February 7, 2014 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
As any marketer will tell you, keeping abreast of your competitors’ progress will help you become more successful. This same mentality can be applied to running a successful website. In order to keep your audience and customers coming back to your site, you will have to keep one eye on your competition regularly and make calculated moves. Luckily, there are several tools on the web that allow you to do just that: assess your progress, assess your competition, and execute strategies to overtake them. Here are some steps to take and helpful content tools to follow your competitors so you can build better content plans:
The first thing you need to do is compare where you and your competitors stand currently. There are various tools that allow you to check your rankings across endless parameters and metrics (PageRank, Link Portfolios, SEO value, Traffic, and several other variables). Here are some of the most popular comparison resources.
Alexa is a web information company that pulls in page views and visitors to calculate weighted ranking. Sites with a higher-ranking content are gaining more traffic than those with lower-ranking content. There are three paid package levels that provide deeper insight into how and why sites receive specific Alexa Traffic Ranks.
SEMrush is probably the most advanced tool for SEO keyword rankings. The Domain vs Domain tool even allows you to compare your websites’ keyword rankings directly against your competitors’. It will show the overlapping areas and possible pitfalls of your SEO strategy. SEMrush is one of the most common analysis tools for content marketers; they also offer an API key to integrate some of their data into other platforms.
After you assess your current situation, the next logical step is to develop a strategy to improve the weak spots and leverage the strengths. Several of the aforementioned analysis software tools also suggest industry-focused strategies for improvement. However, I could not find any non-promotional consulting software. Here are a few other programs that suggest execution strategies.
Raven Tools aims to centralize the key elements of most online marketing strategies. It pulls in site metrics, social media information, and Google AdWords to suggest possible opportunities in SEO, social media, PPC, and content marketing. Raven Tools is a great program for finding and developing a strategy to improve potential weak spots.
Moz is one of the most well-known tools for analysis and suggestions. It pulls link profiles, brand mentions, keyword rankings, traffic sources, and almost any other relevant website metric. Moz then offers actionable insight into ways to improve and boost traffic. It prioritizes the different strategies as well, so you can make the adjustments that are most important, first.
After receiving the analysis, most strategies will suggest an overhaul on your content. This includes organizing and scheduling more frequent postings, actually getting the content created, and optimizing it for search engines. Here are a few tools to help with facilitating the content creation.
Google Docs are an excellent tool for organizing, editing, and sharing information with multiple individuals. Google Spreadsheets can be easily transformed into a basic editorial calendar. It allows all users to plan ahead and keep track of when assignments are due and make notes within the sheet that all viewers can see. Google Docs definitely have their limitations, but if you are looking for a free tool to manage content production then this will do in a pinch.
InboundWriter aims to improve the overall performance of written content even before it is written. Using an analytical approach to content, this software suggests ways to optimize articles for better engagement and traffic. It can be integrated into CMS platforms and production systems to drive efficiency in your content.
Scribe has proven to be an invaluable content tool, both for writers working to improve their content and bloggers hoping to improve their site content for search as well. Scribe’s keyword tool shows the popularity and competition and provides different keywords. This gives writers and bloggers an idea for what words and phrases their competition is using versus the keywords that users are actually searching for.
If you are looking for content that is more engaging and appealing to the eye, then Visual.ly is a tool for you. This company has created a marketplace for Content Managers to connect and work with graphic designers on visual projects such as infographics, videos, and interactives.
Once you have created content and published—whether on your site or not—the next step is to promote it for maximum visibility opportunities. Here are some very easy promotional tools that any content manager can use:
CurationReports allows you to monitor the social activity on specific URLs. Once logged in, you can store all your articles’ URLs and even order promotions to drive more traffic directly to your pages. They offer a free account and a paid version to archive all URLs. This is a quick and easy option to amplify traffic.
Gravity is a content suggestion tool which is featured on a number of sites across the web. This promotion tool features relevant material to content that is featured on the page. This is perfect for content marketers focused on generating new visitors & growing out traffic, since you’ll gain access to a fresh audience.
Resonance is a very interesting tool in the retargeting vertical. It works by following people who have visited your content before and suggests new relevant articles to them on other platforms, typically through social channels. It’s a great way to remarket the visitors who may have forgotten about you and gives you a second chance to make an impression.
The last and most important step in managing content and executing a strategy is to measure its effectiveness. To aimlessly implement programs without any evidence of its merit is like driving a car with a blindfold – reckless and dangerous. Most of the tools mentioned above for analyzing can also be used again to measure changes, but here are a couple more tools that are great at measuring growth and effectiveness.
Google Analytics can do many things, but for the sake of measurement its most effective feature is its ability to understand and trace the customer’s path. You can actually see the flow of traffic resources to see if your inbound marketing campaign was the source, or if the SEO strategy helped bump your site up in keyword rankings. You can set particular page views or actions as conversion goals to help measure customer acquisition costs, too. However you decide to use it, Google Analytics will show you the data needed to validate your strategy’s success or failure.
At CopyPress, we’ve been working hard to create a tool that combines many of the features above into one self-service platform. Our software allows customers to audit, manage, monitor, measure and monetize content marketing all in one place. With it, you can analyze your current content, uncover missed keyword opportunities, and use the data to level up your strategy. Find out more when you use our content analysis tool.
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