If content is king, then a blog is most certainly the throne. In fact, 60% of businesses have a business or company blog, according to blogging.org. With so much of a company’s content marketing strategy laid out on a public blog, savvy marketers should execute numerous and frequent analyses in order to glean insights into their competitor’s strategy. A competitive analysis can inform your own blogging efforts and reveal opportunities to build your community. Here is a checklist of things to look for as you analyze your competitor’s blog:
Architecture: Is the blog on a subdomain, subdirectory or a different URL altogether?
Content Management System: Are they utilizing WordPress? Drupal? Tumblr?
Quantity of Unique Authors: How many authors are contributing to the blog on average? And who are they: Marketing, Leadership, Sales, Services, Support (HR/IT/Accounting)? Can you browse posts by author?
Posting Frequency: How often are new articles published? Daily? Weekly?
Topic Model: What topics are they blogging about? Blog titles and category tags are a great place to start investigating. Are there topics they are covering that you aren’t?
Google Authorship: The first step in growing the AuthorRank of your bloggers is establishing Google Authorship. You can check any article URL in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to see if they have Google Authorship set up.
Interaction: Do their blogs attract a lot of comments? If so, is the author replying?
Promotion: Where do they post blog articles? LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.?
Syndication: Is their content syndicated? If so, where? One way to find out is to run a search in Google on just the blog title. Syndication sources should appear in the SERPs.
Media Type: What kind of content do they integrate in blog posts? Videos, slides, infographics, etc.?
UGC: Do they accept user-generated content or guest articles? If so, from who?
Gamification: Are they making use of game elements on-page, like up-voting, thumbs-up/down or author points?
Search Box: Is a search box present?
Subscription: Can readers subscribe to new posts via email or RSS?
Internal/External Linking: What sources are referenced via links? Do they link to internal content as a CTA, or off-site content? External linking may give you insight into who their friends and partners are. Do they flood their content with links?
Social Sharing Buttons: Are social sharing buttons present on the each individual blog post? If so, which networks? If button counters are present, how much social engagement do posts get on average?
CRO: What kind of calls-to-action are present on the blog posts? What content, if any, are they encouraging readers to download, register for or subscribe to?
Once you know how your blog stacks up the competition, quickly institute any features you may be missing, pivot where appropriate and capitalize on any gaps in their strategy. What do you look for when analyzing a corporate blog? Let us know in the comments.
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