Alistair Vermaak

writing blog posts about your competitors

How to Write About Competitors on Your Blog

What? Write about my competitors?  Why would I give them ANY airtime on “MY Blog?”

I know I know, it seems like a ridiculous idea, I mean really, who in their right mind would think it a good idea, right? Well, when you have the right approach, you could make a lot more sales.

The truth of the matter is – every business has competition, no matter what you do

Even if you think your niche is ultra tiny, you’re still going to have competition

Even if you’re first to market with an idea, it won’t take long for people to see and copy, enter from a new angle and start trying to outmaneuver you from your first place on the podium.

If you make money, others will want to make some too.  It isn’t rocket science figuring this out.

There are always new businesses starting up.  To be successful, they need to be able to differentiate themselves from other businesses in the space they intend to fill.

Often times, it means going above and beyond what existing businesses are doing in the space they want to occupy. 

To do this, they need to focus on delivering value and creating content in the form of blog posts that will resonate with the customers they want to serve.

There are very profitable types of posts that will generate tons of leads when done right. 

These are The 5 Blog Types for more leads and sales

One Blog type that we’re going to focus on is talking about your competitors in the marketplace.

If you go to the post mentioned in the link above, you’ll see we mention cost, reviews, lists and comparisons among others.

But, talking about your competitors really is one of the better ways to establish your authority and make you a heck of a lot more sales.

It’s also one of the types of posts that business people are actually hesitant to write about.

They often think it’s totally bonkers to give competitors any time of day, let alone write about them and post the content on their own websites or blogs.

 “Why give competitors any time of day? Write about them and post information about them on “My Website” That’s crazy talk!  I won’t do it!”

That’s all fine and well. 

In this post we’re going to not only give you good reasons to write about your competitors, but also show you how to write about them in a way that will generate more visits, leads and sales for YOUR business.

Sound good?  Let’s dive in, shall we…

The Reasons For Writing About Competitors

Before we tell you why you should write about your competitors, let me ask you first “why not?”

Are you afraid that you’ll lose business because you’re informing people that there are other businesses doing the same thing as you?  Do you honestly think people are naïve enough not to do their own research?

Do you honestly believe people don’t know your competitors?

Yes, I get it; it seems like a crazy strategy to be talking about your competitors in any way at all.

But, the thing is, there are businesses out there that are doing it right and have seen some very impressive results.

What you need to realize is this: the people looking for solutions have more options than ever, they have all the information they could ever need at their fingertips.

If you’re not going to give them information and make it easy for them to find what they want, guess what….. They’re gone!

What people are looking for these days is openness, transparency and honesty. 

If you can give site visitors lots of helpful information and build relationships with them, you’ll quickly build authority and your business faster than you can imagine. 

With that being said, let’s have a look at the reasons for creating this type of content:

1. Site visitors will see that you’re honest

Writing Blog posts/Articles about competitors will show people visiting your site that you’re open, transparent and want to help them.

No they aren’t naïve and know that you want their business, but going this route is much better for “them”. They don’t need you blasting them with sales pitch after sales pitch.

2. You will grow your authority

Most businesses will never give their site visitors other options.  They are scared and want to keep the visitor on their site for as long as possible and lure them into a sale.

If you flip things around and provide more options than anyone else, your site visitors will be intrigued and may read more information on your site that may be of interest to them.

Giving them more information and options will give them more reason to trust you and your guidance, as you’ll be seen as an expert.

3. You’ll get traffic you might otherwise have missed

We’re going to show you how to write articles targeting keywords that would normally have sent search traffic to competitors or review sites.

If people are using these keywords, they’re probably still doing their research during the decision phase of their buying journey and are looking for competing businesses. 

They may stumble upon your post, not realizing you’re in the same industry as your competitors.

If your site is at the top of search results, it’s a great way to have people land on your site where they can be introduced to your business and services.

4. You control the conversation

Searchers may be aware of competitors in your field and that you do the same thing as all your competitors. 

If you’re willing to be open and honest and tell them they can get the same service elsewhere, you get to control the conversation.

Remember, in doing so, you’ll need to remain neutral. 

