Competitor Content Analysis: A Practical Example

How to perform a competitor content analysis to find gaps

Andreea Macoveiciuc

Written on 6th November, 2020 |

5 min read

Share this article

The competitor content analysis is typically performed before or while developing your content strategy, to get a clear understanding of their strength and weaknesses. 

For this example, I will analyze the content competitors of Poise, a platform that offers narration services to authors and creators who want to have their written content repurposed into audio format.

I’m not affiliated with any of these products/services, but I will conduct this analysis as if I were the content strategist of Poise. 

I will use this spreadsheet for gathering the data. Feel free to make a copy of the template and use it for your own analysis.

Before diving into the step-by-step process, let’s clarify one more thing: the goal of this analysis is to identify your competitors’ content gaps in order to make informed decisions when choosing content types to create or themes/keywords to target. 

The audit will not focus on distribution channels, but you can expand the analysis as needed. Also, it won’t look at the overall marketing or content strategy of competitors.

Analyze your competitors’ content: step-by-step process

Poise is a narration service, so in this particular case, we don’t have to worry about comparing or analyzing multiple services and products. 

However, if you own a company that offers more services, you might want to choose only one focus area for the audit, to keep the scope smaller.

Step 1: Find the top keywords with commercial intent for your service

Since we want users to find this platform through organic search, we need to start from their search intent and think of potential queries they might be using when trying to find a narration service. 

Users who are solution-aware might search for service-related keywords such as: 

  • best narration service

  • narration service

  • narration agency

  • narration price

  • get book narrated

Users who are problem-aware, but not solution-aware, might search for pain points such as:

  • turn book into audio

  • create audiobook

  • create podcast from article

  • turn article into podcast

  • how to narrate a book

  • how to get a book narrated

  • tools for narrating a book

  • tools for creating a podcast

  • podcast tools

  • tools for creating an audiobook, and so on. 

The solution-aware keywords will be used on the service landing pages. Together with use-case and process-focused landing pages, these will serve as middle of the funnel content. 

The problem-aware keywords will be used in blog articles representing the top of the funnel, with the purpose of pushing the users lower in the funnel. So when a user lands on the page targeting the query “how to create an audiobook”, they’ll be presented with the option of a narration service. 

The CTA will take them to the MOFU page, which can be focused on a specific industry, use case, more specific pain point. For example, the MOFU page could be “Narration service for universities”, or “How the (narration) service works” and so on. 

Now, going back to our competitor analysis, we want to see what the user finds when he googles those keywords. So we’ll add all these queries to the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Add your target queries & competitor names to the spreadsheet

Split the queries in two sections — solution-aware and problem-aware, to keep things more organized.

Fill in the following columns for each competitor: website URL, competitor on [niche/topic], competitor type (direct, different solution), content overview — what they have, content gaps, content types, channels, ranking keywords, and backlinks.

Here’s an example for Poise and its competitors. 

First, I google “narration service”. The top results are from freelancing websites, followed by a couple of studios offering voice over services. 

Looking at the search results, I understand that my query — “narration service” — might not be the best keyword to target. Perhaps users are searching for “voice over service”. I’ll add this to the list as well. 

Next, I fill in the table with the first 3–5 results for “narration service” or “voice over service”, excluding the freelancing websites. 

I do this because Poise offers a premium service, so if a user chooses an option like Fiver, it’s clearly not in the target segment for Poise. 

A small comment here. Users/customers tend to group the characteristics of a product into three bundles: 

  • operational factors, such as price, delivery method, and place, reliability, etc.

  • product features, such as design, style, attributes, technology, level of innovation, etc.

  • how well it meets their needs — the level of customization expected by the customer

Users analyze these three bundles and choose a product based on what’s the most important for them. But the way they make the choice is the key: they go for the option that’s the best at one of these three aspects, and good enough at the other two. 

They don’t choose an option that’s good enough at all three aspects. So if your product/service has an average price, average design, and features, and an average degree of customization, you’ll have a hard time selling it. 

So this is why we aren’t targeting the customers who would choose freelancing platforms for this service. 

We know that those customers are interested mainly in the price of this service and that for them, the quality and customization possibilities are less important.

Here’s how the spreadsheet looks right now: 

content-competitors

At this point, we realize that competitors are offering a variety of services and have very clear use cases listed — see the “By purpose” section below. 

competitor-section

Step 3: Check what content types your competitors are using, in big lines

Go to your first competitor’s website and search for navigation and footer links such as Resources, Blog, Content hub, Knowledge hub, Case studies, News, Client stories, Learning center, etc.

Check if they have gated e-books or case studies, long-form articles with comments from readers, guest posts, the main content formats used, the average length of posts, and so on.

If you do a more in-depth analysis, you should also look for newsletter subscription boxes and subscribe to see what type of content they send out and how often.

I’ll analyze the content of two competitors, Voice Crafters and Bunny Studio. 

competitor-content

You can see the full analysis in the example spreadsheet.

Step 4: Review their social media profiles and backlinks

Check their social media presence, just to get an idea of which channels work best for them. Run their websites through BuzzSumo to see which pages and topics get more shares across channels. 

If your competitors aren’t present in social media or aren’t that active, you might be able to steal some of their traffic by creating a strong presence in one or two channels. 

Next, you can run competitor websites through a tool like Ahrefs, Alexa, or Moz to find out who’s linking to them and what keywords they rank for.

Step 5: Find their content gap 

Write down what content types or themes they’re missing, and evaluate the quality of their content in terms of structure, clarity, and UX/graphics. Use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = missing, 2 = poor, 3 = average, 4 = good and 5 = excellent.

This will help you understand where your opportunities are, in big lines. 

So what’s the next step for Poise? 

  1. They should start by having a clear positioning statement. If you’re not familiar with how to create one, just fill in the blanks in the sentence below: 

“To [target segment], who [some characteristic that defines them], Poise — [the brand USP] — offers [services], that [help them accomplish something, fulfill a need, etc].”

For example: 

“To self-publishing authors who want to connect and engage their audience in a more personal manner, Poise — the narration service for self-publishing authors- offers voice overs that feel authentic and genuine, helping them create meaningful connections”.

2. Once Poise knows what it wants to be and for which target segment, the team can choose the most relevant channels and engage with their potential customers there. 

3. In terms of content, I would create landing pages for the main use cases — for example, narration services to turn blog articles into podcasts, or books into audiobooks. 

A nice differentiator here could be choosing a specific genre, such as kids' books, fiction, horror, and so on. 

I hope this was useful! If you need help with performing a competitor content analysis for your website, get in touch with our team.

Return to all articles

Learn from our experience

Receive actionable content strategy & marketing articles directly in your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter