September 24, 2023

A competitor hyperlink evaluation is an evaluation of the hyperlink profiles of main rivals the place you have a look at their hyperlink constructing methods to realize insights. Implementing a few of the identical methods in your individual hyperlink constructing can result in larger rankings in search engines like google and elevated enterprise outcomes.

Performing this type of evaluation lets you discover websites that generally hyperlink to web sites just like yours. Should you have a look at well-ranking rivals and so they have lots of the identical hyperlinks, these hyperlinks would be the ones serving to them to rank.

Let’s check out easy methods to carry out a fundamental audit. Later, I’ll present you easy methods to scale this course of to get much more insights utilizing greater knowledge. 

carry out a competitor hyperlink evaluation in three steps

This easy course of can uncover lots of hyperlink alternatives by wanting on the widespread hyperlinks that your fast rivals have already got.

1. Determine rivals

It’s possible you’ll already know who your rivals are and might use that checklist later within the course of. Should you want some assist, take a look at the Natural rivals report in Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer to discover a checklist of web sites rating for a similar stuff you are.

Organic competitors report

Should you don’t have an internet site but, then you may seek for a number of primary phrases and also you might be able to inform who the rivals will likely be. One other manner of doing that is to easily add a number of phrases to Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer and go to the Site visitors share by domains report, which can present you which websites are getting essentially the most site visitors for these phrases. 

Traffic share by domains report

2. Discover widespread hyperlinks 

Take your checklist of rivals and enter them within the Hyperlink Intersect report in Web site Explorer. That is going to provide you an inventory of all of the referring domains that your rivals have and present what number of totally different rivals have hyperlinks from these websites. 

link intersect report

You’ll be able to click on the numbers underneath every area to see the type of hyperlinks they’ve from every web site.

click to see the individual links

3. Figuring out competitor methods

There are a few methods to make use of this knowledge. You’ll be able to have a look at the widespread hyperlinks your rivals have that you simply’re lacking and work your manner via these, or you may search for patterns within the knowledge to see the kind of websites the place rivals are getting hyperlinks. You may even see issues like area of interest websites, native listings, or different native web sites.

Congratulations, you’ve completed a fundamental competitor hyperlink evaluation! 

When you have a little bit extra time, you may scale the hyperlink intersect course of to assemble much more knowledge and alternatives. Maintain studying to seek out out how.

bonus tip: test your rivals’ most linked content material

Should you have a look at the Finest by hyperlinks report for a few of your rivals in Web site Explorer, you may even see some attention-grabbing content material driving hyperlinks to rivals that you simply in any other case could not discover. 

best by links report

I generally see issues like instruments, research, and even quotes that drive lots of hyperlinks to particular person rivals. 

A whole lot of these hyperlinks could also be distinctive to a specific competitor, and you might miss them when wanting on the overlap of competitor hyperlinks. 

Should you see a competitor efficiently gaining hyperlinks this fashion, you might be able to create related instruments and content material to realize extra hyperlinks on your personal web site.

Scaled hyperlink intersect course of

With a scaled course of, you’re working with extra knowledge that may result in extra insights and alternatives. You’ll spend extra time up entrance going via this course of, however you might be able to reuse the alternatives you discover for different shoppers. I’d anticipate it to take two to 4 hours for most individuals to comply with this course of.

First, we’ll have a look at your rivals’ hyperlinks to seek out your niche-specific hyperlinks. And later, we’ll have a look at different websites in your metropolis to seek out native hyperlink alternatives.

Area of interest hyperlinks

The simpler course of that we coated earlier simply appears at direct rivals. When you have greater than 10 direct rivals, you may nonetheless use an analogous course of to what I’m about to point out to realize extra insights. 

Simply skip the part under and go on to the place you’re exporting referring domains of rivals. You should use your individual checklist or get a bigger checklist from the Competing Domains report in Web site Explorer.

Native solely

This course of is a good match for firms targeted on native search engine optimisation, nevertheless it requires a little bit extra work. 

By native search engine optimisation, I imply firms that principally compete in a single space like dentist workplaces, legislation companies, plumbing firms, and so on. Should you have a look at websites competing in different markets that could be stronger or extra aggressive than your individual, you’ll discover lots of extra alternatives that nobody in your market has taken benefit of.

First, create a duplicate of this Google sheet with the top 50 U.S. cities. Substitute “service” with the title of your area of interest and replica the worth all the way down to create your key phrase checklist. 

copy service down

Should you’re in a distinct nation, you may create an analogous sheet with well-liked cities in your nation.

Copy the ensuing checklist of phrases from column C and paste them into Key phrases Explorer, then click on the search button.

copy the keywords into keywords explorer

Should you click on the export choice, you’ll see one other menu with an choice to incorporate the SERPs within the export. This can embrace the websites within the prime 10.

export with SERPs

With the checklist of web sites, delete something that doesn’t appear to be a distinct segment web site.