If searchers sniff any attempt that you’re trying to persuade them to buy from you, you’ll lose credibility. 

You can still choose what to and what not to say about your competition.

5. You’ll convert more leads

We’ll get to writing posts soon, but, just like you would never have gotten this traffic, you’ll have many more opportunities to create and convert leads and sales you would otherwise never have had.

How do you Blog about your competitors?

Now that you know “why” you should write about your competitors, we want to show you “how” to write about them.

We’ll use best practices and show you working examples of Competitor Blog Posts done right.

You must first understand that there are two types of competitor posts you’ll want to write about:

  1. Best of “(competitors)” lists
  2. Competitive comparison posts

The best of “(competitors)” list gets you to target search terms people are entering to see all of the best vendors selling the product/service they’re interested in.

This is typically just a list of businesses and the most popular competitors in your market.

The competitive comparison post is for web searchers who’ve found a few businesses and are now looking at their options, but, they’re struggling to make a final decision.

What they want to do is whittle down their options to see what specific value each competitor brings. 

The competitive comparison post doesn’t get lots of search traffic, but it’s a very valuable asset to use when working with leads who ask:

“What’s the value of working with your company versus working with ….”

How to structure competitor posts

Every post we write starts with a structure/framework. We need effective titles, introduction, sub-headings, body, conclusions and Call to Actions that allow site visitors to engage with us.

There are two types of competition articles you can write about, but, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on the “Best of” competitor list format.

How to write titles for competitor posts

When people are searching for vendors, they often look for lists of businesses/companies that will supply them with their needs.

In the old days, they would pick up a telephone directory and look in a specific category. 

When the internet became more widely used, we started looking for online directories, but these days it’s much simpler because businesses have realized the power of blogging and started creating lists.

The way it works is you find common search terms that people use to search for vendors in your industry and then target those same search terms to create:

  • Top 10 lists – Best for most type of List Posts
  • Top 20 lists – Good for many types of List Posts
  • Top 30 Lists – Good for Freebies and Tools
  • Top 50 Lists – Good for Tools and Recipes
  • Top 100 Lists – Good for Best of and Annual List Posts

You create lists to include a number of competitors in your industry.

Depending on your type of business, you can add competitors in your industry only, or you can add competitors in your immediate area, (Sometimes including those that are a little further out of town).

The most interesting thing about these lists is: You shouldn’t add your business to the list.

“What? What have you been smoking or what pills are you taking?” Coz I want some!  (That’s probably what’s going through some of your minds right now, am I right?)

Yes, it sounds absolutely crazy, I know.  But hear me out.

It’s all about gaining the trust of your site visitors.  You see, if you create the list and leave your site off the list, you’re doing two things at once:

  • You’ve got them onto your site already
  • You can gently introduce yourself and your business at the introduction or within the conclusion at the end of the list.

If you add your business in the list, you’re being salesy and people will see right through you.  I’ve seen many examples of this, and you know what I do……Click!  I’m gone!

You cannot build trust and credibility if you’re over-promotional.

What you can do is gently introduce your business in the introduction and let people know what you do in general. 

Then in the conclusion of the Blog post/list, mention how you can help in the same way as many of the businesses you listed.

Doing this kind of subtle introduction to your business and what you do is much more likely to help establish you and your business as a thought leader and someone they can trust and buy from.

Ok, Ok.  You get it now I think.  But how do you create a title that will hook the site searcher to look at the list?

Next, we’ll cover some ways you can write a Blog Post Title that will bring SEO traffic from search engines.  Typically, people are searching for “Best [insert service/locations served here].”

You will need to actually do the search yourself and see how many of your competitors show up.  If there are 10 to 30 competitors that show up then choose the closest 7-15 Competitors in your immediate area.

Once you’ve got a list of competitors you need to jot them all into a document of your choosing, that will make it easy to create a list post. 

Now we’re going to write the title for your post like this:

  • Top 10 Dgitial Marketing Agencies 2021
  • 5 Best Printing Companies in LA
  • 2020 Best Managed IT Services Providers
  • Who are the best Roofing Contractors in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Best Corporate Garden Service Contractors in Winnipeg

As you can see from the list, there are 3 Titles that mention a location. 

