Legal bloggers are always looking for a way to get a leg up on their competitors. Many out there do what they do so well, they almost become targets for others who aren’t doing it so well. Content marketing is the perfect weapon to use against them because everything, or nearly everything, is right out in the public. You can get a read on what they are publishing, how well it’s doing on social media, even which keywords they are ranking well for. Ready to spy on your competition and get an edge on them? Let’s go!
What Content They Are Publishing
To find out what the other guy is putting out there, sign up for his newsletter, subscribe to his blog, or simply add it to your reading list. It’ll all be right there, in black on white, waiting for you to analyze. If you don’t want him/her to know it’s you on their list, create an “undercover” email address using a free service like Gmail. They’ll never know that it’s you, keeping your eye on them and their content.
How Their Content is Doing on Social Media
There’s this really cool tool out there for social media called BuzzSumo. Simply go to the site, plug in your competitor’s URL and watch the magic happen. You’ll receive a short report on how many shares a particular piece of content is getting across all the major social media networks. So, you’ll know which pieces of content are considered the most interesting by their followers. And if you are truly in competition with each other, those topics will be of interest to your followers, too.
Keywords Their Content Ranks For
I love the name of this next tool, because of what it does and why we’re using it. SpyFu offers you a great deal of info on the keywords any given URL is ranking for. Now you’re really spying on the competition, honing in on the things that make their site and their content tick. If you aren’t ranking for any of their keywords that might also be relevant for your law firm, you’ll know it in a matter of minutes. You’ll also be able to see how much of their content’s traffic is coming from organic or paid sources. That will allow you to adjust your advertising budget accordingly.
How Well Their Entire Site Performs
In addition to their content, you’ll want to know about their site’s overall performance. Things like load speed, mobile accessibility, and “behind the scenes” stuff can greatly affect a site’s performance with both the search engines and the visitors. So, hop on over to QuickSprout‘s site comparison tool and plug in both URLs. (Actually, I think you can do up to four URLs at once, so you aren’t just limited to one competitor.) You’ll receive a report on such items as traffic score, SEO score, speed (load time) score, and social sharing scores.
How Well They Are Doing Locally
For the guy up the street or around the block, you can get an idea for how well his content and his business are doing by visiting CitySearch, Google, and Yelp’s local listings for them. Keep tabs on reviews, ratings, and comments/complaints left behind by their clients. You may find out a lot more about them than you’d planned!
How To Use All This “Stuff” in Your Own Content Marketing
So, now you have all the dirt that’s fit to shovel on your competition, but what do you do with it? Here’s a bit of a run-down on the possibilities:
Published Content and Social Media Shares – use this info in your own planning and publishing of content.
Keywords – we already touched on ways to use this info, but I can’t stress too much that you NEED to be building your SEO around the same keywords if you want to outrank them
Site Performance – Use this as a way of finding out where your site itself needs help. So far, everything has looked at content, but this type of comparison will show you where development, design, and other technical aspects may be affecting your site and its content’s performance.
Local Performance – How well they do locally, and what they do locally, can give you a leg up when offering your services. Offer more, capitalize on their mistakes by offering a better solution, and go for the clients they’ve lost by using opposite tactics in your own approach.
You CAN crush the competition through a bit of content and site analysis. You can also crush them by making sure your own content is just as good or better than theirs. Don’t let them beat you down. Beat them at their own game, with their own stuff. And if you can’t quite figure all that content marketing out, contact us here at Best Legal Practices. We’ve made crushing YOUR competition OUR mission.