HOW TO CONDUCT A COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS:
- Identify your Top Competitors
- Analyzing Competitor Website Content
- Social Media Presence
- Analyze SEO
- Areas for Improvement
If your product is in trend and is widely used then it is for sure that you will have a lot of customers, parallelly it is also true that you have a lot of similar service providers with more or fewer features, the main idea of this topic is how to develop or rather improvise your service or your website by analyzing your competitors website. A competitor can be 1 or 10 it depends on how you want to develop your website by comparing your services with others.
Before we dig in deep with the steps on how to conduct an analysis, It should always be noted that analysing or investigating on competitors website using your internet connection is not advised, If you have a good website and you are eyeing on your competitors website it is for sure that the target website is, even more better, and also equipped with a lot of techniques that can identify IPs or connections that are running on their website,
If it is found out that some IPs on their website are crawlers, it is clear that you are getting blocked soon or possibly being misguided with irrelevant information. The whole idea of this article is not only to find out the steps and the methods to do analysis but a systematic approach of completing the analysis without being blocked.
This can be achieved using Proxies. A proxy is an alias for your internet connection, a request sent from your end is received by the proxy and sent to the target server and information is sent back to the proxy. This is how you can stay anonymous on the web while performing these activities. Confused why proxies? Let’s make it simple. Check this out December 2018 Seanews.az 3
The reason for using proxies while doing an analysis is when you are using a tool, all the traffic will be sent from the same IP. This will not give you will the expected results, and instead of getting the advantage for the many requests you have sent, you will just get the advantage of one request.
In most of the cases getting unusual traffic or rather very high traffic from the single IP will be considered suspicious and the IP will be blacklisted or banned instantly. Using proxies can help you bypass geo-restrictions and can get multiple views from any desired location or locations around the world, by using a proxy from that particular location.
Not to forget that Competitive analysis is completely legal and you can conduct it on any website, provided you just collect information and the techniques equipped by them.
Let us find out some of the most important and effective steps to conduct an analysis:
Competitive research or competitive intelligence is a technique to perform a strategic research that includes collection and analysis of information about your close competitors. Basically a knack for finding out what your competitors are actually doing and what kind of challenges they can cause to your services.
Unless and until you are doing something very creative like handmade mugs or ornaments which is very difficult for anyone to copy, there are 100% chances that any firm in the world is having or selling the same product as you are doing.
But before you find out if someone is really selling the same product as you are doing, you should be ready to understand if the quality of service or product you provide is good enough for someone to stick to your products for a longer period of time. This proves that just getting information about what others are selling is not enough.
With the advancement of technologies and software, this market and their business owners have had a simple and clear understanding of how to market their products, Adding to it, social media and e-commerce these days play a crucial role in helping you sell your products online. At the same time, you should always have eyes on your competitors to know if they are selling something similar with a better quality and for cheaper price, this can be a big blow for your business. Below are some of the key steps you can follow to conduct analysis on your rival firms. Let us have a look.
How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis:
This is the most important question you have to ask yourself before getting into analysis or deploying methods to perform one. Do you know who your competitors are and what strategy they use to sell their products?
Every firm has at least 5-10 competitors that they have an active competition with, whatever you do, they are always using the ideas you have deployed on your website and try taking your potential customers. As a company which is providing services around the world, you are ideally competing with thousands of companies who will be having a group of similarly qualified leads and possibly the same services, less or more.
There is always one company that you are having competitions on a daily basis and other than that you do not have information about, This can be dangerous and most importantly confusing for your business and can cause great loss. Google is the best and the most efficient way of finding your competitors. As a beginner, the best way to find out your competitor is to enter the keyword for the service you are selling and the most important features you have included in your services.
Once you get a list of close competitors, you can start researching on the techniques they have deployed on their website, the offers they are running and possibly any new features which you do not have. Always make sure you do not copy the same content or the offer tagline they have, this can cause a lot of issues.
Once you get an understanding about your competitors, you can start the competitive analysis and start getting deep into their websites to know what type of contents they publish, the topics and how frequently do they publish the articles.
