When was the last time you ran a competitive analysis for your brand? And most importantly, do you know how to do one efficiently?
If you’re not sure, or if the last “analysis” you ran was a quick perusal of a competitor’s website and social media presence, you’re likely missing out on important intelligence that could help your brand grow.
In this detailed guide, you’ll learn how to conduct a competitive analysis that will give your business a competitive advantage in the market.
What is a competitive market analysis?
A competitive analysis is a strategy that involves researching major competitors to gain insight into their products, sales, and marketing tactics. Implementing stronger business strategies, warding off competitors, and capturing market share are just a few benefits of conducting a competitive market analysis.
A competitive analysis can help you learn the ins and outs of how your competition works, and identify potential opportunities where you can out-perform them.
It also enables you to stay atop of industry trends and ensure your product is consistently meeting — and exceeding — industry standards.
Let’s dive into a few more benefits of conducting competitive analyses:
- Helps you identify your product’s unique value proposition and what makes your product different from the competitors’, which can inform future marketing efforts.
- Enables you to identify what your competitor is doing right. This information is critical for staying relevant and ensuring both your product and your marketing campaigns are outperforming industry standards.
- Tells you where your competitors are falling short — which helps you identify areas of opportunities in the marketplace, and test out new, unique marketing strategies they haven’t taken advantage of.
- Learn through customer reviews what’s missing in a competitor’s product, and consider how you might add features to your own product to meet those needs.
- Provides you with a benchmark against which you can measure your growth.
What is competitive market research?
Competitive market research focuses on finding and comparing key market metrics that help identify differences between your products and services and those of your competitors.
Comprehensive market research helps establish the foundation for an effective sales and marketing strategy that helps your company stand out from the crowd.
Next, let’s dive into how you can conduct a competitive analysis for your own company.
Competitive Analysis in Marketing
Every brand can benefit from regular competitor analysis. By performing a competitor analysis, you’ll be able to:
- Identify gaps in the market
- Develop new products and services
- Uncover market trends
- Market and sell more effectively
As you can see, learning any of these four components will lead your brand down the path of achievement.
Next, let’s dive into some steps you can take to conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis.
How to do a Competitive Analysis
- Determine who your competitors are.
- Determine what products your competitors offer.
- Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.
- Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.
- Ensure you’re meeting competitive shipping costs.
- Analyze how your competitors market their products.
- Take note of your competition’s content strategy.
- Learn what technology stack your competitors’ use.
- Analyze the level of engagement on your competitors’ content.
- Observe how they promote marketing content.
- Look at their social media presence, strategies, and go-to platforms.
- Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
To run a complete and effective competitive analysis, use these ten templates, which range in purpose from sales, to marketing, to product strategy.
1. Determine who your competitors are.
First, you’ll need to figure out who you’re really competing with so you can compare the data accurately. What works in a business similar to yours may not work for your brand.
So how can you do this?
Divide your “competitors” into two categories: direct and indirect.
Direct competitors are businesses that offer a product or service that could pass as a similar substitute for yours, and that operate in your same geographic area.
On the flip side, an indirect competitor provides products that are not the same but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem.
It seems simple enough on paper, but these two terms are often misused.
When comparing your brand, you should only focus on your direct competitors. This is something many brands get wrong.
Let’s use an example: Stitch Fix and Fabletics are both subscription-based services that sell clothes on a monthly basis and serve a similar target audience.
But as we look deeper, we can see that the actual product (clothes in this case) are not the same; one brand focuses on stylish everyday outfits while the other is workout-centric attire only.
Yes, these brands satisfy the same need for women (having trendy clothes delivered right to their doorstep each month), but they do so with completely different types of clothing, making them indirect competitors.
This means Kate Hudson’s team at Fabletics would not want to spend their time studying Stitch Fix too closely since their audiences probably vary quite a bit. Even if it’s only slightly, this tiny variation is enough to make a big difference.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should toss your indirect competitors out the window completely.
Keep these brands on your radar since they could shift positions at any time and cross over into the direct competitor zone. Using our example, Stitch Fix could start a workout line, which would certainly change things for Fabletics.
This is also one of the reasons why you’ll want to routinely run a competitor analysis. The market can and will shift at any time, and if you’re not constantly scoping it out, you won’t be aware of these changes until it’s too late.
2. Determine what products your competitors offer.
At the heart of any business is its product or service, which is what makes this a good place to start.
