Have you ever known how well your competitors rank in Google? Part of successful content marketing strategy is to look what you competitors do and do it better yourself.
Of course, you can write great content and hope for Google to rank it high in SERPs. But it would be inefficient. Instead, you can copy information from your competitors, save your time and stay updated about industry trends.
When your competitors have already laid the foundation for you, so you can analyse their sites and find out what type of content performs the best. Besides, you can copy not only someone’s blog post ideas, but also backlinks. This way, you can rank in Google better and outrank your competitors. It sounds like Harry Potter’s magic, right?
Today I’m going to share with you a simple process of how to see what content ranks well in your niche, create better content, steal your competitor’s backlinks and organically outrank their content.
You need to get to know what content of your competitors is interesting and engaging in order to create better content on your own site or blog. It does not mean to ‘steal’, but to copy and improve their content ideas.
When it comes to identifying the best content, there are three main criterias you need to look at, such as what content is the most shareable on social media, what content is the most linked by other bloggers, and what content ranks well in Google and bring the most organic traffic for your competitor.
I like Ahrefs to figure out all these things. Ahrefs is actually a backlink analysis service which allows you to get to know a lot of useful data, such as backlinks, broken links, the best content, set alerts and much more. Just add any site URL into a search bar and click Ok.
Then go to Site Explorer tab, and find ‘best by shares’ in a sidebar.
Here you’ll find posts with most shares on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Pinterest. Besides you can sort content by number of shares by a certain social network as well as overall number of shares. You can make your own conclusions which content resonate with your target audience and use these ideas for your future blog posts.
Take into account that the most shareable content is temporarily popular, but content which creates backlinks will help you improve your site’s SEO. So, go to ‘Best by links tab’ to figure out which posts and pages are the most linked.
Also, go to Top pages take where you’ll see which pages bring the most organic traffic from Google. The drop down menu will show you top keywords and a position of particular page in Google. This useful information can be also used to create your own huge content.
Choose a few competitors sites, find out the best content there and create some better content of your own. This tactic won’t let you wait for a long time, you’ll see the results shortly.
Ahrefs is a paid tool, but they have two-weeks free trial which is quite enough to create a posts plan for a few months ahead.
There is also an app BuzzSumo which does almost the same thing.
Using this service you can identify your competitors bets posts by shares and number of backlinks.
We all know that Google ranks pages depending on the number of sites which refers to it. Inbound link is like internet ‘money’ – the more backlinks a website has the more chances to rank better in Google, naturally.
Most marketers are still don’t pay necessary attention to link building, trying to create good content and leave to fate how it is going to rank in search engines. However, by analyzing which content generates the most backlinks to your competitor’s site, you can try to create better content yourself and steal their backlinks. I previously mentioned how to find out the ‘Best by links’ content using Ahrefs. You can also use OpenSiteExplorer by MOZ.
This is a perfect strategy I’ve done a number of times with tutorials, eBooks, new products and posts. Stealing someone’s idea and improving it, you can become a trusted leader in your industry.
Let me go deeper to what exactly you should do.
1. Find content which creates links: As I said, use some of the tools mentioned above to find out link-worthy content on your competitors sites.
2. Create MUCH better content of your own: On this step you need to create a better content on a certain topic. Yes, it sound not that easy, but your efforts will pay off if you create really better content. Analyze the post or tutorial, or eBook and create much better, detailed, longer and better designed guide. It should be really better to turn out successful.
3. Ask people to add your link: Once your better piece of content is done, you need to find out what people have already linked or wrote about similar topics. Create a list of posts and start writing emails offering these authors to add your link to their content too. Let them know that you have created much better, improved, new post worth their mention.
Create a template of a friendly email you will send to bloggers who have already mentioned your topic in their posts. It will save your time. However, remember to read these articles and let the person know that you’ve read it.
It’s critically important to know which keywords your competitors use for their most popular articles and SEMRush can help you with it. It shows you the list of top 10 keywords which your competitor use to rank well in search engines. Just insert the needed site URL and open Keyword Analytics tab.
Along with keywords, the tool can also shows you the estimated number of searches for these particular keywords and pages which gets traffic. This results are similar to Ahref’s Top pages tab. This information is valuable when you want to get some traffic for your own site.
You need to pick the most relevant keywords and create high-quality content on this base. Just make sure you create really better content providing value to your readers. And feel free to promote this content. There is no point in writing a killer blog post if nobody knows about it.
Have you ever notice those extended sitelinks shown in Google search results when you search for a particular brand? In fact, they were made to make it easier for a searcher find what they want and improve website navigation.
Google creates these sitelinks based on the most important content of a site. So, when you search for some brand in Google, pay attention to the sitelinks as they are the most visited and high traffic pages.
Once you understand which pages and post are the most popular on your competitors sites, you can integrate this knowledge into your own content strategy.
It’s good to know your competitors content strategy, but it’s also important to get to know how they grow their mailing list. By signing up to your competitor’s email list, you can spy their email marketing strategy. You can see the content they constantly send to their readers, the design of their email newsletter and get to know how often they get those emails.
Also, by signing up to their mailing list you’ll get a sense for what it is like to be engaged in their email workflow. Pay attention to subject lines and copy writing. This way you can learn what works for others and what does not. So, you build your own success knowing their strong and weak sides.
Don’t get me wrong – directly stealing content from your competitors is a bad idea. But learn from your computers is good idea. There are so many post are published day in and day out, and it’s dramatically important to know what works for other and learn from other’s mistakes, not only yours.
To become a truly successful blogger means to be better or different from your competitors. Use the tips we have put together here to identify what you should do and what you should avoid. Do something similar, but much better.