It goes without saying that if you have a business, then by now it should be on the Internet (no matter what the goods or service). Online marketing methods allow you much more visibility than traditional offline marketing for far lower expenditure. This makes competition high. However, a well-reasoned competitor analysis will structure your whole Internet marketing strategy.
Assessing your online competitors also gives you other advantages such as not making the same mistakes, or learning from then what works well and putting your own twist on it. It also means you will have a better understanding of your industry and customers.
What does an online competitors analysis consist of?
There are a few pieces to the competitor analysis puzzle, but here are a few ideas of where to start:
Who is your competitor?
To get started, simply Google your product or service or related keywords. This will give you a list for initial analysis. Next, look a little closer and narrow the list down to just a handful of direct competitors. It’s also important to compare your online competitor to one another then see where you fit into the picture. Try to make your competitors list tight, this will make it much easier to analyse your advantages and disadvantages, see what needs improvement, and identify quick avenues for improvement.
Know your competitor
When it comes to getting a thorough, well-rounded competitor assessment there are plenty of questions that need asking. But it’s also important not to over-analyse as this can just confuse things more. Look at what is relevant to your business and go from there.
Another thing to keep in mind is that successful companies may not be excelling in all of their online marketing channels, so make sure you knowing which methods are delivering the success and focus on that.
Key things to look at for competitor analysis are:
Let’s take a little look at each step.
Organic traffic is a hard thing to come by unless you’re at the top of the list on the first page of Google. This means you have to maximise your website so people can find you (search engine visibility).
As you’ll already be well aware, Google is constantly introducing new rules so it’s important to stay on top of the latest SERP features for optimum visibility.
Mobile-first index is also upon us so your website must be mobile friendly! This automatically gives you a head start on your competitors if their website is not yet responsive or not mobile user friendly.
And, of course, the pillars of the SEO process—keywords and backlinks. They have been here since the beginning, and they are still just as important.
Look at every type of content your online competitors are using, especially if it seems to be working! Content doesn’t just end with a blog; it can include company news, FAQs, case studies, infographics videos, webinars, podcasts and anything else you can think of. Remember to keep an eye out for content that isn’t on their website, maybe they have a YouTube channel, podcast, magazine etc. etc. This is a great way to link back to the website.
Look at how regularly the content is delivered to their customers, how long or short the blog posts are, how are they broken down? Do they incorporate images or video? Analyse the titles, descriptions, URL’s. How much content do they have? Look at the quality of the content, would it engage you? Is there room for you to do it better and make it work for your business and improve your rankings?
As with being mobile friendly it goes without saying that any business should be using social media marketing to maximise their efforts. It’s a cheap and effective way to reach out to the audience, and establish your brand.
The below bullet points will help you when analysing your competitors social media marketing:
- Which of your competitors are active social media?
- What platforms are they are using?
- Assess audience size (number of followers, likes etc.)
- What content do they post? Promotional? Mixed?
- How regularly do they post?
- Is there much audience engagement?
- What tone are they using?
By answering the above questions you will be able to gage a good understanding of your competitors social media marketing strategy and its performance.
PPC – pay per click is the alternative method to get the online visibility you desire, but it comes at a price so it’s more important than ever to assess your competitor’s actions. That said, it can be a very effective marketing channel to drive traffic to your website.
Make sure you know what keywords your competitors are bidding on, you do not want to help drive traffic to their site! Once you have the keywords, analyse their ad copy to see exactly what they are offering and what calls to action they are using. Then, click through to the ad landing page. It’s important to remember that the homepage isn’t always the best landing page, make sure you’re directing your traffic to the most relevant page to them.
Again, don’t forget mobile! Having a specific strategy for mobile devices is a necessity.
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Remember, competition is healthy! It will help drive your business forward and keep you on your toes. A lot of competition simply means a lucrative market. If you would like some help assessing your competitors online, then why not call AIM Internet, experts in digital marketing Birmingham, on 0870 062 8760. We can help with all elements of your online business, and our web design Birmingham team can make sure your website stands out from the crowd.
To find out more about how we can help you grow your business through online marketing contact us here at AIM Internet today where we’ll be happy to help you with your marketing strategy.
If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on why you need to audit your website.