Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

An examination of the link gaps is the first step in a sound link-building plan. However, what precisely does that mean, and how can you apply it to find undiscovered backlink prospects for your website?

To find untapped link potential and evaluate the backlink profiles of competitors, follow this step-by-step method. Learn both fundamental and sophisticated backlink analytics strategies, as well as how to implement the results.

As you prepare to close the gap and rise in the SERPs.

What is a Backlink Gap Analysis?

By contrasting the backlink profile of your website with that of competitors, you can find possible link-building possibilities with a backlink gap study.

To find more link chances, SEO experts analyze backlinks at the domain and page levels. Additionally, they filter the results based on organic traffic, domain authority (DA/DR), and other metrics to generate a list of high-quality backlink prospects that are likely to improve your ranks.

3 Important Benefits of a Backlink Gap Analysis

Here are three strategies to improve your SEO results using a backlink gap study. Furthermore, they are unrelated to the widely held belief that backlinks are essential to search engine optimization.

Benefit #1: You keep an eye on the competition

Pay careful attention to how your rivals are constructing links. Get insightful knowledge on the following:

  • Which sites and content types in your sector or specialty receive the most links?
  • What kinds of websites typically link to those of your competitors?
  • The link-building strategies employed by your competitors, include influencer partnerships, infographics, guest posting, and linkable materials.
  • the weaknesses in the tactics of your rivals that you can take advantage of.
  • The keyword clusters that your rivals’ backlinks are aimed toward.

To put it succinctly, a thorough competitor study guides your own SEO approach and enables you to adjust quickly in response to changes.

To identify a spike in activity, you could, for instance, compare the referring domains of two to three sites at once. Observe the blue surge in Simform’s referring domains? At this point, you can generate a report that lists every backlink you obtained throughout that period.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Keep an eye on the link-building efforts of your rivals to remain competitive.

So, research the link-building strategies your rivals used.

Benefit #2: You identify qualified link prospects

One quick way to find quality link chances and expand your prospect list is to do a backlink gap study. You may concentrate on the most authoritative and pertinent websites in your field with this focused approach, which saves a ton of time and resources. The screenshot illustrates how many valuable link possibilities from DR 90+ websites are being lost by the root domain.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Prospects for backlinks from rival websites.

As a matter of fact, a lot of SEOs, including Digital Olympus, begin formulating their link-building plans with a meticulous link gap research. In addition to identifying potential customers, it can help you determine how many links to target URLs you should generate.

Benefit #3: You identify pages to build backlinks to

One might find out what kind of pages or content typically receive the most backlinks by keeping an eye on the backlink profiles of competitors. As a result, you can spend money making pages that are identical in order to get links. Similarly, you can identify the pages of your website that are lagging and might need more backlinks.

For example, a deficiency of backlinks may be the reason for a page’s poor performance. Therefore, adding a ton of backlinks to that particular page will raise its exposure and search engine rankings.

Here are some further professional opinions on the matter.

«When identifying pages we need to build links to, we first look at the business value of the page — the conversion rate. Then, we’re looking to see if we’ve exhausted all our options for on-page optimizations and content-UX optimizations (adding page jumps, reducing time to first bite, adding TLDRs, adding interactive elements — e.g. tables, videos etc.).

If so — we then look up the keyword we want to rank for with this page in Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer, and compare the link profile of the pages ranking above us. We consider the pages’ DR, quantity as well as the quality of the links they have. If we feel that bridging the link gap could help our page climb in SERPs — this is when we make the decision to invest in link building to that page.” – Emilia Korczynska, Head of Marketing at Userpilot.

Let’s now apply what we’ve learned to identify and close the link gap.

How to Perform a Backlink Gap Analysis Step-by-Step

Every step in this list has practical guidance underneath it, so you can simply conduct backlink analysis while you read.

Note: You’ll need an SEO tool to examine the backlink profiles of your rivals. Ahrefs is our preferred solution, but you are welcome to utilize any other one.

Step #1: Make a list of your competitors

Make a sheet containing the websites of your industry’s rivals first. Put the first ones that come to mind. Next, launch Google and examine the search engine results page using general yet niche-relevant keywords, such as keyword research tool or soft toy store.

Then, narrow down your search to find competitors on the same page. Enter each of your target URLs individually in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to research the competition.

For example, you should only emphasize and publicize the creation of cloud-native apps. To view the Competing Pages report, copy and paste your target URL into Ahrefs.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Use Ahrefs to find rivals at the page level.

Next, compare the two pages to determine which one has the most terms with the highest Content Gap rankings. After prominent URLs are identified, examine their backlink profiles to gain insight into their backlinking approach.

Using Keyword Explorer, you may search the SERP by primary keywords to find competitors at the page level. This report is quite useful for a fast examination because it shows the top 10 search results and related connecting domains at the same time.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

The keyword’s summary on the SERP.

Proceed to the following stage after you’ve chosen your competitors at the domain and page levels.

