3 More Ways to Capitalize on Your Competitor’s SEO Strategy
Developing an SEO strategy can involve a lot of trial and error. When you’re trying to find just the right mix of content, keywords, and promotion to reach your audience, it can be difficult to nail it the first time around. Luckily, analyzing your competitor’s SEO strategy can help you avoid mistakes, save time and money, and create a stronger plan.
Since your competitors are trying to reach the same target audience as you, your SEO strategies may look incredibly similar. While you don’t want to actually copy their strategies, analyzing their tactics can help you get a better idea of what’s working and whether or not there are some content gaps to be filled. You can use this knowledge to devise your own superior strategy and blow away the competition.
We’ve already discussed a few of the ways you can learn from your competitors in a previous post. However, there are more methods you can use, and in this post we’ll be delving into three additional ways you can capitalize on their SEO strategy.
- Analyzing your competitor’s SEO strategy can help you identify mistakes before you make them yourself.
- Investigating how often a competitor produces content and who’s creating it can help you plan your own production process.
- Examining content presentation and marketing as well as partnerships can offer insight into how to boost traffic and earn quality backlinks.
1. Analyze Their Content Schedule
We know that fresh content is crucial for SEO, but how do we know how often and what to post? Your competitors’ content schedule or editorial calendar is their plan for creating and posting content in the weeks or months ahead. Analyzing this can help you figure out if you’re on the right track.
This example from Ice Breaker Consulting uses the Hubspot Editorial Calendar Template to clearly lay out the content topic, scheduled date, and target audience of each post. Knowing similar information about your competitor can help you develop a stronger content strategy.
Of course, most companies don’t actually make their calendar public, but it’s fairly simple to deduce. Note how often they’re posting, which content forms they’re using, and which topics they’re covering and you’ll likely start to see a pattern.
You can then use this as a basis to help you decide what your own calendar should look like. That is, you can create a content schedule that is consistent with or stronger than your competitor’s. Using online tools, such as CoSchedule, can help you develop, track, and automate your content schedule.
2. Investigate How Their Content is Produced
Besides having fresh content, making sure your content is high quality is also crucial for your SEO strategy. However, it can be difficult to decide if it’s worth hiring a professional to create your content or keep production in-house. If you find that your competitors are outsourcing their writing, videos, and infographics to professional agencies, you may want to consider doing the same.
This example of guest post guidelines from HubSpot’s sales blog tells writers exactly what they need to include if they want to contribute to the site. Competitors are able to use this information to see the kind of content the company is hoping to produce.
Knowing how your competitor is allocating their resources can help you decide how best to use your own budget. For example, if they’re using a professional agency to create their videos, this may be something you want to consider. Similarly, if they solicit guest posts that seem to do well with readers, you may want to take advantage of this content creation strategy as well.
It might not always be obvious if content was outsourced, but you can look out for branding on videos, podcasts, and infographics, and author bios on blog posts and other written material. You might then decide to use the same or similar companies to produce your content.
3. Examine How Their Content is Presented and Marketed
Presenting and marketing content in the right way is essential to getting more views, more traffic to your site, and hopefully more backlinks (helping your SEO). Looking at how your competition is promoting their content can give you a better idea of how to market your own.
Hootsuite, like many other companies, uses Twitter to promote blog posts. Competitors of the company can look at their Twitter account to better understand what kinds of content they’re sharing and how well they’re reaching the target audience.
Similarly, you can look at your competitors’ social media profiles to see who their content is reaching, if the audience is engaging, and what kind of content performs the best. If certain kinds of posts on specific social media platforms always get a lot of attention, you might want to include similar posts in your own content schedule. Likewise, if your competition tries a promotion strategy that flops, you’ll know to avoid this in your own marketing plan.
[Tweet “Analyzing your competitor’s promotion strategy can help you with your own.”]
You can gain further insights into how your target audience feels about your competition’s content by reading comments or replies. Take a look at how your audience is connecting with the content. Perhaps they’re asking for more information, or even disagreeing with some of the points made.
Bonus: Check for Cross-Promotion on Their Social Media Channels
Cross-promotion is a marketing technique that involves two companies agreeing to promote each other’s products or services. This is often most visible on social media platforms but might also be seen on company websites and other channels. It enables both companies to get their content in front of a larger audience and potentially attract new customers. It also provides the opportunity for quality backlinks which is always a good thing.
This tweet shows a partnership between MailChimp and Squarespace. In this post, MailChimp is promoting the Squarespace platform by showing users how the two services can work together.
This strategy works best when both companies share a target audience but aren’t direct competitors. Understanding what kinds of brands your competitors are partnering with can give you a better idea of who you should be targeting. You may even find an unexpected area where your target market crosses over.
Some partnerships will be obvious, while others might be more subtle. Take a look at some of the social media profiles of companies your competitor frequently mentions. If they’re posting similar content about your competitor, they may have a cross-promotion partnership.
Developing the right SEO strategy can involve a lot of trial and error. However, there are ways to minimize the number of mistakes you have to make before you nail it. If you want to give your SEO strategy a boost, just take a look at what your competitors are doing. Whether they’re killing it or they’re missing the mark, analyzing and understanding their SEO strategy can help you create a better plan for your own company.
Let’s recap the four new ways you can capitalize on your competitors’ SEO strategy:
- Analyze their content schedule.
- Investigate how their content is produced.
- Examine how their content is presented and marketed.
- Check for cross-promotion on their social media channels.
Which of these strategies are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy