How to Analyze Competitors with Ahrefs Backlink Checker and Linkstrategy?

How to Analyze Competitors with Ahrefs Backlink Checker and Linkstrategy?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...
Table of Contents Table of contents

 

Why are links important?

 

One of the myths that Google has been successfully disseminating among webmasters and SEO professionals in recent years is the myth of the higher relevance of page content over its link profile in the ranking formula. This misconception and its consequences have been described well by Brian Dean in one of his posts.

The truth is that backlinks are still of great importance. The more competitive a search query is, the greater importance links have compared to other factors. What gives us grounds to make such conclusions?

2 factors:

  • constant feedback from the search engines, which we receive while promoting our projects;
  • thorough evaluation of several large studies on the impact of different page parameters on its ranking in the search results.

 

Studies that confirm the importance of backlinks

 

One of the largest studies on ranking factors more than confirms the thesis about the power of backlinks. Look closely at the charts below.

 

Infographics from Ahrefs

img-border
backlinks checkerimg-close

Compare the significance of the parameters in figure one and two. None of the content factors can equal the importance of the page backlinks.

 

img-border
img-close

 

Correlation does not mean causation. However, this independent study and our own experience suggest one thing – rapid growth of the project is impossible without investing in building a link profile.

 

Link building as a separate part of SEO

 

Competition in search engine results grows naturally with the increase of the number of sites. Every new site needs to invest more and more effort into obtaining backlinks. It does not matter how good your product, service, or text is if others do not know about it. Operation in the modern market assumes that a good product, by default, has the technology to bring it to the market.

Thus, a separate sphere of SEO, namely, linkbuilding, has grown. The first creators of content on the Web placed links to each other based on the natural desire to share useful information with readers. Now linkbuilding is a serious strategy, and the site owner needs to invest a lot of time and money in its implementation.

The emergence of the concept of “networking” would be a good methaphor here. In a small settlement where everyone knows each other, mentioning other people in a conversation is a natural part of the conversation. In a big metropolis, people’s interactions are slightly different. The number of professional spheres in which people are involved is greater, the number of interactions with strangers is greater, and the competition is also higher. To effectively interact with other people, one must be able to find specialists in a particular niche and build relationships with them. Does it resemble anything? Exactly. Linkbilding – is precisely networking. And if you can easily establish contacts with people offline, then it will be much easier for you to understand how to build backlinks online.

 

Key steps for working with backlinks

 

Working on our projects, we managed to accumulate a large and successful experience with links. This experience consists of two elements:

  • The use of the right tools;
  • The use of the correct step-by-step algorithm for working with links.

 

The right tools

The first four tools are the best data sources on any website’s backlinks. The fifth is our own creation – it is the best for visualizing these data.

By combining these tools, you can undertake a quick and comprehensive analysis of the competitors’ link strategy. So, we turn to the ideal technology for working with backlinks.

 

The right technology

Each site is located within a certain market. The better you understand your niche and the patterns that work within it, the faster you can grow. If you enter the niche for the first time, you need to study its leaders. Let’s consider a step by step example of the technology that we use in our work. Here we will work out a combination of Ahrefs + Linkstrategy tools. The niche is the search suggestion tools or, on a larger scale, the keyword research tools.

 

What search queries do users use to look for your product?

If you do not yet know which sites you are competing with, try to imagine what search queries users are typing in when searching for your product / service on Google. Check out a few possible options. For us, one of the most important queries was the keyword generator.

 

Who is at the forefront of Google’s SERP for these requests?

Next, you evaluate the TOP and see which of the sites is closest to you thematically. We are currently in the first spot for this request, but we initially competed with the site keywordtool.io, which is currently occupying the second place.

img-border
how to check backlinks 1img-close

Prior to launching the promotion, we analyzed this site’s reference strategy to understand the best way to build backlinks.

 

We download site backlinks using Ahrefs backlink checker

In order to do this, we simply unload the backlinks of the competitor. In this case, to check backlinks we unload only the dofollow links.

img-border
free backlinks check 2img-close

We upload the resulting file to Linkstrategy

In the file itself, you do not need to change the format or edit it. We go to Linkstrategy and load the original file in only two clicks. After uploading, we immediately get to the screen with the visualization of backlinks in time.