That’s because you’re writing the post to target locally based businesses in those areas. 

Two of the titles mentioned services that can be provided from anywhere and don’t need to specify a location.

Now that we’ve got a good idea of the title structure, it’s time to get to writing. 

The first part of the article will require a good opening introduction.  It must get the site visitor to read the rest of the post. 

If your introduction doesn’t keep your reader interested, they’ll be gone in a flash, so you need to incentivize them to read further.

How to write a good opening statement (Introductory Paragraph) in your Competitor List Post

No, you’re not going to add your business on the list (Are you?)  Ok, glad we cleared that up!

Even though your business isn’t included in the list of companies that you’re going to create, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell site visitors that you have their interests at heart.

You need to inform site visitors why you’re creating the list. 

When you let them know that you’re trying to make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for, you’re establishing yourself as a thought leader who has their interests in mind.

The best way to do this is to write an introductory paragraph that creates the image of thought-leadership in your site visitor’s mind.

This shows visitors that you are trying to make them well-informed buyers with the right information and all their options fully known to them.

Here’s an example I found from Impact: Aquila Commercial’s 8 Best Commercial Real Estate Companies in Austin, Texas.

The opening paragraph establishes thought-leadership, shows expertise in the subject and highlights the fact that it’s written bearing the best interests of the consumer in mind.

The paragraph addresses the reader and their problem.

They do a good job of stating that their business also offers,” a full range of commercial real estate services,” but they want to make sure that the consumer is getting the best care for their needs.

The content shows transparency and thought-leadership.

They display their willingness to inform the consumer that there are other options and that the business wants to help them explore these. 

They provide expertise by telling site visitors that they are free to ask about any other options. 

It highlights the fact, that if they were not experts in the specific area, why would they receive so many of the same questions?

They go into detail about their certifications and what regulations they comply with, in order to put their customers at ease if they choose to work with them.

Judging from the content of the paragraph it becomes clear that Aquila knows their stuff and that people searching for commercial real estate companies in Austin can find many of the answers they seek from Aquila.

This goes a long way in building trust for their Brand.

What information should you include about competitors?

Hmmm…?  You know, Bob down the road, cut me off in traffic this morning.  He’s a competitor!  I was going to give him a piece of my mind, but you know what? 

I’m going to get my revenge by trashing his business in my Blog Post.  That’ll teach that F*#!@r.

WAIT!

Let’s think things through logically.  The question you may be asking yourself is, what should I say about competitors?

Should I talk crap about them or should I put them on a pedestal.  Well….. neither.

Huh?  How can I write about any competitors in a neutral tone?  I have opinions about them and want to express them dammit!

What we’re going to do is simple – share very basic information about them, nothing more:

  • Who they are
  • How long have they been in business
  • Have they got any awards/certifications
  • What is their specialty
  • What brands do they offer
  • Any additional Info you want to add

If you’re in the mood to say something nice about them, do it.

Just remember, if you’re going to say something negative, it can backfire on you, so don’t do it.  It could ruin your reputation.

Another thing to note – visitors reading what you write will see your derogatory comments and will be less likely to do business with you and may even go tell the competitor what you said. 

So, to do this right, the first time, consider whether you want to give a little basic information, or a lot of information, the choice is yours.

Let’s see some examples:

I found articles on Impact and here they are: 

Intek Freight & Logistics, a transport provider wrote an article:  Top 10 Managed Transportation Service Companies.

See what they did here?

They did something super simple:

  • They added the Company Name
  • The Location
  • The website
  • When the Business was Created
  • Added a Logo

Easy! Am I right?  Yes, it was very simple and did little to give any more information. It seems cold, uninteresting and not much use to a site visitor.

You don’t need to write a complete encyclopedia on your competitors. 

Provide basic information that educates site visitors. Help them understand the difference between your business and that of your competitors.

This can keep them on your site longer and helps them, because they don’t need to keep on searching – remember, we’re trying to build trust and authority in our industry by doing this.

