How to beat your competitors’ content

By Leon Tranter | Blogging

Nov 01
beat competitors content

So you’ve decided to start a blog (or maybe you already have one!), understand the power of content marketing, and now want to start writing and publishing killer content.

That’s great – but what about your competitors? You need to write better content than them. Luckily, I’ve come up with a foolproof way on how to do that. So let’s dive straight in and learn how to beat your competitor’s content!

The importance of powerful content

People have said it before and it’s true – content is king. Now more so than ever. Backlinks are still powerful but are becoming less important in ranking and SEO.

Google’s RankBrain algorithm pays careful attention to how people interact with content. Do they bounce straight back because the content is crap? Or do they spend a lot of time there reading your killer material?

Your content needs to be top-notch. It will not just win over your audience and build trust and authority (the most valuable assets you can have in internet marketing). It will also send good signals to Google, which will give you better rankings, more traffic and even more engagement. And so the cycle continues.

The days of ranking and building an audience with 400 word fluff pieces are long, long gone. Those sites all have permanent residencies on page 12 of the search results. You don’t want to be there, trust me. So write killer material that will get you to page 2 or page 1!

How to beat your competitors’ content

OK so we know what we want to do, now we have to go do it! Let’s find out how…

Write your content first

Assuming you know your stuff, I recommend you actually start by writing your content first, before looking at any other material. If you start off by reading and comparing work, you might never get off the ground. You could go down a rabbit hole, get distracted, and not end up writing anything.

So my advice is to just write your article first. Then once you are done, go and research and follow the steps below.

If you don’t know your stuff and you need to research your article first, that’s fine. Just go and research and put together your content, Then come back and follow the steps below.

Then research your competition content

Once you have your article, you can publish it right away, let it get indexed, and then come back and revisit it and improve it later. Or you can improve it and make it better before you publish it – it’s entirely up to you.

To start with, check out your competition content. Do a Google search for the keyword you are trying to rank, and open up the top six or seven articles.

Don’t worry about their domain authority or backlink profiles or anything like that. This is not an SEO exercise, this is a content exercise. You’re just trying to write a better article than theirs. If you do that, half of the SEO battle is already won. You can then work on the on-page and off-page SEO factors later.

We’re about to use a tactic I came up with called Add Attack Ignore which will ensure your content is better than anything out there.

The “Add Attack Ignore” method to destroying their content

What you want to do now is open a spreadsheet in one tab, then go through each of the competition articles and use the Add Attack Ignore method.

attack competitor content

It’s time to attack your competition content!

What you do is for each article, go through and read each paragraph, and put a very short summary (a few words) of each point that the article makes. Leave out any that are just fluff or filler or irrelevant to the keyword (e.g. stuff like “how have you guys been going? I hope you like this article!” and so on).

Just put a line in the spreadsheet for each point that the article makes. Only enough words that if you look at it half an hour later, you will understand what it means. For example, if I did it for this article, I would put

  • “Content is important”
  • “You need to beat your competitor content”
  • “RankBrain ranks your content based on how people interact with your content”
  • “Weak short content doesn’t work anymore”
  • “Make sure to write your content first”

You get the idea? Pretty simple.

Then do the same for the next article. Except if it is a duplicate point that you already have in the spreadsheet, leave it out. Don’t duplicate it or anything. Just move on. You are looking to build a list of unique points that these articles make.

Once you’ve done it for each of the articles you are analyzing, you’re ready to move onto the next step. I recommend six or seven articles if you’re starting out, but later if you want to put more work into it, you can do ten or more.

Now for each line in the spreadsheet, decide if this point is one of these three things:

  • something that you don’t have in your article and you want to include (i.e. you want to Add it to your article)
  • something that you disagree with and you haven’t already disagreed with in your article (i.e. you want to Attack it in your article)
  • something that you already have in your article or you think is irrelevant to your content (i.e. you want to Ignore it).

And that’s the Add Attack Ignore method! See?

How this method works

What you are doing here is making sure that your article covers at least every single relevant point that your main competitors make, and then some. It works like this.

Each article on a topic covers a few points, and some of them overlap with others, and some of them don’t. So one website might cover points A, B and C (whatever they are), another might cover points B, C and D, and the next covers C, D and E. You wrote an article that talks about A, B and F. So you’ve already got something the other sites don’t.

But if you use Add Attack Ignore, your content will now cover A, B, C, D, E and F (assuming they are all good and relevant points). And if some of them are wrong, you can attack those points and make yourself look stronger.

This might seem like a strange method, and takes a bit of time at first. But once you get used to it, it is quick and easy.

I recommend to use it on older articles that you wrote when you were just starting off, and weren’t knowledgeable and confident enough to write dominating content.

Go back, revisit these articles, and beef them up. Make sure to change the Publication date in WordPress so the updated post gets pushed to the front of your site (instead of languishing on page 6), and Google knows to check it out and re-index it.

Extra tips

Some final simple bonus tips for making your content really stand out:

  • make sure it answers a specific question, and that question should be related to the keyword you are trying to rank for
  • include some images and maybe videos
  • include relevant external and internal links
  • write short, punchy sentences and paragraphs that keep people engaged.

Final thoughts on beating your competitors’ content

Well that’s my Add Attack Ignore method to crushing your competitors’ content. It takes some effort but I think the results are worth it.

I hope you liked it! As always, if you have any questions or comments about it, please leave them below!