You’ll want to analyze your competitor’s complete product line and the quality of the products or services they’re offering.
You should also take note of their pricing and any discounts they’re offering customers.
Some questions to consider include:
- Are they a low-cost or high-cost provider?
- Are they working mainly on volume sales or one-off purchases?
- What is their market share?
- What are the characteristics and needs of their ideal customers?
- Are they using different pricing strategies for online purchases versus brick and mortar?
- How does the company differentiate itself from its competitors?
- How do they distribute their products/services?
3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.
Running a sales analysis of your competitors can be a bit tricky.
You’ll want to track down the answers to questions such as:
- What does the sales process look like?
- What channels are they selling through?
- Do they have multiple locations and how does this give them an advantage?
- Are they expanding? Scaling down?
- Do they have partner reselling programs?
- What are their customers’ reasons for not buying? For ending their relationship with the company?
- What are their revenues each year? What about total sales volume?
- Do they regularly discount their products or services?
- How involved is a salesperson in the process?
These helpful pieces of information will give you an idea of how competitive the sales process is, and what information you need to prepare your sales reps with to compete during the final buy stage.
For publicly held companies, you can find annual reports online, but you’ll have to do some sleuthing to find this info from privately owned businesses.
You could find some of this information by searching through your CRM and reaching out to those customers who mentioned they were considering your competitor. Find out what made them choose your product or service over others out there.
To do this, run a report that shows all prospective deals where there was an identified competitor.
If this data is not something you currently record, talk to marketing and sales to implement a system where prospects are questioned about the other companies they are considering.
Essentially, they’ll need to ask their leads (either through a form field or during a one-on-one sales conversation) to identify who their current service providers are, who they’ve used in the past, and who else they are considering during the buying process.
When a competitor is identified, have your sales team dive deeper by asking why they are considering switching to your product. If you’ve already lost the deal, be sure to follow up with the prospect to determine why you lost to your competitor. What services or features attracted the prospect? Was it about price? What’s the prospect’s impression of your sales process? If they’ve already made the switch, find out why they made this decision.
By asking open-ended questions, you’ll have honest feedback about what customers find appealing about your brand and what might be turning customers away.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start scoping out your competitor’s marketing efforts.
4. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.
There are a few major factors that go into correctly pricing your product — and one major one is understanding how much your competitors are charging for a similar product or service.
If you feel your product offers superior features compared to those of a competitor, you might consider making your product or service more expensive than industry standards. However, if you do that, you’ll want to ensure your sales reps are ready to explain why your product is worth the additional cost.
Alternatively, perhaps you feel there’s a gap in your industry for affordable products. If that’s the case, you might aim to charge less than competitors and appeal to prospects who aren’t looking to break the bank for a high-quality product.
Of course, other factors go into correctly pricing a product, but it’s critical you stay on top of industry pricing to ensure you’re pricing your product in a way that feels reasonable to prospects.
Additionally, take a look at any perks your competitors’ offer and how you might match those perks to compete. For instance, perhaps your competitors offer a major referral discount or a month-long free trial version. These perks could be the reason you’re losing customers, so if it feels reasonable for your brand, consider where you might match those perks — or provide some unique perks of your own if competitors’ don’t offer any.
5. Ensure you’re meeting competitive shipping costs.
Did you know expensive shipping is the number one reason for cart abandonment?
Nowadays, free shipping is a major perk that can attract consumers to choose one brand over another. If you work in an industry where shipping is a major factor — like ecommerce — you’ll want to take a look at competitors’ shipping costs and ensure you’re meeting (if not exceeding) those prices.
If most of your competitors’ offer free shipping, you’ll want to look into the option for your own company. If free shipping isn’t a practical option for your business, consider how you might differentiate in other ways — including loyalty programs, holiday discounts, or giveaways on social media.
6. Analyze how your competitors market their products.
Analyzing your competitor’s website is the fastest way to gauge their marketing efforts. Take note of any of the following items and copy down the specific URL for future reference:
- Do they have a blog?
- Are they creating whitepapers or ebooks?
- Do they post videos or webinars?
- Do they have a podcast?
- Are they using static visual content such as infographics and cartoons?
- What about slide decks?
- Do they have a FAQs section?
- Are there featured articles?
- Do you see press releases?
- Do they have a media kit?
- What about case studies?
- Do they publish buying guides and data sheets?
- What online and offline advertising campaigns are they running?
