Does your blog have competitors? If you blog for your business, it does. We’re setting up several new blogs for clients this week, and we’re checking out the competition for each. Doing this allows us to identify the best strategy for each. Have you checked out your competition?
It’s easy with a blog search. Go to Google and search with your primary keywords. Under the “Google” logo there’s a list. Click on “More” …
… and then on “Blogs.”
I’m not trying to play favorites; bing doesn’t offer blog search. You can search for your keyword + blogs at bing:
The interesting thing about these results, to me, was that none of them was a blog. The CNC Shopping Blog had some photos of Indramat drives, but the others were spam sites. Google didn’t turn up much better, frankly — here, in its entirety, is the top-ranked blog result at Google:
When you see results like these, you have found a great opportunity. Essentially, no one is blogging about this subject. There are forums on the topic and people have questions, so a blog that answers those questions is in a strong position to capture some search traffic. We’ll be blogging on a wide range of related topics for this client.
Another client shows completely different results. The primary keyword returns not just lots and lots of blogs, but some very good ones, too, including the blogs of national magazines and manufacturing companies. Our brand new blog can’t compete in that space right now.
On to step two: move down from the primary keyword to more specific, less competitive keywords.
This term looks, on the SERPs, as though it is also highly competitive — but when we click through, we see a different story. Here are the introductory sentences from a couple of choices that show above the fold:
- “Are you planning for a mountain rock climbing? You should have all the safety gears before you get into the motion.”
- “Rising is usually a sport that may be bold and fascinating but will also entails some level of possibility. These hazards is usually reduced in case the appropriate gear is needed. “
These are fake blogs — machine-generated posts or posts written on the cheap by offshore labor at a few cents a post. We can eat their lunch.
Since this client is a brick and mortar store with a local clientele, we also check out the blogs of their local competitors. Both major competitors have up to date “Events” sections, but neither has an informational blog. Searches for regional variants on this client’s primary keywords also show opportunities.
For this client, too, we’ll write a good variety of useful stuff that will bring customers back often. However, we’ll pay attention to the keywords and phrases that turned up strong competitive possibilities. As we add excellent content, and our new blog will gain strength. Eventually, we can be a major player. Right now, insisting on trying to compete for our major keyword would just make it less likely that we’d show up for the terms that would be better opportunities for us.
Your blog can help you show up when your customers (and potential customers) search for information at many different points in their decision making process. Checking out the competition helps you identify your best strategies.