The Ultimate Guide to a Competitive Content Analysis (+ Template)

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Understanding however your competitors are utilizing contented to prosecute their audiences and thrust involvement successful their products oregon services tin assistance radiance a airy connected your ain contented selling approach. 

Even if you’re not caller to contented marketing, taking the clip to comparison your efforts to those of your competitors tin assistance you enactment connected apical of trends. You tin adjacent observe caller ways to seizure your audience’s attraction utilizing content. 

In this guide, we’ll locomotion you done however to bash a competitory contented investigation step-by-step. We’ll besides amusement you however to place your ain contented strengths and areas for improvement. We’ll discuss:

  • What Is a Competitive Content Analysis?
  • Why Do a Competitive Content Analysis?
  • How to Do a Competitive Content Analysis
  • How to Turn your Competitive Content Analysis into Action

What Is a Competitive Content Analysis?

A competitory contented investigation is the process of analyzing your competitors’ contented strategies successful a structured way. By breaking down the investigation into steps, it’s easier to uncover your imaginable competitors’ top-performing contented and anemic spots and place your competitory advantages.

Why Do a Competitive Content Analysis?

There are galore reasons to bash a rival contented analysis, but the main intent of the workout is to assistance you:

  • Benchmark your efforts: Understand however your contented selling efforts comparison to others successful your industry. You’ll spot the benignant of contented your people assemblage expects from you and however they similar to prosecute with it.
  • Find contented gaps: Identify your competitors’ top-performing and low-performing content. Understand what your people assemblage likes (so you tin bash it better) and what contented approaches don't get a batch of traction (so you tin debar them).
  • Keep your contented fresh: Find caller ideas to enactment a originative rotation on, and marque definite your contented efforts basal retired from the crowd. 

How to Do a Competitive Content Analysis 

Ultimately, a competitory contented investigation volition assistance you enactment 1 measurement up of your competition. It volition guarantee that immoderate contented you make is unsocial and invaluable for your people audience. And doing a competitory contented investigation is not arsenic hard arsenic you mightiness think. In fact, we’ve created a Free Downloadable Competitive Research Template with everything you request to get started. 

You tin marque a transcript of this template and usage it arsenic you spell done each measurement below.

Step 1: Make a database of your competitors.

When starting a competitory contented analysis, statesman with a database of your nonstop and indirect competitors. 

Your nonstop competitors are immoderate brand, business, oregon idiosyncratic that offers the aforesaid products oregon services that you do. 

Your indirect competitors are immoderate brand, business, oregon idiosyncratic that offers products oregon services that disagree from yours but that could fulfill the aforesaid lawsuit needs. They mightiness besides lick the aforesaid occupation that your products oregon services do. 

You tin besides analyse media publications. Online magazines and blogs that make contented connected the aforesaid taxable arsenic your marque tin beryllium a utile mode to get contented ideas and to find imaginable partnerships.

Case study: Casper 

Let’s usage Casper, a institution that sells prime mattresses straight to consumers online, arsenic an example. 

There are galore nonstop competitors of Casper that merchantability the aforesaid product. Examples see Tuft & Needle, Leesa, Purple, Helix, and Nectar. Even Walmart and Amazon, who person some launched backstage “mattress-in-a-box” labels, could beryllium considered nonstop competitors of Casper.

Meanwhile, brands that don’t merchantability mattresses but connection different products oregon services to assistance radical slumber amended would beryllium considered indirect competitors of Casper. For example, pillow institution PlutoPillow, apps specified arsenic Calm and SleepCycle, oregon adjacent consumable brands specified arsenic RemRise, The Nue Co., and Moon Juice. These businesses besides purpose to fulfill the aforesaid lawsuit need: getting a amended night’s sleep.

You volition privation to enactment unneurotic a database of some your nonstop and indirect competitors. They volition each person antithetic contented strategies for you to analyze.

Pro tip: Use Semrush to assistance make a database of your competitors. Type your domain sanction into the Organic Research tool, and navigate to the ‘Competitors’ tab.

Competitive contented  investigation  - place  competitorsList of Organic Competitors for casper.com

Step 2: Review your competitors’ concern halfway and positioning.

Starting with your nonstop competitors, you’ll privation to stitchery basal accusation astir them truthful you tin amended recognize their goals and people audience. 

Take a look astatine their homepage’s rubric and meta description. You tin presumption this manually successful Google hunt results oregon usage the SEOquake Chrome Extension to scrape it from immoderate page. Also reappraisal their homepage copy. How bash they specify who they are and what they do?

img-semblogGoogle hunt effect for Casper rival Tuft & Needle

You tin besides look astatine the apical merchandise oregon work categories connected your competitors’ websites. These categories usually power the contented selling absorption and contented categories; that’s wherefore it’s important to instrumentality the clip to recognize precisely what each rival offers.

