05252017

Content Hacking With Your Competitor’s Research

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It’s amazing what you can learn by analyzing the strategies that are working for your competitors. Best of all, you can incorporate what you learn and put your own spin on it when creating your own campaigns. What are some ways you can find and leverage this valuable information? Read on!

Knowledge is power and you can find it in unexpected places. It’s nearly impossible to develop an effective digital marketing strategy without having adequate information about your competitors. It’s amazing what you can learn by analyzing the strategies that are working for your competitors. Best of all, you can incorporate what you learn and put your own spin on it when creating your own campaigns. What are some ways you can find and leverage this valuable information? Read on!

Keywords your competitors are using

Researching your competitor’s keywords is one of the best ways to enhance your search engine optimization strategy. When you have details of your competitor’s keywords, it guides you in shaping your own SEO strategy, giving you a competitive advantage when it comes to those sought after search engine rankings.

Competitors’ keywords in this context include those keywords which your competitors are using to rank higher on search engines and also those they targeted, but didn’t rank well. Knowing these two categories of keywords will enable you to make informed decisions about your SEO strategy.

So, how do you hack your competitor’s keywords?

Competitor keyword research involves more than just generating any keywords associated with your competitors. It requires doing a bit of manual research to get an authentic list of your competitor’s keywords. Though there is no one tool that will generate your competitor’s keywords in one click, there are several tools which can help speed up the process.

SEMRush

This is a unique keyword research tool that requires you to enter a URL, then lists the top 10 keywords that the website ranks well for organically. It will also provide information about the website, including each keyword’s position in search, traffic percentage and more.

Google Keyword Planner Tool

The Google keyword planner is a free tool from Google, provided to advertisers in order to research keywords for Adwords campaigns.  The tool can also be used by those who do not intend to use Adwords but are looking for other information. All you need is a free Google account, then set up your Adwords account and you can use the tool.

The tool provides an estimate of your competitor’s keywords and how each one is performing. Simply log in to your Adwords account and select keyword planner, then click on “find new keywords.” Then input your competitor’s URL into the “your landing page” field and click on “get ideas.”

Google scans your competitor’s website and generates a list of all the keywords related to it. Then just click on “keyword ideas” to see the analysis.

Alexa

Alexa is generally known for giving traffic scores to websites. However, it also enables you to analyze the specific keywords bringing a high percentage of a website’s traffic. To do this, navigate to the site “info” tab and input your competitor’s URL, then go to the “analytics” tab to see the top keywords driving traffic to the website.

Top trends your competitors are following

In order to leverage customer’s behavior to your advantage, you need to understand the market and continuously monitor the entire niche. If you aren’t doing this, you need to be! You can easily do this by reading industry blogs and other publications, but you should also pay close attention to what your competitors are doing and saying when it comes to these trends.

You can take advantage of some great tools available to help properly analyze the top trends that your competitor are following. Here are just a few:

Google Trends

This tool sends reports whenever your competitor is mentioned online, which helps you monitor their activities.

Simply Measured

This tool gives you a bit of everything. It monitors your competitions’ trends, traffic sources, conversion rates, social media activities and more.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts sends you relevant updates of the latest Google results from specified queries. You can set up alerts for your competitors, allowing you to monitor any developments from them. It’s also helpful to set this up for yourself to monitor your own mentions!

Effective content formats

Developing content is a daunting task, whether it’s coming up with topics or adding new types of content. However, you can easily get ideas on how to craft your content by taking a peek at your competition. A look at how they create their content can give you valuable insight on how to create yours.

Look at the type of content that’s popular with their customers. Look at the word count and writing style. Is it casual? Formal? Quirky? Look at other structures like the length of paragraphs, headings and bullets. You’ll want to analyze the topics they write about and the format of the content. Is it predominantly written content or video? How many images do they use? Are they repurposing through Slideshare or infographics? What are they NOT doing?

Observe how many of each of these formats are published, how and whether they publish a single topic in different formats. All of these insights will enhance your own content game.

Backlinking possibilities

Despite the claims that Google’s algorithm focuses on content, backlinks are still part of the criteria that contributes to Google ranking. High-quality backlinks do wonders for SEO!

It’s important to have relevant backlinks for your website and one way of finding these opportunities is to analyze the backlinks of your competitors. There are several tools available to help you do this.

Monitor Backlinks

This website analyzes backlinks and then sends them directly to your inbox. It provides a detailed description of each link, specifying the highest and lowest rank, as well as indicating whether they are do follow or no follow. You can then compare the results to know which links might be good fit for your website.

Open Site Explorer

This tool reveals your competitor’s link building efforts and discloses those linking back to them. It also allows you compare data from various sites.

Ahrefs

This is a popular backlink tool that helps you research competitor backlinks. It will disclose the top pages and the IP address of those websites linked to your competitors.

You can learn a lot from your competitors and generate ideas for your own campaigns using these hacks. Have you used any of these tools or strategies? Which ones worked best for your business?

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