7. Take note of your competition’s content strategy.
Then, take a look at the quantity of these items. Do they have several hundred blog posts or a small handful? Are there five white papers and just one ebook?
Next, determine the frequency of these content assets. Are they publishing something new each week or once a month? How often does a new ebook or case study come out?
Chances are if you come across a robust archive of content, your competitor has been publishing regularly. Depending on the topics they’re discussing, this content may help you hone in on their lead-generating strategies.
From there, you should move on to evaluating the quality of their content. After all, if the quality is lacking, it won’t matter how often they post since their target audience won’t find much value in it.
Choose a small handful of samples to review instead of tackling every single piece to make the process more manageable.
Your sampler should include content pieces covering a variety of topics so you’ll have a fairly complete picture of what your competitor shares with their target audience.
When analyzing your competitor’s content, consider the following questions:
- How accurate is their content?
- Are spelling or grammar errors present?
- How in-depth does their content go? (Is it at the introductory level that just scratches the surface or does it include more advanced topics with high-level ideas?)
- What tone do they use?
- Is the content structured for readability? (Are they using bullet points, bold headings, and numbered lists?)
- Is their content free and available to anyone or do their readers need to opt-in?
- Who is writing their content? (In-house team? One person? Multiple contributors?)
- Is there a visible byline or bio attached to their articles?
As you continue to scan the content, pay attention to the photos and imagery your competitors are using.
Do you quickly scroll past generic stock photos or are you impressed by custom illustrations and images? If they’re using stock photos, do they at least have overlays of text quotes or calls-to-action that are specific to their business?
If their photos are custom, are they sourced from outside graphic professionals or do they appear to be done in-house?
When you have a solid understanding of your competitor’s content marketing strategy, it’s time to find out if it’s truly working for them.
8. Learn what technology stack your competitors’ use.
Understanding what types of technology your competitors’ use can be critical for helping your own company reduce friction and increase momentum within your organization.
For instance, perhaps you’ve seen positive reviews about a competitor’s customer service — as you’re conducting research, you learn the customer uses powerful customer service software you haven’t been taking advantage of. This information should arm you with the opportunity to outperform your competitors’ processes.
To figure out which software your competitors’ use, type the company’s URL into Built With, an effective tool for unveiling what technology your competitors’ site runs on, along with third-party plugins ranging from analytics systems to CRMs.
Alternatively, you might consider looking at competitors’ job listings, particularly for engineer or web developer roles. The job listing will likely mention which tools a candidate needs to be familiar with — a creative way to gain intel into the technology your competitors’ use.
9. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitor’s content.
To gauge how engaging your competitor’s content is to their readers, you’ll need to see how their target audience responds to what they’re posting.
Check the average number of comments, shares, and likes on your competitor’s content and find out if:
- Certain topics resonate better than others
- The comments are negative, positive, or a mix
- People are tweeting about specific topics more than others
- Readers respond better to Facebook updates about certain content
- Don’t forget to note if your competitor categorizes their content using tags, and if they have social media follow and share buttons attached to each piece of content.
10. Observe how they promote their marketing content.
From engagement, you’ll move right along to your competitor’s content promotion strategy.
- Keyword density in the copy itself
- Image ALT text tags
- Use of internal linking
The following questions can also help you prioritize and focus on what to pay attention to:
- Which keywords are your competitors focusing on that you still haven’t tapped into?
- What content of theirs is highly shared and linked to? How does your content compare?
- Which social media platforms are your target audience using?
- What other sites are linking back to your competitor’s site, but not yours?
- Who else is sharing what your competitors are publishing?
- Who is referring traffic to your competitor’s site?
- For the keywords you want to focus on, what is the difficulty level? There are several free (and paid) tools that will give you a comprehensive evaluation of your competitor’s search engine optimization.
11. Look at their social media presence, strategies, and go-to platforms
The last area you’ll want to evaluate when it comes to marketing is your competitor’s social media presence and engagement rates.
How does your competition drive engagement with their brand through social media? Do you see social sharing buttons with each article? Does your competitor have links to their social media channels in the header, footer, or somewhere else? Are these clearly visible? Do they use calls-to-action with these buttons?
If your competitors are using a social network that you may not be on, it’s worth learning more about how that platform may be able to help your business, too. To determine if a new social media platform is worth your time, check your competitor’s engagement rates on those sites. First, visit the following sites to see if your competition has an account on these platforms:
Then, take note of the following quantitative items from each platform:
- Number of fans/followers
- Posting frequency and consistency
- Content engagement (Are users leaving comments or sharing their posts?)
