How can you improve your backlink profile?
There are countless ways to get backlinks to your site.
What if you were told that you can piggyback on your competitors’ backlinks to build your own?
Yes, you can do so using white hat tricks, too. There’s nothing black hat about it.
Would you like to know more?
Keep reading for the top tips to use your competitors’ backlinks to build a solid foundation.
Quality Backlinks Are Not Dead
As an SEO pro, you have heard that backlinks are important. Notice that the heading to this section says quality backlinks. It used to be that backlinks were important, and it didn’t matter where they came from.
Web developers would buy links from anywhere and they’d boost their rankings. Google caught on to this tactic, and in an effort to provide quality search results for their users, they drastically changed the algorithm.
A backlink profile is still one of the top factors in rankings, but instead of focusing on the sheer number of links, webmasters need to focus on obtaining links from sites that have a high Domain Authority.
You can start building your backlink profile from websites that have a high domain authority by analyzing your competitors and use their backlinks as a starting point to build your own.
Know Your Competitors
The first step in building your backlink profile is to know who your competitors are. There are a couple of ways to do that.
The first is to go to SEMRush and do a search for your own domain name. You’ll then find a list of organic competitors, which you can use for SEO purposes.
The other way requires a little more research but is as every bit as effective. Think of your core product or service. Then put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
How would your customer search for your service? Use those search terms to start with and see who comes up. Those are your competitors.
If you serve a particular area, try searching from different locations, such as coffee shops in your service area. Google’s search results are also tied to the location of the user and their proximity to a businesses’ location.
This will give you an overall view of your key competitors. You can create a list of ten of your competitors. For the next steps, you’ll want to choose 1-2 competitors to start with. Otherwise, you’ll be overwhelmed by a huge list of backlinks.
As you start to gather your data, you’re going to want to keep everything on a single spreadsheet for reference.
Use the Right Research Tools
It’s time to really have some fun.
Ahrefs requires a paid account, but you can take advantage of their 14-day trial to get the information you need.
With these tools, search one of your competitor’s sites. You’ll then get a list of inbound links linking to the site.
Open Site Explorer will also give you the Domain Authority of the sites backlinking to the competitor’s site. These are the sites you want to start to focus on.
Be a Backlink Copycat
Take your list of backlinks and do additional research. Just because your competitors have a bunch of backlinks doesn’t mean you should trust them.
For all you know, they could have used black hat or spammy techniques to get those backlinks and Google hasn’t penalized them…yet.
You’ll want to do a link audit on those sites. If you find sites with a high domain authority, then you’ll want to use the same exact way the
If your competitor got a backlink through a guest post on a site, submit your own guest post on the same site.
Use the Right Anchor Text
As you’re building your backlinks, the anchor text you use is just as important as the domain authority of the site.
Think of it this way, each link you get from another site is a vote for your site. As we discovered earlier, some votes are weighted more than others through Domain Authority.
What your anchor text does is tell Google what the vote is for. Let’s say that you’re creating a backlink for a health coach in Portland, Oregon. You go into a fitness forum and create a link to the health coach’s site with the anchor text being “health coach in Portland.”
That’s a relevant link, in a high-quality forum, and tells search engines that you’re essentially voting for a specific health coach in Portland.
Continue to Build Your Backlink Profile
Once you used your competitors’ backlinks to build a solid foundation, it’s time to branch out on your own to acquire more.
Even if you go about it the right way, you can have too many good backlinks. If you have too many bad backlinks, you’ll be penalized by Google’s algorithm.
For backlinks to be truly effective, the site giving the backlinks must have quality content and be relevant.
For example, if you’re trying to create a backlink for a fitness center and you’re posting a backlink in a forum about cars, it may look a little spammy. If the link doesn’t make sense to the forum readers, it won’t make sense to search engines, either.
When building your backlink profile, err on the side of caution. The best way to do that is to think from a reader’s perspective and aim to give as much value as possible. Do that, and the link building opportunities will come naturally.
Take the Guesswork Out of Building Backlinks
These tips are meant to give you a solid foundation to build your backlinks. You can take it a step further with Backlinks.com.
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