This post was sponsored by Ahrefs.
Google can be a great source of new leads for your business, but for many business owners, the process of ranking a site and driving traffic can be a tad confusing.
After all, there’s a lot to think about in SEO:
- How do you choose the right keywords to target?
- How do you come up with ideas for popular content?
- How can you build links that will improve your rankings?
A great way to get started and to demystify the process somewhat, is to research what your competitors are doing to bring in traffic from Google, and replicate/improve upon their processes.
Ahrefs can help you do just that.
Check Their Organic Search
Enter your competitor’s domain into Ahrefs research tools, and you’ll get a list of pages that send them the most traffic from Google, along with the keywords they rank for:
While researching their top performing pages and keywords try to identify opportunities for your own site:
- Can you create a better resource than their top ranking page?
- Do you see them rank for any good keywords without directly targeting them?
- Can you come up with any similar topic that has potential, but wasn’t covered on their site?
Ideally, you want to pick keywords where you can rank in the top 10 without doing much linkbuilding. Adding links thereafter should give you a good chance of reaching the top 5.
Check Their Backlinks
Finding great keyword opportunities and creating awesome content to target them is actually the easier part. A much more challenging task is building quality backlinks to these new pages.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to identify sites linking to the original resource and reach out to them with your improved content.
With the help of Ahrefs you can easily find all the backlinks for any given URL:
Backlinks from authority sites are generally more beneficial for rankings, so use the ‘Referring Domains’ report and filter it by DR (Domain Rating) to put the most powerful sites at the top.
This will quickly show you all major sites that link to this piece of content and the pages the links are coming from.
While it’s unlikely you will be able to replicate all of your competitor’s high authority links, it is important to reach out to as many sites as possible directing them to your resource. Even if they don’t link to your content, they may share it, which can lead to natural links down the line.
“Stealing” search traffic from your competitors is a three step process:
- Find a keyword opportunity where you can rank without much promotion
- Create a much better page for that keyword than your competitor has
- Reach out to a lot of people who might potentially link to your resource
But that, of course, is a very simplified look at this strategy.
For more, please watch the video tutorial published at Ahrefs YouTube channel, which provides additional, indepth information:
Featured image: Image by Ahrefs. Used with permission.
In-post Photo #1: Image by Ahrefs. Used with permission.
In-post Photo #2: Image by Ahrefs. Used with permission.