When we look deeper into the supplement market, Bodybuilding.com (BB) stands out like a sore thumb. Their content machine is spinning wildly, pumping out killer articles that get shares, links, and visibility for thousands of keywords in the market. Because of this obviously successful approach, we set our eCommerce SEO team the task of unpacking what the BB team are doing to earn that success.
In this article, we’ll break down their strategy and explain how you can look at their stockpile of content with a positive attitude. It’s definitely not something to be scared of. In fact, it’s something you can use to actually take over the market and meander around their glaring authority. =
But first, let’s jump into how BB dominate the market with content. After all, it is one of the main reasons they have 40K referring domains and an estimated traffic count of 2 million (according to Ahrefs).
Breaking Down the Monolith that is Bodybuilding.com
There is definitely a consensus that BB is a giant in the supplement market. They have traffic in the millions and articles galore on every topic related to fitness. It is this content library that earns them the visibility they have online.
Many of you who are seasoned in the world of supplement SEO will be familiar with the techniques BB uses to reach maximise their reach. However, for those who aren’t, here are a few things we noticed when scanning over BB’s content strategy.
Practical, Informational Guides
Although content is important, high-quality, practical content is better. Offering practical guides and content is a great way to get backlinks and build the authority of your brand.
BB, over the years, has amassed a huge library of content on every fitness subject imaginable. They discuss specific exercises, workout regimes, community wins, top 10 lists, and so much more. Because of the sheer volume, BB have managed to take over the industry and score high positions on keywords with tons of search volume. Informational keywords specifically.
So, the question that comes about now is usually: So, what? They’re ranking for informational keywords with low commercial intent…
Well, these keywords don’t rank without purpose. They actually collect backlinks on autopilot and familiarise the fitness market with the BB name. Therefore, when someone is looking for supplements, this brand becomes the first point of call.
Additionally, the backlink authority can be filtered to relevant pages, allowing authority to be pushed to commercial pages, helping them rank.
Calculators and Tools for Enthusiasts
As well as information guides, they also have a series of tools and tests they offer the fitness community. These get a lot of attention and some of the most linked to pages are of calculators and tests.
Take their macronutrient calculator, for example:
The page has over 500 RDs and picks up a ton of authority as a result.
Not only is the calculator practical in itself, but there is also a ton of content below that explains how one should use the tool and plan their macros. It’s a nice bit of added value to the already useful calculator.
There is a lot of scope when it comes to creating calculators and tools that help the fitness community, leaving plenty of opportunities on the table for BB to reach to if they’re looking for a boost in backlinks and visibility.
The Elephant in the Room
Before we go in and explain how to use BB’s content as a bottomless asset, we need to clear out the room of big elephants.
Yes, we know that BB has a humungous authority that results in many of their articles hitting page one as soon as they’re dropped. They have a DR of 85, so they make for a tough competitor to go head-to-head with.
However, with the techniques we’ve detailed below, many will work regardless of authority. The aim is to find opportunities that escape the pull of BB’s authority and allow small brands to ride to the top of the SERPs.
Testing is important. Trying these methods could yield amazing results. Give them a go, you never know what you might find.
How Can You Use Their Content as an Asset?
Let’s get into how you can use BB as an asset for your content strategy. Some of these you may be using already if you’re on the ball. However, we bet there is one or two in here that you definitely haven’t considered.
Find Their Best Performing Post and Better Them
The most obvious option is to go through all of BB’s content, finding the best ones that bring them the most traffic, visibility, and backlinks. These content pieces are bringing in the majority of their views, so creating similar assets could be an effective way to also bring in some of that boost in traffic.
However, unless you have a high authority metric, creating a similar content piece isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need to create something with more power. With the new, better content piece, you can outreach to the sites linking to that post and bait them over to your site.
So, how do you go about crafting a more substantial article to beat BB?
Firstly, analyse the article in a crawler to see what it’s ranking for and who it’s competing with. Something like Ahrefs will suffice. This will give you a glimpse at what keywords to include and which ones aren’t being properly utilised by the original article. Include these keywords thoroughly in your new article.