- Content virality (How many shares, repins, and retweets do their posts get?)
With the same critical eye you used to gauge your competition’s content marketing strategy, take a fine-toothed comb to analyze their social media strategy.
What kind of content are they posting? Are they more focused on driving people to landing pages, resulting in new leads? Or are they posting visual content to promote engagement and brand awareness?
How much of this content is original? Do they share curated content from other sources? Are these sources regular contributors? What is the overall tone of the content?
How does your competition interact with its followers? How frequently do their followers interact with their content?
After you collect this data, generate an overall grade for the quality of your competitor’s content. This will help you compare the rest of your competitors using a similar grading scale.
12. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
As you evaluate each component in your competitor analysis (business, sales, and marketing), get into the habit of performing a simplified SWOT analysis at the same time.
This means you’ll take note of your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats any time you assess an overall grade.
Some questions to get you started include:
- What is your competitor doing well? (Products, content marketing, social
- Where does your competitor have the advantage over your brand?
- What is the weakest area for your competitor?
- Where does your brand have the advantage over your competitor?
- What could they do better with?
- In what areas would you consider this competitor a threat?
- Are there opportunities in the market that your competitor has identified?
You’ll be able to compare their weaknesses against your strengths and vice versa. By doing this, you can better position your company, and you’ll start to uncover areas for improvement within your own brand.
Competitive Product Analysis
Product analysis drills down to discover key differences and similarities in products that share the same general market. This type of analysis if you have a competitor selling products in a similar market niche to your own – you want to make sure that wherever possible, you aren’t losing market share to the competition.
Leveraging the example above, we can drill down and discover some of the key differentiators in product offerings.
Step 1: Assess your current product pricing.
The first step in any product analysis is to assess current pricing.
Nintendo offers three models of its Switch console: The smaller lite version is priced at $199, the standard version is $299, and the new OLED version is $349.
Sony, meanwhile, offers two versions of its Playstation 5 console: The standard edition costs $499 and the digital version, which doesn’t include a disc drive, is $399.
Step 2: Compare key features
Next is a comparison of key features. In the case of our console example, this means comparing features like processing power, memory, and hard drive space.
Hard drive space
1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0
Step 3: Pinpoint differentiators
With basic features compared, it’s time to dive deeper with differentiators. While a glance at the chart above seems to indicate that the PS5 is outperforming its competition, this data only tells part of the story.
Here’s why: The big selling point of the standard and OLED Switch models is that they can be played as either handheld consoles or docked with a base station connected to a TV. What’s more, this “switching” happens seamlessly, allowing players to play whenever, wherever.
The Playstation offering, meanwhile, has leaned into market-exclusive games that are only available on its system to help differentiate them from their competitors.
Step 4: Identify market gaps
The last step in a competitive product analysis is looking for gaps in the market that could help your company get ahead. When it comes to the console market, one potential opportunity gaining traction is the delivery of games via cloud-based services rather than physical hardware. Companies like Nvidia and Google have already made inroads in this space and if they can overcome issues with bandwidth and latency, it could change the market at scale.
Competitive Analysis Example
How do you stack up against the competition? Where are you similar, and what sets you apart? This is the goal of competitive analysis. By understanding where your brand and competitors overlap and diverge, you’re better positioned to make strategic decisions that can help grow your brand.
Of course, it’s one thing to understand the benefits of competitive analysis, and it’s another to actually carry out an analysis that yields actionable results. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with a quick example.
Sony vs. Nintendo: Not all fun and games
Let’s take a look at popular gaming system companies Sony and Nintendo. Sony’s newest offering – the Playstation 5 – recently hit the market but has been plagued by supply shortages. Nintendo’s Switch console, meanwhile, has been around for several years but remains a consistent seller, especially among teens and children. This scenario is familiar for many companies on both sides of the coin; some have introduced new products designed to compete with established market leaders, while others are looking to ensure that reliable sales don’t fall.
Using some of the steps listed above, here’s a quick competitive analysis example.
1. Determine who your competitors are.
In our example, it’s Sony vs Nintendo, but it’s also worth considering Microsoft’s Xbox, which occupies the same general market vertical. This is critical for effective analysis; even if you’re focused on specific competitors and how they compare, it’s worth considering other similar market offerings.