Example merchandise categories for Casper rival Tuft & Needle

In this step, you tin besides instrumentality enactment of whether your rival is well-established oregon caller successful your market. Do they person marque designation yet? This volition assistance you measure your opportunities and limitations much objectively. 

You tin stitchery this accusation by doing a manual Google hunt for each rival institution and seeing what comes up successful the results. Then reappraisal their “About Us” pages connected their websites and cheque Crunchbase to spot if they person raised important funding, etc. 

Alternatively, you tin usage the Top Pages study successful Semrush’s Traffic Analytics to spot pages that thrust the astir postulation to your competitor’s website. 

Step 3: Analyze cardinal SEO metrics. 

A due rival contented investigation besides involves looking astatine cardinal SEO metrics to place immoderate potential contented gaps your tract whitethorn person compared to your competition. For example, you whitethorn observe that a batch of radical are engaging with and sharing your competitor’s videos. This whitethorn mean there’s an accidental for you to make much video contented arsenic well. 

In this step, your extremity is to recognize however overmuch postulation and engagement with contented is expected successful your niche. It’s besides to recognize which of your competitors are doing a bully occupation creating that content.

Monthly integrated hunt traffic

Gathering monthly integrated hunt postulation numbers connected your competitors tin assistance you benchmark your ain marque against them. To bash this you'll request an SEO oregon analytics tool, and determination are respective options. If you are utilizing Semrush, spell to Domain Overview. Type successful your competitor’s website, and you’ll beryllium capable to presumption their Organic Search Traffic.

Competitive contented  investigation  - Organic SearchOrganic Search Traffic for Casper rival tuftandneedle.com - 241.8K arsenic of June 2021 (source: the Domain Overview study successful Semrush)

You tin besides usage Google Analytics to find integrated hunt postulation numbers connected your ain tract by going to Acquisition > Overview > Organic Search. Make definite to found the close day range.

Domain Authority Score

A domain authorization people is different metric you tin usage to measure the wide effectiveness of your competitors’ contented selling efforts. Use it to benchmark against your ain contented and SEO strategy. 

Several SEO tools make their ain mentation of this score. The Semrush Authority Score demonstrates a domain's oregon webpage's wide prime and SEO performance. It is based connected a assortment of metrics (such arsenic integrated search, website postulation and backlinks data) that showcase trustworthiness and authority, utilizing a neural web and instrumentality learning to guarantee maximum accuracy.

If you’re utilizing Semrush, caput to Domain Overview > Overview > Authority Score. Check this people for your competitors and your ain site. 
 

Authority scoreAuthority Score for Casper rival tuftandneedle.com: 55 arsenic of June 2021

Top state by traffic

Depending connected your merchandise oregon service, you whitethorn request to localize your contented to entreaty to your people audience. If you are competing with different brands oregon businesses successful a circumstantial region, you volition privation to analyse wherever their postulation originates. 

You tin usage Google Analytics to find this accusation for your ain website. You’ll request to make a Segment of each postulation coming from Organic Search (where mean = organic). Then spell to Audience > Geo > Locations). To analyse your competitors, you tin usage Semrush (Domain Overview > Overview > Distribution by Country - Organic). 

Competitive contented  investigation  - countriesTraffic Distribution by Country for tuftandneedle.com arsenic of June 2021

Average clip connected site

The mean clip users walk connected a tract is different important engagement metric. It volition assistance you recognize whether oregon not radical are really enjoying oregon engaging with your competitors’ content. 

First, cheque the mean clip users are spending connected your ain website. You tin usage Google Analytics (Audience > Overview), making definite to found the close day range.

If you are utilizing Semrush to find an estimation of this metric for your competitors, caput to Domain Overview > Overview > Avg. Visit Duration. 

img-semblogAvg. Visit Duration for tuftandneedle.com: 08:18 arsenic of June 2021 (Source: the Traffic Analytics instrumentality by Semrush)

Estimated fig of apical keywords 

Next, you tin look astatine however galore keywords your competitors are ranking for connected the archetypal leafage of integrated hunt results. This database of keywords tin assistance you place which of your competitors person the strongest SEO and contented strategy. You’ll beryllium capable to larn from them and effort caller contented ideas. 

If you are utilizing Semrush, caput to Organic Research > Positions > and successful the archetypal drop-down paper prime Pos: Top 10.

img-semblogThe fig of integrated keywords that Turf & Needle was ranking for successful apical 10 arsenic of June 2021 

Knowing which of your competitors make a batch of backlinks tin assistance you find much nexus magnet ideas and link-building opportunities.

Pro tip: Semrush allows you to comparison your marque vs. your rival for these cardinal SEO metrics astatine a glance. Here’s a look astatine a examination of the Authority Score, Organic Traffic, Backlinks, etc. for Casper vs. Tuft & Needle. 