Also look at what the competing articles have written about that isn’t included in the original article. It’s important you cover every angle the original BB article didn’t. Add more comprehensive information and add as much value as possible.
If you want to add more value but are running out of options, check the comments on the articles you’re analysing. They are bound to have some useful angles from the very people who will be reading this kind of content. Answer the questions in the comments as thoroughly as possible in your new article.
What do you do when the article is finished?
So, you’ve finished the article and it’s awesome! Now you need to outreach it.
Use a tool like Buzzstream to collect the contact details (specifically, the emails) of the sites linking to the original article on BB. Go through and find the decision makers when it comes to editing links. Get in contact with these individuals and let them know about your new asset.
Of course, the reply rate will be low, especially if the sites you’re reaching out to are prone to getting these emails constantly. To combat this, personalise your emails to the max! Stalk the contact and make sure your outreach is authentic and NOT scripted.
This strategy does work and has worked for us and many clients in the past. It does take practise, time, and patience, but the pay-outs can be huge. Go through the BB’s best content and try this method, you may have good success!
Setting up CSE and Find the Posts They Don’t Want You to See
Another sneaky way to find opportunities to copy/replicate BB’s best content is by using a secret tool called Google Custom Search Engine. It is essentially a way to create a custom search engine that searches the web for a few sites you select.
You can use this tool to find articles on BB that are constantly updated. Why? Because if BB are constantly updating these articles, they are clearly worth a lot to the site and are worth yearly edits.
To find these opportunities, using advanced searches with the ‘inurl’ query including the previous year will find articles that were made in 2019 but may have the title tag with the current year. These are the articles that are being updated yearly.
Once you find these articles, replicating them is a good move to make. These articles clearly bring in traffic and keeping them updated is a priority.
Discover Opportunities They’re Missing
When BB puts out an article, they may only target a few keywords. Even if the article DOES target more, it will still rank for terms the writers didn’t plan on and this is where we start our hunt.
Because BB’s content is ranking for so many keywords, there will be longtail opportunities they are missing simply because their content isn’t covering the topic well enough. This leaves a gap for you and your brand to come in and write an article specifically for this gap.
If you throw one of their popular articles into Ahrefs, you can filter by page rankings. This will enable you to see what keywords the article is ranking on page 2 for. If it is in this spot, the article isn’t covering the topic enough and there is scope for a separate content piece targeting that specific keyword. This is one way to find hidden opportunities they’re missing within their content.
Another method is to search for long-tail keywords they’re not targeting. You can, again, do this with Ahrefs. Simply put in an article and change the wordcount to a minimum of three in the filters. This will show you all the long-tail keywords the article is ranking for. From here, you can follow the same process above, looking for the second page opportunities, or you can filter by traffic or volume. The choice is yours.
Check out the high volume, low competition long-tail keyword we found doing this:
These methods do require tools, so make sure to use the free trials available if you want to experiment with these methods.
Sorting by Keyword Difficulty to Find Low-Hanging Fruit
A final method to using BB as an asset is by analysing the low competition keywords they’re accidently ranking for. These keywords are hard to find but when a large site like BB is accidently ranking for them, we can seek them out and add them into our campaign.
To do this, go to a tool like Ahrefs and throw in an article you want to analyse. Preferably, pick a popular one. Then, filter by a KD of 0-5 using the toggles. Once you’ve done this, filter the results by search volume and, voila, tons of keywords that have high search volume and low competition.
These keywords are low-hanging fruit that low authority brands can start to rank for with little effort. Use this method to find untapped opportunities your competition isn’t using to get higher positions in the SERPs.
Summing it all up…
BB has a colossal site and a superb content hub that ranks for tons of high-volume keywords and pulls in a lot of backlinks. All this authority can be siphoned into their commercial pages, improving sales.
However, BB shouldn’t be a giant to fear. It should be a giant to learn from. They have so much content that smaller brands can go in and find untapped, easy opportunities that can drastically improve their own strategy. It’s essentially a huge asset that many brands are not using.
Hopefully, this article reframes how you look at your competition. Don’t be scared of them – use them!
Get in touch with us today and get a free audit to reveal where your strengths and weaknesses in your online strategy. Call now on 0800 122 3530.