Once you have analysed the contents and the types of contents, you have to find out, what kind of topics can you choose to attract visitors and also the types of articles customers are interested to read.
Different types of content can include a few of the following subjects:
- Blog posts
- Feature articles
- Case studies
- Buyer guide
Once you have found out the content or probably the topics. you can start working on. Do not delay, understand the market trends and which topics can be useful for a simple read, avoid lengthy articles and irrelevant topics, this can lead to losing visitors or potential customers.
Always work on finding if you are not doing something that your competitors are actively participating in to attract more leads. This can help you understand where you have to start working on what amount of efforts you need to put in regardless of the outcome.
If your competitors are consistently publishing interesting eBooks, this can be possibly a part of why your quality leads are going away from your services to your competitor.
For Example, if your competitors are publishing blogs twice or maximum thrice a week, and you are just publishing one in 2 weeks, this is a set back for you. Try finding out trending topics and publishing them, Do not publish irrelevant topics for the sake of publishing one, this can lead to losing most frequent visitors or potential customers who will eventually develop a negative impression about your website. There are several small ways of analyzing or researching ideas to improve your website and services that will help you attract leads on a long run.
- How are the products displayed and how do they communicate with their customers?
- What details do they include in their product introduction and descriptions, What are you missing out?
- Do they have a newsletter sign-up prompt? How useful is it?
- How frequently do they campaign on social media?
- Most important one, Is their site optimized for mobile usage and is your site ready?
- How many hours of phone support do they provide or are they available 24/7?
- How long do they take to respond to emails, live chats and or a contact form request?
- How frequently do they run promotions?
These small things can make a huge difference especially when you are thinking of developing your website in a long run.
A company’s page on social media is becoming increasingly the best marketing technique to display or let the world know how you are developing and what strategies you are using to improve your business, Social media networks are the most important way for companies to interact with their users.
The next step of your analysis is to determine how your competitors are using social media and using it for their marketing. It is important to have a profile on social media platforms and is equally important how you effectively utilize them to gain some profit for your business. You should always have knowledge about what type of information they post? Do they have a good number of followers? Do they have cover photos and profile photos and how frequently do they change them.
These are the main questions you should be having or rather maintaining a checklist of when you are analysing your competitor’s social media profiles. Learn from what they are doing, write down key points you can deploy. Try to find out if deploying these things will help you boost your company’s social media presence?
A company need not be a direct competitor of your services, but you can still check their techniques or handling social media campaigns. Also, analyse profiles of companies which are fully established, it is always good to gain knowledge and ideas from a highly influenced companies directly or indirectly.
It is well known that competitors usually have the same type of content with twisted words in their topics, but you will be amused to know that they attract more visitors than you do. Ever wondered why? This can be because of the structure of SEO they use which can be far better than the ones you are using.
If you are doing analysis on a website, and if your company has a blog for the articles you publish relevant to your products, you will be knowing the importance of SEO. While doing a research on the type of content your competitors are publishing, it is also important to check the SEO structure they use for that content. The best and the step by step procedure to find out SEO structure can be:
- URL architecture
- H1 Tags
- Content Quality
- Internal links added
- Image alt text included
Checking the SEO structure is not the only thing which can help, it is always important to also know and find out the keywords and how different they are and what difference they can make in increasing the ranks for your website.
Always look for keywords that have low search volumes as they will be more specific for an accurate search, high search volumes will not help you a lot while you are trying to rank specific keywords. The best practice is also to list or note down a set of keywords comparing them with your competitor’s website and start working on them.
This is by one of the important method involved in competitor analysis that has to be effectively worked on. Now that you have found out everything about what your competitors post, the strategy they use to attract potential customers or maybe even attract your prospects.
It is also important to know the framework on which they have built their website. Is it WordPress? Or any other? Have they used any tools to track visitors, the plugins they have used or the image quality they have used for their graphic content? This can create a great difference when it comes to having an attractive website, As it is always said that “ The first impression is the best impression”
The best and the most important method of competitor analysis is to know to create a summary of all the ideas you have got from the research and create a checklist to implement those ideas one by one, this needs to be done patiently. Do not rush looking for a instant success in your methods, this can spoil the game for you.
