How to Generate Content Ideas From Competitor’s Content

Creating new and high quality content is one of the most important things to take care of when optimizing your website for search engines.

You probably had those days, where you spend several hours generating new content ideas, but nothing reasonable comes to mind.

Well, there is a way to generate content ideas based from competitor’s content that was performing well.

What makes this strategy even better is that you can also steal high quality backlinks from the same competitors. This has double the benefit, because you’re reducing number of links your competitors have and also building links for yourself.

The strategy revolves around finding high quality, well performing articles on your competitor websites, creating superior content and then contacting pages linking into that article to link to your website instead.

How to find competitor articles?

First step in this content development strategy is finding the competitor content you’re going to outperform. The best way I found to do this is by using SERPstat tool.

First head into their homepage at https://serpstat.com, then enter a domain name of your competitor in the primary search, select region for which you’re trying to rank and hit the green “Search” button.

SERPstat homepage

Make sure that the competitor you’re using for this research has decent traction from search engines already and enough unique content written on the page. It’s best if you look for competitor blogs, websites with blog or news section, because these sites will have the best content setup you can implement on your website.

As an example of this we will take a popular travel blog and generate content ideas for traveler websites. Let’s research nomadicmatt.com.

You want to scroll to “Pages with the highest visibility” section. It will list pages based on how much organic traffic each of them brings in and how many keywords they rank for, within the first few pages of Google.

SERPstat pages with highest visibility

From here you can copy every URL, except for pages such as homepage /blog/ section or anything else that isn’t an article (assuming these pages appear somewhere high on your researched website).

You can look at the type of content competitors have generated or press on the page within SERPstat platform to show you which keywords the pages rank for. Select the best articles that would fit your website, based on targeted keywords it ranks for and the topic.

If the initial research results from SERPstat don’t bring enough results for you to choose from, then you can press on “Pages with the highest visibility” line and it will show you a full list of pages. Obviously the highest ones are most important, because they rank for highest number of keywords and most likely have highest number of backlinks leading into them.

How to research competitor articles?

Second step is to create a list of these articles and start going through them one by one, checking how many backlinks they have.

You’re aiming to get ones with the most high quality links, preferably you want to get at least few dozen links leading into that article, in which case you could expect 3-5 links to be built on your page with proper execution.

What you’re going to do next is copy links from your list one by one and research them using Ahrefs.

Open up Ahrefs homepage, enter the URL into primary search bar and look specifically at “backlinks” or “refering domains” sections.

Ahrefs primary dashboard

As mentioned above, you’re looking for at least few dozen links. If most popular articles of your competitor website don’t have as many links, then you’ve most likely selected a moderately small competitor website.

That’s not an issue, because you’re still going to benefit from this strategy, but won’t be able to build as many links, because from my personal experience, I manage to get backlinks only from 15-20% of referring domains. If you have below 5 referring domains for analyzed articles, then I would recommend you research few others to make sure others don’t have more.

in this example having 209 referring domains and 757 backlinks would definitely be enough to benefit a lot from the strategy. The next step is to press on the number right below “Referring domains”, which will bring up a list of domains that link to the article you’re researching.

You preferably want to select only higher quality domains to build backlinks from. Pay closest attention to “DR” column and make sure there are websites that have domain rank (DR) of at least 10.

Ahrefs linking domain analysis

These are the websites you will reach out to. Narrow list down based on domain rank and press on number value in “Backlinks” column to bring up a list of links leading into that pages.

Analyze these links, pick out several links from each domain (assuming there are at least a few), where you think you could get backlinks leading into your own website and then write them down within the same file you’ve used for competitor content research.

How to create content and “steal” backlinks from competitors?

What we’ve done so far is narrow down your list to pages that have decent number of high quality links, ones that would fit within your website and ones that rank well for high number of organic search results.

Next step is to create superior content in comparison to your competitor’s page. What I’ve done in the past is focus on extremely high quality, highly defailed, well updated article pieces within my website when using this strategy.

So for example we can take the same article that was analyzed on this guide - How to Find Cheap Flights. It lists 13 steps on how to get cleap flights and at the time of posting, the whole article is roughly 3000 words long.

What you could do is create a far superior piece of content, listing 50 steps on how to get cheap flights, where whole article could be 10,000 - 15,000 words long.

You might think to yourself - are you insane? why would I spend that much time on an article like that? Well, first of all you’re building up high authority articles in a highly competitive industry and want to directly compete with a big blog targeting your potential customers. If you create a generate a piece of content that is far superior to one created by your competitor - you are more likely to outrank your competitors (or at the very least get close to them on search results) and much more likely to steal links from competitor websites, which brings me to the next step - building backlinks.

The next and final step - “steal” backlinks from competitors. Reach out to high quality websites that linked into your competitor website (ones we’ve analyzed in the last section) and suggest replacing your competitor link with something that would benefit their readers more.

The email that you send out could look something like this:

Hello Sarah,

I love your blog .......... I've read your recent blog post naming several 
page resources for cheap flight research and wanted to let you know that 
I've recently released an article about this exact topic.

The article is 12600 words long, providing visitors with highly detailed list 
of 50 best cheap flight research strategies. Here's a link to my article - .....

I was wondering if you would be interested in providing more high quality 
resources to your website visitors by linking to my article.

Thanks in advance and best of luck with your ........... blog,

Name Lastname
Tip of the day:

Never be pushy with emails. Try to provide them with enough value and also mention value your article would bring to their website visitors. Doing this will have a decent chance to get a backlink.

From my personal experience, 15-20% of webmasters end up linking to my article whenever I use this strategy, but if you were to create content that is of the same exact quality as your competitors, then they won’t be as likely to link to your website, especially if competitor is much better known than your own website.

By outperforming your competition and generating the highest quality content piece about that specific topic you essentially guarantee yourself backlinks, which is why you want to focus on these posts, put a lot of time into them and it will bring the results that you want.

Now go out there, research your competitor’s content and develop 10,000+ word articles, which will absolutely skyrocket your SEO efforts!

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