If you run a business that is very typical, for example an online store, or if you simply run a firm that has a lot of competition, it might be tough for you to break through Google’s rankings without the links. No doubt that good content helps, however good links can easily win the case. Let’s say that when you start your project, all other companies have already worked on their positioning strategies for many years. How would you catch up with them?
One of my methods is something I call link match. I open each link separately and for that reason I generate a new list of links. Let’s call it experiment list (at least 1-2, for example a domain leading to competitors). While analysing each link separately I can see which connections would be good for my client or their business and how trustworthy it is. If my competition adds the website to some industry catalogue – I should be there as well. If somebody talks about them on forums related to the industry, maybe it would be good to be there too.
Of course if the competitor shows up in places that look more like web-spam, it’s better to avoid them. The work is certainly painstaking and requires a lot of patience and a dose of perseverance.
Unfortunately, if we’re going to work on a few different projects for the same client, you may find that you will run through exactly the same places. This has made me come up with a very interesting method of work.
‘Must have’ links
To illustrate, the best idea is to use an online store as an example. If you run your shop online, you know how hard is to break through. The analysis can be done based on the competition that sells exactly the same products, or the industry as a whole. The rules of the method that I personally recommend are fairly easy:
1) Generate an experimental list of links – a minimum of one full URL per referring domain per competitor that you analyse.
2) Generate aforementioned reports for a larger group of competitors – it can be 100 online stores or all the dentist clinics from your area.
3) Find matching links – for this reason I’ve written a simple form and php code. You can do the same while using a specific rule in Excel – find matching links.
4) If you think that this type of analysis is too much for you, simply use the Majestic Clique Hunter.
As a result, the analysis will show links that most of the stores from the industry have. You’ll very easily find the biggest industrial catalogues and forums where users talk a lot about these shops too. You can also very easily notice blogs that allow having links in their comments section or in their texts; and many, many more websites where most of your competitors have ended up naturally.
If results showed are satisfying, don’t stop! For me the most interesting report was compiling a base of information about all the companies from the industry, and scanning it all with the links which have TLD’s.gov or .edu; that this industry has had. In regards to this certain project, I was able to duplicate about 70% of links from that list. Ignore all the stories about links from domains ending with .gov or .edu. For me it was just the power of websites that I generated links from, which is highly impressive for sure, the same as my hard work.
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