If the research you have done is up to the mark and you have followed every step you need to, it is for sure that you have a whole lot of ideas which you can work on making your website better. Be it content creation, search engine optimization, and social media presence, you can help in increasing your company’s presence with potential customers, social media users, bloggers or also tech savvy people who often tend to raise question after reading your technical blogs.
Now that you have done your research manually, you know how difficult it is to roll over each and every website and their links, knowledge base articles, blogs or eBooks. This is a tiring process but surely fruitful. Nevertheless, there are various tools available in the market which helps you perform these analyses in an easy and effective way. Every website owner including your competitors is already using automated tools. You should also use such tools to improve your efficiency and the speed at work The idea is very simple, enter your selected keywords into the tool, and then based on keywords it will list your competitors. As a result, you will get an idea about their sources of links. Once you pick the speed, it will be a very simple and effective approach to find any information you are looking for about your competitor. The whole process is time consuming, even though it is faster than finding resources manually. But the outcome will be worth your time and effort.
Before proceeding with the above method, you need to know that using a tool that is going to search for a lot of URLs or it will be making a lot of queries simultaneously. will get blocked by search engines in seconds. To prevent this from happening using dedicated proxies along with the tools is the best practice.
Let us have a look at the top tools used:
One of the most popular and powerful tools designed to show both organic and paid search rankings for any mobile or desktop version of the sites in any country. It allows paid users to find phrases with a single click.
The disadvantage of SEMRush is that it has so many features you will definitely lose time in finding your suitable feature. The paid version of this tool is available at $99/month.
This is another tool to find phrases for your keyword search, With having links to most of the databases in the world, you can access around 4 billion keywords. This tool is not available in free version however has a 14 days trial version for you to test out the features.
The paid version is available at $82/month.
If you have heard about Alexa ranking for websites, then this is the same tool we are referring to. This tool is widely used due to its competitive metrics and the tools used for website analysis. The best feature of this tool is the “ Audience Overlap “ feature which helps you understand which sites you are competing with and then shows a clear picture of the keywords used by your websites and your competitors with a table that shows whos leading the game.
It also helps in estimating bounce rate, time spent on a site for any websites you search, Even though the free version provides you a complete access to all the tools for 7 days, the best way to go is with the paid version which is available at a price as low as $99/month.
This tool helps you find out or rather allows you to know the tools or the techniques developed on a website. This includes displaying the type of content management system used, the CDN
(Content delivery network), the number of and the types of plugins used and what they do.
The free analysis tool helps you analyse the codes used for the website. BuiltWith is widely used and also has a free extension for Chrome. You can enter a website of your choice and yield results instantly. The free version for this tool is not so helpful however gives you limited site lookups, the paid version has Basic and Pro plans pricing at $295 and $495 gives you unlimited results on any site lookups.
This tool helps you track Social media presence of any website or a firm. It’s not only good for competitive research but also can be used to find out the top shared posts by any of your competitor. It also helps you find out who has shared the posts and which posts have gathered great attention.
The free version gives you limited results, however with paid version of this tool you can get unlimited results at $99/month.
This tool analyses information only on Twitter, however, it is considered to be the best tool for this job, it helps you find out how many followers of a particular competitor are active, what they have shared and how effective the following is. It gives a picture between the comparison of 2 accounts, what features they have in common. Similarly also decides which of the account is growing more quickly.
In this article we understood how competitor analysis can be performed and what steps should be taken to prevent yourself from being blocked. The most common practice is to make use of dedicated proxies while performing any of the above mentioned steps or using the tools mentioned above. this can save your time and also keep you safe from the website. Another important feature of proxies is the variety of locations available. Which helps you yield results for a particular location by using the proxy from the same location.
With us at LimeProxies, you can enjoy the benefits of high speed dedicated proxies from a wide range of locations for a low price. With a 24/7 support team, you should not have any issues in putting across your queries. Any questions about our services? write to us in comment section below