Finding A Competitors Backlinks The Easy Way & Why It Matters
If you’ve been working on getting your website to rank in Google or any of the other search engines you’ve probably realized that you need great content that is keyword rich; plus backlinks.
Backlinks are critical.
Maybe you’ve looked at top sites ranking for the keywords that you would want to rank in their spot for and thought “I wonder where all of their links come from?”
Well in today’s lesson I am going to show you a nice and easy way to find a couple useful things:
- What keywords your competitor ranks in the top of Google for
- What backlinks are pointing to their pages for those keywords
Knowing these 2 things will allow you to know roughly what type of backlinks helped them rank where they are and also uncover many of the keywords you hadn’t thought of yet!
Now, first let me be clear, there is not a free way to do this. Back in 2006 you could. But in this day and age nothing is free. There are numerous tools that do this and many are extremely expensive. The one I am using for this is Keyword Canine. It’s cost is $27/month or you can get it cheaper with a yearly subscription. It’s a worthwhile investment if you plan on doing a lot of keyword research (like I do).
There are a number of reasons I am using this tool. The main reasons being that the tool is not expensive in comparable terms to the others and it’s easy to use. By the way Keyword Canine has a ton of other uses and training make sure to read the entire page here and even see some of my walk-throughs here.
So let’s get started.
First, Fire Up Keyword Canine
Once you login you’ll be at the Dashboard Page which looks like this:
A. Enter the URL of the site you want here
B. Select the max number of search results you want. This uncovers this amount of keywords that the site is ranking for
C. Click explore ranks
After you click explore ranks it will bring up a page that has several details.
A. This tells you how many keyword they have ranking in the 1st page of Google
B. You can dig into their entire backlink report from here (don’t do this yet)
Below that box is the list of keywords and where they rank in search. This is extremely useful! This basically unlocks keywords that you might not have considered before.
A. This is the URL that is ranking in search. Note, it’s not just the homepage here
B. These are the keywords that are ranking for the corresponding URL
C. This is where the keyword ranks in search. With roughly 10 results per page in Google anything with a 1-10 is on page 1, 11-21 is page 2 and so on
D. This is the estimated search volume that the keyword gets monthly
E. This is the estimated traffic that this particular site gets for the particular keyword. You’ll notice that this site doesn’t have a lot of traffic for many of the keywords.
This information is extremely helpful. It’s important to note that you’ll want to eventually have all of your keywords ranking on page 1 of Google to actually reap the traffic from the keyword. As you see above the only keyword that is bringing this site traffic is the one that is on page 1.
Now, scrolling back up you can go run the backlink report.
A. Click Run Backlink Report
This will pull up a report and you’ll be able to break down all of the backlinks that the website you’re investigating has coming back into it.
A. Select the last 60 days. This gives you a more accurate look at their backlinks
B. This allows you to limit how many backlinks will come up in the report. Most of the time 500 will be fine
C. This is how many backlinks are coming into the URL
D. This will bring up the info screen. Clicking this is what you want to do to view the individual backlinks so you can see the exact URL the backlinks exist at
E. This will let you download the the backlink report to your computer so you can investigate it on your time
So from the above you can see that you can find your competitors backlinks and various keywords that they are ranking for. This will give you a pretty good overview of what keywords you should target on your posts/pages at your site.
Using option D from above you can follow along now.
You can go through line by line and even visit each URL.
A. This is the URL the backlink is at
B. This is a rank on a 10 point scale. 1 being weak, 10 being strong.
C. The anchor text of the backlink
D. How many links are pointing to this exact page
E. How many backlinks are pointing to the site in general
How To Use This Data
What I specifically look for is how tough all the backlinks are. You want to see a lot of lower numbers here. If you see a lot of 6-10’s it’s going to be some tough sledding to compete with them on their rank. But if you see a bunch of low numbers it should be much easier.
From here you can visit each site and see if it’s worth putting your link at. You can contact the site owner and see if they’d be interested in having you put a guest post on their site (with a link back to yours of course) or you just get an idea of how tough the competition is before you start really going after backlinks yourself.
So Why Does This Matter and Why Is Finding Your Competitors Backlinks Important?
This information is extremely valuable. Knowing where your competitors are getting their backlinks can help you go after the same links or similar ones. With Keyword Canine you can also see how strong the link competition is which will allow you to seek out stronger links and guest posting partners.
I know in this day and age it’s easy to want to skip doing all of this and just building up a socially following but search is still critically important.
Make sure you put it to use and keep working on your site!
Have you used this before? Do you have another method you’re using? Plan to use this method? Share below.