You enter “Competitive Analysis Tools” into your favorite Search Engine, start digging through the results and now you’re hopelessly lost. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and think about why you wanted to do this in the first place.
Why Do Competitive Analysis?
It’s all about Search Engine Ranking, right? You want to appear higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) than your competition. With better positioning, you’ll get more visitors and be in a better position to achieve the purposes of your website. With that goal as a starting point you have to first identify who your competition is. Simple. You have done your homework using Keyword Research Tools and you have a list of the keywords you are using in your site. Enter these keywords into several search engines. Start with Google since they control approximately 80% of the world-wide Internet Search market. The top sites listed in the organic links, not sponsored links, appearing on the SERP are your competitors.
Competitive Analysis Tools
With a list of your top competitors in hand you can now go back to your original search and start experimenting with some of the Competitive Analysis Software tools you found there. Some popular ones you may want to start with include ReviewMyWeb.com, webtraffic24.com, and websitegrader.com. Follow the software instructions to enter your site and your top competitors. You’ll get comparison data on your site versus the top competitor in areas like traffic, backlinks, and coverage. You’ll also get a general Web Site Comparison report that will give you page ranking data, lists of keywords used, and keyword density. You’ll even be able to see how both you and your competitor are being featured in the blogosphere. A summary report may tell you something like “you’re getting your butt kicked because you have lousy links” — but that conclusion will probably be stated in more elegant terms. Then you’ll get to that all important “How Can You Do Better” section where you will be told to “Get Better Links.”
Competitive Analysis: Another Look
These tools can’t tell you why your competitor is getting better links, only that they are. To answer that question you have to think outside the Internet technology box and go back to some old fashioned questions about the specifics of your core business versus the competition. Think for a moment about “brick and mortar” establishments. All the marketing gimmicks designed to get more customers in the store will not help if the shelves are poorly stocked with overpriced, low quality products. So perhaps you should focus on the content of your competitor’s site.
They are doing something that is generating more and better links than you are. What is it? If you have an ecommerce site and your product selection and pricing are comparable, it must be something else. Do a page by page comparison to uncover key differences. You might find your competitors include product reviews or informative articles about what is going on in your industry. Maybe they have customer feedback and testimonial sections. Perhaps their site is easier to navigate than yours. If you really want to get serious about Competitive Analysis, you have to focus on the content of your competitor’s websites. Good luck with your analysis!