4 Competitive Link Analysis Tips
August 8, 2012 by Nick Stamoulis
Running a competitive link analysis every six months or so is a great way to enhance your own link building strategy. It can give you a good idea of how your link portfolio stacks up against the competition, as well as what you need to do to become more competitive. It pays to know what your competition is doing so you can capitalize on any opportunities as they come up.
Here are 4 tips when conducting a competitive link analysis:
1. Look for industry sites you’re not a member of.
Most industry sites have a member’s directory that is a great place to get your website listed. It’s a high quality link from a trusted site, plus it’s a great source of referral traffic. Keep in mind that there is usually a cost associated with joining industry associations, but in addition to the directory link you might be able to submit content to the site’s blog, become a sponsor for local events and more. The best links are the ones that lead to new link building opportunities and industry websites and associations are a good place to start.
2. Focus on niche directories, not general ones.
Most general directories, especially the free ones, can get very spammy. Instead of finding every free directory you can and hoping the link goes live eventually, use your competitive link analysis to look for niche directories that are specific to your industry. This helps keep that link relevant and less likely to raise a red flags with the search engines.
3. Keep track of blogs they’ve written for.
In addition to adding those blogs to your blog commenting list, it’s also a good idea to reach out to the bloggers that have accepted posts from your competitor’s and see if they are still accepting guest posts from other writers. If your competitor’s have submitted content there before, chances are it’s the right kind of blog for you! Guest blogging is a hugely important component of SEO and content marketing. Not only does it create quality inbound links for your site, it also helps introduce your brand to a new audience and can provide a lot of valuable social signals for your site. The more times a piece of content is shared on the social networks the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines.
4. Just because your competitor has it, that doesn’t mean you need it.
The most important thing to remember when conducting a competitive link analysis is that just because your competitor has a link from a certain site that doesn’t mean you have to have it as well. If it’s a black hat or spammy link, you don’t want to put your site at risk by copying their actions. That link might spell trouble for both you and them in the long run, especially if your link portfolio is questionable or thin to begin with. It’s also important to remember that you are trying beating your competition, not just equaling them. A competitive link analysis can help you find any holes in your link building campaign, but at some point you need to do more than your competitors if you want to beat them in the SERPs.
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Massachusetts SEO company Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com/). With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by hosting SEO training classes, writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org