Competitor Content Analysis: Step-by-Step Guide

published on 30 May 2024

Conducting a competitor content analysis is crucial for understanding your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and strategies in content marketing. It allows you to identify gaps in the market, find opportunities to differentiate your content, and refine your own content strategy.

Key Steps:

  1. Identify Competitors: Find your direct and indirect competitors using SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz.

  2. Gather Analysis Tools: Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and BuzzSumo to analyze backlinks, keywords, content performance, and social media.

  3. Analyze Content Types and Quality: Evaluate the types of content your competitors create (blog posts, videos, etc.) and assess their quality, depth, and relevance.

  4. Research Keywords: Identify the keywords your competitors rank for, find keyword gaps, and analyze search intent.

  5. Evaluate Content Performance: Look at website traffic, top-performing content, and content distribution channels.

  6. Analyze Backlinks: Examine the quality, quantity, and sources of your competitors' backlinks.

  7. Evaluate Technical SEO: Check site structure, page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and on-page SEO.

  8. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Pinpoint your competitors' strengths and weaknesses in content marketing.

  9. Develop Your Content Strategy: Use the insights from your competitor analysis to create a content plan that outperforms your competitors.

  10. Keep Monitoring Competitors: Regularly monitor your competitors to stay up-to-date, identify new opportunities, and refine your strategy.

Quick Comparison: Content Analysis Tools

Tool Purpose Analyze
Ahrefs Backlinks, keywords, content performance Backlinks, keywords, top pages
SEMrush Keyword analysis, technical SEO, content gaps Keyword rankings, technical SEO, content strategy
Moz SEO audits, keyword research, link building On-page SEO, keyword opportunities, link profile
BuzzSumo Content analysis, social monitoring, influencers Top-performing content, social shares, influencers

Getting Ready

Find Your Competitors

The first step is to identify your direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors offer similar products or services, while indirect competitors target the same audience but with different offerings. Use SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to discover actual search competitors and analyze the market.

Gather Analysis Tools

You'll need the right tools to conduct a competitor content analysis effectively. Here are some essential tools:

Tool Purpose
Ahrefs Analyze backlinks, keywords, and content performance
SEMrush Competitor keyword analysis, technical SEO audits, content gap analysis
Moz SEO audits, keyword research, link building analysis
Buzzsumo Content analysis, social media monitoring, influencer identification

These tools will help you gather data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions about your content strategy.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial for creating engaging content. Identify their preferences, pain points, and interests to develop a content strategy that speaks to their needs. This will help you create content that resonates with your audience and drives better engagement and conversions.

Analyze Competitors' Content

Content Types

Look at the different kinds of content your competitors create. This includes blog posts, videos, images, social media posts, podcasts, and more. Note which types of content are most common and effective for each competitor. You can use tools like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs to see the top-performing content types.

Content Quality

Evaluate how good your competitors' content is by looking at its depth, relevance, and overall user experience. Consider factors like:

  • Is the content well-researched and informative?

  • Is it engaging and easy to understand?

  • Does it provide unique insights or perspectives?

Publishing Frequency

Look at how often your competitors publish new content. See if there are patterns in their publishing schedules and consistency. Ask yourself:

Question Details
How often do they publish? Daily, weekly, or monthly?
Is the content fresh? Is it up-to-date?
Is there consistency? Do they have a consistent tone and style across their content?

Content Structure

Analyze how competitors structure and format their content. Look at aspects like:

  • Headings and subheadings

  • Bullet points and lists

  • Visual elements like images, videos, or infographics

Ask yourself:

1. Organization

Is the content organized and easy to navigate?

2. Headings

Are headings and subheadings used effectively to break up the content?

3. Visuals

Are visual elements used to enhance the content?

Research Keywords

Targeted Keywords

Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find the keywords your competitors rank for. Look at the search volume and difficulty of these keywords. See if these keywords relate to your business and if you can target them in your content.

Keyword Gaps

Search for keywords your competitors rank for but you don't. Find chances to target these keywords in your content. Use tools like Ubersuggest, BuzzSumo, and SpyFu to find keyword gaps and create content to fill those gaps.

Search Intent

Look at the search intent behind the keywords your competitors target. Make sure your content matches what the user wants to improve relevance and engagement. See if the keywords have an informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional intent and create content that aligns with that intent.

Search Intent Description Example
Informational User wants information or answers "How to bake a cake"
Navigational User wants to find a specific website or page "Facebook login"
Commercial User wants to research products or services "Best laptops for students"
Transactional User wants to complete an action or purchase "Buy iPhone 14"

Evaluate Content Performance

Website Traffic

Look at how many visitors go to your competitors' websites. Use tools like SimilarWeb to see where this traffic comes from, like search engines, social media, or ads. This will show you how well their content connects with their target audience.

Top-Performing Content

Find out which pieces of content bring in the most visitors and engagement on your competitors' sites. Look at metrics like time spent on the page, bounce rate (people leaving quickly), and social shares. This reveals what type of content works best for their audience.

Content Distribution

See how your competitors share their content across different channels like social media, email newsletters, and content syndication. Identify which channels drive the most traffic and engagement. This insight can help improve your own content distribution strategy.


Look at the links pointing to your competitors' websites to understand their link-building strategies and find opportunities for your own site.

Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to examine:

  • The number of backlinks to competitors' sites

  • The authority and relevance of these links

This analysis shows how your competitors' backlink profiles help their search engine rankings and online visibility.

A strong backlink profile has links from authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy sources. Analyze the types of websites linking to competitors, such as blogs, news sites, educational institutions, or government websites. Identify patterns in their link-building strategies.

