Source: Neil Patel I want you to try something. Right now, think of your top competitors. They might be doing better than you, or they might be giv
I want you to try something.
Right now, think of your top competitors.
They might be doing better than you, or they might be giving you a run for your money. You might be blowing them out of the water. I don’t know.
Now go to Google and type in your focus keyword — your money keyword, the most important keyword in your SEO strategy.
See where you rank and see where your competitors rank.
It doesn’t matter if they’re ranking better or worse. Just think about all of the traffic they must be getting.
Think of the traffic that they’re getting, and you’re not getting.
(Pay extra attention to those competitors that are on page 1 of Google.)
Now imagine stealing all of that traffic from right under their noses.
Does that sound interesting?
Well, guess what? You can do exactly that.
You can actually spy on your competitors’ backlinks and get more links to your own site.
One of my clients used this method to get 20% more backlinks to their site.
That’s completely possible with this method. It’s not too hard either, so if you don’t have a lot of SEO experience, don’t worry.
If you’ve wanted to start a good backlink strategy for a long time, I think this is a great first step.
Why use this strategy?
This is a powerful idea, and I want you to understand just how important this can be for your link building strategy.
Let’s take a random keyword like “scheduling app” and look at the first page of Google:
The simple fact that these sites are on page 1 of the SERPs (search engine results pages) means that they have excellent link profiles.
In other words, they meet and exceed Google’s expectations, and as a result, they’re rewarded with prime SERP real estate.
Each of these sites has a unique link profile, but they’re all on page 1.
This is where spying on your competitors will give you a huge advantage.
Imagine if your link profile looked like all of your competitors’ link profiles put together.
Your link profile would have to be pretty awesome, right? If you use this strategy, that’s exactly what will happen.
You’ll build a link profile that astounds Google and helps you improve your visibility, enhance your SEO, and dethrone your competitors.
That’s why I love this strategy. If you use it right, you can actually get to page 1 of Google for one or more of your keywords.
But do you know what my favorite part is? You’re letting your competitors build a backlink strategy for you.
They did all the hard work, and you can use that to your advantage.
This takes the phrase “work smarter, not harder” to a whole new level!
I think everyone can use this strategy and get amazing results.
If you’re ready to get some links, read on and I’ll explain the exact techniques you can use.
Grab your competitors’ backlinks
The first step is to get a copy of your competitors’ link profiles.
Since most sites have hundreds of backlinks, I recommend starting with your two biggest competitors.
If you try to analyze your top 10 competitors, you’ll find yourself drowning in backlinks. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Starting small will make a big difference.
The way you’ll get your competitors’ backlinks is by using a backlink analysis tool. There are lots of options out there, but I’ll share with you a few that I like to use.
The first is Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE). If you read my blog regularly, you’re probably sick of how often I mention this tool!
But I’ll stand by it time and time again.
In this case, we’ll be using its backlink feature.
This is ideal to start out with because it will force you to focus on the most important links. You’ll see what I mean by that in just a minute.
Go to OSE and type in the URL you want to grab links from:
On the results page, scroll down until you see the list of backlinks under the “Inbound Links” heading:
On many backlink tools, you’ll have the option to export a list of all of these backlinks into one tidy file. But OSE doesn’t have this option.
Since it doesn’t, I recommend focusing on the backlinks with the highest Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) rankings. Try 5-10 links to start out with.
By just concentrating on replicating these links, you’ll be stealing your competitors’ top-performing links.
And let’s be honest––you’re going to go after your competitors’ best backlinks. You probably won’t aim for backlinks that are just okay.
Another tool you can use is Ahrefs.
You’ll have to either take advantage of their 14-day free trial or pay for an account, but it’s one of the best backlink tools out there today.
Ahrefs is actually a suite of tools that all help with your SEO. One of their tools, Backlink Checker, is excellent for our purposes.
Ahrefs has the largest backlink index available, with 12 trillion links. That will give you full access to any link your competitors have.
And the Ahrefs index is updated every 15 minutes. You couldn’t ask for more than that.
They even have an extensive guide on how to use their software to get competitors’ links:
One of the coolest features about Ahrefs is setting up backlink alerts. In short, Ahrefs will email you weekly with any new backlinks your competitors have gotten.
I love this because it lets you stay up-to-date with your competitors, and you can steal their links almost immediately.
Ahrefs is particularly useful because it gives you some additional functionalities you won’t find in other link building tools.
For example, you can also find your competitors’ recurring link sources:
Then you can nab those link sources and use them for your own site.
Or you can get entire link profiles to leave no stone unturned:
So while I definitely recommend OSE for those starting out with link building, Ahrefs is the place to be…