Competitive analysis—two words that many bloggers read. Is it really that technical, or is this something that you can do on your own?
Today, you will learn the following things:
- What is competitive analysis?
- Why is competitive analysis important?
- Steps to perform competitive analysis
At the end of this tutorial, you should be ready to perform this type of analysis on your own, and make the necessary improvements to your website to be able to compete better.
What is Competitive Analysis?
Competitive analysis is the process of looking at what your competition is doing. It also involves the study of how your competitors are performing.
Here are some of the things you study:
- Company history, acquisitions, products, services, pricing
- Target customers, primary and secondary buyers, and messaging platforms
- Product-specific issues like strengths and weaknesses
Once you know all of these, you will have a better picture of what you are up against. It is like sports. In sports, you watch how your competitors play, and then you identify weaknesses that you can exploit.
Why is Competitive Analysis Important?
Competitive analysis is critical if you want to be able to compete. As you can see, entrepreneurship is about competition—you are fighting against other entrepreneurs to get a larger share of the market.
In short, you have to study the enemy, so you understand what they are doing.
Here are the reasons why you need to do competitive analysis:
- Identify gaps that you can fill – not all your competitors have a perfect product; you will certainly find areas that they do not serve. These are customer needs that your competitors have not taken a look into, and you can exploit these gaps so you can sell a product that fulfills customer expectations.
- Develop better products and services – even as a blogger, you have the opportunity to produce something better than your competitors. As you know, content is king. The only way you can rank high on Google is by outdoing your competitors. If you can provide better value, you can expect more traffic and customers.
- Identify trends – you cannot possibly be a trendsetter all the time. Your competitors have employees who do brainstorming sessions, and perhaps you don’t. If you see your competitors publishing new materials, then perhaps it is time that you do the same.
As you can see, competitive analysis puts you on top of your game. Without it, you are creating content that does not resonate with your audience, much less content that could compete toe-to-toe with other blogging giants.
Steps to Perform Competitive Analysis
Let us now discuss the four main areas of competitive analysis for your blog and how you can do it. Before you can do this, you need to know who your competitors are.
But how? Simply type the main keywords about your industry in Google search, and you will find your competitors. These are websites that are catering to the same audience as you are.
1. Business Metrics
As a blogger, what you want to do is to see how your competitor is performing as a business. You need a keyword tool to identify what their top-ranking pages are, what keywords they use, and how they are performing in terms of traffic.
You need a tool like SEMRush and AHREFS—these are costly tools, but they will deliver what you need.
With these tools, you will see how your competitor is performing in search engines, how many social media shares they got, and what kind of content is ranking. Business metrics also include subscriber base, and you can find this in their social media channels.
When we say products, we are not just talking about items for sale, but what your competitor offers as a whole.
Here are some examples:
- Blog – what kind of blog posts is your competitor publishing? You need to know if the blog posts are long or short, and what kind of topics they are targeting. Then, you need to compare your existing posts with what they have already published.
- Freebies – is your competitor offering free stuff? If they are, what are these? You need to register and download it to your competitor’s email list. This way, you can receive the free eBook, or have access to the free webinar. You also need to check out their YouTube channel and then find out what kind of free content they are publishing from that platform.
- Paid products – next, you have to find out what your competitors are actually selling, if you can afford to buy the product, then do it. If not, research about it and read reviews.
This is a critical part of your investigation. You have to list down your findings of your competitors in contrast to what you already have. Once you have done the comparison, you would know how to act.
3. Customer Base
This is not an easy kind of analysis, and this is pretty much subjective. There is no way you can get objective data about your competitor’s customers.
The best thing you can do is to lurk in their social media channel, and then determine what kind of audiences they have. You can do this by reading comments, looking at the profiles of the people who engage with their posts, and looking at their ads.
Since there is no guarantee that you will see their ads, what you can do is to visit their website frequently, and then check if they have new announcements. If they have a landing page for a sales funnel, go there, and then understand what kind of customer they are targeting.
4. Marketing Strategies
The last thing to perform in the competitive analysis is to determine how they market their products. This should be visible on their website.
Here are some examples:
- Lead magnets – what kind of lead magnets are offered on the site?
- Products – how do they write the product descriptions?
- Offers – do they offer bonuses and free stuff? How about coupons?
Study how the company entices its readers to subscribe, or what they do to attract customers. Find out how they offer knowledge and value to their customers. As I mentioned earlier, you need to register for their free offers. Only then will you get to know how they send follow-up emails as part of their marketing approach.
Note that this is different from product investigation. Here, your aim is to understand how they are converting cold traffic into engaged customers. In product investigation, your goal is to understand what products they have, and the quality of the products that they are offering.
These are the four main elements of competitive analysis. Your job is to list down the facts, strengths, and weaknesses of each area, and then see how they stack up with your company.
A competitive analysis allows your business to have a fighting chance. Instead of doing things blindly, you are putting your company in a position where you know the stakes and where you know what customers demand.
An analysis like this allows you to look at your business objectively. As such, you can put your business on a baseline, and then improve from there—all based on facts, not opinions.
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