A Step-By-Step Guide to Doing Competitive Content Analysis
Almost every article out there about gaining more customers or more sales will tell you to create better content. What they don’t tell you most of the time, though, is that with so many businesses competing for customers’ attention, it’s not enough anymore just to produce content you think will entice and interest your audience. You also have to look at the competition, and you have to use them to make your content strategy a lot better. How? By performing competitive content analysis.
Understanding how your competitors are going about their content marketing can help improve your content marketing approach. Comparing your efforts to theirs can help you stay on top of trends and discover new ways and approaches to make your content marketing more effective. It can also help you stay one step ahead of your competitors and give you the upper hand.
Here, we’ll walk you through how to do a competitive content analysis step-by-step, and we’ll show you how to identify your strengths and weaknesses to improve your content marketing. But first:
What Is Competitive Content Analysis?
In doing a competitive content analysis, you systematically analyze your competitor’s content strategy. By breaking it down, you can quickly determine their top-performing content and their weaknesses to help you identify your competitive advantages.
Why Perform Competitive Content Analysis?
Overall, doing a competitive content analysis can improve your content marketing strategy. More specifically, this can help you to:
- Benchmark Your Efforts: Once you understand how your content marketing efforts compare to others in the industry, you can identify the kind of content your audience expects from you and how they want to engage with it.
- Find Content Gaps: You can identify your competitor’s top and lowest performing content. You can also determine what types of content work and which don’t in your industry and with your audience.
- Keep Content Fresh: Knowing what everyone around you is putting out will help you stay on top of trends which can help you find fresh new ideas to put creative spins on your content and stand out from the crowd.
How To Do a Competitive Content Analysis
Competitive content analysis ensures that you consistently put out unique and valuable content for your target audience. And contrary to what many might think, it’s not the most challenging part of your content strategy as long as you know what to do. Here are the simple steps you can follow to do a practical competitive content analysis.
Step 1: List Down Your Competitors
This analysis won’t work if you don’t know who you’re competing with within your industry. To start, you can make a list of your direct competitors. These are the brands, businesses, or persons offering the same products or services as you.
After them, you can go ahead and list down your indirect competitors. These are brands, businesses, or persons with different products or services but could satisfy the same customer needs.
Lastly, you can also list online publications like online mags or blogs that create content with the same topics as your brand for fresh new ideas or potential partnerships.
Step 2: Understand Your Competitor’s Business Core and Positioning
Before starting your analysis, you need to know your competitors and understand their goals and target audience. This crucial step will help you assess your opportunities and limitations more accurately.
Start by looking at their homepage and then their top products or services. These can influence the content marketing direction. You should also take note of whether your competitors are already well-established or new to the market. After that, check out their about page and other pages that might drive traffic to their website.
Step 3: Analyze Key SEO Metrics
One of the essential parts of performing competitive content analysis is looking at the SEO metrics. This step can help you identify any potential content gaps you might have. Your goal is to understand the types of content performing well and how much traffic and engagement your niche expects. Here are some metrics to watch out for:
- Monthly Organic Search Traffic: Keeping an eye on the monthly organic search numbers can help you accurately compare your brand against them.
- Domain Authority Score: This can help assess the overall effectiveness of your competitor’s content marketing efforts.
- Top Country By Traffic: If you and a competitor company are in the same area, you may need to localize your analysis to determine where their traffic originates.
- Average Time On Site: The average time on site of users can help you determine if you and your competitor’s audience are engaging the content there.
- Estimated Number of Top Keywords: This will help you identify your competitors’ most effective keyword strategies for SEO.
- Estimated Number of Backlinks: Knowing which competitors generate a lot of backlinks gives you more chances to find more link-building opportunities and link magnet ideas.
Step 4: Take Inventory of Your Competitors’ Content
Of course, no competitive content analysis would be complete without deep-diving into the content your competitors are creating. This step will help you get fresh ideas and marketing trends to improve your content strategy. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Content Quality: Gauging the quality of your competitor’s content can be very subjective. However, some things you can look out for to better judge their content includes how detailed the posts are, their structure, their readability, the grammar, the image and design quality, and structure.
- Content Length: Knowing the average length of your competitor’s content will help you know what targets to set for your content.
- Content Format: Be sure to check out which formats your competitors are using with their content and which work out best to help you identify ideas to replicate for your strategy.
- Call-to-Action: Don’t forget to pay attention to your competitors’ tactics and strategies to get customers. See what works best in your niche.
Step 5: Turn Your Competitive Content Analysis Into Action
Once you have finish gathering all this information, you can now use it to better your content strategy by looking at your strengths and weaknesses and cross-referencing it with your competitors. You’ll have new tactics, new content ideas, and new ways to improve your content strategy.
After doing these steps for your direct competitors, you can also do it for your indirect competitors.
It’s important to remember that doing a competitive content analysis shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Businesses and trends come and go, and your competitors are also keen to keep improving their strategies to keep up with consumer behavior. That’s why it’s a good idea to make competitive content analysis a consistent practice. You can do it quarterly or yearly. This technique will help you create content strategies better and help you keep up or stay ahead of the competition.
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