Great content is the lifeblood of the Internet. If you’re looking to increase traffic on your business, news or education site then you need to publish great content and get it in front of your audience.
In this lesson, we’re going to teach you how to research, analyse and copy your competitor’s best performing content.
Why Copy your Competitors Content?
Copying others saves time, provides key information about your industry and allows you to create a better content strategy than your competitors.
If your competitor’s have already laid the foundations or content blueprints for you then you’d be stupid not to analyze their site and see what type of content performs best or generates the greatest amount of traffic and social shares.
The following methods show you different ways you can analyze your competitor’s best performing content and steal it for your own site.
- Find your Competitors most Shared Content
Buzzsumo.com is a brilliant free tool that allows you to enter a topic or keyword and see the most shared content over any time period ranging from 24 hours up to 6 months. You can also filter content by article, video, infographic, guest post and giveaways.
The advantage of analyzing the most socially shared content is that it allows you to directly see the type of content that most appeals to your audience. For example, does negative or positive spun content perform best? Are infographics a successful marketing channel in your niche? Does a particular topic keep getting shared? Do surveys and reports perform better than news and static content?
- Find your Competitors most Linked Content
Backlinks are one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign. By analyzing which content generates the most backlinks to your competitor’s site, you can invest in producing even better content and then stealing their links.
In order to view your competitor’s most linked content, simply load up a backlink analysis tool such as Ahrefs.comor OpenSiteExplorer.org. Then all you need to do is click on Top Pages to see the most links pages; Ahrefs.com allows you this via total number of backlinks or root domains.
If you’ve seen a lot of the links to your competitor’s pages have been placed on “list” or “useful resources” pages than you can invest in an even better page on your site and ask the webmasters for inclusion on their list. This is a strategy I’ve done a number of times with things such as graduate jobs board resources, student finance help guides and postgraduate funding links.
You can also use this strategy to come up with tools, research, products or eBooks around this topic. For example, if a certain topic is generating a lot of attention and links than it might be worth publishing your own industry research or product around it and doing some PR.
- Sign up to your Competitors Email List and view their most Important Content
Signing up to your competitor’s email list allows you to spy on their email marketing strategy. By studying the content that they email to users, you can view what they believe to be their most strategically important content (this may be tied to conversions, earnings or user engagement). Over time, you can also see the type of content that they regularly send out to users.
- Search for their Brand in Google and View the Extended Site links
Sitelinks are those extended blue links shown in Google search results when someone searches for your brand name in Google. They were designed in order to improve user navigation in the search results.
It’s heavily suspected that Google generates these sitelinks based on your most important content by analyzing traffic flow on your site. Thus, searching for your competitor’s brand name in Google will theoretically allow you to see their most important and high traffic pages.
In conclusion, once you’ve got an understanding of the types of content that performs best in your industry, you can then integrate this with your content strategy. Likewise, you can avoid investing in boring content that receives little social shares, traffic or user engagement.