9 Content Hacks to Help You Learn from Your Competitors

Businesses are often uneasy about their competitors, and for good reason. It’s natural, as there’s of course a rivalry for market share, internet headspace, and the bottom line. But, they are great for learning content hacks.

What many businesses fail to do, thanks to the emotional surge that goes along with the whole process, is to look critically at their competitors and learn from them. The amount of knowledge that can be gained from the other guy is almost immeasurable, and nowhere is it easier to come by than when it comes to content marketing.

Using the information you get from competitor’s content practices can support your own journey towards  success. Read on for nine content hacks that will help you learn from your rivals.

Find High Value Keywords

The business of keyword research is not an exact science. However, one of the surest ways to determine what’s working right now in your niche is to check out what keywords you competitors are focusing on.

You can shape your own search engine optimization strategy by understanding the keyword strategy of others in your niche. This is a powerful way to gain a competitive advantage in the coveted world of search engine results. What keywords are your competitors using to rank for? Which ones rank the highest and are relevant to your content?

Uncover Low Value Keywords

The other piece of the keyword puzzle that you can uncover from your competitor’s site is to determine what keywords are of LOW value. What are they doing wrong? Learn about what works by digging through what they did wrong.

This part of the process is perhaps the most valuable as it opens up new paths for you to go down, eliminating problems without you having to deal with the consequences yourself.

Keyword research on competitors can be done using our keyword tool, Google Keyword Planner tool (use your competitor’s keyword in the “your landing page” field on the “find new keywords” page), or Alexa (go to the site’s info tab and put in your competitor’s URL, then click “analytics” to see what’s driving traffic).

Evaluate Anchor Text

What anchor texts are your competitors utilizing? This is a piece of the puzzle that’s often challenging for companies to determine, and getting anchor text right is a big boost to both your SEO and to your content value for the reader.

Are they using partial match keywords, exact match keywords, branded, generic, etc? Use your competitors anchor text use to help guide your own.

Learn About Effective Formats for Content

The format that content comes in doesn’t stay static in this new and evolving world of technology. Looking at the style of competitor’s content can help you to determine if you should be pushing more into video, into blogs, into powerful images, etc.

The more focused but open to possibilities for new message structures you are, the more versatile your brand will be and the more audiences you’ll reach.

Snag New Content Ideas

There are all kinds of topics that are related to your niche that you haven’t thought of, yet. If you’re stuck on subjects for content – go check out your competitors!

Brainstorming is often an unheralded part of the process, but it’s nonetheless a necessary part of the process. Analyze the topics that your competitors are writing about and then use to help get your own message out there.

Up Your Numbers Game

How often should you post on social media and on your website? That’s a big question that doesn’t have a lot of firm answers. Whether you should post twice a day or twice a week can be a major challenge to uncover.

That’s why you should be checking out competitors to help you determine the best way to make your publishing schedule work – and how the demographic engages. Monitor their social media feeds, their blog, their YouTube channel, etc. to get an idea of what you pace might need to be.

This doesn’t mean you should outright copy whatever your competitors are doing because we don’t know if it really works. This is just so that you can take a cue from what they’re doing as you work to move forward and make your own social media and content marketing more effective.

What’s trending is often what’s working. You can leverage customer behavior by understanding the market more effectively through constantly looking for trends.

One of the easiest ways to figure out what’s trending is to take a look at a what competitors are targeting.  Utilize tools like Google Trends, Simply Measured, and Google Alerts to find out what’s trending in your particular area of focus.

Find Backlinking Opportunities

Though good content is definitely a key to SEO, another essential part of the puzzle is backlinking. Improving your visibility on search engines means improving you backlinking possibilities.

Finding opportunities for creating that web of links coming into your site can be a major challenge, but you can get a head start by checking out what kinds of backlinks other sites in your niche are getting.

You can use the Ahrefs tool to uncover the backlinks on your competitor’s website easily. Once you know who’s linking to your competition, you’ll be able to better determine what kinds of links you’re missing out on.

Improve on Their Content

One of the best ways to take your content to the next level is to transform so-so content from a competitor into outstanding content on your own site. Look for what’s working on your competitor’s website, then make a piece of content that’s even better in terms of keyword density, value to the reader, links, etc.

The goal is to create a piece that ranks higher than your competitors. When you do this systematically, you can effectively boost your SEO. Offer customers your own valuable pin on what your competitor is doing, and they’ll come to you first.


Content hacking can offer you a wide range of opportunities to improve your website and your social media presence. It is possible for you to get more out of your website by looking over to see what your competitors are doing. However you feel about your rivals, one thing is for sure – you can learn a lot from them!

What are some content hacks for your competitors that you’ve found helpful, either from this list or otherwise? Let us know in the comments!

About Ashley Ward

Ashley is the CEO & Founder of Madhouse Matters, an online-marketing company specializing in helping businesses develop their brand and presence online. In her spare time you'll find her researching the next big update, indulging in several different IPAs, and planning her next adventure.

Filed under: Strategy, Tips

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