What are the pros?
- Learn from others
- Process is scalable
- Stay ahead of competition
- Find global maximum
What are the cons?
- Every website is different
- It's time-consuming work
What data will be analyzed?
During a competitive analysis, we'll look at data that both you and your competitors are generating that is related to search. This includes both your organic search data (SEO) and your paid search data (SEA).
Data regarding your organic search rankings, website popularity and backlinks will be analyzed, and if desired, monitored over time. By keeping an eye on these metrics, you can unearth opportunities such as an increased amount of organic traffic and leads, but also the ability to recognize opportunities with partners and influencers.
By analyzing the data from your paid ads, you can find out avenues to improve those. Given that these ads often take up a huge chunk of the marketing budget of an organization, finding ways how to make them work harder or more efficient is a big win. So, in order to help you write more compelling ads that lead to more converting visitors, we'll look at your ads, the keywords that you're targeting, and the landing pages that you are sending your visitors to.
Learning what aspects of your competitors' user experience are working, and which aren't, can be a great source of A/B tests for your own website.
For instance, if you find a user test subject surfing the website of a competitor and praising the way they have handled the shipping costs, you might be looking into how you are handling those yourself.
Understanding what your competitors are doing on social media can be an excellent window into their organization. By monitoring the actions that they take on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can learn what content they are putting out there, and which items go viral. It will also allow you to see how you competitors reach out to their target audience (which also contains segments of your target audience) and which campaigns bring the most engagement.
Mentions and alerts
By setting up notifications when your competitors post articles or when their name is mentioned in an article, you can stay up-to-date in real-time on their actions. Seeing when and where their name pops up allows you to step in and take action yourself, such as identifying new market opportunities and get new links.
How effective will this be?
Having a structured process for competitive analysis in place strongly benefits its effectivity. Unfortunately, most organizations don't have such a process set up.
Therefore, part of the benefit from having us gather competitive intelligence for you is that such a process can be implemented. This will allow you competitive analysis to become more structured, which will in turn allow the information gathering to become continuous rather than intermittent.
Competitive analysis is like every other aspect of your organization, if you don't allocate enough resources to it, the effectiveness will be low.
Therefore, we advise organizations to ensure that the project has the proper mandate from upper management and enough money and time have been freed for the analysis to be effective.
While competitive analysis can be valuable for organizations of all sizes, it works best for the medium-to-large organization.
The reason for this is that there is more information available on their (often also large) competitors. Also, larger organizations often have more resources available to continue the competitive analysis process, after the initial results have been presented by us.
Which findings will it deliver?
✓ Learn where your competition is moving towards
By studying the movements of your competitors in the social spheres, you are likely to get a glimpse of what they are heading towards. For instance, are they publishing articles that appear to be targeted more at enterprise customers? Would that be an interesting avenue for you as well?
✓ Get ideas on how to evolve your organization
Once you stop innovating, you'll slowly start dying as an organization. So, in order to keep up with the ever-evolving competition, you should learn from the way they structure the user experience on their website, what content they are publishing, and what they are putting out on social media.
✓ Find opportunities for links and leads
If one of your competitors is mentioned in a given article, but you aren't, this might be a great place to get a link of lead. Also, if you find that influencers are interacting with your competitors, but you are left out, you can try to find ways to reach these influencers too.
Do I need to know who my competitors are?
No, this isn't strictly necessary because tools can help you discover this. However, it does help greatly if you're already aware of at least the dominant players in your market.
By the way, even when you currently aren't aware of any competitors, the tools that will be used for the competitive analysis can also create insights into what you're doing in your own organization.
What if they don't know what they're doing either?
At the end of the line, this doesn't really matter. After all, the data that you gather through competitive analysis should be used for learning, not copying.
So, if you notice something works for them, experiment with it yourself, and maybe it will work for you too. Even if it doesn't work for you (directly), try seeing if variations of the theme set will work for you.