There are a lot of reasons and benefits to doing competitor research. Some of the top reasons include:
- Learning what customers are talking about
- Understand where your product or service stands in the market
- Determine the customer’s pain point
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your competition
- Have reliable evidence when making product changes
- Focus your efforts in a target market
- See what’s working and what’s not
- Discover whether they are doing anything that you aren’t?
It’s an essential tactic for finding out what your competitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your business.
And it’s not difficult at all.
You just need some time and effort to figure out the most important data.
Here is the table of contents of this blog post:
Identify your top competitors
To conduct competitor research, first you need to know who your competitors are.
If you serve your customers worldwide, you are competing with hundreds or even thousands of companies targeting the same leads as you do.
Who are they? Do you know exactly?
The easiest way is a Google search. Type in your product or service, and see who shows up on the top of the results.
You can use Google suggestion and find other popular keyword terms that people search for related to your business or industry.
To figure out which websites rank at the top for your keyword and to learn more about their SEO, you can use online tools, such as SE Ranking.
Here’s a great way to organize your research:
Create a spreadsheet sheet with 5 columns. Label them “Name”, “Content”, “SEO”, “Social Activity”, and “Areas for Improvement”.
Write your competitor’s name and website in the first column. Then add a new row for each additional competitor.
Then fill the remaining columns with the following information:
Research your competitor’s content
In the column labeled “Content”.
Take a look at the content they create.
What types of content creation do your competitors focus on? A blog? Videos? Facebook Live?
Read and analyze their blog
- How frequently do they publish new content?
- Do they update them?
- What topics do they discuss?
- How do they handle conversations? Do they reply to comments? What are people commenting about?
Download their eBooks and opt in to their lead magnet
- What do they offer in these freebies? A webinar? A product? More lead magnets?
- How do they promote their business through their eBooks?
- Where do they promote the lead magnets?
Watch their videos, webinars and live videos
- How engaging are they?
- What techniques do they use to keep the audience engaged?
- What topics do they cover?
- Are they talking heads? Interviews? Real live elements or filmed in a studio?
Watch their presentations and slides
- What do they teach?
- How engaging are these presentations?
- How many viewers do they have?
Read their FAQs
- What are the pain points of the customer they target?
- What are the problems their customers face?
- What kind of questions do they cover? What don’t they discuss?
Find company news
- Which channels do they use to communicate it?
- What do they present as news and how do they announce it?
- What style of language do they use? Are they serious or playful? Conservative or trendy?
Figure out what they are proud of
- Case studies
- Success stories
Once you identify the quality and the type of content your competitors create, you will have a better picture of where you can improve.
Analyze their SEO
If you have a blog, you know how important it is to set up a good SEO strategy.
Checking out their robot.txt file, you can see what pages they disabled to search engines, and you can figure out why.
You can also see how many individual pages are indexed by the search engines using the site: command (for example, site: marketing6pack.com).
Also, you can learn some interesting information if you look at their Page Authority, Domain Authority, and how many external links they have. You can check these factors with the free mozbar tool.
You analyzed the content of your competitor in the previous step, so you probably have a pretty good idea about their keywords.
You can check out how they use these keywords in their content:
- The page title
- The URL
- H1/H2/H3 Tags
- Body text (how many appearances?)
- Anchor texts
- Image alt text
Determine their social activity
While social media engagement is not a search ranking factor, it’s a very strong brand building tool, therefore you need to look at the bigger picture about how engaged your competitors are with their customers and followers.Competitor
- Check out how often they post
- What content they post: text/picture/video/live video
- Do they have paid advertisements on social platforms? Which?
- How many likes and followers do they have?
- Analyze their top 5 posts: how many comments and shares do they have?
Identify areas for improvement
Now that you are done with your competitor research, you probably have a better understanding about what’s going on with your competitors and what they are doing.
Fill in your fifth column with your ideas where you can put more effort into your marketing. Because ideally in this stage of the competitor research, you have found some areas where you can improve.