Every business owner wants to gain an edge over their competitors and one vital tool is a digital competitor analysis. But one issue that businesses often run into is lack of knowledge about how they should scout out their competition and what to look for when trying to gauge the performance of their competitors. Developing a sound strategy to help you stand out is crucial. Knowing how your efforts compare to your competitors is vital to creating that strategy.
A significant part of scouting your competition in a digital competitor analysis is identifying your competitors’ online performance and campaigns. Businesses need a broad overview of what campaigns their competitors have/are running, when those campaigns started, and how they are performing.
Scouting involves examining all the different online strategies, and tactics businesses can use. This can include simple information such as how fast a website loads to more in-depth knowledge such as how a website ranks on specific Google search terms and what terms they are actually targeting.
The number of digital marketing tactics and tools businesses can use is staggering. Therefore, having a high-level overview of what your competitors are doing can reveal a wide range of tactics you may need to dig into more deeply once you identify any trends.
And because the number of tactics to look for is high, working with an experienced digital marketing agency can help you save time in getting a detailed report about your competitors.
Once you are ready to begin scouting your competitors, you must look for specific information about them. Below are some of the digital marketing tactics that your competitor analysis should cover, along with questions to ask yourself for benchmarking (which we will discuss later):
How fast does their website load? Is the website confusing to navigate, or is the design cluttered or sparse?
How is their site ranking in search results? For which keywords are your competitors performing well or poorly?
What types of content are your competitors creating, such as blogs, videos, and other interactive content?
What platforms are your competitors most active on? Are they using social media to promote content or just for customer support?
Are your competitors running any paid advertising campaigns? If so, which platforms, and what is the content/focus of their ads?
How many reviews do your competitors have? How are your competitors responding to those user reviews, if at all?
Are your competitors using specific tools to engage with customers or increase sales-like chatbots, email marketing, and customer relationship management (CRM) software?
After scouting your competitors and taking note of their performance, the next part is benchmarking.
Benchmarking means continually comparing your digital performance to your main online competition. The process includes ongoing monitoring and constantly analyzing your competition to see changes in websites, content, social media pages, and more. The goal of benchmarking is to establish a baseline that you can use to measure yourself against your competitors to see how successful your efforts are. All the information you have gathered by scouting your competition will be needed.
In addition, benchmarking helps you create an “apples-to-apples” comparison by defining measurable and purposeful metrics. This process will also help you identify gaps between your various competitors and will help you form an appropriate strategy.
Benchmarking will help you get the complete picture of how you stack up to the competition. In addition, some tools will make benchmarking easier to analyze and monitor any changes your competition makes. Business landscapes are constantly changing; seeing these changes early will help you form the best response.
If you want to learn more about what goes into a digital competitor analysis, reach out to us. VIEWS Digital Marketing can help you with your digital marketing strategy. Our consultants can give you valuable information about your competitors’ sites using our knowledge and expertise with various digital marketing and SEO tools.