Blogs are an essential part of your SEO strategy and a key ranking factor. Regardless of how beautiful and intuitive your web and graphic designs are, content gives those visual elements a direction and educates the user about the information you want them to receive.
But that's not all. Content also engages your target audience, informs them of your services, and gives them other information that they want. High-quality content not only results in user satisfaction, but it also improves your website's organic rankings, leading to more visibility, traffic, leads, and conversions.
But most businesses can't figure out how to formulate an effective content strategy or even where to start.
Thus considering this, competitive content analysis, or analyzing your competitor's strategy, is a good starting point to understand what drives their content strategy and how well they are performing.
Before you start looking at your competitor's game plan, you must identify the goals you want to achieve from your content.
Is it for lead generation? Is it for promoting a product? Or are you providing industry news and insights to establish your brand as a thought leader?
Knowing your blog objectives will help you narrow down on the core topics on which you'd want to focus. As you know the topics on which to create content and write blogs, it will be easier to generate fresh and unique content ideas.
With your content goals and blog topics in the frame, it's time to look at your competitor's strategy and identify weaknesses and strengths.
You may think that you already know your core competitors, but your business rivals could be many kinds.
The businesses that have the same offerings as you and operate in the same geographical area are your direct competitors. This means that both of you have a similar target audience with a push towards capturing as much of the market as possible.
Then there are indirect competitors or businesses that are in the same industry as you but are targeting a different set of audiences or fulfilling another function in the industry. Examples of indirect competition could be a kindle service and paperback books, or McDonald's and Papa John's Pizza.
Here are some ways in which you can identify your direct and indirect competitors:
The next thing to do would be to collect all the content they have on their website and blog section, including videos, images, and infographics that they're using. Here's a list of what to watch out for and what does it tell you about your competitor's strategy:
Blogs: Understand the keywords used and the problem that's being solved through it.
Videos: Videos would tell you about the business's overall brand message strategy and tone.
Newsletters: Newsletters reveal the frequent communication between your competitor and their customers and the kind of news or insight that's being shared.
Podcasts: Identify what kind of content is digestible to the audience in audio format.
If your competitor has webinars, white papers, and ebooks, you should take a look at them as well for determining if they serve the purpose of your business as well or not.
Taking inventory of your competitor's content will also tell you about the format and style, investment, and relevance of topics and keywords that they're creating. Start by grouping your competitor's content together and split them into broader topics, like FAQs, user ratings and reviews, videos, ebooks, etc.
Creating a pivot table in this regard will make things easier for you. While you split the rows into content categories, divide the columns with parameters such as keywords used, frequency of post, traffic received, etc. Documenting your competitor's content into a tabular form will help you in the competitive content analysis of your business rivals.
With the pivot table, you'll get a clear understanding of the kind of content your competitors are creating. You'll also get to know which topics and keywords do well in your industry.
The pivot table will then tell you about the gaps in your competitor's content, which could be a potential opportunity for you. You can also increase your topical authority by creating content on topics that perform well but aren't well targeted by your competitors.
While doing your content strategy competitive analysis, identify potential threats; or topics that have been extensively covered by your competitor related to your niche. In such a case, you should also focus on the topic.
The last step in your competitive content analysis is leveraging the findings into creating useful, relevant, and high-quality content for your business.
While creating the list of topics and keywords to focus on, keep in mind your content objectives, top-performing posts, and the potential opportunities of your competitor's content. Turn this raw data into actionable blogs, videos, podcasts, and other kinds of content that are best suited to the parameters mentioned above.
The good news is: there are various tools available online that can streamline your content strategy by analyzing competitors based on keywords, search volumes, engagement, etc. Different tools offer different kinds of insights on your competitor's content, so it's wise to do a bit of research yourself before you go ahead and purchase a subscription to one of these tools.
SEMRush: SEMRush is a widely used tool by SEO professionals for competitor analysis. It has a comprehensive dashboard allowing you to track your competitor's keywords which influences your content strategy.
ahrefs: ahrefs is another popular competitor analysis tool through which you can check the focus keywords of any website and the traffic volume each receives.
Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo identifies relevant topics to your brand and the social popularity of the content, which means the number of engagements and shares it has received on social sites. Buzzsumo has a topic finder feature that helps you to discover trending topics yourself.
Feedly: Feedly is the tool we'd recommend for spying on your competitor's content. That's because the tool organizes content as soon as it's published by your competitor. There's no need to constantly check your rival's blogs and website for content ideas with Feedly.
Your website's content and blogs significantly impact how customers view your business. When done properly, you can expect high visibility on SERPs and drive brand and industry awareness among your target audience. Creating unique, fresh, relevant, and engaging content regularly will also build trust among your customers over time, lasting effect on your brand image.
This blog will help you to sneak up on your competitor's strategy and modify their tactics to mold a winning content structure for your business.
If you're looking to outsource your content requirements or want to harness the power of digital platforms and tools, VicDigit Technologies can help. Talk to one of our experts today and find out how to drive value to your business.