Competitor backlink analysis is my favourite link building strategy of all time.
I have been using it for the last 10 years and it’s the only link building method that has stood the test of time.
With a simple competitor backlink analysis you can:
And then use them in your own strategy to outrank them.
Here is how to do it…
What Will I Learn?
Competitor backlink analysis is when you reverse engineer your competitors backlinks so you can replicate them for your own website. This is done to help you rank higher and drive more traffic to your website from Google.
Through this link profile analysis, you can get access to your competitor’s website performance from their number of external links and link metrics to their overall online authority – including page authority & domain authority.
A competitor backlink analysis helps you build (or improve) your strategy – the right way and allows you to:
Pretty cool, right?
Bellow, I’ll explain how to conduct this analysis to get great and fast results!
If you go to Google right now and search for your target keyword.
You’ll get on the first results page…
…The top 5x ranking sites that have all one important thing in common:
The idea of competitor backlink analysis is to-
Why waste time and money figuring out what works?
There’s already a proven link building blueprint out there waiting for you.
But to pull it off, you need a backlink analysis tool and you can get access to some incredible data without spending any money.
Before we do anything else we need to find all of the backlinks that are pointing to our competitor’s site.
Doing that is easy because we can take advantage of a number of tools that allow us to download all of our competitor’s backlink portfolio easily.
The 3x best backlink analysis tools on the market right now are:
They will return high numbers of links for every competitor website that you run through them. This is important because the more quality links you find, the more you can replicate!
Let’s take a closer look…
Ahrefs was the best tool on this list to find insight into competitors’ backlink profiles.
But in my more recent best backlink checker case study, they got absolutely blown away.
You can view all of your competitor’s backlinks (including their anchor text) in one dashboard thanks to Ahrefs Site Explorer.
You can then export them in a CSV file to form the foundation of your strategy.
Ahrefs offers a $7 trial that gives you full access to the tool for 1x week.
Even if you only use Site Explorer for the trial period, using it with the Backlink Analysis Method will be the best $7 you’ve ever spent on your link building strategy.
Bonus: Ahrefs also allows you to monitor backlinks and set up backlink alerts so you can keep track of your competitor’s new backlinks!
The free SEMRush trial gives you access to a powerful tool with a very easy to use interface and relevant data sources that you can trust.
It’s certainly the best Ahrefs alternative out there to execute a backlink profile analysis.
But don’t be fooled by the high number of links it shows for my site.
SEMRush counts every link from a domain, but Ahrefs groups them together!
Either way, they give you a ton of data.
SEMRush has a freemium version of their tool that allows you to perform 10 data searches each day and you can also take advantage of a 100% free 14 day trial I set up for my readers.
Bonus: SEMrush offers the most comprehensive backlink audit you can find on the market.
See how Semrush stands against Ahrefs in my Ahrefs vs Semrush ultimate comparison.
SEO SpyGlass is the best desktop based backlink checker tool.
Although the link count is less than the last two tools…
It still gives you a significant number to work with:
However, their database is ever-growing with currently stands at 1.6x trillion links so it’s always going to find more than a handful for you.
SEO SpyGlass comes in two versions:
- Free: you can access data for 1,000x backlinks (but can’t export them)
- Paid: you can access data for unlimited backlinks and export them
But it doesn’t have an expensive monthly subscription like other tools.
Don’t worry, I understand these tools can be expensive if you’re starting out so feel free to take a look at my free seo tools list.
Honestly, you can’t make a wrong decision here. Each tool is going to provide you with more than enough backlink data to keep you busy.
And remember, if you are on a budget you can use the free trials to grab as much data as possible for your campaign.
$99 / Month
$99.95 / Month
$31.49 / Month
Yes. $7 for 7 days.
Yes. 14 Day Trial & Freemium Model.
Yes. Freemium Model.
# Links Found
But don’t do anything just yet!
First I want to show you precisely how we are going to use this data to grow our own search traffic!
Using the tools above I’m going to show you exactly how to steal your competitor’s links.
This is the proven repeatable method I’ve been using for years.
Here’s what you need to do…
Your starting point is to get a list of the top #5 ranking URLs for your target keyword.
Select the keyword you want to target.
Then do a search in Google and make a list of the first 5x organic search results:
Your final list of URL’s should look something like this:
Head to this page to download my free competitor backlink analysis spreadsheet.
This is the intelligent sheet I have developed over the years for this specific task – you are going to love it!
Just paste the 5 links from step #1 above into column A on the first sheet-
Click on the “Click Here” links to automatically open the right report you need.
Export the data as a .CSV file.
You can export as much data as the tool will allow.
The more, the better!
Once exported, let’s put it into the tool…
Head over to tab #2 – Data in the sheet to Import each of the files you just exported.
The quickest way is to:
This is how you should do it:
Once you have loaded all the data you are ready for…
Head to Tab #3 – Plan Of Attack.
You’ll see a table of links.
These are the best competitors backlinks for you to target.
The tool has already:
That means in just a small amount of time you can put together a near-perfect link building strategy for your site.
(There’s that “keep it simple” motto in action again.)
That means it’s time to put your balaclava on and…
You have all of the actionable data you need to get started.
What you’re looking for in your Plan Of Attack tab is:
…If the link came from a blog comment, you’ll just need to write your own:
…if it was a forum post or a blog post, join the discussion and include links in relevant places:
…if it was a guest post, you’ll need to pitch your own for publication:
Take a look at each link and reverse engineer the process to figure out how to do it.
Just work through the Plan Of Attack tab and replicate each link – it really is that easy!
Stealing your competitors backlink strategies is one of the most effective ways to boost rankings and increase your traffic – including organic traffic & referral traffic.
It can save you:
By giving you an easy-to-follow blueprint that is proven to rank for your keyword.
To quickly recap:
This is the only link building strategy that has stood the test of time and it’s the first link building strategy I have applied on all of my sites for the last 10 years.
If you have any questions/thoughts about this strategy or if you need any SEO tips, please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!
Just remember… Before starting building links, make sure you have read the full link building checklist that explains all the link building process.
Next I want to introduce you to resource page link building.