When you are just starting to learn SEO, I recommend following whats working for others. You can do some free research with Moz‘s API using this chrome extension. It looks like its only for Chrome at the moment, though i did see some attempts to make it work with firefox.

We are going to be looking at our competitors websites that are on page 1-2, and seeing what backlinks they have. So we can duplicate that link, or create a similar one.


Step 1: Installing the Toolbar

You will need to go to Chrome Extensions
At the bottom of this page you will see Get more extensions
click on that, and search  Mozbar.

Once you have installed the Mozbar, a small blue M icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen.

The Settings Tab: If you click on the Moz Icon, the settings tab will be under the Clog icon.
Generally you want to have all of these on, and i find it easier to look at the data in “dark” mode. 

Step 2: Researching

This part of course will depend on the keyword/phrase you are trying to rank for. Lets use “WordPress Developers in Portland” as this example. We want to rank for this term, so we need to look at the websites that are already ranked for this keyword. Its really a case of monkey see, monkey do.

You know whats working, and you just have to try to replicate what they are doing with their SEO strategy. You will want to have a similar domain authority. The Metric of all backlinks pointing at the domain. Along with a similar page authority ( back links pointing at the article. ) So rather than guessing what links to build, we can get ideas of what links google values with that search term from our competition.

The number one spot under the paid ads is pdxwp.com/directory 

If we click on links we can look at more data that Moz has. You will have to create a account, but its free to do so.

Linking Domains: Generally when researching you are going to want to look at the domain the backlink is coming from.

Anchor Text: The text of the hyperlink backlink.  

Example: SomeText would show up as

Linking Domain: pdxweb.design
Anchor Text: SomeText

Anchor text is case sensitive as well, surprisingly. In this example, it doesn’t look like the page has all that many backlinks pointing at it. Its junk, but we can dig more into this while we are looking. We know its the top spot for a long tail local keyword. We might be able to find some places to get the same or ideas for similar links.

If we remove the /directory and just look at the root domain.  http://pdxwp.com

Now we can see a lot more back links. If the website looks like someone put a little love/effort into it, it likely is worth trying to get the link from that source. The most common method people use to get links from other blogs would be Guess blogging, or comment links.