Inbound links to your website is one of the key elements that search engines evaluate when ranking your website. If your key competitors has more high quality targeted inbound links they will quickly gain favoritism from the search engines as being an authority website. But, how do you find out where they are getting links from and how do you get the upper hand?
The first step in leveling the playing field with you competitors is to have a list of all of their inbound links. The data in a link building competitive analysis report should at the very least tell you exactly what websites are linking to your competitors. Some reports may also include metrics to help you better gauage the value in each of those links so you can quickly start adding value to your site. There are a number of great tools that can give you this information. Here are some of the top tools:
- Link Reputation & Analysis Tools from SEO Book
- Linkscape & Competitive Analysis Tools from SEOmoz
- Competitive Link Intelligence from Majestic SEO
- Site Explorer Tool from Yahoo
This information will get you headed down the right path for catching up with your competitors. Now, how do you take it to the next level?
Look to the big dogs of your expanded market for new link building opportunties.
A luxury boutique resort in South Beach (Miami, FL) has been diligently contacting webmasters, bloggers and everyone under the sun who has linked to their competitiors. They feel that they have now caught up to thier niche competitors. However, they want to be the top luxury boutique resort & hotel in South Beach and “caught up” just doesn’t cut it.
When evaluating their competitors they have remained narrowly focused on their direct competitors in the luxury boutique resorts & hotels niche in South Beach. They have neglected that their resort falls under a much larger market of all luxury resorts & hotels in the Miami area.
By expanding their geographic reach to include all of Miami and looking beyond just boutique hotels, their new competitive market segment includes major global luxury hotel chains (ie. Ritz Carlton & Fairmont) as competitors. The new market is not any stretch of the imagination. Travelers who stay at luxury hotel chains are consumers who would also stay at boutique luxury hotels (if they knew of any in the area).
This new expanded market for competitive link building analysis turns up an entirely new list of link building opportunities for the resort. These new link opportunities are also links that their niche competitors do not have and will get them the advantage they are looking for.
The Take Away
Think beyond the competitors of your niche to global marketplace leaders when looking for link building opportunities. This will help seperate you from the rest of your competitors in the search results and keep your website moving to or on top for the long run.