2. Determine what products your competitors offer.
Playstation offers two PS5 versions, digital and standard, at different price points, while Nintendo offers three versions of its console. Both companies also sell peripherals – for example, Sony sells virtual reality (VR) add-ons while Nintendo sells gaming peripherals such as steering wheels, tennis rackets, and differing controller configurations.
3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results.
When it comes to sales tactics and marketing, Sony and Nintendo have very different approaches.
In part thanks to the recent semiconductor shortage, Sony has driven up demand via scarcity – very low volumes of PS5 consoles remain available. Nintendo, meanwhile, has adopted a broader approach by targeting families as their primary customer base. This effort is bolstered by the Switch Lite product line, which is smaller and less expensive, making it a popular choice for children.
The numbers tell the tale: Through September 2021, Nintendo sold 14.3 million consoles, while Sony sold 7.8 million.
4. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing, as well as any perks they offer.
Sony has the higher price point: Their standard PS5 sells for $499, while Nintendo’s most expensive offering comes in at $349. Both offer robust digital marketplaces and the ability to easily download new games or services.
Here, the key differentiators are flexibility and fidelity. The Switch is flexible – users can dock it with their television and play it like a standard console, or pick it up and take it anywhere as a handheld gaming system. The PS5, meanwhile, has superior graphics hardware and processing power for gamers who want the highest-fidelity experience.
5. Analyze how your competitors market their products.
If you compare the marketing efforts of Nintendo and Sony, the difference is immediately apparent: Sony’s ads feature realistic in-game footage and speak to the exclusive nature of their game titles; the company has managed to secure deals with several high-profile game developers for exclusive access to new and existing IPs.
Nintendo, meanwhile, uses brightly-lit ads showing happy families playing together or children using their smaller Switches while traveling.
6. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitor’s content.
Engagement helps drive sales and encourage repeat purchases. While there are several ways to measure engagement, social media is one of the most straightforward: In general, more followers equates to more engagement and greater market impact.
Competitive Analysis Templates
Competitive analysis is complex, especially when you’re assessing multiple companies and products simultaneously. To help streamline the process, we’ve created 10 free templates that make it possible to see how you stack up against the competition – and what you can do to increase market share.
Let’s break down our SWOT analysis template. Here’s what it looks like:
Strengths – Identify your strengths. These may include specific pieces of intellectual property, products that are unique to the market, or a workforce that outperforms the competition.
Weaknesses – Here, it’s worth considering potential issues around pricing, leadership, staff turnover, and new competitors in the market.
Opportunities – This part of the SWOT analysis can focus on new market niches, evolving consumer preferences, or new technologies being developed by your company.
Threats – These might include new taxes or regulations on existing products or an increasing number of similar products in the same market space that could negatively affect your overall share.
How Does Your Business Stack Up?
Before you accurately compare your competition, you need to establish a baseline. This also helps when it comes time to perform a SWOT analysis.
Take an objective look at your business, sales, and marketing reports through the same metrics you use to evaluate your competition.
Record this information just like you would with a competitor and use this as your baseline to compare across the board.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published prior to July 2018 but has been updated for comprehensiveness.
How to Create Evergreen Content That Generates Traffic to Your Site
Every digital marketer understands that publishing articles or blog posts on your website is an excellent way to create content for your SEO strategy and build awareness. On top of that, you also get to connect to your audience on a deeper level.
However, many marketers focus on publishing seasonal content or articles on trending topics, which can drive traffic, but only for a limited time.
According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends Report (2022), 83% of marketers say it’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity of content, even if it means publishing fewer blog posts.
But if your content depends on trending topics, how can you create quality content that lasts? Enter evergreen content.
First, let’s be honest; creating evergreen content isn’t a walk in the park. Many marketers have tried creating this type of content on their websites but can’t seem to get the results they need.
So how do you create something that doesn’t age?
In this article, I’ll discuss what evergreen content is, why it is important to have one, and how you can create one that will give you lasting results.
Let’s get started.
Evergreen Content Explained
I’m pretty sure many of you have heard this term many times already, and some of you might have an idea of what it is.
But for those still unfamiliar with it, evergreen content is search engine-optimized content that is relevant all year round and can stay fresh over an even longer period. Some may argue that any content is sustainable, given that it remains published once you upload it to your site.
But evergreen content isn’t just any other content. It continues to be of interest to your target audience even after its publication date, attracting more visitors over time.
The topics used in evergreen content are those that many users will search for at any time of the year, making it an excellent strategy for SEO and content marketing.
