There are thousands of businesses like us. Every industry around the globe has many competitors. If you think you are unique and there are no competitors to you. You are living in a myth.
The market is full of your competitors and knowing where they stand as compared to you will make you aware of the changes in your business. You need to know what difference they are doing to attract more audience. But, you should not follow the herd, use a unique marketing strategy that defines and suits your brand.
Here is an easy method on how to do your own market and competitor research.
Identify what your competitors are doing across various marketing platforms like SEO, Google Ads, Social Media and more. With this, you can-
• Recognize opportunities you can leverage to outperform and outrank your competitors.
• Recognize critical areas that your competitors are beating and learn things that they are doing differently.
• Reveal key threats that were unknown before research and competitors analysis
• Further, work firmly on key areas of your marketing that will outperform the competitors.
How will you complete market research?
Before you understand what your competitors are doing it would be a great to understand your industry and driving market trend online. You may have regular downfalls during the year, and this kind of research will help pinpoint data that are trending and a positive impact on your digital marketing strategies.
Take Your Business Overview
Guidance Questions You Can Ask:
• What are your key products and services?
• What are the locations you provide service to your customers?
• What is the differential point? (i.e., what makes you different in your industry? )
What is trending?
Find out what is trending for the relevant keywords to your site with Google Trends. (i.e., you can find out seasonal changes over the past few years). Take the following simple steps.
• Go to Google Trends
• Put Keywords relevant to your business(e.g., Fashion, Fashion Trends Summer)
• Be sure you have selected the right target location and that you are not on any default location. (e.g., USA)
Keep yourself updated about what is being talked about in the media about things related to your industry. Keep an eye on your top competitors. The latest news can keep you updated about awards, legislation updates and things that are likely to boost your business.
• Are there any big changes in your industry? (e.g., legal changes and legal issues, big companies going bankrupt, downfalls in the market)
• If there are any facilities that some businesses are taking leverage? (e.g., changes in technology, the latest Google algorithm update)
Do Your Businesses SWOT Analysis
The way you have conducted a self SWOT analysis, to know your strength, weakness, opportunity and threat. The same way your business is also like a person so doing SWOT analysis will help you understand what exactly are the opportunities and weaknesses in your business. You can equally work diligently on your strengths and weaknesses. Four simple ways to conduct a SWOT analysis.
• Keep it simple – do not complicate with an endless list of possibilities.
• Focus on key areas in each department and be specific
• Keep it more factual rather than opinionated
• Honesty is the best policy.
Being honest to the SWOT analysis means you are being honest to yourself. Put your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your business in a SWOT Analysis table.
Review Your Competitors
Once you are done with the market research, it is time to check what your competitors are doing. You may feel that you don’t have any competition as you are niche expertise in what you are doing. Example- You own a business in a lubricant that you have invented and only available with you. You may think there is no other competitor in the same product. But that perhaps may not be true. There might be already someone else dealing in a similar component.
Identify Your Competitors
You might feel that you have a good grasp of your competitors. But you cannot miss this step. Identify your competitors with the following steps.
• Are you just looking at the apparent competitors? Well, for example, Its Guru has some obvious competitors in Managed IT Services and Digital Marketing. But we also have out of the box competitors like news publishers, radio or video advertising.
• Do your competitor research more than just your region. Go statewide or national.
• Do not overestimate that your main competitor is significant retail if you are a small boutique clothing store.
The fastest way to double check you are covering all your key points is to Google keywords relevant to your business and see if there are any relevant trending keywords you have been missing.
Keep An Eye On Your Competitors
Now that you know your competitors there are some excellent tools you can use to spy on their marketing strategies.
Just merely check your competitor’s website by using some of these tools.
1. Google Page Speed Insights
Just simply enter your site (or competitors) to see the overall Google performance score. This tool will give you specific actions you need to take to improve your mobile and desktop website speed and performance.
2. Spy Fu
This is a useful tool that will show you the Google Ads performance and tactics of your competitors. This tool also allows you to discover SEO keywords your competitors are ranking for and spy on your competitors’ marketing strategy.
3. SEO Quake
This is a free tool you can download an SEO audit of your site, examine internal and external links and compare domains and URL in real time.
To understand the difference between competitors you will need to analyze their business in the digital space. Once you 2-3 businesses in your list. Analyze the following.
• Who are they?
• What products and services they provide?
• What do they do?
• What locations do they offer their services to customers?
• What is their point of difference? What makes them different from other businesses in the industry?
• For in-depth details check their on-site SEO.
• How is their content different than your website?
• Do they regularly update blogs/news articles? What are the topics they are discussing?
• Are they doing anything different that you aren’t doing?
How are your competitors using the keywords? Are the keywords included in the following?
• The page content
• The URL architecture
• H1 Tags
• Internal links
• Image alt text
Check Your Competitors Social Media Presence
• The likes and number of followers on social media platforms. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
• How many times are they posting in a day? How active are they on social media?
• What is the type of content they are posting?
• Is there any client engagement? (i.e., likes, comments, shares)
Are Your Competitors Doing Paid Search?
• Are your competitors using Google AdWords to drive more traffic to the website?
• You can search for keywords related to their services to trigger the results.
• Are there any proofs that your competitors have used SEM banners.
Competitors SEO Analysis
• Apart from checking out the website content and SEO structure, you need to review the keywords driving traffic to their website.
• Website Conversion Optimization- Is the website customer friendly optimized? Are there buttons to call or email for business inquiry or contact information. Is the mobile site well optimized?
These are some of the competitors’ analysis you can conduct to get your business ranking high on Google. You are looking to generate that cash flow without hampering your ROI, then using the right SEO tactics is highly essential. You can do so by conducting a SWOT analysis and then doing in-depth research on your competitors. I hope this article was insightful for your competition search. What would you like us to write our next article on? Let us know in the comment section below.