Unless you’re marketing earrings made from old coffee cans, chances are there are other companies out there offering a similar product or service as you. Establishing an edge over these competitors is just part of the daily grind.
But ask yourself, to what extent are you prepared to gain an edge over your competitors? Simply knowing what they offer is not enough.
With the advent of new software and technology, marketers and business owners have the ability to know more about their competition than ever before. It is extremely important to regularly conduct a thorough competitive analysis in order to stay one step ahead.
We’ve put together a 5-step process for completing a detailed competitive analysis. Keep in mind that by using software like HubSpot, all the information regarding your competitors is easily attainable. In fact, you can view each of your competitors website grade in order to see how yours stacks up.
If you’re interested in learning more about HubSpot, be sure to check out our ebook “The Essential Guide for Mastering HubSpot.”
How to Conduct Your Competitive Analysis
1. Identify Your Top Ten Competitors
2. Analyze Content
Once you’ve identified your competitors you can kick start your competitive analysis and dig a little deeper to gain a better understanding of what type of content they’re publishing. Analyzing their content can help you determine what opportunities you have t0 help outperform your competitors. What types of content creation do your competitors focus on, a blog? Case studies? Premium content?
Different types of content can include:
- Blog posts
- Visual content
- Feature articles
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Buyer guides
Once you’ve located where their content lives, you can determine the quality and most importantly you can see how it stacks up to your content. Be sure that you look for how frequently they are blogging, adding and updating new content, as well as what topics are they frequently discussing. Are they doing anything that you aren’t?
3. SEO Structure
So far your competitors have the same type of content, add and update it just as frequently and both have awesome quality, so what is your competitors doing differently from you? It might be the structure of their SEO. If your company has a blog your know how important your SEO structure is. While conducting a competitive analysis on the type of content your competitors are generating, it is also beneficial to check out the SEO structure of that content.
How are your competitors using keywords, are they included in:
- The page title
- The URL architechture
- H1 Tags
- Keyword Density (how many times it’s used on a single page)
- Internal links
- Image alt text
4. Their Social Media Integration
A companies presence on social media is becoming increasingly more important everyday, and every company is utilizing the each platform differently. Social media sites are a great way for companies to interact with users and fans. Additionally these sites allow you to share your content. The next step of your competitive analysis is to determine how your competitors are using social media and integrating it into their marketing.
Can your competitors be found on:
Not only is it important to see if your competitors can be found on social media platforms, but you also want to see how effectively they’re using their profiles. What type of information are they posting? Do they ever post? Are people following them? Do they have cover photos and profile photos? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when you are checking your competitors profiles. Just because they have a profile does not mean that they are continually updating the pages and adding new content.
Do your competitors have awesome social media profiles? If they do, don’t just click off the page quickly, learn from what they are doing. Are there things you could utilize and take ideas from help establish your presence? Maybe a company might not even be a direct competitor, but find a company in your industry that’s established and develops great content, learn from key influencers in your industry.
5. Identify Areas of Improvement
After performing a competitive analysis, you now have a better idea and understanding of what your competitors are doing. Take all the information you gathered about each competitor and identify particular areas that need improvement. After looking at your competitors, you cannot tell me that you didn’t find at least one thing you need to improve on.
Not only will you be able to identify key areas that you can improve upon in regards to your content creation, search engine optimization and social media engagement but you can also help establish your company’s presence with potential customers, blog readers/subscribers and social media users.