Learn From Competitor Content Analysis
As that popular 80’s song says, “love is a battlefield.” When you love what you do and you want to succeed beyond your wildest dreams, the stress of fighting for your moment in the sun can literally keep you up nights.
As the entire global marketplace moves online, ever more brands are competing for ever more fatigued sets of eyes. Customers simply don’t have time to do all the research, read all the blog posts, visit all the sites and analyze all the options before making a choice.
After all, your customers have dreams of their own to pursue.
This makes competitor content analysis one of the most essential aspects of success in the e-commerce marketplace. Where are your competitors gaining sets of eyes to your detriment? More importantly, how are they strategizing to outrank you in the daily race to market leadership?
In this ultra-competitive online atmosphere, simply trusting the algorithms to catch, categorize, calculate and rank your search engine optimization keywords is a recipe for coming in last.
So what is the recipe for coming in first? Let’s talk about that now!
Do you realize your competitor is actually giving away their marketing secrets to outrank them right in the very content they keep generating? All you need to do to find and use these secrets is to analyze their content and find what is missing.
The missing content is called a “content gap.” And it is pure gold for out-strategizing the top-ranking brands and taking over their lead.
So how do you do this? Here is a step-by-step.
Competitive Content Analysis
1. Start by scanning through your closest competitor’s website.
You can use a competitive analysis tool (Screaming Frog is one good example) to locate the pages on your competitor’s website that are driving the most traffic.
What you need to do is run your tool and look for the pages that all the other pages are pointing to – in other words, look for where the internal links are pointing.
Those pages are part of the not-so-hidden secret to your competition’s online success.
Do you have any pages that match this content on your own website? If the answer is no, you have just found a content gap. Now you need to get to work to create similar pages to start sending more customers to your own website instead.
2. Next, analyze your closest competitor’s organic traffic.
Organic traffic is traffic (sets of eyes) that finds its way to your competitor’s website on its own through browser searches.
You want to know where your competitor’s organic traffic is coming from and what is driving it there.
Luckily, there are tools (SEMrush and Ahrefs are good examples) to help you do this. You can use these tools to locate the top pages on your competitors’ website based on how much organic traffic they are generating. You can also use these tools to identify which SEO keywords or key phrases are generating the majority of that organic traffic.
Then you need to once again head back to your own website to see if you have similar content on your site. If you can’t find it, you have just found another content gap!
3. Now, start beefing up your own existing online content.
Perhaps it isn’t just the content itself or even the keywords or key phrases that is responsible for your competitor’s superior performance online.
It may also be that busy sets of eyes find your competitor’s website structure easier to navigate so they can find what they need quickly.
A good way to analyze structure is to pretend you are a customer looking for your key product or service. Go to your competitor’s website and try to locate that product or service quickly and go through the inquiry or checkout process.
Then go to your own website and do the same. If you were a customer, which website would you rather visit? Which made your visit faster, easier and more secure?
Throughout, consider what about your competitor’s pages is making a visitor’s experience more useful and satisfying, then restructure your own content to match.
4. Consider images, videos, fonts and other visual aids.
When you are in a hurry, would you rather read a bunch of text or watch a 30-second video? Are you more of a visual learner or an audio learner?
The data tells us that, in the vast majority of cases, prospective customers and even casual web visitors are more likely to visit and linger on sites that feature graphics – images, videos, infographics – versus straight text.
Responsive, interactive website content is far more likely to engage and connect with a visitor or prospective customer than even the most well-formatted text content.
The good news is, once you have good basic content (what you were working on in the previous steps here), all you need to do is change how you are presenting it. For example, you can take a block of text and convert it into a fun little video.
You can break up your text-heavy frequently asked questions with screenshots or turn it into a shareable infographic or podcast series instead.
But the key is to look at how your competitor’s top pages are breaking up their content successfully, take a page out of their playbook and turn around and do something similar (but even better) on your own website.
Remember, they have already done the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is visit their site, conduct some simple analysis as outlined here and tweak your content accordingly.
5. Range farther afield and look at other pages that are pulling your visitors away.
Even if some of the websites that you are competing with for web traffic don’t do exactly what you do, in some way they are still managing to capture sets of eyes that really should be visiting your site instead.
So you want to understand what they are doing and how they are doing it. Specifically look for:
- What primary topic/sub-topic/question is associated with each page?
- External links and professional citations.
- Backlinks (tools such as Moz and Majestic can help identify these).
6. Identify your competitor’s linkable asset ideation (link attractors).
Backlinks, guest posts or link building back to content from other sites, provide you with a goldmine of information about your competitor’s marketing strategy.
Never assume those backlinks just “happened” on their own with affordable SEO services. Oh no – your competitor crafted content specifically to attract eyes that might then want to link to that content.
This is called “linkable asset ideation” and you can use it to generate your own compelling content to attract new visitors.
By following these six steps, you will be on your way to creating a successful brand strategy to generate new customers.