Identify competitors’ content gaps, which content types and keywords to target, and which channels to use for distribution.
Google the top 3–5 keywords with commercial intent for that focus area to identify competing companies.
If you sell a service, search for:
- “best [service] [your area]”,
- “[service] agency”,
- “top [service] agencies in [your area]”,
- “[service] consultancy”,
- “[service] price”.
If you sell a product, search for keywords like:
- “top [product category] for [use case]”,
- “best [product category]” etc.
Create a spreadsheet and add your target queries in the first column, then competitor names in the second column.
Add the following columns next to the competitor name: Website URL; Competitor on [niche/topic]; Competitor type (direct, different solution); Content overview (what they have), Content gaps, Content types, Channels, Ranking keywords, Backlinks, Feature set, and Pricing.
Search your first competitor’s website for navigation and footer links such as Resources, Blog, Knowledge Base, Case Studies, News, Client Stories, and Learning Center.
For example, note if they have gated ebooks or case studies, long-form articles with comments (i.e. strong engagement), guest posts, main content formats, average length of posts, whether they have branded graphics, and so on. Look for newsletter subscription boxes and subscribe to see what type of content they send out, and how often.
Click social media profile links on competitor sites or search for them directly on social media, summarize the content types, and estimate the average likes/shares.
Alternatively, you can run competitor sites through BuzzSumo to get an idea of the content types and topics that get more shares. Also note the CTA types used on their most shared pages.
Run competitor websites through a tool like Ahrefs or Moz and record how many backlinks they have, who’s linking back to them, and the keywords they rank for.
Do this only if they offer a few products or services and skip this step for ecommerce websites.
Fill in the Content gaps column on a 1 to 5 scale for each query-competitor combination based on that site’s content structure, clarity, UX, and design.
Where 1 = missing, 2 = poor, 3 = average, 4 = good and 5 = excellent.