FOUND Friday

A weekly Google Hangout dedicated to discussing content marketing, search marketing, SEO and more.


Topic: Win Back Your Audience with Competitor Insights

We continue our conversation about creating and using content and competitor groups to get better insights into how your content is contributing to the organization’s bottom line.

Erin O’Brien, President at GinzaMetrics


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Erin: Hi, welcome to FOUND Friday. My name is Erin O’Brien. This week on FOUND Friday, we are going to talk about competitor groups and why marketers should use them. FOUND Friday is a weekly web series that we do talking about search and content marketing stuff and we tend to tackle different topic every week.


Last week we were talking about content groups and how that can really help people better understand, analyze, and create content that will get found by your target audience. Competitor group is movement along from that conversation which is really trying to understand a way to break down and create things that can help you better understand your target marketplace, understand your target audience, and really see how what you’re creating in terms of content and overall search is really contributing to that ecosystem.


When we’re talking about competitor groups, what we’re talking about is really understanding a more granular level specific competitors or specific competitor content that is coinciding with either product, features, geographies, campaigns, things like that. Let’s talk a little bit about how to break them down.


The things I just mentioned are really good ways to break things down. This is also a great way for you to mirror existing keyword groups and content groups. Last week when we were talking about content grouping and why that’s so important, we were discussing the idea that what content groups allow you to do is analyze and segment out different areas that are important focuses to you. Let’s say specific campaigns, specific geographies, particular feature sets, or audience persona types. Who’s more likely to buy something than someone else?


I use Nike as an example a lot. One of the great ways to look at that is Nike makes a lot of different things. Obviously the type of person who may buy basketball products is going to be different than somebody who may be buying running shoes. But even within each one of those categories, there are a lot of different types of things. There are people buying running shoes who may be avid marathon runners or who may be casual people or who may be doing trail running versus road running or may be doing something at the gym. You want to look at even age segments within there. Obviously there’s much different market for children’s running shoes than for seniors, shoes for walking and jogging.


When you’re talking about who the competition is for those things, you’re not only just talking about the people who are directly selling products and services that may compete with what you’re doing. You’re also talking about anyone who’s taking traffic away from what you’re specifically trying to get eyeballs for. It may be reviews of running shoes, it may be articles about the best possible running shoes, it may be anything like that. So what you want to look at is who’s competing with you for audience attention.


When you’re talking about creating competitor groups, you can even segment things out into direct competitors and indirect competitors. Direct competitor may be for Nike may be something like Brooks, ASICS, Reebok, or Adidas, whereas an indirect competitor may be something like Runner’s World or another running publication or another exercise-related publication or a review site.


Looking at why competitor groups are important that way can help you hone in and segment things out. I think a lot of times when we start creating groups, we start with keyword groups and then content groups. We talked last week a little about why people don’t create content groups or keyword groups. Sometimes it feels like it takes a long time to set up. It really doesn’t have to.


One of the great things that we do over at Ginza is that we actually have a Wizard so that what you do is you put in some keyword matching rules and then what we do is we gather all the content that we think fits in with that specific type of keyword and add it to the group for you and you can edit that yourself. But that gives you a good starting point without having to go through thousands of pages and manually set that process up.


Competitor groups can be done the same way. Once you’re tracking a competitor, you can just check them off and add them in the groups.


Competitor groups also work really well with Competitor Discovery. Competitor Discovery is going back to this idea of what I was just talking about about direct and indirect competitors. Competitor Discovery will do both and it’s great because it’s not just pulling the brands that may be you’re thinking about or are already aware of. What it’s doing is it’s really looking for anything that’s taking traffic away from you and that can actually be discovered based on groups.


Let’s go back to the Nike example with running shoes. Let’s say I have a group within my running shoes category called trail running shoes and all I really care about finding competitors for is just this trail running shoe category because we’re focusing on that as a campaign. What Competitor Discovery will do is it will just pull out anybody that has content that is taking traffic away from you for the keywords that you’re targeting for trail running shoes. Then it’s going to show you competitor data including things like search volume, projected monthly traffic, CPC data, findability score, average rank. Then it will show you all of their ranking content and their ranking keywords.


So what you’re going to get with all of that information with their ranking content and their ranking keywords is the ability to understand specifically how they’re taking traffic from your content and what they’re creating that is getting more audience findability. So you can see what else is in market before you spend a lot of time creating more marketing content and before you consider what else to do.


Then what you can do is you can add those competitors into something that you’re tracking and then create a competitor group that you may want to do in addition to creating a competitor group just around trail running shoes specifically would be to say there’s direct competitors for trail running shoes, specifically other brands like Adidas, Brooks, and ASICS. Then there’s indirect competitors where it’s people writing articles about trail running shoes and things like that. You can even further segment down to men versus women. You could do all weather waterproof. You can do it a lot of different ways. It depends on how you set up features.


What’s great about that is then when you start to create content and do campaigns and do messaging and use the tips that we gave you last week on content groups, you can better tie in the exact things in market that are related to that specific topic as opposed to having to take these granular, really great keyword groups and content groups that are really going to be helpful and then compare them to this larger group of competition that may not always be relevant. So may not be comparing apples to apples anymore.


What you should be doing in terms of getting started – I know this is always the question at the end of the show, which is “How do we get started?” There are a lot of different ways to get started and I would say the initial thing is get started with a framework of what might be some groups that make sense. You can always start more high level and get more granular as you need to. You can always start with one or two groups and create more as you go along.


Don’t feel like you need to figure out the entire structure all at one time. That’s going feel really daunting and it’s probably going to take a lot of time and you may find out once you create the structure that the structure needs to be edited. Creating a structure all at once and implementing the entire thing is likely going to result in you having to re-shift some stuff anyway. So I really just recommend start out with a couple of groups and see where those take you, see what you get.


I think it’s best to mirror keyword groups, content groups, and competitor groups so that as you slice and dice, you can really compare and see how are these keywords performing or what keyword is driving traffic to specific content. How does this content as a campaign compare to that content as a campaign? How does it work with ranking? What’s going on? How does that content group, what are the competitors associated specifically with just that content?


That’s my recommendation for this week. As always, you can ask questions, participate in the conversation, or join us for other FOUND Friday episodes on GinzaMetrics YouTube channel which is GinzaMetrics. You can also find them on the GinzaMetrics website in the Academy section. You can also send us messages on Twitter @GinzaMetrics. Or you can e-mail us at


We look forward to seeing you again next week.

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