Competitor Analysis

Keeping an eye on the competition is an important step to outperforming them. However, first and foremost, one needs to determine who their competition is.

Determining The Competition

Many companies know their local, direct competition. But in today’s world with numerous online businesses, and large metropolitan areas, it’s often easy to miss and overlook some competitors in the field.

One method of making sure to know the competitors that might have the biggest impact on the business is by using the numerous available competitor analysis tools. While there are many paid services, there are also numerous free online services that provide valuable competitor data to gain detailed insight.

1. When determining a company’s competition, begin by making a list of known competitors, then begin adding new or unknown competitors by using a tool such as Google Trends to find additional competitors to add to the list.

Some additional resources for gaining competitor intelligence data include:

  • Crayon Intel Free - provides free market intelligence tools monitoring competitor’s content and design changes
  • Talkwalker’s Free Social Search - provides free social media competitor analysis tools
  • VisualPing - offers free and paid website change checkers
  • WhatRuns - offers free tools to discover what technology drives the competitor’s website
  • Rank Signals - offers free keyword, backlink, and SEO competitor analysis tools
  • Moat - offers free and paid tools for analyzing competitor’s ad creative
  • SimilarWeb - offers free and paid online tools for analyzing the competition’s web rankings
  • Open Link Profiler - offers and premium tools for analyzing competitor SEO and backlinks
  • BuiltWith - offers a free website profiler providing insights on the competitions marketing strategies
  • SpyFu - provides free and paid tools for analyzing competitors SEO and keywords
  • Wappalyzer - free tool that uncovers the technologies used on websites including CMS, e-commerce platforms, analytics and over 1,000 other technologies
  • Adbeat - free and paid tools for gaining insight on the competition’s ad strategies
  • BuzzSumo - free and paid tool for researching what kind of content works best for the industry

2. When reviewing the competition, be sure to pay attention the following categories:

  • Keywords
  • On-page content
  • Referring domains
  • Organic traffic
  • User experience (UX)
  • More depending on the industry

3. Next, take the list and begin narrowing it down to the 5-6 top competitors that are the largest threat to the business.

4. Now take these top competitors and create a ranked threat profile for each detailing:

  • how they do business
  • in what way they’re a threat
  • products and services offered
  • business categories
  • locations
  • target audiences & demographics
  • marketing, distribution & sales channels
  • unique abilities
  • any other factors helping them to stand out from the rest

Complete a SWOT Analysis

Viewing the business the way customers do in comparison to the competition is an important step in determining the strengths and weaknesses of the business, as well as its competition.

Using the profiles created earlier, identify the following for both the business, as well as its competitors:

  • Strengths:
    • What does the company do well?
    • What do they provide that others don’t?

  • Weaknesses:
    • Are there areas where the competition performs better?

  • Opportunities:
    • Are there emerging trends that might benefit the business?
    • What long term changes might present potential benefits?

  • Threats:
    • Are there trends that could disrupt the business?
    • What competitive practices could cause issues for the business?

By using this analysis, one can determine areas of needed improvement, as well as possibilities to leverage for future branding and marketing endeavors.

Identifying a Unique Selling Position (USP)

Using the SWOT analysis, figure out where the business stands in comparison to the competition.

Identify what the business does well that others don’t, or don’t do well.

Whether this be a level of service provided, or a quality aspect of products offered, this USP should be a honest appraisal using the prior research data of competitors.

This data can be used to help create messages that resonate with prospects, and encourage them to become customers engaging in business with the company.

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