact).
- 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google, mainly because they don’t have backlinks.
- 55.24% of pages don’t have a single backlink.
- Top results on Google’s first SERP have 3.8 times more backlinks than those below them.
Insight on You and Your Competitors
Have you taken the time to examine your digital strategy? Your SEO? What about your competitor’s SEO? It is so easy for us to become siloed within our business, content strategy, digital strategy and block out all the other noise.
However, the best thing you can do for your business is to stay up-to-date with what is happening in your industry and any industry trends. This includes staying up-to-date on what your competitors are doing.
Start by reflecting on your SEO strategy. Is it performing the way you want it to? Are you showing up in searches? Are you getting any traffic?
The digital space is a saturated market, and your website may not be getting the attention it deserves, so reflecting on your SEO strategy is an excellent place to start.
Next, look at your competitors – your competitors are a great educational resource. By taking the time to learn from them, you can create targeted content, an updated keyword list, and attract a more relevant audience to your website. Most importantly, you can increase search engine rankings by learning from your competitors and using that information to tweak your digital strategy.
But to research your competitors, you need to find them, and surprisingly, your SEO competitors may not be the same as your business competitors. In addition, SEO competitors are specific to search queries that you compete for, so your SEO competitors can differ from topic to topic too. Therefore, it’s essential to know what queries you are reaching for—knowing your “what” will help you properly optimize your website with purpose and intent.
This is where the first step of a competitor analysis comes in – find the competitors that you may not be aware of. First, look at the different aspects of your website. For example, if your website has other pages and business areas, you will have multiple competitors across industries. Next, look at your reporting and use those insights to find your competitors based on the keywords you are using. From there, you can visually see what they are doing that’s different, performing well, and what you can implement.
Two Trees PPC Tip #1: To find competitors, you can use Google Keyword Planner to look at a competitor’s organic keywords, top-performing content, social media activity, etc.
Two Trees PPC Tip #2: Once you narrowed down your competitor list – Turn on your Google Alerts and subscribe to your competitor newsletters. Stay educated and stay getting notified as things change in their business. This insight can give you an idea of how they promote their website and improve their SEO.
What is a Competitor Backlink Analysis?
We’ve reviewed the importance of backlinks to your SEO strategy. First, we’ve discussed how to find competitors and use Google’s Keyword Planner to learn about a competitor’s organic keywords, top-performing content, social media activity, and create a competitor analysis. Next, we need to use that information to do a competitor backlink analysis.
Backlinks are so important in an overall SEO strategy and have the potential to drive traffic, so taking time to work on your backlink strategy and create backlinks for your business can help generate growth. Not sure where to start? Or How to build backlinks? That’s where your competitor backlink analysis comes in.
A competitor backlink analysis is a method of finding backlink opportunities by taking time to learn from your competitors and understand their strategy. Instead of investing your time looking for broken backlinks, you can continue your research and continue analyzing where your competitors got their backlinks. Building backlinks can be difficult and timely, but thankfully, a competitor backlink analysis is much easier than it sounds.
There are so many tools available to help create the analysis. Once you’ve decided on a tool, find your competitor’s top links. From there, pick the best ones and go after them until your backlink profile starts to outrank your competition.
Here are a few tools you can use:
This won’t happen overnight, and you may not “win” every backlink you target, but you need to start slowly and build up a backlink profile. The goal is to make changes and build backlinks with an intentional, well-researched, plan.
Reminder: We need to build backlinks to show Google that you’re a trustworthy source and bring traffic to your website.
As you look for backlink opportunities, keep your opportunities list to about 50 – this way, you can complete and continue the process again. A competitor backlink analysis is here to help you build a digital strategy for your website. With a good backlink analysis, you can:
Track your competition in your industry.
You can see how your competitors are performing. You can also create guidelines for what you’re noticing, what you need to do, and how to change to compete with them. When it comes to digital marketing, you need to learn from the people in your industry. You and your competitors are fighting for the same thing, better ranking, being on the first page, increasing website traffic, etc. Staying on top of their business and how they’re performing can provide so much guidance for yourself and your business.
