When you perform a competitor backlink analysis, you review websites that are in your industry and/or share an audience similar to yours. During this research, you assess your competitor’s website performance, number of backlinks, and overall online authority.
A competitor backlink analysis helps build a digital strategy for your website and allows you to:
- Assess the competition in your industry. By analyzing competitor websites, you can see how well your competitors are performing and create guidelines for what you need to do to compete with them. For example, if competitor sites have an average of 100 backlinks, you may need to build more backlinks for your site if you have a lower number than the average in your industry.
- See what helps others in your industry rank well. Through a competitor backlink analysis, you can see the number and quality of sites linking to your competitors. This offers insight into why the sites are ranking well. If a competitor’s site is appearing on the first page of search, you can view the backlink portfolio that helped them earn their high position.
- Identify how you can emulate a competitor’s strategy to earn backlinks too. When you identify the backlink profile that is helping your competitors rank, you can use that information to improve your site’s ranking by developing a strategy to earn backlinks and find guest blogging opportunities from the same sites.
Alexa has a variety of tools to help you conduct a backlink analysis, collect this information, and identify opportunities to build links for your site all from one dashboard.
How to Perform a Competitor Backlink Analysis With Alexa Tools
Go through the following steps to perform a backlink analysis and create a link building plan for your website.
Step 1) Make a list of your competitors.
To perform research on your competitors, you need to know who your competitors are. If you don’t know your competitors, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find out.
Enter the URL of a known competitor or your website, and run the report to find similar websites.
The tool produces a list of sites that have a similar audience to the target site. You can also use the traffic filter to show results that receive a similar level of traffic.
From this report, select the most relevant competitors and save your list so you can use it later in the analysis.
Step 2) View the number of backlinks for each competitor.
Once you have a list of sites for your competitor analysis, view the number of backlinks that each site has using Alexa’s Site Comparison tool.
You can run the Site Comparison directly from the Audience Overlap Tool.
Alternatively, you can navigate to the Site Comparison tool and enter up to 10 sites or use site lists you have previously saved.
Once you run the report, scroll down to the “Reputation Metrics.” From there, you can view the number of sites linking in for all of the competitors on your list.
Use this information to get perspective on the number of sites linking to your competitors and identify the competitors with the largest link portfolios. Sites with a large link portfolio will be more helpful in allowing you to find link building opportunities than sites with a smaller number of backlinks.
Step 3) Consider the authority of linking sites.
As you review the sites linking to your competitors, keep in mind that a link from a site with a high page authority is more valuable than a link from a site with a low page authority.
To check the page authority of the linking sites, use Alexa’s Sites Linking In tool. The competitive analysis tool acts as a domain authority checker and produces a list of the linking websites along with their Alexa Rank (Global Rank).
This allows you to find backlinks that have the highest online authority so you can target those sites in your link building strategy.
Step 4) Find the sites and pages driving the most traffic to your competitors.
At this stage of the backlink analysis, take an even deeper look at the sites linking to your competitors. Uncover both the sites and pages that are driving the most traffic to your competitors using Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix.
Use the saved list of competitors or enter a new list of sites into the backlink checker to produce a report of all the sites that link to one or more of the competitors.
The report also includes the page on the linking site that is sending the most traffic to the competitor site. To view that information, click on the linking site to see information for each of the competitors.
Use this information to find competitor backlinks, review the pages driving the most traffic, and identify ways you can also build links on those sites to drive traffic to your site.
Step 5) Save sites that are good backlink opportunities.
With the information gathered in this backlink analysis, you can now prepare a link building plan for your website.
When you find a site that looks like a good link building opportunity, save it to your Alexa Workspace. Click on the ellipses icon (…) after the site and select “add details and save to Workspace.” From there, add notes to the website that can help guide your link building process.
By going through this process, you get to know your competitors, assess their backlink profiles, and identify opportunities for improving your SEO strategy. You end up with a workspace filled with link building opportunities that will help you to compete with your biggest competitors.
Ready to conduct a backlink analysis on your competitors and identify link building opportunities for your website?
Sign up for a free, 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to get access to all of the tools mentioned in this post.