Find which sites provide high-authority backlinks to your competitors. These could be link-building opportunities for your site.

Analyze the content and context of these backlinks to understand what makes them valuable. High-authority backlinks can significantly boost your website's search rankings and credibility.

Identify gaps in your own backlink profile and develop a strategy to get similar high-authority backlinks.

Analyze how competitors get backlinks, such as through guest posts or partnerships. See which tactics work best and how you can use or improve them.

Identify the types of content that attract backlinks, like infographics, eBooks, or whitepapers. Look at the anchor text distribution and find opportunities to optimize your own anchor text strategy.

Evaluate Technical SEO

Site Structure and Navigation

Check how competitors organize their sites and how easy it is to navigate them:

  • Look for a logical site structure with clear categories and subcategories

  • Ensure the navigation menu is user-friendly and easy to use

  • See if they use breadcrumbs to improve user experience and SEO

Identify areas where you can enhance your own site's structure and navigation.

Page Load Speed

Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check how fast competitors' websites load. Identify opportunities to optimize your site's performance:

  • A slow-loading site can hurt user experience and search rankings

  • Analyze page weight, rendering blocking elements, and optimization options

  • Improve your site's loading speed based on these insights

Mobile Responsiveness

Ensure competitors' sites are mobile-friendly and work well on various devices:

  • Check if their design adapts to different screen sizes

  • A responsive design is crucial for good user experience and search rankings

  • Use this information to enhance your site's mobile performance

On-Page SEO

Analyze competitors' use of on-page SEO practices:

On-Page SEO Element Description
Title Tags The title that appears in search results and browser tabs
Meta Descriptions The brief summary that appears in search results
Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.) Used to structure content and convey hierarchy
Keyword Placement Strategic placement of target keywords in content

Ensure your site follows these best practices and identify areas for improvement in your on-page SEO.

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Competitors' Strengths

When examining your competitors' content strategies, it's crucial to pinpoint their strengths. This will help you understand what they excel at and how you can differentiate your content. Focus on these areas:

  • Content quality: Do they produce high-quality, engaging, and informative content that resonates with their audience?

  • Content frequency: How often do they publish new content, and is it consistent with their audience's needs?

  • SEO optimization: Are their content titles, meta descriptions, and headings optimized for search engines?

  • Content distribution: Do they have a solid strategy for distributing content across social media, email newsletters, and other channels?

  • Audience engagement: Do they encourage audience engagement through comments, social media, and other means?

By understanding your competitors' strengths, you can identify areas where you can improve your own content strategy and stand out from the competition.

Competitors' Weaknesses

Identifying your competitors' weaknesses is just as crucial as understanding their strengths. This will help you capitalize on areas where they're underperforming and create opportunities for your own content to shine. Focus on these areas:

Weakness Description
Content gaps Are there topics or areas where your competitors are not providing sufficient content or value to their audience?
Poor content quality Do they produce low-quality, thin, or duplicate content that doesn't engage their audience?
Inconsistent publishing Is their content publishing schedule inconsistent or unreliable, leading to a lack of audience trust?
Lack of SEO optimization Are their content titles, meta descriptions, and headings not optimized for search engines, leading to poor search rankings?
Limited content distribution Do they have a limited strategy for distributing content, failing to reach a wider audience?

Develop Your Content Strategy

Use Competitor Analysis Insights

Take the findings from your competitor analysis and use them to build a content plan that:

  • Improves your content quality, frequency, and distribution

  • Identifies areas where you can outperform competitors

  • Understands what works and doesn't work in your niche

  • Creates content that resonates with your target audience

  • Sets you apart from the competition

Content Ideas and Formats

Make a list of content ideas and formats that:

  • Align with your strategy

  • Fill gaps found in the analysis

  • Address audience pain points or interests

Consider using various formats like:

  • Blog posts

  • Videos

  • Infographics

  • Social media posts

This caters to different learning styles and preferences.

Prioritize Content Creation

Rank your content creation tasks based on:

Priority Description
Potential Impact How much the content could benefit your business
Opportunities Gaps or needs identified in the competitor analysis

Focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that:

  • Resonates with your target audience

  • Addresses market gaps

  • Provides unique insights and perspectives

Keep Monitoring Competitors

To stay ahead, you must keep an eye on your competitors. Regular competitor analysis helps you:

  • Find gaps in the market

  • Stay informed about changes in competitors' strategies

  • Refine your content to better connect with your audience

By regularly monitoring competitors, you can:

Stay Up-to-Date

  • Ensure your content remains relevant and engaging

  • Keep up with industry trends

Identify Opportunities

  • Find areas where you can outperform competitors

  • Capitalize on new opportunities

Refine Your Strategy

  • Adjust your content strategy based on data and analytics

  • Develop a responsive approach that adapts to market changes

Benefit Description
Stay Relevant Keep your content engaging and up-to-date with trends
Find Opportunities Identify areas to outperform competitors
Refine Strategy Use data to adjust your content approach

Competitor analysis is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can:

  • Maintain a competitive edge

  • Drive business success

Keep monitoring competitors to stay ahead in your content marketing strategy.


How do you analyze competitor content?

To analyze competitor content, follow these steps:

  1. Identify your competitors

  2. Conduct an SEO competitor analysis

  3. Review your competitors' content

  4. Assess content quality

  5. Note their SEO metrics and strategy

  6. Examine their content distribution

How to analyze competitors' content?

To analyze competitors' content, follow the same 6 steps:

  1. Identify your competitors

  2. Conduct an SEO competitor analysis

  3. Review your competitors' content

  4. Assess content quality

  5. Note their SEO metrics and strategy

  6. Examine their content distribution

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