The online world may seem a platform who provides a vast and rich source of information but when you look deeper, in order to access the information there are high-end restrictions created to protect brands against any malicious activities, data breaching and much more.
And this has scared the modern business of today to safeguard every piece of information they hold. This may seem like an intelligent decision to make, but what about those upcoming businesses that are depending on the online platforms to provide them with valuable data to enrich their brand’s growth?
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Not all those who retrieve data online or view data online are conducting such an action with a band intent which is why proxy servers were introduced to help such brands to view any information they wanted without any fear or risk at hand. The best way for a brand to successfully outsell the competitive market is to have data that could help them to conduct a competitive analysis for better solution creation.
And what better than to conduct competitive analysis private proxies. Private proxies? Competitor analysis? Too much? Let’s break this down.
What are proxy servers?
To view your competitors activities, the first action would be to send them a request in order to view the information you wish to seek. But due to the restrictions they have placed, if you try to access their information there could be chances where your IP can be blocked or you receive a message on your screen saying that you cannot access the information.
What proxy servers do is before that request can even reach your competitors, the proxy servers accept the request first, changes your IP address and then sends it to your competitors. When they approve the information is then easily viewed by you.
Interesting Read : Top 7 Reasons why your Company Should Use Proxy Servers
Another example of proxy servers could say you want your competitor’s information not just for viewing but to download it so that you can easily monitor, apply and create a strategy that will be much more effective than theirs, you can opt for the method of web scraping. Web scraping can easily extract your competitor’s information within a shorter time frame and is easily downloaded and saved in your system.
You can conduct this action to extract any form of data from any competitor’s website or other sources, but because conducting scraping regularly chances are at times you can get blocked, so here is when proxy servers can help you. They indulge in safeguarding your scraping activities by hiding your identity and ensuring that you never caught in the process, How cool is that?
There are many proxies available in the market such as private proxies and public proxies but if you want to conduct the above action it is suggested that you should choose the first option to conduct competitive analysis.
Why choose a private proxy?
First, let’s understand the difference, public proxies as the name suggests is used mostly by a huge number of people, it isn’t much secured and the chances of conducting online activities are slow since many users are incorporating the proxies for regular use. On the other hand, private proxies are different.
Private proxies are entitled to a single user. So say you can use a private proxy to conduct your competitor analysis without any effort or fear of facing any hindrance. For instance with a private proxy, the speed to conduct online activities is quicker since only one user is using it, secondly, it is much more secure again because a single person is using it.
Whenever you intend to invest in a proxy, the main agenda is to look at 4 things:
- Greater security
- Paid proxy
- Private proxy
- Faster internet speed
What do you mean by competitive analysis?
Competitive research or competitive intelligence is a technique to perform strategic research that includes the collection and analysis of information about your close competitors. A knack for finding out what your competitors are 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 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. 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 to better quality and for a cheaper price, this can be a big blow for your business. Below are some of the key steps you can follow to analyze your rival firms. Let us have a look.
How to conduct anonymous competitive analysis through private proxies?
1. Identify Your Top Competitors
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 daily 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 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.
To gather all this information, web scraping is an efficient solution to conduct this process. Identifying competitors are critical and through regular private proxy usage, this becomes much easier. With the proxy, you can easily scrape or view any information which would guide you towards identifying which competitors you should look out for.
2. Analyzing Competitor Website Content
Once you get an understanding of your competitors, you can start the competitive analysis and start getting deep into their websites to know what type of content they publish, the topics and how frequently do they publish the articles.
Once you have analyzed 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.
Interesting Read : Why Is It Important to Analyze Competitors’ Prices in Online Stores?
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 it. 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 effort you need to put in regardless of the outcome.
If your competitors are consistently publishing interesting eBooks, this can be a part of why your quality leads are going away from your services to your competitors.
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 in the 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?
- The 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 the long run.
With a private proxy, this process becomes much easier because you will have an idea of what information you require. To conduct a competitor analysis you need to find all the data which will help you conduct this process better just like the questions framed above.
3. Social Media Presence
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 in how you effectively utilize them to gain some profit for your business. You should always know 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.
Interesting Read : How to Use Proxies to Manage Several Social Media Accounts?
These are the main questions you should be having or rather maintaining a checklist of when you are analyzing 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, to analyze profiles of companies that are fully established, it is always good to gain knowledge and ideas from highly influenced companies directly or indirectly.
‘’Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing.’’ which means social media is a good source to retrieve much information about your competitors. With a private proxy, you can easily glance through any of your competitor’s accounts to gather insightful knowledge.
4. Indulge in SEO activities
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.
Interesting Read : How proxies can help in conducting efficient SEO activities?
If you are analyzing 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 researching 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.
‘’57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative’’ which is exactly SEO matters. Imagine acing your lead generation activities with successful SEO activities without any fear of any doubts?
5. Update on new technologies
This is one of the important methods 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”.
Private proxies can also help you to easily keep up to the mark with the technology market. Having regular updates can easily help to improvise your current solution as well as be able to sell it better to new and exciting prospects.
6. Areas for Improvement
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 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 that 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 tech-savvy people who often tend to raise questions after reading your technical blogs.
Now that you have done your research manually, you know how difficult it is to roll over 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 help you perform these analyses easily and effectively. Every website owner including your competitors are already using automated tools. You should also use such tools to improve your efficiency and 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.
With competitor data and the information being available online from multiple websites, private proxies aren’t just providing your information to access, it is also helping to make an impact in what you sell to your prospects. It is providing information which matters and provides a brand with the opportunity to enhance their brand and the solution they are offering to prospects better.
The Bottom Line…
A reliable private proxy knows how to conduct efficient online activities. It is skillful in ensuring that identities are being hidden and the information being received is from a reliable source.
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.
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