How would you like to use your competitors’ backlinks against them? It can be done!
You don’t need to out-spend your competitors. But you need to out-plan them. If they are outranking you today, that’s OK. They have accidentally given you the roadmap to success and shown you how to beat them.
Today, you will learn the tactics that leading link building agencies like SEOToronto.ca use every day. It’s important to know that there is nothing remotely shady or black hat about these tactics. They are all simply industry-known and proven ways to earn organic links.
This is working smart instead of working hard. But this is definitely not a trick, hack or shortcut.
1. Find Their Backlinks
The first thing you’re going to do is find all of the links pointing at your competition’s home page right now.
This is remarkably easy using a tool like ahrefs and their backlink reports. You simply need to take the time to sit down with these reports and a cup of coffee to use their success in link building to map out your own:
This report will show you domains pointing at their site, such as:
- Stories in the media/ press releases
- Events they’ve attended
- Industry directories and review sites they are listed in
- Guest blog opportunities
These are all backlinks that are currently lifting their domain above you in the rankings. Time to level the playing field!
2. Create a Target List
Now that you can see who is pointing to your competition’s domain, you have a ripe list of places that will potentially link to you.
This part requires a bit of finesse. You can’t simply spam everyone linking to your competition and say, “Hey why don’t you link to us too?” You need to be far more tactful and strategic. This is a list of opportunities—don’t waste them! And the best way to squander these leads is to reach out too aggressively.
This is why so many people hire SEO agencies and link building experts to do this part for them. It’s very time-consuming and tactical. Experienced professionals know the right way to reach out to domain owners and webmasters.
3. Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Your backlink report should show you some of the sites that have already run some guest posts for your competition.
You can also find their guest blogs if you know that your competitor has one person who authors all of their posts and they have been actively guest blogging. That could be their founder or their CEO.
Google “Author name” + inurl:author “ to find some of the sites that may have published your competitor’s guest blogs. Or, you can use Google Chrome to do a reverse image lookup of that person’s headshot.
Again, you can’t just go to these sites and say, “Hey, you let so-and-so blog here. I want to blog too.”
You need to approach them the right way.
4. Create Better Content
Do your homework. See what your competition has written about (on and off their own site). You will eventually see how you can do it better.
Maybe you have unique stats, images or insights. Maybe you can drill down even deeper into this niche, or you can simply write a funnier or more engaging piece.
At some point, you will see where you can build a better mousetrap.
5. Stay Aware of Your Own Link Profile
One thing you don’t want to do is be so link-hungry that you start saying OK to link building and guest blogging offers on questionable (spammy) sites.
Google looks at your entire link profile, the good and the bad. They will reward you for quality and organic links that you’ve earned, but they also punish you for bad links and can tell when people are just trying to manipulate things. The problem is, it’s not easy to tell what a spammy site is. It may look professional and legit enough… right?
This is why you might want to work with a proven SEO firm or link building company. They know how to find the legitimate link building opportunities and flag the ones that could set you back.
As you can see, this process is simple, but it’s definitely not easy. The work involved is the reason that the shortcut-takers don’t do it. They don’t have the time to write good content and build organic opportunities.
And that’s exactly why it can work for you.