Search engine Marketing or SEM is an overwhelming process that demands a thorough study of your business as well as the others. Being much experienced on the SEO services in Sydney, we are here to guide you on the most overlooked step in any SEO campaign- Competitor Analysis.
You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘Keep your friends close and enemies closer.’
About 25% of the top performing American companies have a competitor analysis system as Michael Porter (1980) stated that
“ Strategy is about setting yourself apart form the competition. It is not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do”.
Even though the quote was meant for traditional marketing strategies, now more than ever using a competitor analysis will provide you with useful insight for your next digital marketing strategies.
For our SEO research and digital marketing strategies to be effective, we spend a significant amount of time performing a competitor analysis. We would research to see what they are doing differently on their website, who is competing for the keywords, ad space, and SERP rankings.
The digital sphere is tough and without these insights, it would be a waste of time and money to employ strategies we wouldn’t know would work.
In this article, we’ll learn the most effective strategy to beat the competition and coming out on top.
Why you need competitive analysis?
It’s necessary to have a panoramic view of what industry you’re in, the trends, its performance and what opportunities stand in front of you.
With competitive analysis-
- You identify your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to your competitors
- Taking advantage of their weakness and using it as a strategic advantage.
- You can find keywords that are helping your competitors earn high ROI.
- You can recognize the high search volume keywords that are used by none.
- You can grow traffic by gauging the minimum amount of resources needed.
This analysis concept is not as foreign as you think. In fact, we do it all the time when we are buying something-
Here is an example: A customer wants to buy a basketball. they would enter the keywords like: “buy basketball online”, the results are displayed. He opens the website XYZ, compares their options based on their criterium and only then would there be a commitment to buy. You probably do this yourself with other products so why not put yourself on that consideration and sold list?
Experts at our SEO company in Sydney believe competitor analysis to be the nub of understating the market, feeding customers the right service and converting traffic to your site.
How to do competitive analysis?
Now since you have studied the SEO advantage of competitive analysis, you must be looking forward to how to do it-
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get on the right track.
Who are your competitors?
First step is to identify who your competitor is. How you may do this is through keyword researching, such as a simple Google search of the services you provide and see who comes up.
Sometimes you may find competitors that offer the same thing but not in the same way such as their brand identity or the market segments that they are targeting might be different from your own. As a result, to properly compare yourself to your competitor and to have the advantage over them, you need to find one that is very similar to what and how you run your business.
How do you analyse their site optimisation?
Luckily for you we know a couple of websites great for keyword and competitor researching. One such site that we use often is SEM Rush. SEM Rush provides all sorts of reports for you and your competitors business such as their targeted keywords, ranking for them, giving information about the amount of back links and on-site SEO etc. This might be a great start to start comparing what your competitor does differently to you SEO wise and how you work on their weaknesses and make them your strengths.
How is their content?
The easiest and simplest way to find this out is actually visiting their site! When you look at their content look at how they might format and write their content. Then objectively write down what they do well and what they don’t do well. For example, their blog pages look beautiful but their content is shallow and brief.
With this information you can work on their weaknesses by making your blog pages beautiful and then one up your competitor by making your content rich and in depth.
What are they uploading on their social handles?
Next step is to check their social media! If you want to avoid the hassle of searching through each individual social media site, go onto their website and look for the social media icons. It usually indicates the social media sites that they frequent on.
Some things to look for when on their social media is what are they posting? Such as text, photos, or videos mainly. How frequent are they posting, usually indicating how active the business is with keeping up with their social credibility and content creation and lastly whether it is effective. So, you’d want to look at the engagement on each post and the response that it receives, the reviews and the conversations that are occurring.
With all this information you might want to tailor your social media strategy to either follow or differentiate from your competitors. For example, if providing videos for your product is popular on their site, you might want to do the same or follow a different route and offer photos in a unique way. Regardless, the focus of analysing their social media is to see where you can improve on your own and how you can work around your competitors’ weakness to turn it into your strength.
Do a SWOT analysis
A SWOT Analysis the most commonly used technique for firstly assessing your own businesses capabilities but your competitors too. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Strengths and weaknesses refer to your business internally where as Opportunity and Threats refer to the business’ competitor’s capabilities are and how you can capitalise on it or be threatened by it.
Below is an example of a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis is not something you do only once and set it aside. Top performing American companies use this tool every time they make a new decision or when they want to reassess their position. It is a great way to structure all the notes you have on yourself and your competitors, allowing you to clearly see what you and your competitors are doing right and wrong.
Why don’t you grab yourself a pen and paper and try it yourself? What are things you feel you business excels at or maybe is lacking in. Now look to your competitors. What are they doing better than you and what can you do to take advantage of their weaknesses?
You might be thinking; do I have the time for this?
The blunt truth is – The digital space is competitive and if you want to have an edge over your competitors, you’re going to have to set aside time for this. Otherwise you would be just constantly chasing them or worse yet not even know that your strategies and decisions have no effect on your business growth.