Replicate Competitors’ Backlinks
This tactic is nothing more than adopting and replicating the same link-building strategy as competitors who are winning in the world of link building. We offer an in-depth guide on
reverse engineering competitors’ backlinks, but we’ll get into the basics here.
Start by navigating to the Backlink Gap tool and entering your domain and at least one of your competitors’ domains.
In the below example, you’ll see arrows pointing at the number of backlinks for competitor sites you aren’t getting backlinks from. Click the arrow to find specific sites.
If you find opportunities to pursue, click the blue “Start Outreach” button to add your findings to the
Link Building tool.
If you can analyze what a competitor is doing well with their link-building strategy, then you can use that same strategy to your advantage. You can also improve their strategy by filling in missed opportunities for acquiring backlinks.
Looking at competitors’ strategies may also help you discover how content similar to yours is performing in your niche market.
While it’s important to search for new link-building opportunities, it can also be helpful to keep an eye out for previous backlinks you earned but lost.
Head to the Backlink Analytics tool and click on the Backlinks report.
Select “Lost” above the list of backlinks and view the results. You can view the site you lost the backlink from as well as when you first received the link and when you lost it.
Keep in mind that sometimes you lose links because the page that linked to you was removed.
If the backlink was lost to page rewrites, you can politely
reach out and suggest a spot in the content where they can place the link. Bonus points if you’ve recently updated the page with new information, as this can make the request more compelling.
There are plenty more link-building strategies to pursue, and we encourage you to try a few! We surveyed 850
SEO experts, and below you can see what they thought were the most effective ways to gain backlinks.
We surveyed 850 SEO professionals, and here’s what they think are the best link-building strategies.
How Do You Know If a Link Is a Good Link?
1.88 billion websites existing on the internet, and over 25 billion indexed web pages, there are seemingly infinite links in existence.
So how can you tell the difference between a good link and a bad link?
There are five ways you will be able to tell whether the link is a good link or not.
Links should come from websites with content closely related to your own website’s topic. This helps to ensure you are building the right links.
prospecting for link opportunities, get into the mindset by asking whether you would still pursue it if Google didn’t exist or use links as part of its algorithm.
If the answer is yes, this usually means it is from a topically related
website where your audience hangs out online. If you would answer no, it is a good indication that the link isn’t relevant to your business.
There are several ways to check the trustworthiness of a
website when auditing the quality of a backlink, including:
The lifespan of the site
If the URL contains a secure socket layer (SSL)
Social media activity If a
website is biased The amount of traffic that reaches the site each month
Usually, if the site has been around a long time, generates a healthy amount of traffic each month, is active on
social media, and has elements that indicate it’s a secure site, this is likely a good link.
Where you place your
links is important as well as it can directly influence the visibility and performance of the link itself.
The best placements for
links are in the upper body of your content.
Users are more likely to see
links at the top of the page when they first land as opposed to the footer, which they may or may not reach. Try to avoid placing links in sidebars, the lower body of content, and the footer.
Authority score helps to measure how impactful a website or a domain’s links are. In most cases, the higher the weightage of your website’s Authority Score, the more trusted your domain is presumed to be.
The closer your score is to 100, on a scale of 1 to 100, the better it is. Link impact as your
domain continues to grow is also based on the niche of your site.
You can check your
website’s Authority Score with the Backlink Analytics tool. In addition, you can see the scores of referring domains to see how beneficial these links are to your website.
Anchor text is the text used to link from one page to another.
anchor text is used to help give readers context to a specific page or site, Google’s algorithm utilizes anchor text to indicate what a page is about and, therefore, can help to influence rankings.
Google’s guidelines state optimized anchor text (with main target keywords or commercial terms) violates their guidelines, and excessive use is a known contributor towards manual actions being applied.
profile should contain a natural mix, with no apparent spike of links using optimized anchor text.
What Link Building Tactics Should I Avoid?
We’re all here to please
Google’s algorithm so we can claim the top spot in the SERPs. Unfortunately, some tactics that afford you quick wins may seem nice at first, but they could negatively impact your site in the long run.
