How to Conduct a Competitor Backlink Analysis

A big part of running a business is making sure that you understand your competitors, which includes conducting a competitor backlink analysis. If your business has a website, or creates content online, it is important to think about analyzing your competitors’ backlinks. In this article, you will learn about what a backlink is, why you should analyze competitor backlinks, and the best ways to do so.

use competitor backlinks

What Are Backlinks?

A backlink is a link from a page on one website to another. If someone links to your website, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you. The more backlinks that you have, the more likely that you are to rank higher on relevant searches. Search engines like Google see backlinks as a “vote of confidence”. The more votes you have, the higher the likelihood of your ranking high on these search engines. Backlinks exist to point people to read useful resources, which is why they’re clickable. When someone clicks on the link to your website, you get referral traffic. The more people that click on your backlinks from other websites, the more referral traffic you get. This means that you will rank higher and relevant searches, as well as open yourself up to a new audience.

Why You Should Analyze Backlinks

Backlinks are extremely important to improving your SEO. This is a part of SEO factors. Backlinks are considered offsite SEO, which is credited to the cofounder of Google Larry Page. There are several ways to get backlinks, which is a vote of confidence in its content. Backlinks play a factor in where your content is listed on a search results page. The first and easiest way to create a backlink is to create content that people will organically want to link. Then, you must make sure to get that content in front of the right audience. Having this content presented to the right audience provides the opportunity for others to link it to their own website, blog, or social media. Backlinks are also an important part of white-hat SEO, which means that it is a part of the correct way to optimize a website.

Assess Competition

Conducting a competitor backlink analysis is extremely important. The first step is to assess the competition in your industry. By analyzing competitor backlinks, 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 a competitor site has an average of 100 backlinks, you may need to build more backlinks for your site if you have a lower number than the average of your industry.

See What Works in Your Industry

Next, a competitor backlink analysis helps you see what helps others in your industry rank well. You can see the number and quality sites linking to your competitors. This offers insight as to why these sites are ranking well. If a competitor is appearing on the first page of a search engine, you can view the backlink profile that helps them be in their high position.

backlink agreement

Backlink Strategy

Last, it will help you identify how you can better strategy to earn backlinks. When you identify the backlink profile that is helping your competitors rank, you can use that information to improve your own ranking. This can be done by developing a strategy to earn backlinks and find guest blogging opportunities from the same sites.

Ways to Analyze Competitor Backlinks

When you’re going through your competitor backlinks analysis, you’re reviewing websites that are in your industry or share an audience similar to yours. In this research, you assess your competitor’s website performance, number balance, and over all online authority. This helps build a digital strategy for your website and allows you to do multiple things.

Identify Your Competitors

Before you go through a competitor backlink analysis, you first want to identify your competitors. There are two distinct types of competitors. The first type of competitor is a domain level competitor. These are the sites that compete with you in the SERPs, the search engine results page, on the whole. By this, they don’t just compete with you on one or two search terms, they compete with you on many search terms across many pages. Finding your domain level competitors is simple by using Ahrefs.

The second type of competitor is a page level competitor. This means that they don’t compete with you on the whole like the main level computers, they compete with you on a page of us for specific topics and keywords. You can find page of our competitors by using Ahrefs, paste the primary keyword for what you’re trying to rank and then scroll down to the SERP overview. After you identify your competitors, you can begin analyzing the back links.

You can create a list of your competitors with the Semrush Backlink Competitors report. This report shows you your rival domains and their Competition level. The higher the percentage of their common backlinks, the higher your Competition level will be. Common backlinks means both sites have at least one backlink coming from the same referring domain. (The higher the domain authority, the better the backlink!) It will also show you their total number of backlinks and referring domains.

use backlinks

Backlink Analysis Tools

Do you know how to go about finding competitors’ backlinks? There are many different ways to conduct a competitor backlink analysis. The first way is to get a copy of your competitors link profiles. In order to do this, you can go to open site explorer on Ahrefs. From that website, you simply type in the URL that you want to grab links from and you will see a list of backlinks.

To use Ahrefs, you will have to either take advantage of their 14 day free trial or pay for an account, but this is one of the best backlink analysis tools. This is a suite of tools that help with your SEO. One of their tools is a backlink checker. Ahrefs has the largest backlink index available, which will give you full access to any link your competitors have.

You can also use the Google Search Console to check backlinks on your own website.

Analysis Steps

After you have a list of the backlinks, you can perform a simple analysis to find out exactly which links are doing the most work. You also want to make sure that you are getting high quality back links right away, otherwise you could be facing a penalty from Google which would hurt your SEO. In order to conduct a link analysis, you first want to make sure that the site is actually been indexed by Google by searching in the search engine. The second step is to conduct a link profile audit on your computer sites.

Υou want to make sure that you are analyzing your competitors new and improved keywords. These keywords will show you a potential new niche or focus strategy. Their loss or decline keywords might show you where they were penalized or lost their positions. This could be an opportunity here for you and your site.

After this, you want to make sure and see how your keywords stack up. You want to take a look closely at the gaps between your existing keyword portfolios between you and your competitors. It’s important to take a look at shared, missing, weak, strong, unique, and all keywords. You want to find the keywords that your competitor ranks higher than you, and make a list of those. These are the keywords that you need your attention right now. You want to look for where your competitors are ranking and low positions in the SERPs for relevant keywords and aim to beat those rankings with your content. After you do this analysis, you want to export your research and connect your insights the next steps for success.

Eliminate Nofollowed Links

When you are conducting backlink analysis, make sure to eliminate nofollow links since they have little to no value for SEO.


Check Your Anchor Text

Finally, check your competitors’ anchor text. Then, make sure to optimize your own backlink anchor text. Keep your anchor text to a few words if possible. It should accurately describe the page you are linking to and ideally, entice readers to click on the link.

Backlinks and You

If you are still a bit lost on how you should be using backlinks, we are here to help you. Backlinking can be tricky at the beginning, but you will begin to learn how to use them properly over time! If you need help getting started, contact SEO Design Chicago for a consultation. We specialize in backlink research, creating a link building strategy, and obtaining high-quality backlinks for your own website. Our team can perform an SEO link analysis, write guest posts for websites with high page authority, and perform other professional backlink strategies for your website.


  • How to analyze competitor backlinks?
  • What are backlinks?
  • Why should I analyze backlinks?
  • What is the importance of backlinks?
  • How do I assess backlinks?

Contact Us Today!

Call Now