5 Competitor Analysis Tips for Content Marketing
If you were to ask a business who their competitors are, they may rattle off a list of them in no time. They may even have some of their competitors’ marketing strategies figured out, such as their sales techniques, how they promote product benefits, or what they’ve done with their website. Maybe they’ve attempted a strategy similar to one of their competitors, but it fell flat. In most cases, it is unlikely they’ve done a competitive analysis for content to understand what is working for competitors that they could translate to their own business. Below are a few tips for analyzing a competitor’s content strategy which can be invaluable in creating your own.
1.Know Your Competition
It is essential to know who your main competition is before taking the time and energy to analyze their content strategy. One easy way to find out is to do a quick search for your products or services. For example, if you sell safety relief valves, do a search on Google and Bing for that term. Mark the first three (at least) companies appearing in the search results as your leading ONLINE competitors. Of course, your main competition or the biggest brand name in your industry may not show up, but the goal of competitor analysis for content is for increasing your web ranking on search engines – although it can help in other areas. There are also a number of sites, such as Alexa, and tools (Google your own search terms) that can help you or your marketing firm see which site(s) are at the head of the pack for your search terms.
2. Find their Content
Now that you know which websites are leading for your search terms, find out where these search terms are appearing. The main or homepage of a site is generally the most visited. However, the content that is generating the search engine leads may not necessarily be coming from this page.
It’s a good idea for you or your marketing firm to perform a website audit of each competitor’s site in order to pinpoint where the most relevant content is housed on their site. This can include the blog, service pages, case studies, and more. Again, there are a number of tools such as Alexa’s PageRank Checker that can tell you what the most visited pages and posts on a site are in order to aid your competitor analysis.
3. Audit the Content
Once you’ve found the pages and posts on the site of the most relevance, do an analysis of the content. You should look for the following:
- What keyword appears the most? Using the above example, “safety relief valves” may not appear the most.
- What tags, meta descriptions, alt names, etc. are being used? This can further help you identify a critical but overlooked keyword.
- Keyword saturation – Did you know there is such a thing as using a keyword too much? Find out how often the keyword is used on the page or post. For example, if it is 500 words long and the keyword appears five times, the saturation is 1%.
4. Monitor Frequency
If your competitor has a blog, column, or other area of the site that is regularly updated, how often is it being updated? Although there is no set answer for how often one should update their blog or news page, Google and other search engines are likely to send their bots onto your site to see if it is being updated regularly. Those that do are more likely to be rewarded with a higher search ranking. One good rule to remember is that if you create new content as much or more than your competitors, you are more likely to be able to compete with them.
5. Setup Alerts
In addition to formulating your current site to be similar but superior to your competition, you can also set up a Google Alert to be notified when they publish anything new. With this strategy, you are not only notified of new content they publish, but also when other sites mention them, or when they receive a backlink to their site. You can also sign on to their pages and posts to see how often they are shared via social media – if you have the right tool, such as SEM Rush, or they share a counter on their site.
We aren’t suggesting that you 100% mimic your competitors’ content strategies; but doing this type of analysis can provide valuable insight into how you can more effectively compete with them, online. You don’t need to start your website over from scratch when developing a strategy for your content creation process. Instead, you or your marketing firm can perform a competitor analysis to discover new and interesting strategies that will work for you.
If you are an industrial company that would like to learn more about competitor analysis or how to beef up your online marketing presence, contact us to discuss it further.