Also Read: Link Velocity Impact on Rankings

Step #2: Choose the link intersect option

Go to Link Intersect to locate a link gap for the page and the domain. This tool indicates which referring websites you are overlooking by comparing your backlink profile with those of your selected competitors.

Put differently, you will receive an extensive list of domains that point to your competitors but not to you.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

How the Link Intersect is found.

P. S. Take note that there are still certain restrictions on Ahrefs’ and its Link Intersect tool’s data accuracy.

«The key limitation of all those types of profile comparison tools is the size of the index of the specific tool. No tool will ever have a complete picture. And I think that the other thing is that metrics are never a substitute for a manual review in terms of quality. But of course, some metrics are necessary in order to scale analysis.» — Stacey MacNaught, SEO and Content Marketing Consultant at MacNaught Digital.

Step #3: Enter your competitors and the target website

You are requested to add competing domains for additional link analysis when you click on Link Intersect. You may access and evaluate ten websites at once.

Choose the intersection of all the sites to get results that are hyper-relevant. By doing this, you can find websites that link to every domain owned by your rivals, making them 99% relevant for you to investigate further. Choose every degree of intersection to increase the scope of your search.

Paste the URL of a rival website to create page-level link intersections.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Add your website together with the domains/URLs of your rivals.

Step #4: Evaluate the results

The Link Intersect report automatically arranges the results based on the strength of the intersection. To put it simply, you observe referring domains first, which in our situation are linked to three of the studied sites simultaneously.

Although this perspective could highlight the easy targets, you should take advantage of all the overlooked backlink possibilities from reliable sources.

Sort the report by DR to achieve this. With the quantity of backlinks each website receives from the donor, you obtain highly sought-after link prospects at the top.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

The report on link intersections.

Step #5: Analyze the context behind links

It’s good to know who makes references to your rivals, but you should be interested in the context in which they do so.

Do they, for example, reference specific study findings or blog posts, or is the quote credit found in the link?

To view the referring page and anchor text next to the backlink, just click on the caret.

The following example demonstrates how several rivals obtain backlinks from domains with high authority by means of contributions from subject-matter experts. After deciding which ones to link to, plan out your link-building strategy.

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Analyze the context of backlinks.

That is all. In just 5 stages, you were able to successfully complete an advanced backlink gap analysis.

4 Best Tools for Backlink Gap Analysis

While many SEO tools provide backlink analytics, very few offer a good and up-to-date backlink database along with an excellent user experience.

These are our best choices.

Tool #1: Ahrefs

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

A screenshot of Ahrefs’ homepage.

Ahrefs is an essential tool for a link-building company such as Digital Olympus. It provides the biggest database of backlinks together with an abundance of filters to personalize reports.

We employ Ahrefs at each stage of the creation of a link-building campaign:

  • Prospecting
  • Competitor analysis
  • Website evaluation
  • Backlink monitoring
  • Backlink gap analysis

Another feature that we appreciate about Ahrefs is that it allows you to refresh the data in real time and displays the most recent date that it crawled a website or examined the SERP using a keyword.

Cost: The Standard plan has a monthly starting price of $199. Users can only use the link intersect feature from the Standard plan, even if there is a less expensive plan available.

Tool #2: Semrush

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Image from the Semrush webpage.

We would respond that it’s a question of habit whether you were to ask us which we prefer, Ahrefs or Semrush.

Semrush has its own up-to-date backlink index and is a potent SEO toolbox. It offers nearly the same filter choices as Ahrefs and includes a capability for a link gap analysis. Semrush provides a plethora of additional tools for content marketing, agency reporting, and other uses, in addition to sophisticated tools for researching keywords and competitors.

Semrush provides link builders with a comprehensive backlink checker, bulk analysis tools, and a tool for swiftly analyzing and comparing link profiles. Additionally, you can use Semrush to immediately track the success of link building and create outreach initiatives.

Pricing: The monthly cost of the Pro package is $119.95.

Tool #3: Moz

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Screenshot of the Moz homepage.

Moz markets itself as a very customizable enterprise SEO tool. It also provides a few free utilities, Link Explorer being one of them.

You can evaluate the domain authority and spam score of Moz, identify broken links pointing to your website, and view lost and newly created backlinks. In addition, you can contrast up to five different sites’ link profiles.

Cost: The Standard plan begins at $99 per month.

Tool #4: Serpstat

Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities
Backlink Gap Analysis for Link Opportunities

Screenshot of the Serpstat homepage.

Small businesses on a tight budget who want to take advantage of SEO growth potential should definitely consider this product. However, Serpstat offers businesses a strong API to access real-time data.

Serpstat offers a backlink gap tool, data on dangerous sites, and an overall backlink analysis for link development reasons. Moreover, well-known tools like Batch Analysis and Top Pages by Links are available.

Cost: Select the $69/month Lite plan to gain access to Link Intersect.

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