Competition is a good thing because it spurs innovation and forces improvement.
If anything, it’s consumers who drive this intense competition – businesses are simply reacting and trying to keep up with the customer’s demands. When you look at this from the business perspective, it becomes obvious: competition is a good thing. It forces you to deliver more for the client or consumer, and keeps you diligent in providing the experiences you promise. Rather than losing sleep, you should look at competition as a way to continually improving and expanding your businesses. As long as you keep the fire to do better burning strong, there won’t be time to worry.
Despite the danger of getting frustrated or losing sight of your vision, there are some competitor metrics that are definitely worth knowing. For example, keeping tabs on keyword ranking trends would allow you to optimize your site for a particular keyword a competitor is ranking well for. You might not be able to usurp them as the number one search result, but if you can get on the first page, you’ll steal some of their traffic.
Here are some other areas where it’s worth analyzing your competitors and why competition is a good thing:
Link Profile: if your competitors are getting high-quality links (think big industry websites and publications) then they are probably outranking you in search results. Mine your competitors’ link profiles for link building ideas and methods.
Content Freshness: in addition to quality, great content is also relevant, timely and fresh. Look at what your competitors are doing to keep their content fresh, and do them one better by creating evergreen content whenever possible.
Social Reputation and Activity: this one is easy, and likely occurs naturally if you are active with your own social presence. Either way, it’s important to know how your competitors are viewed by their social media audience.
Conversion: in the battle for web attention, conversion is critical. It’ll be difficult to get a competitor’s hard conversion data, but you can certainly go through your conversion funnel yourself to see how and where they lead they potential customers to a purchase.
Remarketing and Display: simply going to your competitor’s site and then monitoring whether their ads are following your around the Internet should tell you all you need to know about their remarketing and display advertising efforts. If none of your competitors are doing these kind of ads yet, it could be a huge competitive edge for you!
Website: another easy one, but going to and using your competitor’s site is a great way to learn about their customers’ digital experience. If you know all about what your potential customers experience on a competitor’s site, you can ensure the experience you deliver is better.
Our latest eBook is called Competitor Analysis: Your Road Map to Winning the Web War and it provides information on how to analyze your competition and use your findings to get ahead.