Sizing up the competition is most important step for any business to achieve competitive advantage in their market. Competitive analysis helps to identify the real competition, determine the competitive advantages and disadvantages and to develop a strategic planning process. If you are able to know what your competitor is doing, then you can readily adopt the missed out techniques and you can streamline your SEO campaign by finding better ways on how to rise up above your competitors. Here are some of the basic analysis to determine your competition.
Before you start analyzing your competition, you should do some basic research like,Your Mission, Target market, Geological location of the market, size of the market and competitors.
Naturally ranked competitors
Competitor identification is the first step in implementing the marketing strategy. Check with SERP who is at the top for your important key terms. Look for sites that are routinely showing up for your important key phrases. You can get a good list of competitors by analyzing this. Once you have finalized the competitors for your market, next thing you have to do is to find out with whom we can really compete with. In the list you may find some sites that are very popular like Amazon.com or Compaq.com. Here you should make a important decision whether you are ready to invest your money and energy to compete with these giants or to compete with other competitors in the same line within your manageable scale.
Analyze their Strengths & weaknesses
Simply go through the competitor website and look for any Search engine optimization techniques and try to find out what specific tactics are they using. There are some important factors to look in their site like site structure, navigation, pattern of keywords used in text links and quality of the pages that has high page rank. With the goal of finding out least imperfectness in their website, we should analyze the ranking sites, to outperform them. We can analyze whether they have blog, appear in local search, have product reviews, how they engage visitors and all other angles where we can get ahead of them. It is not possible to include all the necessary checks you can undergo in this post, but the point here is to look for any particular usefulness that you can crab while analyzing your competitor. You can also use various available free tools to compare your site against competitors. Here is the blog post that explains “4 Tools to Compare Your Website With Your Competitors“. At first it may seem a lot of data collection but in the long run, with the available data, you can pin point their exact strategy, what new step they are taking and in which area they are lagging etc.
Some competitors don’t do best SEO but they may have invested lot of money on massive ppc campaigns, social media presence, sponsorships, contests, advertising and Facebook followings. By carefully monitoring these strategies and finding out which work for them, will help you hit the target market. Especially, in a ppc campaign, a marketer must have an intimate understanding of his customers and key marketing concepts which will help him to determine whether he needs to outbid his competitor for any particular key term or not. This is absolutely necessary because some high bidding keywords may not end up in conversions but help build your awareness to the customers and helps to reinforce your brand name in searcher’s mind on the various stages of his searches. So before reducing the value of high bid keywords, we must analyze the impact they are having in the overall campaign. Here Rob Sullivan explains clearly in his article “The Art of Bid Management”
why one should raise or lower the bid other than the reason that competitors are raising or lowering their bids.
We need to keep our eye on our off-line competitors also. Because they may jump online at any time and target the same keywords that we are targeting. So we should develop plans to compete with them if they compete with us in some point in future.
We should have a clear mindset on what we are competing and set reasonable expectations for success. Having a good competitive knowledge will help us determine the correct approach to our online marketing campaigns and set achievable goals for our success.
Disclaimer: The post is completely based on individual thoughts and SEO Services Group bears no responsibilities for the thoughts reflected in the post.