Competitive contented  investigation  - comparing domainsDomain Comparison Overview: tuftandneedle.com vs. casper.com (May 2021)

Summary

As you analyse each of these SEO metrics for your competitors, effort to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses and inquire yourself:

  • Do immoderate of your competitors person problems with integrated traffic? 
  • Which contented formats look to person the astir engagement for them? Which person debased engagement?
  • Is determination immoderate circumstantial contented that generates an antithetic magnitude of attraction and/or backlinks for your competitors?

This measurement volition assistance you found benchmarks for integrated postulation and domain authorization successful your niche. You tin present fig retired wherever your marque stands compared to your competitors. 

Explore the 9-step SEO Writing Checklist for 2021

Step 4: Review their on-site content.

Now it’s clip to instrumentality a heavy dive into the website contented your competitors are creating. This measurement volition assistance you uncover contented selling trends successful your niche arsenic good arsenic make caller ideas to amended your ain content selling strategy

Key contented categories

Analyzing your competitors' contented categories is simply a large mode to commencement figuring retired your industry's astir fashionable contented themes. A bully mode to find this accusation is by looking astatine the main blog sections and blog station tags connected your competitor’s site. 

Content blog categoriesExamples of Blog Categories connected the Tuft & Needle Blog

Blog contented quality

Analyzing the prime of your competitors’ contented tin beryllium subjective. However, determination are things you tin look for to assistance you determine however good they are doing. 

For example:

  • How elaborate are the posts? Longreads (7,000+ connection articles) perform highly well, driving astir 4X much traffic* than articles of mean magnitude (900-1,200 words).
  • Do they travel a structure? At slightest 44%* of posts with a elemental operation (i.e., that usage H2 & H3) execute good successful presumption of postulation and engagement.
  • Are they utilizing prime images oregon design? Posts with astatine slightest 1 representation person doubly arsenic overmuch postulation arsenic text-only posts. They besides get 30%* much shares and 25%* much backlinks.
  • Is the contented casual to work and understand? Posts containing astatine slightest 1 database per each 500 words of plain substance person 70%* much postulation than posts without lists.
  • Do you announcement immoderate grammar oregon spelling mistakes?

* Data from the Global State of Content Marketing Report 2020.

Analyze blogs of your competitorExample Tuft & Needle blog post

Try scoring each of these elements from 0 to 10 based connected your ain opinions and what you consciousness is prime content. 

Content length 

Assessing the mean magnitude of your competitors’ contented volition assistance you found targets for your ain content. Use tools specified arsenic the Word Counter Plus Chrome hold to measurement the connection number of a circumstantial web leafage oregon blog post. 

You tin besides leverage the SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant, which connection suggestions for the optimal magnitude of a contented portion based connected the apical competing pages.

img-semblogThe Semrush SEO Content Template instrumentality suggests the optimal contented magnitude based connected your keyword, among different things

Text magnitude recommendations for the “best mattress for broadside sleepers” keyword successful the SEO Content Template

Key contented formats

Now it’s clip to make a database of contented formats your competitors are using. Some examples of contented formats you mightiness find include:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • Ebooks
  • Reports
  • Data visualizations 
  • Interactive content
  • Quizzes
  • Podcasts

Be definite to cheque their blog alongside different pages connected the site, specified arsenic testimonial pages, FAQs, etc. This volition assistance to guarantee you’re not missing anything. 

Competitive contented  investigation  - contented  formatsThe 12 answers to your apical fears of buying a mattress online” infographic connected tuftandneedle.com 

Making a database of the cardinal contented formats your competitors are utilizing volition assistance you recognize however overmuch clip and resources they put successful contented marketing. You’ll besides beryllium capable to spot however often they make antithetic types of content.

Once equipped with this information, you tin place ideas to replicate oregon fig retired however to differentiate your ain contented strategy.

User acquisition

Many businesses make a batch of contented but hide to see a call-to-action to assistance person their readers oregon website visitors into leads. Therefore, it’s a bully thought to cheque what tactics your competitors are utilizing to seizure imaginable lawsuit interaction accusation connected their sites. 

Check for things similar newsletter sign-up forms, banners oregon pop-up windows, gated offers, and different akin tactics. 

Competitive contented  investigation  - idiosyncratic    acquisitonNewsletter sign-up signifier connected tuftandneedle.com

You whitethorn commencement to announcement a signifier successful the types of tools and calls-to-action they use. This tin beryllium a bully indicator of what works good successful your niche.

Influencers and thought leaders

Nowadays, galore businesses besides enactment with influencers and partners to assistance make contented and prosecute with their audiences. If you announcement your competitors are moving with oregon promoting contented created by influencers, marque a database of their names and the benignant of contented they are creating. That mode you tin scope retired to them arsenic well. 

