4 Tips To Make Your Competitor Research Actionable
The student’s posts are entirely his or her own views and may not always reflect the views of Webgrowth.
Anticipating what your competitor will do next is frustrating as it is enlightening. Only by understanding our competitors will we be able to anticipate their next move, but that surely applies to more than one. Competitors are everywhere and have the same goal in mind, they are hungry to take your customers. It’s much better to win over their customers, rather than stealing them – so let’s look at these easy steps in order for you to stay ahead.
How does a competitor analysis benefit a business?
A competitor research report is the process of understanding the behavior and optimization of direct and indirect competition. Based on this fundamental knowledge, we can further identify the manner in which they engage their audience and results (conversions) based on this behaviour.
Often, offline and online competition vary and the reason for this is the amount of access customers have to various businesses online, hence you might require a refined and appropriate strategy.
Let’s get started!
I’ve gathered information from all around the world (I mean internet) to bring you these 4 tips, from business owners to marketers and possibly even your competition.
Know who’s out there
Considering Google is responsible for about 80% of internet search queries it would seem counter-intuitive if it’s not your starting point. The ball shouldn’t stop rolling once you’ve visited your competitors web page. Visit Google Adwords to check out competition for keywords you expect them to use. Even Google Trends to see when or where those words peaked, poppa Google I tell you!
Something other than Google that I love using is SEO book’s keyword density tool, completely free and totally offers value. The possibilities are endless, to get me off to a great start, I combine all my Google tools, together with my free online tools (good for beginners). A noteworthy tool is screaming frog, a website crawler tool, amazing! Webgrowth has a cool pro tool as well (students only), where you can analyze everything I mentioned and more all in one package.
Keep it obvious, ask questions
You’re a great businessman, with a great company who has loads of customers that you won over – but where and who did they belong to before they became your customers?? hmm… why don’t you ask them, their insights might surprise you.
Getting started with 1 simple tool
Now considering you’ve got all this information that you’ve acquired, remember your competitor is not at all aware of your endeavors. Therefore, the next best thing is for you to dig deeper and do some website reporting, finding their links, their traffic, website statistics, the works. A great tool to handle most of this is a tool by Moz called open site explorer. The downside to this whole section is, OSE only allows for 5 searches a day. However, if you’re a paid Moz member, you could get over a hundred a month! But do not get hasty, remember, this is your beginning stages so five would be just fine.
Get Social. No, literally
Events, industry associations and Social Media plays a huge role in assisting you in identifying your competition. Why not mingle with them, allow them to share information on their company with you, speak to their employees to find out how the working environment is – maybe even hire a few employees from that company to provide you with some “techniques”. As for Social Media, identify how their customers are engaging and their levels of interest, how often is your competitor uploading content? Is it worth reading, does it drive traffic? A tool called similarweb.com is great for identifying potential referral traffic. You’ll know once you get social. Even if you share suppliers, or your industry requires some products – research which companies supply your competitor.
Once all the foundational aspects are complete, I usually get started with my reporting – the above-mentioned tips are filled with value and benefits and we haven’t even gotten to the juicy bits of the report. By understanding the manner in which your competition operates online is crucial to slipstreaming past their campaigns. I attempt to understand how they target their audience, their targeted keywords and how they optimize their web pages i.e. title tags, headings, linking structure etc..
So now you have all this data, but how do you implement your own strategy?
Optimize your web pages – 4 simple ways
There are 5 important aspects to optimize a website:
- Title tags
- Body text
- Alt image tags
- Internal linking
In order to be more visible on search engines and outrank your competition, you have to make use of the opportunities Google presents. Therefore, a well-optimized website sets you off to a great start.
Producing content, content and more content
Being social as a business and as a businessman is… well, part of doing good business. Google especially appreciates originality and offers loads of ranking opportunities based on the quality of your content. I feel that this is a great way to overcome your competition if you find out they’re extremely engaging online – perhaps you can organize your content into content pillars, this will put you ahead by a few miles no doubt. When it comes to having an online presence, be sure to be active on various social networks, in my experience – people should be able to find you as easily as a search query, but bare in mind, adjust your content to the social network you’re on. You wouldn’t want to say something on LinkedIn that is only appropriate for Facebook.
Discuss Events with your competition
Even better, when I interned at Webgrowth, the company joined ventures with another agency in order to host an event – this provided us with some great insights not only into their way of thinking, but also to the people behind the company and the manner in which they conduct and approach business. Traditionally, they are seen as competitors but are now collaborating in projects. So new business for both companies. In today’s world, the most important thing you could have is your relationship with people.
Keeping content Evergreen
Once all these processes have taken place, write about them, share your stories online. Not only will it increase your social presence, but it will also improve your credibility online. This also allows for you to constantly improve and produce content, thus keeping it Evergreen.
A competitor research report for beginners is not as much as I expected to be on my plate. I feel the amount of research hours and labor I contributed to this process was extremely valuable to my development as a digital marketer and future business owner.
By understanding the behaviour of your competition, only then, you can outrank your competition.