This type of content comes in many shapes and sizes. Depending on your products or services, evergreen formats can range from listicles, how-to guides, tips, reviews, and videos. Something to note is that producing these formats doesn’t automatically make your content evergreen.
The main ingredient to making evergreen content is the topic, which should stand the test of time.
To understand this better, let’s look at seasonal content. This type of content contains topics tied to a specific time of the year, a trending item, or even in the news or social media. The hype on these topics usually dies down once enough time is passed.
For instance, marketers often produce content for various holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Content around these times can often generate traffic, but once the holiday is over, it’s unlikely that level of traffic will continue.
Want to get certified in Content Marketing?
Leverage the tools and channels to predictably and profitably drive awareness, leads, sales, and referrals—EVERYTHING you need to know to become a true master of digital marketing. Click Here
Why Is It Important to Have Them on Your Website?
It’s no secret that seasonal content can quickly generate a lot of traffic to your site, but it can become irrelevant even quicker as new trends emerge.
Evergreen content can give you lasting results and so much more. Here are some reasons why you should start creating one:
- Great for SEO. Evergreen topics are usually searched, which means your content will likely rank on search engines. On top of that, it will always drive traffic to your site and keep on doing so, especially if it’s high quality.
- Lead magnet. Since you’re showing your expertise through evergreen content, it can encourage visitors to check your product or services. And because it’s relevant all year round, you can use it to attract new leads every time.
- Excellent marketing material. This is one of my favorite benefits of evergreen content. You can promote it repeatedly, making it a versatile marketing tool.
- Add value to you and your customers. Since it answers a common problem that your target audience has, you can help them address their issue. At the same time, the steady traffic it provides can help your website grow.
- Impactful investment. Creating evergreen content takes time. This ensures that you provide high-quality content that will always be interesting to your audience. That’s why it’s an excellent investment by providing significant returns in the future.
- Lasts for years. The idea that evergreen content can last for years ultimately means less work for you. A single high-quality post can give you a real bang for your buck, compared to seasonal ones that only last for a week or, if you’re lucky, a couple of months.
Step-by-Step Guide: Creating Evergreen Content
Now that we’ve established how critical evergreen content is for your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to learn the ropes of creating one that can be impactful for years. Follow these steps to begin:
1. Find a Problem to Solve
For evergreen content to succeed, it should solve a problem your customers face. It doesn’t have to be a major problem, but it’s something that many people may encounter in their lives.
For example, if you sell car parts like tires, one problem many car owners can encounter is changing their tires. You can create an article or a video showing your customers how they can change their tires and how often to rotate them to avoid wear and tear.
Now you’re not only solving their problem but providing extra value!
But I get it that you just don’t magically stumble upon a problem, and you need to put in some work to find the right fit for your website. So here are some steps you can take to find out the best problem you can address in your evergreen content:
- Ask yourself. You know your business well, and you can use this first-hand knowledge to look for pain points your customers are facing.
- Ask your customers. Don’t be afraid to send surveys to your customers. The worst thing that could happen is that they won’t answer it. But the benefits? Learning about their problems and what they expect from your business.
- Check your competition. While some may tell you to copy what your competitors are doing, I think many other opportunities are available to avoid doing this. Instead, check to see what they’re doing so you can understand what works and what doesn’t. From there, it’ll be easier to come up with an idea of what problem you want to solve for your customers.
- Check the internet. The internet is an excellent tool, especially if you know how to take advantage of it. One way is to check frequently asked questions about a particular industry through platforms like Quora and Reddit. You’ll be surprised by what information is waiting for you.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Since evergreen content is a search-engine-optimized piece, it requires some keyword research to make it as effective as possible. This will also allow you to determine whether the problem you want to solve has merit, and people are actually searching the internet for answers to it.
So how do you go about this?
First, you need to invest in the right tools. While there are numerous tools, like Google Trends and Keyword Surfer, that can provide you with basic keyword research features for free. You might miss out on opportunities that only paid tools can provide. But if you’re not ready to shed some cash, the free versions can also give you valuable insights.
Next, you need to understand what to look for. The monthly search volume is the most important metric you have to check when conducting keyword research. This can tell the potential amount of viewers you can reach with a particular keyword or phrase.
However, note that there is yet to be an actual benchmark on what a healthy monthly search volume is, especially since niches and industries vary in size.
For instance, if you are working on a popular niche like fashion or beauty, you can see that the search volume is high. But a very specific niche, like bass fishing, may have a lower volume. Be sure to only compare different keywords in your niche.
