The biggest problem most SEO enthusiasts run into is the battle of time. In a perfect world, we would analyze website connections until we have a breathing copy of Google and Bing. Now there are a blessed few agencies who are able to study the Google Patent and test the algorithm to the point where they get close, but eventually other priorities take demand on your time.
In the end, the question is:
How deep should you analyze the backlinks to your sites and to your competitors’ sites?
Checking per keyword
The first step to consider is the keyword(s) you’re aiming to reach. Then ask:
- What is the traffic?
- How competitive is that keyword?
- How many keywords are you looking to rank on?
- Which keywords are most important?
It’s basic stuff, but the twist is that if the keyword is branded or niche or long tail, then chances are overwhelmingly in your favor that you can hit them without going crazy on the analysis.
Checking the 1, 5, & 10 position
Here’s where the fun start. Now you get to see what others did to get to these positions.
- What is the keywords in the domain?
- How many subfolders are in those URL?
- How many backlinks are pointing to those URLs?
- What is the quality of those backlinks?
And when you get to checking the competition’s backlinks, you start considering opening Pandora’s box.
Have you ever seen the Google Wonder Wheel? Google related searches? These two tools provide indications as to how deep the link relationship can be analyzed. Just a few clicks leads you down thousands of possibilities. The same goes for competition backlinks.
For example: Take the #10 listing for the SERP you want to rank for. Complete a content & design analysis and get to backlinks. Some listings are backed by hundreds of thousands of links. And the sites that link to those thousands can have thousands of their own.
And before you know it, you’re down the rabbit hole.
So, how deep should one take their link love?
It really does come down to ROI – Return on Investment. In theory, you can hit any keyword you want to hit. The question is: do you have the time?
Consider easy-to-reach keywords to help your ROI and take a long term approach to those big keywords. Build up momentum. Pending your responsibilities, it’s easier to track down the keyword than sprint to the keywords. And you’ll need that consistency over time to build up faith in the search engines.