This article discusses how to run a Competitor Analysis, what it is, and how you can benefit from doing a SWOT analysis of your Brand.
If you want to take your business to the top, there are several associated factors that need to be highlighted and taken care of to bring out the best results.
Each business does its best to attract visitors, but the benefits can be increased when you have the information regarding what your competitors are doing – what are their loopholes? What are they doing well?
Knowing this info prepares yourself against your own potential flaws.
This allows you to work on the areas where you are lacking.
What is a Competitor Analysis?
Competitor analysis is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your existing and prospective competitors.
It also provides the strategies to identify the relative opportunities and threats.
It is a vital part of your marketing plan with which you can establish what kind of attributes you can put to attract the target market.
Likewise, what makes your products and services outstandingly unique.
What Does a Competitive Analysis Do?
For smooth running of a business, a comprehensive analysis is required in order to optimise the combination of resources and to forecast your profitability.
This is termed as SWOT analysis to find out your strengths and weaknesses and also manage to identify possible threats and opportunities of your business.
Doing a competitor analysis is a step towards building an effective and efficient strategy to gain a better understanding of what makes your company unique in a saturated business climate.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, pertinent to an organisation.
It simply results in auditing the current business processes of a company and to monitor competitors as well.
There are 2 major factors being used in a basic SWOT analysis, which are:
Both of them are further categorised as:
- company’s strengths and weaknesses (for internal analysis)
- opportunities and threats of your company (for external analysis)
The internal things are those that you have control on, like your quality and brand name (strengths) or lack of product range (weaknesses).
On the other hand, you do not have control of the external factors but you can monitor them.
Examples are the strategies that open new doors to the markets (opportunities), while a new competitor trying to hold a place in the market (threats).
Wrapping up the above factors can lead you to have a better understanding of the competitors in the market and to find effective strategies to stay strong in your industry.
Benefits You Will Get from a Competitive Analysis
- To identify the market your business resides in.
- Build keywords from an SEO point of view.
- Find opportunities for the merger with a competitor.
- Know what your competition is doing and what they’re not.
- It is easy to spot the market gaps to know what is not offered by your existing businesses.
- You have a better understanding of current market trends.
- Competitor’s mistakes are a good source of learning.
- Your strategy can help to easily counterpart plans and actions of your competitors.
- You will be aware of all the competitive activities that they are taking part in.
How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis to Determine Strategy
- Study Your Competitor’s Website
It is an intelligent start when you know what your rivals are putting on their website and what strategy they have in mind.
- Subscribe to Their Mailing Lists
While exploring their website, it is beneficial to subscribe to their email lists. It enables you to know about their latest products, contests, promotions and other useful information.
- Follow them on Social Media
To know about social media channels of the competitors helps you engage with the target audience.
- Perform Searches on the Specific Keywords
To do searches as per your industry keywords is an effective way to identify new and prospective customers.
- Activate Google Alerts
Google alerts acts as an efficient tool to learn about an industry and its product category and also helps in knowing about people’s opinion of you on forums, blogs and other channels.
- Conduct Online Surveys
Online surveys are an effective research tool that delivers you with a refined database comprising all the useful details.
- Ask Sales Team for the Latest Topics
As a rich source of competitive information, your sales team lets you be aware of the latest industry trends and the hottest topics.
- Discuss business Challenges With Your Distribution Partners
Your distribution partners are responsible for sharing the business challenges and how you perform in the competition.
- Be a Part of Trade Shows for Better Research
Trade shows are also an important research element to have a keen eye on the new products and other elements of your competitors.
- Know Your Competitive Products to Put Yourself in Their Shoes
A better way to gain more benefit is to go a step further from a general competitor analysis and explore competitor’s products to improve your offerings.
Elements to be Included in a Competitive Analysis
A competitor analysis is not a single entity but comprises of so many integral components working together for better results.
Below are some crucial elements to be focused upon.
- Comparison of websites
A website is solely responsible for holding a good online presence and thus to analyse it thoroughly is integral for a good competitive study.
It includes factors like
- Load times
- Social integration
- Focus on Target zone
For optimum results, to focus on the target zone, especially the products are a must.
If you are on the same prospect where your buyers are, you need to have a close attention.
For example, if two food chains are offering a similar product, there must be something extraordinary and different which makes one brand better than other.
