This tutorial was created in cooperation with Magdalena Mues, co-founder and managing director of Claneo. Even after numerous core and algorithm updates by the largest search engines, backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors. At the same time, backlinks are valuable traffic sources that direct users to your page.
A key question in SEO is: How do I find relevant backlink sources, and what can I do to receive backlinks from them?
A suitable starting point for researching relevant backlink sources is the analysis of the link profile of your most important competitors. We have explained this in detail in a separate tutorial.
In this tutorial, we will analyse who links to our competitors but not to our own site. The “Opportunities” feature in the Link section of SISTRIX is ideal for this.
Recognise Link Opportunities and Find Content Ideas
You will find the feature “Opportunities” in the navigation on the left-hand side under “Links” after entering your domain into the search field.
Up to 3 competitors can be entered in the interface. Then you can start the analysis. As an example, we will compare online retailers.
You are then presented with a table containing the linking pages. You will also directly see the Visibility Index and the respective country. The hosts are sorted in descending order according to their Visibility Index, so that the hosts with the highest visibility are at the top of the overview.
In the overview of the results, we see with our example of asos.com that a total of 1,548 hosts link to boohoo.com as well as to debenhams.com with at least one link each, but not to asos.com.
Please note: Before you consider a host as a potential backlink source for your website, it is worth taking a detailed look at the development of its Visibility Index (VI). Hosts that have a very low VI, or whose VI shows a strong drop, should definitely be critically questioned and the quality of the website should be examined closely.
By clicking on the links in the overview, we can now delve deeper into the analysis and identify from which URL these pages link to our competitors. We can also directly see the link type and whether it is a follow or nofollow link.
Examine content and develop creative ideas
If we take a closer look at the content of the article and the reason for the linking, we can see which content of the competitors was convincing.
The website theguideliverpool.com, for example, links to both boohoo.com and debenhams.com, and offers a guide to events and personalities related to Liverpool. The domains boohoo.com and debenhams.com both offer relevant content for this topic, asos.com, however, does not. Taking these ideas a step further, a guide to ASOS’s involvement in certain events or collaborations with influencers for instance could be interesting.
In many aspects, creativity is important for identifying potential backlink sources. Upon further inspection, we see that the online magazine for ecommerce and retail internetretailing.net links to the competitors of our example domain asos.com. This seems to be because the competitors regularly publish and share changes in their offers or company structures as press releases. This can also be a strategy to get backlinks.
Check most-linked URLs of competitors
If the evaluation of the pages linking to the competitors does not yet generate any new ideas, a look at the most-linked URLs of the competitors can be useful. To do this, we enter the competitor’s page into the search field at SISTRIX and then click on the “Linked Pages” feature in the left sidebar to get to the overview.
Depending on the industry and the competitor’s backlink profile, we find interesting starting points for good content that has generated backlinks. However, unique content is not always to be found among the top 20 or top 50 link targets. But if you look a little further and more closely, you will discover approaches for your own content ideas there as well.
A page with student-related information has generated 442 links over time. New ideas can also be derived from this, for example an article on student fashion trends or on how to become a student ambassador. Such articles would have a good chance of also receiving backlinks.
What constitutes good content?
Good content attracts backlinks almost automatically. Developing good content requires inventiveness and creativity. However, if you are only looking for the one-time Super Idea, you will quickly be disappointed. Creativity also means developing existing content ideas further, thinking in new ways and making them better. Only those who distinguish themselves from their competitors can also stand out. Nevertheless, there are some types of content that have proven their worth for link building:
- Advice articles, guides and comparisons
- Top 10 lists and how to’s
- Aggregation and analysis of data in the form of studies or surveys
Benefit From Broken Links of Competitors
Instead of looking at your competitor’s intact links for inspiration for your own backlink profile, you can also check whether your competitor may not have done their homework properly. Search for the broken links and check whether you can offer your own content as an alternative. We explain exactly how to do this in a separate tutorial.
SISTRIX provides you with valuable data on your competitors, the differences in their backlink profiles and the most interesting content for the common target group within the industry. This allows you to identify recommended action and create unique content that offers your users real added value, and at the same time has a good chance of convincing new users of your site through links.