You’ll be able to set your individual filters to make this simpler. However as a common technique to clear the information, I’d suggest:

  • Insert > Desk
  • Filter > DR lower than 50. Most native websites gained’t have a DR that prime, whereas directories and aggregators like will. That is making an attempt to do away with all of the listing/roundup/best-of-type websites.
  • Filter Kind > Natural

Then manually delete something that appears misplaced. What you’ll be left with is the highest websites in your area of interest from totally different cities.

top niche sites

All firms

Probably the most time-consuming course of is what’s subsequent. For every web site, you’ll must export its referring domains utilizing the Referring domains report in Web site Explorer. I’d suggest saving them to a brand new folder to make the subsequent step simpler.

export referring domains

Or in case you have an enterprise plan that has API entry and also you wish to do that shortly, you may iterate via the web sites. We offer the wanted request in case you click on the “ API” button.

api request for referring domains

Now we have to mix all of the information into one. I’ll present you the way to do that in Home windows and on MacOS. But when it’s simpler for you, then you might wish to strive one of many on-line device choices that may mix CSV information.

I normally do that with Home windows Command Immediate. Right here’s the method:

  1. Save the information to a brand new folder
  2. Get the trail both by utilizing shift+right-click on the folder and “Copy as path,” or copy it from the tackle bar when viewing the contents of the folder
  3. Open Command Immediate, which yow will discover by looking “cmd”
  4. Kind “cd,” press “House,” right-click and paste, then press “Enter”
  5. Kind “copy *.csv whatever-name.csv” and press “Enter”

For MacOS, you’ll use Terminal as an alternative of Command Immediate, and the command to mix them is “cat *.csv > whatever-name.csv” for step #5. However in any other case, the directions must be the identical.

Open the brand new mixed file. We’ll must get a rely of what number of occasions every of the referring domains seems within the file. Right here’s easy methods to do that:

  • Insert > Desk
  • Insert Column subsequent to Referring Area column and title it Depend
  • Within the Depend Column, add the system =COUNTIF(B:B,[@[Referring Domain]])
count of referring domains

Copy the numbers within the Depend column and paste in the identical place as values. This makes it so the numbers aren’t misplaced once we take away duplicates. To take away duplicates:

  • Knowledge > Take away Duplicates primarily based on the Referring Area
  • Knowledge > Type by Depend > Largest to Smallest

This leaves you with the highest referring websites in your area of interest. It ought to look one thing like this: 

top referring sites

You’ll wish to categorize them in ways in which make sense to you. I’d extremely suggest pulling out the niche-specific domains. Typically, you’ll see numerous organizations, commerce exhibits, suppliers, distributors, niche-specific directories, and so on.

niche specific links for accountants

Take that checklist and have a look at how they’re linking to those different websites. There are a variety of the way to do that like checking the Linked Domains report for these websites to see how they hyperlink out to different websites.

You’ll be able to even repeat this course of with different related niches the place you might discover extra alternatives that nobody in your area of interest has taken benefit of.

Subsequent, let’s have a look at how you should utilize an analogous course of to seek out native hyperlink alternatives.

Native hyperlinks

If we glance exterior our area of interest to different websites in the identical metropolis, the overlap of their hyperlinks can present lots of alternatives for native hyperlink constructing. Native web sites have a tendency to speak about and hyperlink to different native web sites. Should you’re an company that has lots of native search engine optimisation shoppers in the identical space, you’ll undoubtedly wish to undergo this course of.

Make a duplicate of this Google sheet with some of the most popular niches for local businesses. Merely add the title of your metropolis and replica the worth all the way down to create your key phrase checklist.

copy the city value down

The remainder of the steps are the identical because the area of interest instance above the place you copy the phrases into Key phrases Explorer, export the outcomes with the SERPs, after which pull the referring domains for all the websites.

Whenever you get to the categorization half, search for any attention-grabbing patterns. Listed here are a number of I discovered for my hometown of Raleigh:

  1. Faculties/universities – These embrace jobs, scholarships, membership sponsorships, reductions, and alumni hyperlinks.
  2. Metropolis-specific websites and directories
  3. Native information and magazines
  4. Websites in regards to the state and surrounding areas
  5. Suppliers/affiliations/companions – A few of these had been testimonials and case research.
  6. Church buildings – They appear to hyperlink to lots of native organizations and companies of their members.
  7. Enterprise teams – They hyperlink to those that are a part of the group.
  8. Occasions – I noticed lots of hyperlinks from—most of which had been from internet hosting or sponsoring.
  9. Sponsorships and charities – That is additionally nice for supporting the area people.
  10. Podcasts
  11. Awards – Particularly native favorites.
  12. Coupons
  13. Directories
  14. Job postings

It’s possible you’ll discover another attention-grabbing patterns. For instance, I noticed that just about anybody concerned in weddings like DJs, photographers, occasion planners, and caterers all appear to hyperlink to one another. I discovered one other sample the place realtors, residences, and HOA websites are inclined to hyperlink to issues to do and locations to eat. 

I additionally noticed some well-done ego bait knowledgeable roundups. Many of those folks have their very own private websites and blogs that hyperlink to this kind of content material.

There have been additionally lots of hyperlinks from the native Reddit group, Fb teams, and Nextdoor. A majority of these websites can be helpful sources for referrals.

Last ideas

Analyzing your rivals’ hyperlinks is a good way to reverse engineer their methods and discover the hyperlinks that could be serving to your rivals essentially the most. Scaling that course of can result in lots of distinctive insights.

Message me on Twitter in case you have any questions.