Reverse Engineer Your MSP Competition and Get Get More SEO Backlinks
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magical system, application, or another resource that allowed you to see who links to an MSP competitor? Guess what? It already exists. Actually, there is more than one.
In the majority of competitive keyword searchers, the ones who come out on top are typically taking part in link-building. This means your competitors who are winning the race are not waiting for unsolicited and ordinary links. Your competitors are taking some of Google’s link-building advice with a grain of salt, and instead, they are being proactive with their link-building strategy.
Website owners know how tedious and distressing link building can be. For newer websites, this is especially true. If you don’t have the reputation and authority behind you, earning backlinks becomes even more difficult. If you lack a solid base of good backlinks, your website is at an immediate disadvantage in the Search Engine Results Pages even if you are piecing together a solid SEO strategy.
If your competitors rank higher than you on Google or other search engines, they have more backlinks than you. Does this mean there is nothing you can do? No, it’s quite the opposite. If people are linking to your competitor’s website, who’s to say they wouldn’t link to you? However, the key questions are, how would those websites know you exist? How will you know about these sites that are willingly linking back to the websites of your main competitors?
So what can you do? One of the best places to find link-building opportunities is the backlinks profiles of your competitors. Why should you put in so much hard work when someone else has already done it for you?
Who Are Your MSP Competitors and How Can You Find Them?
The sites that you are competing against in the Search Engine Results Pages(SERPs) on the whole, and not just for one or two keywords. With your domain-level competitors, there will be major competition between your website and that of your competitors across multiple web pages.
The sites that your website is not competing against on the whole but on a keyword or specific topic basis. When you search for a specific keyword, you will see a blog of one of your competitors ranking for the same keyword. That competitor may not be a domain-level competitor, but it will be a page-level competitor.
Finding Your Competitors Using Ahrefs
You can find domain-level competitors and page-level competitors in the MSP industry, you can use the Ahrefs Site Explorer tool to search your domain. The site explorer tool will provide you with a list of domains according to common keywords. Once the list is generated, you should use them for future reference.
To find your page-level competitors, you can use the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer tool and enter the keyword you want the results for. The tool will generate a list of the websites that you are competing with for that particular keyword. Use the results for future reference.
Google is also a tool that can be used to find your domain-level and page-level competitors. You can simply enter the keyword in Google’s search engine and view the high-ranking pages for the keyword you entered. By taking this action, you will give yourself a clear idea of your competitors. Take time to note the websites that continue to show up for the keywords you are searching for as they are the ones you are competing against for backlinks.
Reverse Engineer Your MSP Competitors’ SEO Strategy
Once you learn more about your competitors, the next thing you will need to do is find out where their links are coming from. Ahrefs is not the only magical SEO tool on the market; Semrush is another tool that can be used to enhance your SEO strategy. When you want to monitor your pages and gain a deeper insight into your rankings and backlinks, then you should keep Semrush in your back pocket. One of the things we love about Semrush is that they have a variety of free keyword search tools.
Once you use these tools to help you learn more about your competitors, you will need to find where the links are coming from. This is where you begin the reverse engineering process. After using one of the site explorer tools and checking the websites of your competitors, navigate to backlink profile, find the referring domains, and filter for ”dofollow”. You will be able to see where your competitors’ backlinks are coming from.
After you do this process for some of your competitors, you will likely determine that the backlinks are coming from directories, blog posts, forums, and more. Directory backlinks should be some of the first links you build for your website because they’re practically guaranteed. These are links just waiting for you to build them. Many directories offer free listings and you don’t need to use a specific tool to find or build them.
Once you reverse engineer the links of your competitors, you will be one step closer to establishing relationships with the same people your competitors are in touch with. With your relationships come many potential opportunities. If the articles, directories, forums, etc. are willing to link to your competitors, they will certainly be willing to link to you for the same content, or better, right?
Reverse Engineer and Create Better Content Than Your MSP Competitors
Now that you know more about domain-level competitors and page-level competitors, what can you do to top the rankings and your competition? When looking at your page-level competitors, the best way to defeat the competition is to create and post the best content. What type of content are they posting? What are their main topics? What content has the most backlinks?
Once you are able to answer those questions, you will be on your way to creating content that’s much better. You can do this for other websites that create similar content and find out where their links are coming from as well. You can even take it a step further and find broken backlinks. If your competitors have one or more broken links, Ahrefs free Broken Link Checker will check any website or webpage for broken links. When you locate the domains that are referring to that content, take it and use it for yourself.
Getting more SEO backlinks can be a slow and methodical process, but this does not mean you should neglect building backlinks. While this may not be the most exciting thing you will ever do and the process of link-building them can seem endless, this process can set your website up for success. Never forget: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
Are you ready to get your website at the top of the search engines where all the traffic is? Engage with Ulistic LP today.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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