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How to Analyse Competitor Links

Impact of inbound links on SEO

Inbound links to your site are obviously an important SEO factor as they have considerate impact on rankings and well as driving qualified traffic to your site. But we are long past the days where using link farms and directories was an effective way to build links. Google’s Penguin update cracked down on these nasty old black hat SEO tactics designed to focus on the quality of inbound links. Since gaining high quality links to your site is one of the hardest areas to manipulate, search engines, and Google in particular, determine the popularity of any given webpage by analysing the external links to that page and site.

It’s changes like this which have led the world of SEO into the world of content marketing or in this case the world of ‘inbound link building through content marketing’. Creating unique and shareable content is an excellent way to gain links to your site. This also ties in with the impact of social signals on SEO as more and more people are sharing content across social media.

So the overall question this blog aims to answer is “How can you measure the impact of your content marketing on SEO?

How to determine where you stand against your competitors in the world of link data

One of the third party tools we use here at iProspect is a Moz tool(yes another Moz tool!) called Open Site Explorer, which allows you to perform competitive link research, explore back links, anchor text and more for free (or gain wider insights with the paid version). The main metric it provides is assigning an authority to your site domain and pages and to your competitors’ site domain and pages. The higher the authority of your domain or page , the higher the likelihood that domain or page has to rank for a given search term. This is again where the SEO world ties into content marketing and PR.

This has resulted in website owners running content/inbound marketing campaigns by creating unique content with the aim of having it shared online which will essentially ‘build links’ back to their site and, if done correctly, gain a ton of high authority links.

Analysing link data pre and post content/inbound link building campaigns using Open Site Explorer

To determine the results of a content marketing/inbound link building campaign is to use the link data which can be pulled from Open Site Explorer on your site/page and your competitors’ site/page. You can use the below insights to determine where you and your competitors’ domain and page authority stands pre and post content/inbound link building campaign. Let’s say you want to increase the authority and number of links pointing to a target page on your website. You can:

  • Determine the domain authority of your website and the page authority of your target page.
  • Determine the domain authority of your competitors’ sites and the page authority of their pages.
  • Determine the number of inbound links to your site and target page and again determine the number of inbound links to your competitors’ sites and their target pages.
  • Determine the authority of the pages and sites linking to your site and target page and again the authority of the sites/pages linking to your competitors’ sites/target pages.
Example using well known BBC.co.uk site:

The above graphs show where a site stands against its competitors in terms of inbound links and the quality of them. Running this same data analysis after a content marketing campaign can show the impact and power of the campaign. You can see how many inbound links you have gained to your domain or page and see any increase in page or domain authority.

So coming back to the impact of content marketing on SEO, the direct result of the increased amount of inbound links will (hopefully) have increased your domain and page authority. A solid way to check this is looking at your Analytics and seeing the increase in organic and referral traffic to your target page.

What do you think?

Coming back once again to the question I proposed at the start for this blog to answer; “How can you measure the impact of your content marketing on SEO?” And my answer is; using data from Open Site Explorer to determine your and your competitor’s domain/target page authority and assessing the quality of inbound links you and your competitor’s have before and after your content/inbound link building campaigns, you can measure the impact on SEO.

What is your stand on the increasing connectivity between the world of SEO and Content Marketing and PR? And are there any other tools that you are using to measure this? I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below.