See what works and ranks in your industry.
You can see the number and quality of sites that they’re being linked to. This can help you understand why their sites are ranking how they are. If a competitor’s location appears on the first page of the SERP, you know to analyze their strategy and portfolio of backlinks to learn from it.
Find commonalities and places where you should be showing up.
They’re your competitors for a reason, there’s an instance of relatability, and that’s why we’re doing a competitive analysis. Your competitor might be showing up in places where you should be as well. Keep note of those areas. It’s possible that you both can contribute to that website – whether you discuss the same thing or you provide something different.
See what you can add to your digital strategy based on what your competitors have done.
Once you’ve identified the strategy helping your competitors rank – you can learn from that information and develop your unique strategy that pulls from theirs.
You and your competitors are in the same boat; you are looking for organic traffic. You are both looking to increase business. You’re both looking to be seen. So take time to look at how they find their backlink opportunities and get inspired by them. You don’t have to copy them or their strategy. You are your own business, brand, and individual; however, take this opportunity to learn from them and recreate it in a way that makes sense for your business and your audience.
Two Trees PPC Backlink Challenge
Today, we want to challenge you. We’ve reviewed the importance of backlinks. We reviewed how to do a competitor analysis and a competitor backlink analysis. We challenge you to take that knowledge and do the work. Strive to provide content and earn one to two backlinks a month. It’s not a race. It’s a marathon. Taking your backlink strategy one step at a time will only benefit you in the long run.
Think of backlinks like planting trees. You’re not going to get a forest by planting one (or Two Trees). Instead, you need to learn, plant your seeds monthly, and reap the rewards of consistent effort.
So, we know that doing a competitor backlink analysis can help you see where to add backlinks and what strategy to us, but how do you find those opportunities? Where do you start?
Keep scrolling for two ways to find backlink opportunities and one way to grow SEO with your existing content. It’s time to start planting those seeds:
Build Internal Links
Link yourself. Start building your internal links. An internal link is when one page from your website links to another page. By hyperlinking old related pieces of content to new articles, you’re creating a journey for your web visitors. They’re using links to navigate your site and find new (or old) content. There are a few different types of internal links, like homepage, menu, and header navigations. But we’re focusing on contextual links. Contextual links point users to related content. From an SEO perspective, internal link building allows search engines to find out what content on your site is related to, which helps it determine its value. So, internal links are a great SEO builder.
Create Link-Worthy Content & Get Your Content Seen
Content is meant to be shared, and if you’re not sharing your content, you’re missing out on backlink opportunities. Your goal in content should be to create pieces that people in your industry can use and link back to, but they need to find it first. So let the links come to you and share your content yourself. Post on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, add it to your email newsletters – work to find an opportunity to share your work.
Be a Guest Blogger
Show up in other places – start guest posting. Guest posting is a great way to get backlinks to your website. You can reach out to different websites accepting guest posts and pitch yourself. Websites accepting guest posts typically offer a contributor or “write for us” section where you can submit articles or pitches. Some websites even link your website in the bio or within the content.
Remember that not all websites accept guest blogs; save yourself some time, and do your research when you’re looking for posts.
Two Trees PPC Tip#3: When Googling guest post opportunities, search your keyword or your niche PLUS a variation of “guest post,” “guest post opportunities,” or “become a contributor.” Example: Marketing + Guest Post
Guest blogging also allows you to reach a new audience and boost your SEO simultaneously (it’s a win-win!). So start networking, creating new relationships, reaching out to popular websites, and expanding your audience.
Have you done a competitor analysis before? Have you done a competitor backlink analysis? Are you participating in our Backlink Building Challenge?
Tell us all about it. We want to hear your stories. So head over to LinkedIn and tell us all about it. Share your experiences. We want to listen to the good and bad, the messy, the mistakes, what you learned, and what you wish you knew.