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As digital marketing professionals, we all know about the benefits of keeping a blog.

It’s a proven fact that B2B companies that maintain a blog get more leads than companies that don’t.

Plus, with everyone having access to the internet, experts believe that a company blog can yield more long-term ROI than most traditional marketing strategies.

But with over 75 million websites and blogs on WordPress alone, it can be intimidating to start a blog at this point. Starting a blog now will put you up against seasoned bloggers who have years, even decades, of published content and experience!

But don’t fret! Even with the stiff competition, you still have a fighting chance to set up a successful blog. How? By understanding how your market works. And the best way to understand the industry is to do your competitor analysis.

Just ask any business expert, and they will say that a competitive analysis plays a crucial role in building a solid marketing plan.

By identifying and evaluating your competition, it will be much easier for you to recognize opportunities that you can take to grow your brand.

To help you start your competitive analysis, here’s what you need to know:

Set up your business plan first

blogger businesswoman

As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Even if you have the most amazing ideas for your blog, you’ll have a hard time getting it off the ground without a business plan. Think of your business plan as your roadmap to blogging success.

Setting up a business plan allows you to see both the big picture and the small details of your operation. It also ensures that your whole team is on the same page, even if you’re working on different tasks.

And because a business plan often involves competitive research, it gives you the unique opportunity to look at what everyone else is doing so that you can find innovative ways to get ahead in the game.

Search for competitors based on keywords

Most people look at competition as a bad thing. But when it comes to basic SEO, your competitors are a goldmine of information.

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For example, if you have no idea what keywords you would want your blog to rank for, do competitor analysis, and you’ll be able to use that information to build your marketing strategy.

And with the right tools, competitive analysis is pretty much a piece of cake. Competitive analysis tools can help you figure out which of your competitor’s keywords are ranking in the most traffic, backlinks, and social shares.

Using an SEO tool like Serpstat, enter your SEO on the search bar and then click on SEO Research > Competitors.

The tool will showcase your competitors based on the number of keywords you’re competing for on organic search.

serpstat

To help you determine which among your competitors you should focus on, check the Relevance column. It tells you how much of a threat your competitor presents. The higher the Relevance score, the more you should watch out for that site.

Once you start your research, check the type and quality of published content. You also need to analyze the keywords they’re ranking for. These data help you to pattern their actions across their and scale accordingly.

In short, understanding your competitors’ numbers lets you drive more traffic to your blog!

Monitor your competitor’s sentiment on social

To understand the competition thoroughly, you also need to gather information on social networks.

Check their activity on their social networking sites. Take note of the kind of content they post and how often they update their accounts.

Knowing the general sentiment of your competitors’ followers (and bashers) towards them will give you an idea of how well these brands are doing based on public opinion.

You’ll also see what kind of content has the most engagement, giving you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

For example, if you’re creating a blog for the dropshipping industry, you’ll know that one type of content that your target audience will be particularly interested in is understanding the difference between dropshipping and third party fulfillment.

Of course, you probably won’t have the time to browse through different tweets about your brand manually. In that case, a tool like Mention or Awario ought to do the trick.

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The tools can help gather the tweets for you an identify the sentiment of each. You can then organize the mentions according to positive, neutral, or negative emotion.

Using this feature for your competitor research, look for mentions that you can capitalize on.

For instance, if someone was unhappy with the content your competitor published, tweet the user and offer your content as an alternative.

Analyze backlinks

business numbers

Lastly, the competitive analysis gives you the chance to go deep into your competitions’ backlinks.

Google may claims that they’re prioritizing good content on SERPs these days. But there’s no denying that backlinks still play a huge role in website rankings.

By analyzing your competitor’s backlinks, it will be much easier for you to plan out your backlink strategy!

Again, this is where a good competitor analysis tool will come in handy. Most tools require that you enter your competitor’s domain address to get information like Trust Rank and Page Rank, the number of referring pages and domains, and anchors.

Once you gather your data, all you need to do is look for link building opportunities to build a backlinks strategy for your blog.

Conclusion

Understanding the competition is critical in building a successful blog. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone.

There are plenty of excellent tools that can help you do competitive analysis easily. While these tools may look all the same on the surface, they have their specific features.

Try out a few and see which ones will help you get the most information about your primary competitors.

At the same time, it’s not about the tool you’re using. In competitive research, you must determine the variables you need to measure and track to effectively analyze each of your competitors. The tools are merely there to make the research much easier.

Other than that, you must have a full grasp with the process of competitor analysis to bring your blog to greater heights!



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