- Social Media
To know how effectively your competitors are using the social media is a good approach for gaining success in social networks.
Below are the Key Areas Involved in the Above Scenario
- Explore all the platforms being used
- How frequently they post
- Pay focused on their followers
- Content promotion is also crucial
- Response time also counts
- Content Marketing
Marketing the content in an effective manner is a way to yield rich results. Although it is not easy to market someone else's content, but below factors can give great results.
- Type of the content being used
- Quality of the content also matters
- How content data your rivals possess
- How frequently you publish
- Focus on audience base
- Email Marketing
Email is perceived to gain the maximum amount of ROI and it must be scrutinised in terms of following factors.
- How frequent is the mail?
- Where emails are reaching, in the inbox or in the spam folder
- Is the view mobile-optimized to gain compatibility of all kind of the devices?
- How attractive is the content used for the promotional offers
SEO is the basic and easiest analysis tool to examine how your website competes with others. Here, Google’s set standards must be taken into consideration for verified results.
Keep below factors in mind
- Where the competitors are ranking for the key terms
- Quantity of the incoming traffic
- Domain authority is also crucial and must be checked with Moz.
An important tool in the field of competitive analysis which is suitable for the businesses of all sizes.
It basically serves 2 purposes.
- It involves automated searches about how you stacks up amongst 1500 competitors.
- Behaviour of the customers you are trying to lure.
- Follow Marketing Grader
This tool helps you know in detail about where you are standing as compared to your rivals.
Below aspects need to be compared to bring out the best results.
- Lead generation
- Social media
- Moz for Better Analytics
Moz is an important tool for analysis that focuses on the strength and weakness of your business and you also come to know about how the content of others in the same niche is performing.
Competitor Analysis Tools
There are various tools available on the web to follow a thorough analysis of your competitors.
Let’s look at a few of them to gain better results.
SEO/Keyword Analysis Tools
- Spyfu – This tool has a striking feature to show the keywords for which your competitors are ranking and for how much they are overlapping.
- SEMRush – A versatile tool which performs a competitive research, keyword research, site audit and backlink analysis.
- iSpionage – It informs you about your PPC competitors, their usage of AdWords and their monthly budget as well. It allows you with the facility to check up to 5 competitors for free.
- SEO Analysis & Audit Tool – It is a trusted website analysis tool to handle SEO related issues of your site.
- Open Link Profiler – It proffers a thorough link analysis and stock a bunch of backlinks and age of links, along with the country and industry breakdown.
Here, links will be active within 90 days and the free account is only valid for detailed info, but you need to invest money for the specific services, for the full range of SEO tools.
- Monitor Backlinks – 30 days free trial is available here and then a specific price is charged for a combo of 1 domain and 2 competitors.
It has the purpose to take out new and lost links with the competitor’s new links and you will be emailed weekly charges of the domain changes after setup of your account.
Content Discovery Tools
- Feedly – This tool enables the customization of the sites that you are following and it lets you keep updated content in a hassle-free manner.
You have the option to segment by clients, competitors and basic industry trends.
It also possesses a browser extension to quickly add the websites to your feed.
- BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo is a free analysis tool which enables you to search for the content through the keyword or competitor’s URL.
It can be further refined, with content types, publishing date and social site sharing.
SERP Rankings Tool
- Whatsmyserp – It gives you an idea about where your content has been positioned in terms of SERP ranking. As per the recent trend, now the search results are personalised by country, locality and also recent search history.
Web Traffic Tool
- Alexa – This tool allows tracking the global web traffic of your competitors and your own as well. It acts as an integral tool to convert the available data into valuable information having a competitive value for your brand.
In this fast moving era, the success mantra for a sustainable growth is to stay ahead of competitors.
The best approach here is to know what your competitors are doing, and in short what extraordinary they are doing for better results.
This has been accomplished by a competitive analysis where you need to know what you can put on your website.
A comparative study of all your deficiencies in the above scenario makes you ready to bridge the gap.
There are so many related factors that a competitor analysis must possess to make out the best from your business.
You can use various tools like Moz, Alexa, BuzzSumo, Feedly, SemRush, etc.
Author Bio: David Meyer is a skilled web developer at CSSChopper. He is also passionate in writing for the key areas like SEO, competitive study and SWOT analysis.