A well-conducted competitive analysis can be an extremely helpful element in developing your business strategy. A thorough interpretation of competitors enables to identify strengths and weaknesses both in own company and in the companies of your competitors, thus providing a chance to optimize your actions and strengthen position on the market. In addition, analyzing the behavior of your rivals will also allow you to learn about emerging trends in the market and clarify the needs of your customers. Therefore, how to do it best?
Above all, it’s important to realize that there are several areas worth monitoring, and depending on the channel you’re monitoring, you’ll use different types of data as well as different applications and tools. An in-depth and specialized competitive analysis should include, but not be limited to: social media review, SEO, ongoing paid campaigns, linking and marketing profile analysis.
Assuming you already know your direct competition, it’s a good idea to start, among others, by analyzing their Google business cards, especially in the local market. Is your business card at least as clear to your potential clients? Is it complete with all the information that was included in your competitors’ business cards? We have already written about the benefits of having a complete business card.
Another issue is to analyze your competitors’ business cards in terms of the number of ratings they have. In a situation where your competitors have higher ratings than you do, remember that Rating Captain comes to the rescue!
While conducting an audit of your competitors’ activity, it is also worth taking a look at their social media channels. On which platforms are they present and how many followers do they have? What is the communication with customers and content marketing, i.e. the strategy of regular publication of attractive and relevant content?
Knowing already where to start the manual competition research, we will consider how and which dedicated applications are worth using in order to conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis. Below we present the profiles of our chosen platforms.
This platform enables analysis of our visibility in the Google search engine in the context of keywords. It shows on which keyword phrases and in which position in the search results a chosen website appears. The tool generates a report summarizing our competitors, which shows common keywords, those used mainly by us and those used only by our competitors. That is where you can gain the most by adding still unused keywords to your company’s marketing activities.
This is another tool that conducts SEO competitive analysis. It allows examining a chosen website, generating a graph showing the visibility of the domain also in the context of keywords and estimated traffic to the site. The report you create also tracks the change in position over time and analyzes the competitive nature of a given phrase. Additionally, it reveals your eight biggest competitors, taking into account their statistics and enabling indirect comparison with a particular competitor from the system level.
In-depth competitive research also includes tracking of inbound links. Ahrefs conducts competitive analysis on the basis of a number of external links referring to the considered sites and internal pages. It estimates e.g. ratings describing link profile of a given subpage (UR – URL Rating) and of the whole domain (DR – Domain Rating). This way you can focus on the reputable sites, which are worth linking to. Ahrefs also allows you to estimate the interest in certain content, by analyzing the number of marketable articles (or more precisely their titles) on a given topic.
The application monitors the Internet and tracks threads published on the most popular sites, but also on blogs or online forums where your company is listed. Thanks to this you can check how your reputation looks like on the web, getting to know e.g. feedback from customers. Thus, swapping the object of such analysis for your competitor, you can analyze its profile, tracking not only the strengths that it most likely uses to promote its products and services, but also identify certain shortcomings and inefficiencies.
Regardless of which tool you use and which areas are monitored, it is important to always try to find out as much useful information from the analysis results as possible. Consider your competitors’ actions as a source of inspiration and improve processes where they are leaving you behind. After all, it is often the highest position in the search results that is at stake.