Every business needs to understand their competition to be successful. A Competitor Analysis is a holistic audit of your competition’s online presence. Figuring out what your competition is doing with their marketing is a vital step in understanding how to position yourself to move past them with your traffic, clicks, and sales. After analyzing your competition’s SEO, you’ll be able to see where there are gaps in their backlinks, keywords, social media, etc., and how you can use these holes to change your strategy. You can also see what strategies are working for them which you may be able to replicate.
A Competitor Analysis usually consists of three main parts: the SEO/Analytics audit, the social media audit, and the branding/brand positioning audit. Each piece generally requires different paid tools and a different skill set, which is why bringing in a marketing professional to conduct the analysis for you is usually beneficial.
The first step is to determine who your competition is and the best way to do that is to find the main keywords for your business. To choose your keywords, first rack your brain for words that customers search for when trying to find your product, business, or solution. In addition to words directly relating to your industry, think of verbs that are spurred by phrases such as: “How To,” “Best way to,” or “Fix for.” After you determine these keywords, the customer will be looking next for transactional keywords as they are closer to to purchase. These queries could start with phrases such as: “Price of,” “Affordable,” or “Buy.” The results of this search are usually your main keywords.
After you figure out what your main keywords are, you can now find out who your main competitors are. Put your keywords into google and see what the top 10-20 search results are. These sites are usually your competition. Don’t guess about this; do the work because the reality of who is out there could surprise you and skimping on this step could compromise the data for the rest of the Analysis.
Once you figure out who your competitors are and what their offerings are, you can use paid tools like Spyfu and Ubersuggest to run an analytics audit to get an idea of what keywords they are bidding on, how much they are spending on ads, how much traffic they’re getting, etc. You can also analyze their backlinks and rich snippets. Snippets are extremely important for visibility. If your site gets a featured rich snippet on Google, your page will automatically get maximum exposure, since a featured snippet lands at the top of the search results in google. Make sure that your site is optimized with the best snippets that you can write that have relevant keywords. There are also ways to “steal” snippets from your competitor that are best left to the experts.The first step is to determine which snippets are available for your industry and if any of your competitors are currently being featured.
A site’s backlinks are also important. There are quite a few tools to perform a backlink audit on your rival’s websites. Tools like Moz, AHrefs, and majestic Site Explorer can be set to perform backlink audits weekly or monthly. Once you know what and how many backlinks your competition has, you can work on building yours out organically to top theirs.
Then, examine their social media accounts. Research your competitor’s social media presence and look for things like how often they update and how many active followers they have. You’ll need to look at all of their social media platforms and figure out how active they are or where they are lacking, to figure out how active you should be and what you can improve upon.
It’s time to examine your KPI and your analytics goals. KPIs, key performance indicators, are concrete metrics you use to evaluate your business’s performance. You can use the data we have collected from your competitors to set goals and to create concrete strategies for improvement. After reviewing your rival’s data, do you need to be more active on social media, implement more backlinks, or bid on more relevant keywords with your Pay-Per-Click ads? You can use KPIs to be sure that you’re being as efficient and effective as possible.
Now that you’ve taken a hard look at the competition, it’s time to evaluate your brand Position. Brand Positioning is the place that your business occupies in its particular market. This is one of the main reasons that we do a competitor audit in the first place, so that you’ll know what your competition is doing and how you can set yourself apart. What are the distinctive services you provide compared to your competitors? What can you do differently and better, even though you offer similar solutions or products? You need to find your niche and voice to set yourself apart, and to do that, you need to know what is already available to your customer base.
Email us at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss a Competitor Analysis for your business. Consultations and proposals are always free.