Lastly, use long-tail keyword phrases instead of just keywords. Almost everyone we know uses the internet for answers to just about anything. So, when you optimize your content for longer keyword phrases, you can get their attention easier since it usually focuses on a more specific topic.
Going back to our example on the car parts business, your keyword phrases for tire changing content can include “how long does it take to change tires” or “how often should you change tires.” They also have high search volumes, meaning many people are interested to know the answers to those questions.
3. Create a Topic Using Your Chosen Keywords
Now, let’s go to the fun part. Once you have all the details you need and have collected all the keywords you want to use, it’s time to think of a topic for your evergreen content. To help you out, here are some questions you can ask yourself when coming up with a topic:
- Will it be relevant to your customers after a year?
- Will your customer and potential customers always search for this topic?
- Will it be easy to reshare this topic on various platforms over and over without seeming outdated?
If your answer is all yes, then you found your golden ticket. You can frame this as your working title to see how to structure and position the content and think of any other related topics you might want to touch on along the way.
Important Things to Remember
Creating evergreen content may sound easy, but there are other things you need to consider to make it successful. You already have a topic in mind, and that’s a good start. However, there are other things that you need to remember when you’re putting it all together.
1. Make It Informative
Always remember quality over quantity. While longer blog posts can rank higher in search engines, it’s better to provide value to your audience than the search algorithm. As an example, if you were writing about the benefits of Google My Business software or social media marketing trends, your articles should still give some value to the readers. With this in mind, ensure your evergreen content is as long as it’s supposed to be—no fluff to achieve a particular word count. Your content should be made for humans, not robots.
2. Don’t Forget the Layout
Even if you have the best evergreen content piece in the world, if it doesn’t have good design and proper formatting, your efforts are put to waste. So, apart from ensuring your content can rank, you must deliver a memorable reading experience.
This will not only build customer trust but can potentially convert visitors to customers.
When it comes to optimizing the layout and design of your evergreen content, make sure that there is enough white space between the paragraphs. This makes it easy for your visitors to consume the content.
Next, don’t put a lot of distractions. If you do, they won’t be able to finish the content and will jump to another page. Lastly, make it visually appealing. You can add relevant images or videos to break walls of text. Just make sure you can get your readers at the end.
Remember, the longer readers stay and read your content, the higher your chances of turning them into qualified leads.
3. Regularly Update Your Content
Just because evergreen content can last for years doesn’t necessarily mean you can just upload it and never touch it again. Since your main goal is to provide information to your customers, you must ensure that those details are updated every time. It doesn’t have to be every week; you just need to ensure that the information is not outdated so you won’t mislead your readers.
You can also use this opportunity to link other website pages from your content. This can help with your overall SEO strategy, especially if the piece generates a lot of traffic. If you have already created evergreen content, here are some things you need to update:
- Data and Statistics
- Screenshots and images
I don’t recommend adding dates to your evergreen content URL if you can help it(e.g., Best-Apps-for-Video-Editing-2022), as it will quickly become outdated, and your SEO efforts are going to waste every time you change the link.
But if you’re using one in your title, make sure you update that too. You can also use the help of AI writing software to add extra paragraphs and beef up your post a little.
4. Write for Beginners
This may sound counterintuitive, especially if you want to assert your expertise in the field. But people who search for broad topics are usually not experts, so ensure your content can cater to a large audience.
That’s why it’s best to avoid technical jargon. It’s okay to mention it when necessary. Just ensure that you give a brief explanation about it. At the same time, keep your tone conversational. Read your sentences and paragraphs to check if they sound natural.
5. Promote Your Content
Now that you’ve put together your winning content piece, it’s time to put it to work to reach your audience—it just doesn’t automatically give results after you publish it. This is where content promotion comes in.
There are various ways you can promote your content. This can be through social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. You can also promote it via email, especially if you have an extensive mailing list. Or even via guest blogging.
Since this can stand the test of time, you can promote it repeatedly, which is perfect for times when you just don’t know what to post.
Before evergreen content can give you the desired results, you must ensure that Google knows your site exists. If not, then you should index your site first and then work from there.
Creating evergreen content that lasts requires a lot of work, and you should be willing to do it. By following these practices I’ve shared, you can make an effective piece to drive ongoing growth to your site.
The results may not be quick, but if you do things right, you’ll reap the benefits far longer than you think.