Knowing your competitors is an important step to building an effective marketing strategy for your website. However, it’s not enough to just constantly compare your own site with theirs—you need to check if you are doing it correctly.
There is a right and wrong way to compare your site with your competitors’ websites. It’s ‘wrong’ to compare for reasons like measuring your progress and success against theirs. The ‘right’ way to go is to run a proper competitive analysis, which can be extremely helpful in understanding your site and how it fares against the competition.
A competitive analysis categorizes and evaluates your competitors, so you can identify and understand their weaknesses and strengths against your own. Only by understanding your competitors can you develop better ways of getting ahead of them. It may seem simple, but it can be complex when you start looking into various disciplines and metrics. Some criteria will even be dependent on your personal opinion and understanding of your business and industry.
So how do you start? We have put together this quick guide to help you compare your site correctly with your competitors:
When to compare
Website competitive analysis is typically done before building a new site, but it can also be performed if you want to redesign your website and improve its performance. You may also compare your site with your competitors’ if you are considering additional benchmarking strategies. Regardless of your reason for making comparisons, remember that the goal is to obtain actionable insights so you can use them in your own marketing plans and strategies.
What to compare
In doing website competitive analysis, the factors that you need to compare might be different from what other businesses use. That said, there are certain universal factors that everyone should definitely look into:
- Traffic and ranking – Identify the competitor’s high-ranking keywords and their estimated traffic.
- Marketing performance – Find out if they are using videos, blogs, and downloadable content. Take note of the conversion points they are using, such as email, phone, live chat, or messaging.
- The search engine friendliness of the site – Determine how fast their website loads. Also, is it accessible and responsive on both desktop and mobile?
- Social media presence and performance – Find out what social networks they are using and their reach within your industry. You may also want to consider their most shared content.
- Call-to-action methods – Identify their critical call-to-action on their homepage and the calls-to-action throughout their website.
What sites to compare yours against
How do you pick websites to measure yours against? You can consider selecting competitors based on the following factors:
- Your personal knowledge (the businesses you consider as your competition)
- What your prospects and customers consider to be your competitors
- Businesses you can find in paid and natural search results for the keywords you are using, or for the keywords you want to use.
When you base your selection on these criteria, you can achieve a more balanced perspective on who your business is competing against. This also lets you pick businesses that are more likely to be leading your industry or market.
How to compare
Keep it simple. Make a list of competitors you have chosen on a spreadsheet, and align the different measures with each of them. You may even write a narrative document for your analysis.
You can also look up tools that can help in your analysis, such as SEMRush for analyzing ranked keywords & traffic, and Google PageSpeed Insights, which lets you measure the loading speeds of websites.
Working with an SEO specialist can also simplify the process of doing a comprehensive website competitive analysis. You can’t go wrong with SEOValley. Contact us today if you need help on this matter.