Backlinks are still today the core of any sound SEO strategy. A solid backlink structure will tell Google what your website is about, increase your authority, boost your rankings, and also help you steer a lot of traffic towards your website. Experts refer to backlinks as a website’s link juice, and this metaphor is indeed quite appropriate. The links that outside sources direct toward your site are, in fact, very similar to blood vessels that “nourish” it with a constant flow of traffic and authority.
If you or your competitors start losing too many of them and forget to replace them, the website will eventually dry out. So well, yes, for obvious reasons your competitors have to struggle with their own links as well, so why not take a sneak peek on what they do and use this knowledge to your advantage?
- Check your competitors backlinks with a proper tool
Knowledge is power, right? More than you can expect, actually. Knowing a competitor’s backlink structure is the first step to use them to your full advantage. There are plenty of backlink analyzer tools available to learn what links point to your competitor’s pages, you can grab any one of them. A closer examination will tell you which pages have a better link juice, how often is he adding links, and what his strategy is. That’s useful to understand why the competitors below you are failing, and why those above you are more successful than you. Also, Google uses its own backlink analyzing tools to determine what websites are pointing to your own to determine what type of link is appropriate for your industry or niche.
- Replicate your competitors backlinks
The more you know about your competitor strategy, the more you can emulate their successful tactics, the better. If he was able to place a link in a blog, it means that blog is open to guest posts. If he snakingly hide a link in a forum, you should absolutely do the same. If he employs a given writer that works for several magazines, you can contact that writer and pay him to do the same. It is a great source of ideas, and will save you a lot of time wasted on menial tasks such as pitching articles to places where they do not fit. If you found his recurring backlinks, you may also identify the source of these links and, why not? You may also contact him or her yourself and take full advantage of the same services.
- Fix your competitors broken backlinks
Let’s put it bluntly: there’s no shame in stealing other people’s links if they’re broken because they’re useless otherwise. So go for it, check what links pointing to your competitors are broken and steal them without feeling guilty about that. The first thing you need to do is to identify broken external links in sites which are relevant to your industry (i.e. those you would really like to place a blog post into). Then, you must choose to which one of your pages these links should point to, instead. You should try to guess the most appropriate page from the anchor text and the content, but it shouldn’t be too hard.
The last step, though, is probably the trickiest. You need to reach the website owners and convince them your website is a great source and a great place where their broken link should land to. My best advice is to remind them that sites with broken links can be penalized, so you’re actually helping them. Sort of.
- Reap the benefits of a powerful affiliate
Affiliates are sites that get paid every time a consumer they drove to your website converts (such as by buying a product). They’re usually websites that write reviews about other sites or products, or sell coupons or cheap deals.It’s a great way to generate traffic and revenues, and knowing what affiliate programs your competitor is using means, once again, that you can get the same advantages.
The more you’re able to mirror a competitor website backlink structure or took advantage of his broken links, the more your chances to have something he does not have, because in the meanwhile you grabbed everything he has.