Here are some of the things you should avoid doing when
Buying Links Can Backfire
Despite being a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and a tactic that is defined as a link scheme, paid link building is still relatively common because it guarantees results (at first).
Earning links is hard work, and there is no denying that. Even manual link building and the wealth of quick-win tactics available still require effort to see results.
These kinds of
links are considered toxic backlinks, and it’s best to avoid actively pursuing these.
These days, you don’t have to worry as much if you have unwanted backlinks pointing toward your site so long as you didn’t actually participate in a link-building scheme.
However, you can use the
Backlink Audit tool to keep an eye on any toxic backlinks pointing your way and even look at individual toxic markers that contribute to a link’s overall possible toxicity.
Some things to remember:
In the opinion of many, using paid
links is lazy link building Paid link-building manipulates
Google’s algorithm and is a low effort yet extremely high-risk tactic Most paid-for
links end up coming from sites that are not topically aligned, that have a high count of outbound links and are generally low quality Aside from this risk, don’t forget that if you can buy
links, so can your competitors
There are, of course, a couple of exceptions to the rules:
links to support your SEO strategy isn’t the primary focus, paid link building can be used When you are either looking to land referral traffic or build your brand authority. This could include you sponsored placements and ads on trusted, relevant sites. And if this is the case, you should
always use a rel=“nofollow” or rel=“sponsored” attribute in place to prevent a negative impact on your search rankings.
As a general rule, using paid
links purely to help increase your rankings should be a no-go.
If you resort to risky tactics, you risk having toxic
links in your backlink profile that could get you a Google penalty and negatively affect your rankings.
It’s not unusual for it to take months, or even years, to recover from a penalty, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
success of a link-building campaign depends on the goals of your campaign. It’s important to understand the metrics that should be considered when setting these goals.
It’s not a great idea to focus on the raw numbers of
links built as you will find that this sacrifices quality. And, you need to be using competitor insights to determine the link gap between you and others and make sure you are building the correct links that increase your rankings.
But when looking at
metrics, you want to consider using one or more of the following:
This Semrush metric grades the overall Authority Score: quality of a website, which can help you determine how impactful a backlink from a site can be. If a site has a lower authority score, it probably won’t be that beneficial.
The ratio of It’s normal to see a mix of different types of Follow to Nofollow Links: links in your backlink profile, but generally the more follow links you have the better. Follow link are a signal to Google to pass authority to your site.
Topical Relevance: Are your backlinks from sources closely related to your business? If you have backlinks from sites that have no relation to your business, this backlink may not carry as much weight (particularly if it’s a spammy link).
Unique Referring Domains: Getting backlinks from a variety of high- quality sites is better than getting multiple backlinks from just one domain, even if that domain is also high- quality.
Toxic If you have any backlinks marked as “toxic” in Semrush, there’s no need to fret—Goole is smart enough to ignore these so long as you didn’t participate in a Links: link building scheme. However, these links won’t pass any weight.
You may also want to consider goals such as brand exposure,
links, and placements on certain publications, referral traffic, and more. It is all about measuring those things that matter to you as a business.
So you know what to do and what not to do when it comes to
link building. Now all you need are the tools. Fortunately, Semrush has four powerful tools to help you build a healthy link-building strategy.
Those four tools are:
helps you quickly evaluate a backlink Backlink Analytics: profile, track any domain’s backlinks, and gives insights into a competitor’s current strategies
allows you to examine your backlink Backlink Audit: profile’s current health and status and any place where toxic backlinks might be present
helps explore backlink opportunities, learn about the Link Building Tool: website connected to the backlink opportunity, and track the progress of the link
lets you upload up to 200 URLs from various competitors so you can find more chances to Bulk Analysis: build links
You can learn more about these features by visiting our
link-building toolkit page. Conclusion
Like any other aspect of
SEO, you will need to put in the work consistently. While link building feels like more effort is required than most SEO strategies, it will be rewarding in the end and last for the long term.
With enough persistence in implementing your link-building tactics, over time, your
website may improve so much that you won’t need to work as hard for links. Instead, you can focus on developing great content that other websites and brands will want to link to.