This is one factor that’s easy to overlook. You can easily rank lower in search results than your competitors because their SEO efforts are better than yours. Put simply, your links may be good, but their links are even better.
That’s why you should run regular back-link profile audits of competitor sites. This won’t take much time, but will provide enough details to adjust your link building strategy.
To analyze back-link profiles of competitor sites, you can use tools like:
- Majestic SEO
- SEO Spyglass
- Raven Tools
Specifically, you should dig deeper into the number of external backspins, referring domains, referring pages, referring IPs, referring subnets, types of links (dofollow, nofollow, text, image, etc.), back-link history, and so on.
This way you will:
- Learn more about the industry.
- Sift out sites that are major link providers.
- Understand your competitors and their strategies better.
You will also identify why they rank higher than you. Maybe their links are of higher quality. Maybe they craft the best content in the niche, and Google naturally loves it. Maybe it is a combination of factors like user experience, site speed, technical issues, etc. But you will get the answer.