Competitors’ websites, if analyzed properly, can give you all sorts of information you can use to increase the traffic and the popularity of your site. Below is our take on how to analyze a competitor’s website.
Identify the Leaders
Start off by identifying the major players in your target market. The benefit of viewing the major players is so that you have a better view of your website, as perceived by others. Even if you’re a small business, check some of the bigger companies and find out some of the innovative approaches and products/services offered.
If you want to save a little time rather than manually scouring Google Search results, SEM Rush can tell you which companies get the most traffic and you can learn about the relative traffic in your industry. SEM Rush is a paid service, but allows you to perform three free searches each day (with limited information, of course). The free searches will show you at least 5 competitors that are relative to what you’re searching for.
Be concise and specific with your searches. Any ambiguity in your phrase will cause you to find non-relative competitor analysic which won’t help you at all.
Scrutinize the Leaders
The next step is to study the top competitors you found very closely. There is a lot that can be learned by looking at competitors’ web sites and analyzing them. These are the things that you should look for:
- Make sure you check to see what products or services competitors offer, and note anything that’s different from your own offerings.
- Look for information gaps that you could fill and potentialy capitalize on.
- Think about the look, feel and functionality of the competitors’ web sites.
- Check the ad campaigns and offers they are running.
- Look at their strengths and weaknesses, from a customer’s point of view.
- See if you can figure out their main strategy.
If you are dealing with a public company, you can get detailed information from proper sources and write down the names of the key players. Then it is possible to look for any interviews, articles or speeches they might have made about relating to their web site.
Collect Your Findings
Summarize the information you have found into few sentences for each competitor, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
With this research, you can create or modify your marketing strategy to match or exceed what these competitors are offering. Be sure to include how you intend to deal with competition and what steps you think you would require getting better rankings in search engine results. Based off of your research, you need to make a decision either to compete with your competitor or conisder focusing on other areas.
Don’t get frightened away prematurely. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you start and don’t let big dogs of your industry intimidate you. Remember that you can move faster than your competitors if you have confidence in your abilities. All you need to do is offer your customers things that they cannot find anywhere else.