Competitive contented  investigation  - partnershipsPartner programme connected tuftandneedle.com 

Pro tip: Using the Semrush Brand Monitoring tool, you tin find each affirmative mentions astir your marque and found partnerships with influencers and non-competitive brands. 

Bonus: Content team

If you're looking to turn your contented team, cheque retired your competitors' squad pages oregon LinkedIn institution pages. It volition assistance you to amended recognize their squad size and what roles they have. 

Looking astatine each squad member’s occupation rubric tin besides uncover wherever your competitors are putting their resources. For instance, are determination aggregate radical moving connected video marketing? Or bash they person a beardown societal media team?

On LinkedIn, you tin navigate to “People” connected your competitor’s institution page. Once you’re there, hunt for circumstantial keywords specified arsenic “marketing” oregon “content.” At Casper rival Tuft & Needle, we tin spot that 38 radical person the keyword “content” successful their occupation rubric oregon description.

Competitive contented  investigation  - contented  team

Example roles astatine Tuft & Needle include:

  • Head of Content
  • Head of Email
  • Content Manager
  • Senior Multimedia Producer
  • Head of Affiliate and Influencer
  • Video Editor 

Step 5: Turn your competitory contented investigation into action.

Now that you’ve gathered each of this accusation connected your competitors’ contented strategies, the last measurement is to summarize however you tin marque your contented better. Base this connected their (and your own) strengths and weaknesses. 

Additionally, you volition present person everything you request to:

  • Identify the competitors you should ticker intimately erstwhile it comes to contented marketing 
  • Generate caller contented ideas (topics, themes, and formats)
  • Try caller tactics to make leads with your content
  • Determine your ain anemic points 
  • Test caller ways to amended your wide contented strategy 

After analyzing your nonstop competitors, you tin besides repetition the process for your indirect competitors. Remember, it’s besides good to skip immoderate of the steps for immoderate of your competitors if you don’t find them relevant. This process and our escaped template are flexible and tin beryllium customized to acceptable your circumstantial concern needs. 

Bonus Steps: Dive into top-performing contented pages and societal media content

If you’d similar to instrumentality your competitory contented investigation a fewer steps further, you tin marque a database of your competitors’ astir fashionable pages (i.e., those with the astir postulation and backlinks). This volition assistance you get much granular with generating contented ideas for your ain contented calendar. 

Then, you mightiness privation to reappraisal their societal media contented strategies to get a implicit picture. 

You volition request an SEO instrumentality to implicit this bonus step. If you are utilizing Semrush to find your competitors’ apical pages by traffic, spell to Organic Research > Type successful your competitor's domain > Pages.

Filter those pages by postulation measurement and summarize your findings. Which topics and themes look to pull the astir attention? Manually inspect absorbing pages and marque a enactment of the contented format, structure, etc. 

Eliminate immoderate pages that are not applicable oregon that don’t make immoderate actionable insights for your contented research.

Competitive contented  investigation  - Top PagesTop Organic Pages for tuftandneedle.com

Analyzing which pages of your competitors are receiving the astir backlinks tin besides springiness you an thought of which formats and taxable ideas pull “link creators” successful your niche. 

If you are utilizing Semrush, you tin find your competitors’ pages with the astir backlinks by going to Backlink Analytics > Type successful your competitor's domain > Indexed Pages. 

KE4yB_VNGVxvApqFJiqZ_UPLbhM1XJfbzig3cNvp1RYYd-hRgoSWllsblflX7Zvo8Cx754pwyzGeAt_6Ovpbk8VCuWykNT5zmt_qJXzn8j-995RsVcnBse99_n5Jju3bmWzhd2q6Pages with the astir backlinks connected tuftandneedle.com

Your competitors’ societal media pages tin besides beryllium large sources of contented inspiration. 

  • First, place which channels they usage to administer contented (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). 
  • Then instrumentality a look astatine however often they post, and the superior contented formats they usage (images, videos, GIFs, etc.). 
  • Check which types of posts person the astir engagement, specified arsenic comments and likes. 

Pro tip: Use the Semrush Social Media tracker to automate your efforts successful this space.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve analyzed each facet of your competitors’ contented selling strategies, you tin outline areas to optimize your ain content funnel and boost your content performance. This volition assistance you find ways to walk your resources much efficiently. 

It’s besides important to retrieve that doing a competitory contented investigation should beryllium a regular portion of your wide contented strategy. Businesses travel and spell - and your competitors are besides adjusting their contented strategies to support up with trends and ever-changing user behavior. It’s a bully thought to cheque successful with your competitors and bash a competitor analysis connected a quarterly oregon yearly basis. This volition assistance you uncover caller contented ideas and measure your ain performance.