Start Understanding Your Competition – How to do it effectively
When was the last time you had a team meeting and discussed your competition and how they are eating your lunch on a daily basis? Sales, Brand, Social Media, Display Ads…… Everywhere you look, they’re killing you. Stop being the prey and start having them chase you!
It’s crucial to understand your competitors if you want to be successful online. Doing some reconnaissance requires a little time and a couple devices to compare how you stack up. Desktop is one thing, but what’s their mobile experience like? Want to automate the process? Check out some of these Competitive Analysis Tools to help.
- KEYWORD PLACEMENT – Dissect what your rivals are targeting and why. Check what keywords they are constantly showing up for and where you place in comparison. Nothing drives clients more insane then searching for something they want to be found for but only see the competition.
- COMPETITION RANKING – Something very important for in-depth comparison and easy to monitor. One of our favourite tools for the purpose are Authority labs, SERPs, Positionly, for their detailed filters and direct comparison.
- ONLINE REPUTATION – Monitor your competition’s online reputation and visibility on search engines – It can get tricky if the competition works globally and you don’t. Other than that, reputation can be monitored with some brilliant tools like MOZ ToolbarSERP and OpenSiteExplorer.
RETRIO’s competitive analysis checklist
Step #1: Visit the website.
Make notes and focus on both good and bad items.
Step #2: How good is the acquisition strategy?
Breakdown and analyze direct, organic, referral and other traffic sources to find what’s working for them and what’s not.
Step #3: What is broken and fixable?
Look for problem areas – low performing landing pages, bounce rates, etc. If you haven’t looked at your Google Analytics data lately, now is a good time.
Step #4: Are they doing content marketing, is it producing results?
Identify and drill down their content strategy. Check what’s attracting attention. Social shares, comments, valuable content to your target audience. If your competition isn’t utilizing a content strategy, THIS IS YOUR GREEN LIGHT, get going on it!!
Step #5: What is their marketing budget?
Ideas for marketing budgets can be guessed from your rivals’ paid campaigns, be it Google Adwords or Facebook pay-per-click. If you query these tools you will see what your monthly ad spend should be.
Be Real With Brand
Judging your competition can take up time and sometimes be intimidating, but before you even get down this road please please please check yourself first. Be realistic with the content you are producing and if you are willing to commit consistently to the strategy. Your plan will fail if you only post once a month with stock images and boring creative that isn’t engaging. Add value and focus on long term brand over short term sales tactics. When this is in place your competitors will be taking your ideas and playing catch up.
Put a bullet in it!
Last paragraph, I promise. Without an analytical competitive analysis it becomes hard to set a benchmark for success – there is a lot to be learned from reviewing others in your space, figuring out which tactics are best to deploy and when, what’s a realistic budget or where is the biggest gap for me to show true value to my audience. All can be found by doing a couple simple exercises in competitive research.
If you have become frustrated with online not delivering for you, don’t give up. It’s not going anywhere, keep learning and figure what works best for your brand.