6th July 2018 Claire Hawes

6 things a content competitor analysis can teach you about improving conversions

Here’s the thing. If your customers evaluate options before deciding to buy from you, then it makes sense to carry out a content competitor analysis

What action do you always take before deciding to buy a product or service?

Imagine for a moment; you’re booking a summer holiday villa.

  • You check out the location: How close the villa is to shops, restaurants and the beach
  • You check out the pool: Is there shade? Is it child-friendly?
  • You check out the facilities: Does it have wifi? A dishwasher? And so on

Tick. Tick. Tick.

But before you send an enquiry, you compare it to other options available to you.

Here’s the thing, unless you make a repeat purchase, no matter what you buy, you always evaluate the alternatives before making your decision.

At this point you realise, if you know your customers are going to evaluate alternatives, it is in your best interests to carry out a content competitor analysis.

You’ll want to know:

  • What tactics your competition use to craft and promote messages
  • How your audience rates them

Then with a meaningful comparison, you can:

  • Look for ways to differentiate your business
  • Identify opportunities to improve your messaging and website user experience
  • Use your analysis as a starting point for creating a content calendar that’ll help you persuade your audience you’re their best choice

Want to know how to evaluate your competition with a content competitor analysis?

Let me show you how:

Step 1: Identify your competitors

First off make a list of five key phrases you would use to find your products and services and type them into Google. Your objective is to find out:

  • Who appears in the organic search results
  • How they appear in the search results. Is your competitors’ meta data (meta titles and description) inviting?
  • How well competitors use keywords in titles and descriptions

Step 2: Analyse your competitors’ websites

Next, click on the links in the search engine results pages. Your objective is to find out how easy it is to find answers to questions.

Also, how well your competitor’s page content guides you through your decision making.

  • Do the links in the search engine results pages take you to a page that answers your search query?
  • How well does your competitor’s website answer these questions:
    • Who are you?
    • What do you do?
    • How can you help me?
    • Where can I find more information?
    • What do I need to do next?

Step 3: Analyse the different types of content your competitors create

After that, you’ll want to know how well your competitors use content to arouse interest in their products and services. To do this:

  • Assess content created over a three month period
  • Take note of the types of content produced, i.e. product information, blogs, press releases, case studies, e-books/white papers, infographics, video, content to support an event or other branded information
  • Assess how frequently your competitors post content

Step 4: Analyse your competitor’s messaging

Of course, it’s one thing to create content; it’s quite another to create content that’s persuasive. Your objective is to determine:

  • What language your competitor uses and its tone of voice
  • Is copy easy to read?
  • Is the message clear and customer focused?
  • How well is page content structured?
    • Does the page lead with an attention-grabbing headline?
    • Are paragraphs dense?
    • How well does your competitor use visual prompts such as bullets to cater for people who scan text?
    • How well does your competitor use visuals to back up its message?

Step 5: Analyse the tactics your competitors use for lead generation

Equally important is an assessment of how your competitors convert readers into enquiries. Examine competitor content to determine:

  • Whether it features a strong offer
  • What are the features and benefits it is promoting?
  • What is the call to action?
  • How does your competitor use content to attract enquiries? For example, does it use lead magnets (an incentive such as a downloadable item offered in exchange for contact information)?

Step 6: Analyse the levels of engagement your competitors attract

The final piece of the jigsaw is to work out how well competitors promote their content on social media.

With this in mind your objective is to find out how many likes, comments, shares, retweets and mentions etc. your competitors attract.

Of course, you can use free tools such as Twitonomy for Twitter to help you do this. Paid tools include Sprout Social and Buzzsumo.

Beyond the steps I have listed, you can keep track of your competitors’ content marketing activities by:

  • Subscribing to competitors’ mailing lists
  • Following competitors on social media
  • Setting up Google Alerts around competitors’ names

There’s no doubt about it, conducting a content competitor analysis is a time-consuming task. But on the flip side, you can use the information you glean from your review to help you to do a better job at converting readers into enquiries.

And isn’t that what you want?

And finally

If you would like help carrying out a content competitor analysis, then drop me a line to get information about pricing.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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