Here’s another example I saw on Impact:

West Roofing Systems:  Best Commercial Roofing Contractors in Cleveland, Ohio:

As you can see, the business lists:

  • The competitor name
  • Their location
  • The year established
  • A list of their services
  • What they say they do and mention certifications

They do give a lot more information, but don’t link out to the business.  It’s more substantial and gives a reader much more clarifying information.

If the site visitor feels like that business is the one they want to work with, they can always do a Google search.  But this list doesn’t link out and make it easy to make contact them.

The whole idea behind creating lists like these is to make your site visitor aware that these other businesses exist. 

It’s not your job to link out to them and provide everything possible to allow visitors to click over to them.  But, let’s be honest, what’s a few extra clicks?

Give your visitors everything they need and make it extremely easy for them to get ALL the information they need in one place.

If you don’t include links to other sites, it can come across as desperate and untrustworthy. (That’s just my opinion!)

Quick Note:  Linking to other sites is great for your website SEO.  Google loves seeing sites that are resource hubs. 

So, if you have a page that is a go to list of links to other sites or tools, Google’s going to gobble it up.

If Google loves it, your chances of ranking higher is much better, so I wouldn’t be worrying if someone will stay or leave the site.

If you’re still wondering what to say about your competitors, go to their about page.

Make note about what they say, re-hash it and use that as your Blurb about their business.

How to write a great conclusion

The conclusion of your post is yet another chance for you to introduce your business and the services you provide.  Again, giving readers or visitors another chance to reach out or interact with you.

The conclusion is yet again an opportunity to remind readers or visitors that you’re merely trying to educate them.  Remind them about all the things they should consider when looking for a business to work with.

The conclusion is also a space where you can introduce your products/ services and introduce the successes that others have had with your business.

All great conclusions end with a Call to Action (CTA).  The CTA must correspond to an offer that’s relevant to the topic of the post to ensure you can continue to engage with the visitor before they leave the page.

See this example from Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning:  Best HVAC Contractors in Columbus Ohio.

So they listed all of the options that homeowners might have for HVAC companies in Columbus, they also do a few other things like:

A CTA to an offer that is a contractor checklist of questions you should ask a contractor.

It’s not only valuable to the visitor it’s also a lead magnet that lets Fire & Ice capture more leads that they can nurture.

While site visitors use the checklist to check competitors, they’re constantly reminded of Fire & Ice.  Their business name and logo appears on the checklist.

In closing they explain why they feel they’re the best HVAC Company in Cleveland.

They showed their values and ethics and when they mention commitment and integrity, you can tell they mean it because they answer questions no one else will touch.

It’s such a brilliant structure, don’t you think?

In the final piece of the Article, they still get to make a connection with the site visitor.  The visitor can schedule an estimate on the page and then there are links to related articles to further educate.

Because the Company has taken the time to provide a handy checklist, a list of Companies, (Other than their own!), a place to schedule an assessment and further educational links – they’ve inspired trust and authority.

There’s one thing consumers know all too well.  Companies don’t want to talk about other Companies that do the same thing as them.

That’s why you’ll knock their socks off with this type of content and Google will love it too.

What Kind of Results Can You Expect From Competitor Posts

Gaining trust from writing articles/posts like these is great, but what kind of traffic and sales can a Business expect if they do the work.

Can you expect an article to rank in Google if you write them?

Yes!  These types of Posts/Articles often do well in search results.

Remember the example from Intek Logistics’ competitor articles? These happen to be their main source of qualified leads that result in sales.

They wrote a number of competitor articles for each service they provide and got results like these:

What does this mean?  This means that Intek managed to get the featured snippet for both queries.

Aquila (another example from above) also managed to get to the featured snippet position, remember the Best Commercial Real Estate Companies in Austin article?

So, what now?

It’s not easy to get people in your business to write these types of posts or articles and it isn’t easy to write them properly.

But with a lot of research, modeling your content on what’s working for others and adapting it for your business, you can make it work.

People and businesses that have been brave enough to write best of competitor lists, often find their way to the first page results of Google.

Many even end up with the featured snippet for such search queries.

What are you sitting round here reading for? Start writing these posts and articles… before your competitors do.

Would you like these types of posts for your business? Reach out to us and let us do the content writing for you.

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