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How to Approach a Website Competitor Analysis

Before you get to the fun stuff like colors and images, your website project should start with a competitor analysis. You need to understand the market and your place in it.

Researching what competitors are doing is an essential step in your business strategy. When you conduct a competitive analysis, you evaluate your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses and use that to inform your online strategy.

By looking at your competitors, analyzing how they sell, and monitoring what’s said about them, you’ll also be able to anticipate the market. It will help you to build a web presence that engages your audience.

Fundamental Elements of a Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis research could easily grow into a full-time job, so it’s important to set parameters while making sure the basics are covered.

Benchmarking SEO

Start by typing your company’s name or industry into Google. The results page will show you what else people search for under those terms, which could include other companies. It’s these companies that you should look into if they’re not already on your list of competitors.

When you conduct this search, you’ll also see  terms related to your business. These could be good keywords to include in your website’s content. These terms – keywords – are words that people use when searching for your products or services.

Tone and brand voice

Look at how your competitors present themselves. The way content is presented sets the tone and voice. Customers use this to judge who to buy from.

Content strategy

Building an audience involves more than just publishing a website. Understanding where competitors are sharing information online will show you what your audience expects.

Conducting a successful competitor analysis

These are just some elements of a successful competitor analysis. You should dig in, go as far as you think you need to in order to inform your business strategy.

Through competitive analysis, you’ll be able to get the measure of the market and use that information to help your site stand out and get noticed.

Leverage Competitive Insight in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your competitors are vying for the same audience. They are making marketing decisions that you can learn from. Are you paying attention?

Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis is the systematic process of understanding who the competition is and what they’re doing. You look at what is going well and what’s not working. Digging into what’s happening will help you develop an effective social media strategy.

Start with a list of three of your strongest competitors. What are they doing online? You may find unexpected leads to follow – competitors you weren’t aware of or places where your audience is getting information that you didn’t consider.

Look for places where your audience is gathered that are under served by the competition. Are there emerging channels they are neglecting? You might have a greater impact by being where your audience is under served, rather than trying to compete in a crowded channel.

Track Over Time

Track your competitors accounts and relevant industry keywords over time to detect shifts in the way competitors use their social accounts and the way people engage with them. Keep an eye on this information and use to it evaluate and update your plan.

3 Tools to Spy on the Competition Online

Call it spying or marketing intelligence – if you are not paying attention to what your competitors are doing online you are missing out. What everyone else is doing is an important piece of research that needs to factor in to your successful digital marketing strategy.

To help, here are three free tools that help you monitor your competition.

Facebook Pages to Watch

Facebook offers page admins the opportunity to watch other Facebook pages. To create a watch list, go to the page Insights tab and find the field to add the names of pages you want to monitor.

You can see each the pages follower growth, engagement, and you can click on any to see the competitors’ top posts from the past week.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts enables you to monitor the internet for anything, including topics and brands. Set up alerts for your industry keywords or for mentions and articles on your competition.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a publishing tool. You can set up streams to monitor brands or keywords.

There are also numerous in-platform apps that can help. The free app TrendSpottr enables you to set up multiple “streams” in your Hootsuite dashboard to watch trending topics, keywords, brand reputation and even identify industry influencers.