Competition is a healthy driving force towards improvement and innovation. Without it most businesses would become complacent and unproductive. Now more than ever, online businesses need to find new ways of standing out in the crowd and picking up their game in order to remain competitive forces within their field. It is now necessary to understand your competition in order to examine how you stack up against the rest. Below are some tips for helping you do this effectively on an online platform.
The SWOT analysis is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When analysing your competition – it’s the go-to tool. By analyzing a business’s strengths and weaknesses you are able to compare them to your business (which is why some suggest doing a SWOT analysis of your business first) This simply helps you understand how you shape up to your competition and discover ways to improve. Recognising opportunities and threats is just as integral. Finding opportunities provides you with a chance to excel and push past the competition. By becoming aware of your threats, you are able to understand where you need to pick up your game.
Nowadays, the prevalence and engagement levels of a business is on social media can be a good indication of their overall success with customers. When you’re analysing your competition, head over to their social media accounts and have a look at the following things: Which platforms are they using? How large is their following? What’s their growth been like? How many people are talking about their business, and what are they saying? How often are they posting and when? What kind of content are they posting? Offers, Discounts, Event Promo or Clickbait? And how interactive are they, do they respond to complaints well?
All of these things are vital to ensure you get a full and effective profile of your competitor. Understand the platforms they’re misusing, the content they might be oversharing, or the times they’re not available and you’ll find opportunities for your business to excel.
A website is another crucial component of a business’s online presence that can tell you a lot of valuable information if you look for the right things. Some things to consider when you’re analysing your competitors website is:
- The overall design and layout – Is it visually appealing? What’s the theme – professional, exciting? How have they positioned their branding? Is the site easy to use and navigate through? Does it load quickly?
- The information – Is it detailed and informative, is there anything missing? Is the information well-presented, dynamic and interesting eg. videos, imagery, graphics?
- The Links – does it link to their social media pages, blog articles, landing pages or sign-up’s?
Marketing is a huge indicator of a business’s authority online. By analysing their marketing you can understand what tactics they’re using to source their customers. The first thing to look at is what types of content they are distributing. Are they blogging and personally creating useful content for their audience or simply regurgitating other people’s useful content? Does the content vary between webinars, ebooks and blog posts? How often is this content being shared and what’s the quality like? Is it just being churned out quickly or is it longer in length and more in-depth?
It’s a good idea to subscribe to your competitor’s marketing content like newsletters and blogs to get a better understanding of their schedules and the quality of their content.
Competition is what it’s SEO is all about, and therefore SEO statistics are going to be the easiest information you source about your competitors simply because there are so many tools that exist that will allow you to compare your website’s SEO against another. Some factors to look out for is where they stand in terms of industry related keyword ranking, how much traffic their site receives each month/ week/ year and what kind of authority they have according to tools like Google and Mozrank.