Setting up and managing your own business is one of the boldest moves on the playing field. It takes a lot of courage, knowledge, and a dash of luck to make it in a respective field, but a few more ingredients to hit it big and stand shoulder to shoulder with the hotshots.
Having a regular schedule, being persistent, surrounding yourself with skillful people, learning, improving…all of those factors, and many more, are equally important for continuous upgrading of what you do best.But, there are a few “cheats” in the market that will speed up the process and give you a new perspective to slam those goals in record time. Click To Tweet
One of those is, without a doubt, competitor analysis. Before we start pointing fingers, don’t worry – it’s completely legal, so there won’t be any rule-breaking involved. Regardless of your profession, you will always have competition. Better or worse, they are doing their own thing, and sooner or later, you will cross paths when it comes to your users/customers.
Are they doing something better? Are there techniques that they are implementing that you didn’t think of? Are they more successful because of some unknown factors? The list of questions goes on and on, and today we are going to answer them all. But let’s start from the beginning.
What is competitor analysis?
Competitor analysis is a process in which you evaluate your competition to determine which factors are crucial for their business, what are their strengths and weaknesses, what messages they send and so on, in order for you to spot those strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage for creating an edge over your competition. The modern technology has evolved to the point that every piece of public data can be fetched and examined to get the best results possible.
Am I a suitable candidate for this approach?
Regardless if you are active in the digital marketing sphere, retail, blogging, designing, so basically, if you own any kind of business, analyzing your competition is a necessity.
It can give you precious insights, despite the nature of your business.
Can my business blossom by implementing competitor analysis?
By conducting analysis, you will get a much better view of your current standing point. It will help you to identify all regions that can be used as your leverage. You will be able to spot all emerging trends, gain info for future marketing strategies, get new content ideas, discover new techniques that you can implement on your own work, find flaws in their work and use it as leverage, position yourself better on the market, spot flaws in your own work that has to be corrected, invent something unique that your competition isn’t using…the list goes on and on with a huge number of benefits that you unlock by doing some thorough research, and that will eventually give you priceless insights to upgrade your business.
How to make a competitor analysis?
Determine who are your competitors
Firstly, you need to identify your competitors and sort them by similarity to your own business. If they target the same users or offer related services, they are considered as your main competitors.
On the other hand, if they don’t operate in the same sphere, but still could provide the customers with products similar to yours and overtake your position, they are considered your secondary competitors.
Although your main competitors should be in the center of your focus, secondary are extremely important as well since their impact on your work could be very significant. You can spot your competition from observing and researching through a few different sources, such as:
- market research
- google search
- social media
- identify keywords
- conduct a survey
- using a software
These are a few methods that are reliable and trustworthy, with the software option being the most precise one, but we’ll get into that later. After determining your competition, the next thing that you need to do is:
Dive into analyzing
The first thing that you want to get into is their content/service that they are providing and determine the spread of their target audience. Their target audience will obviously be very similar to yours, but they are possibly reaching more people, and if so, you need to investigate why.
Look into their pricing and products that they offer so you can compare it to your own assortment and price to get a better view of your own balance. Their strategy might be to sell a lot of products at lower prices or vice-versa. Use a price scraping tool to get a better overview of their pricing strategy. Or, if your business is content-based, scroll through it to get representation if their content is a blog based, pictures, videos, case studies, etc. From there, you can observe how often do they post, what are the most frequent topics, and of course, the quality of their content compared to yours.
Investigate social media is also an essential aspect since their strategy will reveal a lot about their business. Determine which social networks they are using, which ones have the most traffic and attention. Are they focusing their content promotion on social media at all? Did they feature social media buttons on their website, do they invest in paid ads, do they implement interactive posts, how often do they post, is their audience active and so on.
Another thing that requires your attention is the SEO structure of your competition. Search Engine Optimization is one of the key segments of every online business, considering that ranking on Google makes the difference between top and flop. Browse through the keywords, and determine if and how they are included in the content, titles, images, look into their internal linking preferences. Also, you can exploit the newly found keywords to utilize in your own work.
To fortify your research, it’s a good idea to get some detailed insights by following them on social media, subscribing to their newsletters, contact their support and from those kinds of interactions, you will be frequently updated about their moves with a bigger picture on how they get things done.
After making those evaluations, you should have a clear judgment over their strengths and weaknesses. They might be good at content production but lack in a good advertisement. Their social media accounts might be active but achieving weak results. They could offer favorable prices, but their SEO is unsatisfying. Pinpoint the sectors that need improving to create an advantage and use their strength in your own example to upgrade your work with materials you just gathered.
From their quality, you will be aware of the threats, and from their weaknesses, you will seek your opportunities. Although you can get a huge amount of useful data through your own observation, getting deep insights and precise data is the main job of competitor analysis tools, that will give you not only valuable info about your rivals but also insights on your own website with clues on how to improve it.
Therefore, let’s get through some of the most popular ones with exceptional features that excel on both ends:
A Similar Web is a software that provides solutions through numerous categories, including marketing, research, sales, and investing. It provides you with rich insights and data from search traffic, audience, social, display advertising, geography, referring sites, similar sites, audience, and mobile apps. You can compare two different websites with all of those features (or up to 5 in the PRO version), to get very extensive info on every relevant aspect. Which locations are the traffic coming from, inbound and outbound referral sites, a social network with the most traffic, organic, and paid aspects of the traffic, sites with similar content…you name it, and they have it. With these features and valuable data, a click away from you, a full scan of your competition, and exceptional data from your own work to get a significant upgrade is inevitable.
When it comes to acing your online visibility and a helping hand for making exceptional content, SEMrush is on top of the charts. It conducts your keyword research effectively, helps you expand your community, engages with your users, improves your SEO, assists you to get more feedback, and the list goes on and on to reach your goal of being more competitive on the market. When it comes to your competition, this software gives you a list of competitors sorted by your level of similarity to you. It analyzes their keywords, tracks the rankings, finds more advertising opportunities, discovers their marketing strategies, pinpoints their audience, their interests, demographics. With so many tools and features to exploit, this software is a full package, and you should definitely check it out.
Finding content ideas, locating influencers, spotting trends, and receiving insights from users are only a few things packed up in this software’s arsenal. By setting it up, you get unlimited results of important data from the past 13 months, get insights on engagement, volume, demographics, and geographies, so you know exactly who your users are, where they are from, and what content they are interested in. It has an option to compare up to 5 brands or topics, with that detailed data, so you will know exactly what they are after and how do they compare to your results. With billions of conversations analyzed, keys stats displayed, and real-time action, this software could easily be your new favorite toy to play around with.
A comprehensive database with rich data of usage history, BuiltWith delivers info from different market segments of the most popular websites for the ultimate data breakdown. It helps you identify competitors, profile websites, identify trends, changes in the market, cover data, and so on, and with a quarter of a billion domains that they track, be sure that the results will be delivered. Over 38,000 technologies in 200 different categories (including CMS, analytic packages, hosting providers, eCommerce platforms…), every single competitor out there will be located, analyzed, and delivered to you in the form of detailed, precise insight.
Having a sneak peek on your competition is a very important segment of every business. Although you pick up on numerous pieces of knowledge along the way, you have to admit to yourself that there is someone out there that simply does it better. But by observing those materials, you enter a whole different specter of opportunities and insights that share a new perspective. Locate your competition, spot their strengths and weaknesses, and excel in your work by making a report that will truly make a difference.