Mastering Backlink Gap Analysis: Uncovering Competitors’ Backlinks

5 min read
26 Nov 2023
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Backlinks are the backbone of an effective SEO strategy, and understanding your competitors’ backlink profiles can give you a competitive edge.

Performing a backlink gap analysis allows you to identify the backlinks that your competitors have acquired, but you haven’t. By uncovering these opportunities, you can enhance your link-building efforts and improve your website’s authority and rankings.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the step-by-step process of performing a backlink gap analysis to gain valuable insights from your competitors’ backlinks.

Define Your Competitors

Begin by identifying your main competitors within your industry or niche. These websites consistently rank well for the keywords you’re targeting or have a similar target audience. Conduct thorough competitor research and compile a list of your top competitors. These will serve as the foundation for your backlink gap analysis.

To perform a comprehensive backlink gap analysis, you’ll need reliable backlink analysis tools. Several popular options are available, each with its unique features and capabilities. Consider the following tools:

  • Ahrefs: Renowned for its extensive backlink database, Ahrefs offers comprehensive analysis features, including competitive research and link intersect tools.
  • SEMrush: SEMrush provides a robust suite of SEO tools, including backlink analysis and competitive research, allowing you to identify your competitors’ backlinks quickly.
  • Moz Link Explorer: Moz’s Link Explorer lets you access in-depth backlink data, analyse your competitors’ link profiles, and uncover valuable insights.
  • SE Ranking: SE Ranking is another effective backlink analysis tool that provides detailed insights into your competitors’ backlinks, helping you identify opportunities for your link-building strategy.

Evaluate these tools based on your specific requirements and budget to choose the one that best aligns with your needs.

Once you have your list of competitors and your preferred backlink analysis tool, it’s time to gather the backlink data for each competitor. Using the tool’s search feature, enter the domain or URL of each competitor and let the tool generate a list of their backlinks. Repeat this process for each competitor to collect comprehensive data.

After gathering the backlink data of your competitors, consolidate it into a single spreadsheet or document for effortless analysis and comparison. Be sure to include crucial details like the URL of the linking page, the anchor text utilised, the domain authority of the linking domain, and any other metrics that you find relevant. This compilation will form the basis of your backlink gap analysis.

Analyse the compiled backlink data to identify the backlinks that are unique to each competitor. These are the backlinks that your competitors have acquired, but your website is currently not benefiting from. Focus on backlinks that any of your other competitors have not acquired. These unique backlinks represent potential opportunities for your link-building efforts.

Once you have identified the unique backlinks, assess their quality and relevance. Look for backlinks coming from authoritative and reputable websites within your industry or niche. Consider factors such as domain authority, page authority, contextual relevance, and the overall trustworthiness of the linking domains. Prioritise backlinks from high-quality sources that align closely with your target audience and content.

Utilise the insights gained from your backlink gap analysis to uncover link-building opportunities. Identify the websites linked to your competitors and may be willing to link to your website as well. Prioritise those with high domain authority and relevance to your industry. Craft personalised outreach emails highlighting the value you can offer and suggesting a mutually beneficial link

opportunity. Emphasise how your content provides a unique perspective or adds value to their existing resources.

Enhance Your Content and Outreach Strategy

Use the findings from your backlink gap analysis to refine your content creation and outreach strategies. Identify content gaps or areas where you can improve your competitors’ existing backlinks. Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that appeals to your target audience and is naturally link-worthy. Develop a targeted outreach plan, reaching out to potential link prospects and presenting your content as a valuable resource. Customise your outreach emails to showcase how your content complements existing content and benefits its audience.

Monitor and Adapt

The digital landscape constantly evolves, and your competitors’ backlink profiles will change. Continuously monitor your competitors’ backlinks and update your backlink gap analysis periodically. New opportunities may arise as websites update their content or seek new collaborations. Stay vigilant, adapt your link-building strategy accordingly, and leverage emerging opportunities to maintain a competitive edge.


Performing a backlink gap analysis is a powerful strategy to uncover your competitors’ backlinks and gain valuable insights for enhancing your link-building efforts. By utilising reliable backlink analysis tools, compiling and comparing data, identifying unique backlinks, assessing their quality and relevance, and leveraging link-building opportunities, you can strengthen your website’s backlink profile and boost your SEO performance.

Regularly revisit and refine your backlink gap analysis to stay ahead of the competition and drive long-term success in your SEO endeavours.

Written By
I've worked in digital marketing for 10+ years and founded 3 agencies. I am the CEO of Lakewood media Limited and our digital marketing agency I also head, a support and maintenance company and, our premium design and development agency.I currently spend my time developing strategies for digital marketing, covering everything from SEO, PPC, lead generation, email marketing, analytics and conversion optimisation. My role is to ensure our agencies are at the forefront of the industry so we can provide the best solutions and remain agile.I also manage the daily operations at our parent company, where I enjoy the business side of running a group of agencies.
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