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How Well Do You Know Your SERP Competition?

4 min read

Some content marketers believe that all competitors are the same in a SERP.

This dovetails nicely into the misconception that many content teams have concerning their competition. Some mistakenly believe that:

  • All competitors can be beat.
  • Since they’re a big brand, their only competition is big brands.
  • As a big brand, they don’t need to be concerned about publishing.

Not true.

In fact, you have to account for all the different types of pages and different types of businesses that you’re competing with in organic search. That’s in addition to all the different types of intents on the page and the types of content those people have. You also have to account for, and be okay with, the fact that there’s different types of businesses in your competition.

I hear it so often. “I’m getting beat by G2 Crowd and Capterra (if you’re in B2B tech) and there’s just no way I’m ever going to beat them. They’ve got this thing and I’m not an aggregator, so I’m not even going to try.” Okay. First of all, that’s ridiculous. You can absolutely beat those people.

Most of them are MarketMuse customers so I know they are very strong. But you can attack those folks if you account for what they are doing.

So the recommendation I always give to teams is, if you only focus on the same competitors that you sell against, you’re missing the ones that you’re competing against for content.

Now, this is going to be a splash of water for a lot of companies. And it’s something you need to bring to your organization at the highest level to explain it. Because a lot of times this is where content strategy budgets get cut and destroyed.

They go in and they say we’re an e-commerce shop. We don’t need content because we’re not publishers. But the people who are competing against you in the search results may be publishers.

And what does this lead to?

It leads to other people educating the market or being there during your prospect’s buyer journeys. I once worked with a shoe company who had absolutely no content, and they crushed it for a lot of terms with extremely low competition. However, they were letting all the publishers and competitors in the world cover the buyer journey.

All they were getting were transactional outcomes. Sounds great? Not really. It was a very short-sighted strategy.

They never wrote anything to educate their top-of-funnel prospects about, for example, the top 10 best shoes for moms on the go. Maybe their shoes got on those lists and maybe they didn’t.

As a result, they ended up paying more affiliate fees than they should have. And a whole lot less people were seeing them as exhibiting expertise on the use cases for their own product!

And this all comes down from C-level, with executives believing that they’re only competing with the other shoe companies and not Wired Mag, Wirecutter, and Red Ventures and everyone else that’s writing about the industry.

Don’t make that mistake.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer at MarketMuse

Jeff is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at MarketMuse. He is a cross-disciplined, data-driven inbound marketing executive with 18+ years of experience managing products and website networks; focused on helping companies grow. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.