A competitor analysis is an important part of optimising your business’ website. This crucial step represents an important part of maintaining a competitive online presence, and it can also help you inform your approach to everything from marketing to SEO. But exactly what is a competitor analysis? How can it help, and how might it be carried out?
In this article, we’ll discuss what a competitor analysis is, how they’re carried out, how they can give you a competitive edge, and how it can enhance your marketing strategy.
Understanding Competitor Analysis
In the context of digital marketing, a competitor analysis seeks to learn more about your competitors’ online presence — their website, their visibility on search engines, their presence on social media, and more.
The goal of a competitor analysis is to give yourself a starting point. It provides a benchmark and lets you know where you sit among your competitors so that you can create goals.
It often involves a high degree of research and analysis and in order to carry one out effectively, you may need to devote a significant amount of time to evaluating your competitors in your industry.
Conducting Competitor Analysis
Conducting a competitor analysis involves a number of steps, but crucially begins with defining your competitors. There are a number of approaches you can take to this step; you may compare yourself to other companies who offer products to the same or similar customer segments, those that offer products similar to yours, or those with which you share a close geographic location.
You might take a holistic approach that considers these factors and others in conjunction with one another. Once you’ve identified a broad range of potential competitors, you can narrow it down to your most relevant.
Gather Basic Information
Once you’ve identified your competitors, you can begin to gather basic information — factors such as their market share, their product offerings, website traffic, and how established the company is.
Next, you can begin to analyse their website’s content. How do they present their brand? Consider their messaging, brand values, and the narratives they engage with. Is their website user-friendly? Consider the user experience, the design of the website, visually, and how well optimised it is for use.
Another key component of this analysis is a competitor’s SEO strategy. Does their website rank high in search engine results when users search for industry-specific keywords? It’s important to determine how competitors rank when users search for terms related to your offerings.
Social Media Presence
Next, consider their social media presence. What platforms do your competitors use for social media marketing? How do they engage with their followers?
Consider how they utilise social media platforms and take note of how many followers and how much engagement they’re able to drive, as well as what kind of content they use social media platforms to disseminate.
While this may be considered part of a larger SEO strategy, consider backlinks as well. Using SEO analysis tools, you can measure how many links a competitor has to their website, and where the links come from. This can help you better understand how they use hyperlinks to drive traffic to their domain.
Next, identify keywords that your competitors rank for, as well as ones that are relevant to your industry that they don’t rank well for. This can inform your approach to SEO; phrases they rank well for can represent important challenges and gaps in their keywords can be opportunities to rank.
Competitive benchmarking can help you understand how they perform in crucial areas; metrics such as online traffic and conversion rates can be compared to your own to gain a clearer perspective on their market performance.
Finally, it’s important to track changes over time; competitor analysis isn’t a one-time effort. Rather, it’s an ongoing effort to track performance over time.
The Benefits of Competitor Analysis
There are a number of potential benefits to competitor analysis. Among these, identification of strengths and weaknesses, gaining a competitive edge, and enhancing your marketing strategy can be some of the most notable.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
Importantly, competitor analysis can help you create a competitive edge; by understanding your competitors weaknesses, you can seize opportunities as they arise, and by understanding their strengths you can identify areas for your own improvement.
This can help you establish realistic goals to aspire to as you hone your online presence approach.
Enhancing Your Marketing Strategy
Competitor analysis can be a significant boon to your marketing strategy, enabling you to identify important insights that can inform your approach. For example, if you’re able to identify opportunities to outperform competitors where their SEO strategy has gaps, this may inform your SEO strategy.
Similarly, their content, advertising efforts, and social media presence can inform how you approach these facets of your online marketing efforts.
Staying Ahead of Your Competitors
Regular competitor analysis can also aid you in staying ahead of your competitors. Continual monitoring and honing of your approach can be crucial here, and it can be important to regularly keep updated on how your competitors are shifting their online marketing efforts so that you can stay ahead.
With a holistic understanding of the landscape you’re operating in, you can better equip yourself to engage in effective marketing.
Need a Competitor Analysis For Your Business?
If you’re looking for help with competitor analysis, or anything else online for your business — we’re here to help.
At White Chalk Road, we’ve been helping Australian businesses transform their online approach for over two decades. To get started or learn more, let’s chat!