 

We carefully examinee which first links were built on the domain / URL

In some niches, the first backlinks are most often built from their own resources. Understanding this, we can identify the grids of competitors’ sites. If the links are from unrelated sites, we can evaluate what type of links the competitor decided to use first – whether he immediately began ordering posts on other sites, applied blog comments, or focused on questions-answer sites.

img-border
best backlink checkerimg-close

We look to see whether there are peaks in traffic growth

In our case, there is no peaks in the organic traffic growth. But if we look at the traffic and the link profile together, we can notice an interesting nuance.

img-border
audit competitors backlinksimg-close

We look to see whether there are peaks in the growth of the link mass

On the Ahrefs report, we see 5 fairly sharp drops in the number of link pages.

img-border
img-close

Within Linkstrategy there is a very sharp surge in the growth of links in one of the weeks. When we examined the type of links, we saw that these, basically, were the links from blog platforms (mostly blogspot).

img-border
check competitotrs backlinks img-close

Such a surge is certainly not accidental. Here we need to consider two points:

  1. Objective. Why did the competitor decide to increase the number of backlinks now?
  2. Method. What method did he use – a mass installation on outsourcing, a viral post in social networks, or ordering a publication on some top site?

After comparing the Ahrefs and Linkstrategy charts, one can see that the sharp increase began after the major losses of referral pages in March. So, we understand that the competitor’s main objective was the fear of not losing traffic due to such a sharp collapse. And after examining the links themselves during the period of rapid growth, we came to the conclusion that it was a massive manual post publication with very weak content.

 

We look to see what kind of anchor strategy the competitor uses and how it changes over time

The anchor strategy is quite simple – brand anchors predominate. Going over separate landing pages, we see that branded anchors are used in more than 90% of cases.

img-border
check competitors links anchorsimg-close

We form our own strategy

It is important to note that we are investigating the competitor’s link history not in order to copy it entirely. We are looking for patterns, and then we implement them within our unique strategy. When creating a strategy, we also assess the strengths and weaknesses of our product, as well as available linkbuilding resources. If we are sure that our product is better than our competitor’s according to some parameter that is meaningful to the user, then it is worth starting with ordering posts from high-quality bloggers with a thematic audience. Such product coverage changes the rules of the game in the market and can cause active material reposts both in social networks and on other blogs. On the other hand, if we have the opportunity to publish many links cheaply, and the product differs insignificantly from that of our competitors, we can start with the gradual build-up of links of thematic links immediately, and see how our positions perform.

 

Tracking natural backlinks

 

At the initial stages of project development, it is very important to track backlinks that appear naturally. There are several reasons for this:

  1. If this is your first site in this niche, then the first steps in working on a project are basically futile shots. And the first natural links are the most honest external evaluation of your site, the first market feedback. It can help you see where you should direct the development of the site as a product.
  2. The first donors can become your long-term partners. The more sites you have, the more valuable each such partner is. Since the one who posted a backlink to your resource not only knows about you already, but is also positive about your work.

Which page are the first donors attaching the links to? What do donors say about your site/page on their resource? If you are being compared, then how and to whom? Answers to these questions will clarify your view of the situation and make the following steps more effective.

 

Will the value of the links decrease in the future?

 

We believe that the main struggle in the ranking formula is currently between backlinks and behavioral factors. All elements related to the technical optimization of the page (keywords in the title, h1 tag, content, alt tags, short URL address – all that can be changed quickly and easily) are becoming of less and less importance. Google is gaining more and more data to understand how much the user likes a certain site compared to others. So, the main struggle is between those parameters, the accumulation of which is expensive in terms of time, money, and trust.

email__icon

Subscribe on our SEO news

limit

Get free access to
On Page SEO checks

Sign up for free and use On Page SEO Checker as many time as you like. Also get access to Chrome and Mozilla extensions those will help to check any active URL for SEO issues just in 1 click.

close

Reset Password

Enter your e-mail to reset your password

Your email

Check Your Email

We have sent you a new link to change your password. Check your email and follow instructions envelope

Your password has been reset successfully!