A successful online business should monitor the online activities of the competition. How can you stay ahead of the game if you don’t know the players, or what they have in their play-book? Luckily, it isn’t as difficult as you may think to analyse your competitors’ websites whilst engaging a responsive marketing strategy.
How To Conduct An Effective Review Of Your Competitors’ Websites
- Rank Their SEO
- Check their Marketing Grade
- Create Google Alerts
- Compare your digital presence to theirs!
- Do a quick search of local listings
- Take a look!
- Content Analysis
- Woorank Review
Why monitoring your competitors is important
You can learn what works, and what doesn’t
To become a leader in your field, you will need to know what others in your space are doing. As you monitor your competitors’ websites, you can watch customer response to their promotions or offers, and learn what works – and what doesn’t – from their marketing spend.
Often, you can learn just as much from your competitors from what they aren’t doing, as you can from what they are doing. For example, just say you have a competitor who just hasn’t bothered with social media marketing. They may have set up a social media presence, but they don’t post with regularity or engage with social media in any real way. As they struggle to understand their business’ lack of connection with their clients, you can set about making connections with their clients using your social presence.
You can position yourself uniquely
When there are several brands in the marketplace with similar offerings, the best thing you can do for your brand is position yourself in a unique way.
Take the major Australian supermarket space as an example:
Relative newcomer, Aldi, have taken the position of ‘discount supermarket’, while heavily pushing their private brands. In turn, Woolworths have responded to this newcomer by strengthening their position as the ‘Fresh Food People’, while increasing their private brands. Next, there’s IGA, who have taken the position as the independent, local community grocer. This leaves us with Coles, who have been running their ‘Down, down, prices are down’ campaign - in response to Aldi’s arrival - for some time now. Adopting a similar position to Aldi, instead of forging out their own unique space in the market, has pitted them against Aldi in a price-challenge. With the arrival of other players in the discount space, such as subscription-based Costco, Coles simply could not win with this strategy.
The result? Coles had the unique opportunity to position themselves as offering quality food goods, gourmet products and organic produce, due to their association with Masterchef Australia, but failed to do so. Meanwhile, 2018 has seen Woolworths shares hitting their highest level in two years. Coles have fallen well behind Woolworths due to their reliance on price-based promotions; Woolworths, on the other hand, reported a first-half profit of $969m – an increase of 38 per cent!
While analysing your competitors’ websites, ask yourself these questions about their brand in general:
1) How have they positioned their brand? Where does it sit in the market?
2) Where does your brand sit in relation to each of your competitor’s brands?
Completing this quick and simple analysis is a great opportunity for you to secure your business a unique position in the competitive space it occupies.
How To Conduct An Effective Review Of Your Competitors’ Websites
1. Rank Their SEO
Getting found online is dependent on SEO. You can see how your competitors’ stack up using an easy online tool called SEMrush. All you need to do is type in the URL and you will see how that site ranks in both paid search and organic rankings.
If your competitors outranking you in search engines, you can use tools such as Openlinkprofiler and Ahrefs to find out who is creating links to your competitors’ websites. This is an opportunity for you to investigate if there is the prospect of having backlinks to your website built as well.
If you type in your own URL and decide your SEO needs a little help, you will find useful articles here and here, or you can contact Pixelfish to discuss how we can help you boost your SEO by clicking here.
2. Check their Marketing Grade
Website Grader is a great online tool to grade your competitors’ websites. It will look at 30 factors, such as blogging success, lead generation, SEO, social media activity and performance, to give a website a grade out of 100. Take the time to grade your own site, then compare how your site scored to the scores of your competitors’ sites.
3. Create Google Alerts
Google Alerts are free and can help you monitor your competitors’ online activity, social media mentions and let you know when someone links to their site. Once set up, you will have ‘alerts’ sent straight to your inbox to notify you when your competitors’ name, or certain keywords, are mentioned online.
4. Compare your digital presence to theirs!
Using a tool such as Serpstat you can get an idea of how your online presence compares to your competitors’ online presence. Serpstat provides growth-hacking for content marketing, SEO & PPC.
Another tool providing free competitive data is SimilarWeb which provides free limited data, however on a paid plan you will receive in-depth data, by way of a report.
5. Do a quick search of local listings
Low-tech though it may be, checking databases and local listings is an opportunity to find databases and local listings that don’t include your competition, and to use these quality backlinks to boost your own SEO. Simply type your keyword and the word ‘database’ and analyse the results. You may want to add your physical, brick-and-mortar location as well. For example: SEO professionals + database + Dee Why.
6. Take a look!
Browse your competitors’ websites as if you were a customer. See how easy – or how tricky – it is to navigate around the site. Is it visually appealing? Is the branding, logo, colour scheme and layout appealing? Is it easy to find their contact information? Be objective and ask yourself what they doing well, and what could they do better.
7. Content Analysis
When analysing the content of a competitor’s site, you should note the following:
• Length of the content
• Keyword usage
• Is there a blog? Is it regularly updated?
• Are their social media connections displayed?
• What is the visual image to text ratio?
• Are there any promotional offers, banners etc?
• Is there unique content on every page?
• Do the headings contain keywords or brand names?
8. Woorank Review
Check how your site and those of your competitors rank with a Woorank Review. Woorank offer to track and fix your website’s weaknesses while providing in-depth analysis to help you to improve your SEO, website rankings, social media and usability.
Woorank is a great way to look at how frequently keywords are used on both your own website and those of your competitors’. You can also check your competitors’ site technologies using a WooRank Project.
A good marketing strategy is reactive, which makes SEO competitor analysis a must. Now that you have started to analyse the competition, make sure you use the data to determine what can be improved on your site or added to it. Understanding your competitor’s positioning, strengths and weaknesses will help you gain the competitive edge. Analysing your competitors’ websites regularly is essential if you want to stay ahead of your competition. For more tips on how to deal with online competitors, you can click here.
Next, you’ll have to develop a strategy for addressing the strengths and weaknesses in your website that you have uncovered in your recent research. The team at Pixelfish can help you with a complete audit of your website, show you how to drive traffic to your website and how to convert those clicks when they get there. Why not chat to us about your website marketing goals? Go ahead and click here to contact us today.