Beginner’s Guide To Conduct Competitor Analysis
Do you think your competitors are a step ahead of you?
Competition is part of the race. Your brand’s voice can be heard only if you have wise strategy and agile tactics in place. For that, you need to know what your competitors are doing. Competitor analysis does not mean stealing your competitor’s identity; but knowing your competitors to understand your audiences and the industry better. This, in turn, would help you strategize your business better, improve your processes and identify any challenges that might be stopping your business from flourishing.
If you know your competitors in and out, you have higher chances at beating them. This is where you can apply competitor analysis. Seattle New Media is a digital marketing agency, specializing in competitor analysis and we know what it will take to get you ahead of your competitors.
What is competitor analysis?
Wikipedia puts it as:
“Competitor analysis in marketing and strategic management is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors.”
This is why it is important to make it a part of your corporate strategy. Identifying, analyzing and understanding your competitors, and their strengths and weaknesses would give you further leverage to refining your existing strategies to beat them.
In this article, we will guide you in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing competitor analysis.
Based on the points discussed above, now, you have a general idea on what competitor analysis is – and how it can be applied to enhance your business strategies.
Why conduct competitor analysis?
Evaluating your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses would open up more opportunities for you to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.Some people have a tendency to stick on to the tips and tactics they find on the internet when finalizing their online marketing and SEO strategies. If they are fortunate enough, some of these strategies might work in their favor, while the unfortunate ones might have to look for better ideas. It is more like a game of gambling.
If you ever had to use one of the paid advertising channels, you’d know the real struggle of investing in lead-generation strategies that might or might not drive traffic. Now, that uncertainty is exhausting!
But if you already know what works, then you do not have to throw stuff at the wall and wait to see whether it would stick or not. All you have to do is analyze your competitors. This would give you an insight into what they are doing and how they are driving traffic. You can then refine your strategies based on the intel you’ve gathered. Doesn’t that sound easy?
With a lot of quantitative and qualitative data in your hands, you’d know what to do next. You need not copy exactly what your competitors are doing. You can refine their strategies in line with your business requirements and customer needs. However, there is nothing unethical about implementing exactly what they do, as all you need is a strategy that works.
Step-by-step guide to competitor analysis:
In an article by Jason Roy, he notes seven steps to doing competitor analysis:
- Identify your competitors:
Well, we are always aware of how tough the world outside is and hence, we are vigilant of who is in and out of the business. So, you might be aware of one or two of your competitors. But you would be surprised to find out there are more of them. If you’re unable to find them, you can always look up on Google. All you have to do is type for the range of products or services that you specialize in and there, you’d have your answers. Then, there are specialized SEO tools for competitor analysis platforms such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Sprout Social.
- Keep looking at your competitors’ websites:
Attention to detail would be the key here. Keep looking at your competitors’ websites for answers. There would be a lot of hidden details in there – related to SEO structure, etc. Look through their page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, title descriptions, blog folders, and more. Count their backlinks and dedicate more time to understanding their internal link strategies. A close analysis of their websites would give you data that would help you refine and redefine your existing strategies.
- Identify their keywords:
This is one of the most important tactics – finding out the keywords your competitors are ranking for. Once you have a list of their top keywords, you know how you can use them best. All the tools mentioned above help in keyword analysis. But there are other keyword analysis tools as well—such as Ubersuggest, Wordstream, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Ads Display Planner.
- Learn about their PPC campaigns:
Don’t skip this step. It is always important to understand the PPC campaigns your competitors are implementing. Identify the keywords your competitors are targeting via paid search campaigns.
- Explore their content:
Once you have the list of keywords, content should be the next thing on your list. Analyze their content. Dig deeper into the different kinds of content that you can find. Check the blog section. Find out how often they publish their blogs and examine the length of their blog posts. Learn more about the kind of content they are using – whether it is an image, video or infographic? Have they published any press releases or white papers? Click here to find out more about how to write content that leads to conversion.
- Analyze their social media accounts
It is important that you walk yourself through your competitors’ social media pages. Find out which social media platform is attracting more engagement. When you go through the profiles of multiple competitors, you’d have enough data to conclude which platform is doing better than the other. In most cases, a trend or a pattern can be easily identified. There are many social media analyzer tools such as HootSuite, HubSpot, BrandWatch, and Falcon.io. Google Analytics can be your single source of truth for many such analyses mentioned above.
- Analyze their email marketing strategies
Subscribe to their newsletters and voila – you would have their emails in your inboxes. This will allow you to keep a closer watch on what kind of content they are circulating among their audiences – who are your audiences as well. Now, you know what resonates with your people. So, you can shift your focus on conceptualizing email campaigns that work in your favor.
The tools mentioned below can be used for competitor analysis:
Competitor analysis would help you to refine your business strategies. The analysis offers you a benchmark against which you can evaluate your upsides and downsides. This will help enhance your Unique Value Proposition. You can focus on improving those aspects of your product that your customers are in awe of. The competitor analysis would give you an idea of your competitors’ strengths as well as weaknesses. You can build strategies that address their weaknesses.
It is not just about reaching out to a segment of customers that they are targeting, but you can always uncover a segment that your competitors never thought of exploring. It doesn’t end here. Your competitors might be doing better than you. But there would always be something that they are failing to deliver. This gap between what they cannot deliver and what your customers are expecting could be your leverage.
About Seattle New Media
We are a Seattle-based digital marketing agency, offering all kinds of services to help your business grow. Would you like us to conduct a competitor analysis for your business? Contact us today for more details.