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Help! A Competitor is Copying My Content!

Get actionable advice for reclaiming lost traffic when a competitor copies your content

Whether a competitor is replicating your content word-for-word or borrowing your topics, it’s essential to stay ahead with effective strategies. Here’s how to maintain your competitive edge when content copycats are on the prowl. 

Perform a Competitive Analysis

When you notice a competitor copying your content, make sure you’re looking at the big picture. Are they outranking you? If so, is it because their content, though unoriginal, is better or more engaging? To assess the situation thoroughly, follow the steps below: 

1. Look at the data.

Compare your content with the competitor’s copycat content. Use tools like Google Analytics,  Google Search Console, or Semrush to analyze traffic, engagement, and keyword performance. Identify which pieces of your content are underperforming compared to the copycat competitor’s. 

2. Look for opportunities to improve on-page SEO.

Next, you’ll want to investigate why their content might be outranking yours. Consider SEO content factors like their use of keywords, meta descriptions, and header tags. Are their metas more compelling or keyword-optimized? Do their images have alt text while yours do not? Maybe their content uses headers more effectively. Whatever they’re doing “good,” you’ll need to do better.

3. Evaluate your content structure and readability.

Review the formatting and structure of the content. Are they using more images, videos, or infographics? Is their content more scannable with bullet points, subheadings, or shorter paragraphs? If you were unbiased, whose content would you prefer to ingest, and why? 

Once you’ve pinpointed why they may have improved in rankings or usurped some of your visibility, consider how you can make your content more helpful and engaging for your target audience. Then, adapt your content to beat out the competition. 

Optimize Your Content

The single best way to strengthen your SEO strategy when a copycat competitor persists (or anytime, really) is to keep your old, relevant content fresh. Sure, cranking out quality, engaging content works wonders, but the true power is in optimizing evergreen topics — particularly the topics your competitor is replicating.

One of GPO’s clients experienced a classic case of copywriting copycats (say that three times fast!). The usurping brand borrowed numerous topics and began to see a drastic increase in traffic from its plagiarized content in December 2023. Our client saw the opposite. 

screenshot showing competitor traffic taking off in December 2023 but decreasing around April 2024
Competitor Blog
Screenshot showing client traffic decreasing December 2023 but increasing April 2024
GPO Client Blog

With a dedicated content refresh strategy — following the steps in the previous section — our client began to regain their traffic and outrank the competitor in March 2024. The copycat lost their traffic almost instantly. Sometimes, a little optimization is just what the marketer ordered.

However, adjusting your content to be superior to the copycat’s isn’t the end of the journey. You’ll also want to review and update your existing content regularly. Refresh outdated information, add new insights, and optimize for current SEO best practices — these are ever-changing. Doing so can help maintain your content’s relevance and search engine ranking.

Enhance Your SEO Strategy Moving Forward

Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes, it just isn’t. If someone is copying your strategy, content, or product but doing it in such a way that legal action isn’t an option, keep them on their toes and focus on what you can change — your content strategy. 

  • Enhance Content Quality: Focus on creating in-depth, well-researched content that offers real value to your audience. Is it engaging, easy to read, and does it provide actionable insights or calls to action?
  • Build a Strong SEO Strategy: Ensure your SEO strategy is robust. This includes optimizing your content with relevant keywords, maintaining a fast, user-friendly website, and ensuring your content is helpful and mobile-friendly. A strong SEO presence can make it harder for clutzy content copiers to outrank you.
  • Monitor Trends and Innovate: Stay updated with industry trends and continuously innovate your content strategy. Experiment with different content formats, such as videos or interactive content. Diversifying your portfolio can keep your audience engaged and set you apart from competitors.
  • Promote Your Content: Don’t just publish content and wait for it to be discovered! Actively promote it through social media, email marketing, and partnerships. The more visibility your content gets, the harder it will be for competitors to overshadow it.

Focus on Your Brand 

Your brand is unique. While competitors can replicate your products, content, and even your pricing strategies, they cannot fully capture what your brand uniquely offers consumers. When your content is under the watchful gaze of brands that want to imitate you, here are a few strategies to reinforce your brand identity and point users in your direction:

Emphasize Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Highlight what makes your brand special. This could be your customer service, the quality of your products, or your brand’s story. It’s easy to go on autopilot as a brand, but this redundancy is prime picking for businesses that want to replicate your success. 

Put on a little elbow grease, and showcase what makes your business stand out from its competitors.

  • Case Studies and Original Research: Conduct original research or create case studies based on your own data. This not only positions you as a thought leader but also provides unique insights that competitors can only borrow, not copy.
  • Customer Testimonials and Success Stories: Share testimonials, charitable efforts, and customer success stories. Use direct quotes, before-and-after scenarios, and specific metrics to highlight impact.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give your audience a peek behind the curtain. Share stories about your team, your production process, or the origins of your products. This builds a personal connection and adds a unique touch to your content.

Maintain a Distinctive Brand Voice

Your brand voice sets you apart and makes your content recognizably yours. Ensure that your brand voice is consistent across all platforms. Whether your tone is professional, casual, quirky, or a mixture of all three, it needs to resonate with your target audience incomparably. Your brand voice is your fingerprint — make it hard to imitate.

Engage with Your Audience

Brand loyalty isn’t built overnight, but when it has been cultivated, nurtured, and respected, beautiful things can happen. If your consumers see your business as honest, innovative, and reliable, they’re more likely to continue searching and purchasing from you — no matter what services or products your competitors offer. 

Reengage with your audience. Respond to comments, share user-generated content, and create interactive posts where possible. When your audience feels connected to your brand, they’re more likely to stick with you, regardless of what competitors do.

Take Legal Action

While focusing on your brand and content quality is key, there are also some practical steps you can take to protect your content from being copied, like taking legal action. If you find that a competitor is copying your content word-for-word, consider consulting with a legal professional to discuss further action.

Leverage GPO Blog Services for Content Excellence

Facing competitors who copy your content is frustrating, but it also presents an opportunity to innovate and improve. When competitors start coming for your content strategy, the best thing you can do is out-strategize them. With GPO’s blog services, you receive strategic content calendars designed to keep your content ranking above competitors — from optimized blog topics tailored to your brand and industry to thoughtful refreshes that keep your top pieces performing their best. We handle the strategy, writing, editing, and publishing, so you put your energy toward other marketing needs. 
Chat with us today to learn how we can help cultivate a robust content strategy and execution to keep your website outranking the competition.

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