We all know that managing a business in this technology-driven world can be a challenge. This is why having a beautifully-designed website and a strong online presence is very important. But how do you achieve this?
There are several strategies you can use to achieve these goals from creating a mobile-friendly website to utilizing paid and free search engine and social media marketing tools. However, in order to gain maximum results, there’s one element that you should never forget: Competitive Analysis.
What Is Competitive Analysis?
In a nutshell, competitive analysis is the process of assessing and understanding your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses and where and how your business fits in all of these.
With all the businesses around the globe, it doesn’t come as a surprise that one or two others offer the same products and services as you do. Simply knowing about their products is not enough to gain you the edge you need to gain customers. That’s where competitive analysis comes in.
Why Do a Competitive Analysis?
Doing a competitive study of your competitors is a must if you want your business to gain success and get ahead of the competition. What can you gain from this?
Gain insights on the competition.
Analysis leads to insights. Through competitive analysis, you gain understanding on why customers choose one brand over the other despite having the same offers. Leverage on the information you get and determine which of their strategies you can employ.
Learn industry’s best practices.
Which marketing tool and/or strategies are most effective for them? Does the layout and design of their website have a role in their success? How about their social media presence? These are just some of the things you will get when you do competitive analysis. Once done, you can adapt these strategies for your own business.
Avoid past mistakes.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors will help you avoid the pitfalls of online marketing, and capitalize on the best practices shown through competitive study.
Allow forecasting of marketing techniques.
The benefits of a competitive analysis may not be apparent in the present but as you progress in your study and campaign, you will see that it enables you to detect patterns or series of strategies that determine success. You can leverage on this data to continuously improve on your craft.
How to Conduct Competitive Analysis
Identify your competitors
Do you know who your top 10 (or at least top 5) competitors are? Most likely not. Oftentimes, companies only know one or two other businesses that offer the same products or services as they do.
Knowing who your competitors are enables you to understand the factors – unique selling proposition, product placement, promos and contests, etc.- that affect customer behavior, and how you can leverage on these information to drive customers away from competitors and towards your business.
Content planning is not limited to just what you post on your website. You need to dig deeper and start analyzing the type of content published on other websites. By doing this, you will gain insights on the type of content that interests and engage your customers.
Once you understand the type and quality of the competition’s content, it’s time to focus on your own content and determine which assets require more attention and resources.
Determine the SEO Structure
Let’s say your competition has the same content and publishing schedule as you do. The next thing you need to check on is the site’s SEO structure. Analyze your competitor’s website’s SEO structure and keyword optimization.
Are the keywords properly incorporated on the website from the page title to image alt text? Optimized keywords can help improve the site’s search engine ranking. That being said, you need to learn how your own site’s SEO structure and make the necessary modifications to gain better results.
Check on social media presence
Nowadays, search engines take into consideration a company’s social media presence. A brand’s visibility on social media can translate to higher search engine rankings and of course, increased web traffic.
Hence, checking social networks for your competitors is a must. How are they communicating with their audience? What type of content do they post? How often do they post? Gathering these data can help you plan your brand’s social media better since it offers you a wealth of information you can utilize.
Competitive Analysis: A Conclusion
Now that you’ve conducted your competitive study, you should have a better picture of how your competition is doing. You need to gather all the information you have and create a list of strategies that can be adapted for your own business. This is also the time to assess which areas of your marketing needs improvement in comparison to your competitors.