What’s A Competitive Analysis?
By Raoul Didisheim
You may well wonder why you need a Competitive Analysis. Your website looks great, you’ve done a site audit, fixed any errors, and your SEO plan is in place. You’re even pretty well placed in Google for the keywords you’re targeting.
But what are your opponents up to? What are they doing that you’re not? Could you be doing better?
A Competitive Analysis will give you these insights and should be part of any digital strategy.
If you want a competitive advantage, you must know what your competitors are doing.
What are their strengths and weaknesses? How are they viewed by your existing and potential customers or clients? What strategies do you have to implement to compete effectively?
How a company takes this approach will vary depending on the business and from where it draws its customers.
At Didisheim Consulting, we focus on how to grow our clients’ online presence as it relates to their overall company goals. We use a Competitive Analysis as the first step of our roadmap.
Before we conduct our research, the first step in our Competitive Analysis process is to ask a series of questions to help us better understand your business from your perspective. Some things we look at are:
- The 10-15 top competitors from your point of view. (They are not always who you think.)
- Your most profitable customer traffic sources, where you get your prospects?
- Industry blogs and news sites your prospects follow.
- Access to any data from current site analytics, online ads, email campaigns, direct mail, customer demographic data, as much sales data as possible.
- Your top three buying personas.
- The top reasons that caused these personas to act. Most likely, the reasons will be emotional and different from each other.
How is your business really performing?
After examining your view of your business online, we perform a reality check of our own.
We perform a preliminary audit of your site and see how it ranks for meaningful search terms to your business.
Often we find several technical/SEO problems that require correction, and while fixing these issues will improve the search rankings slightly, this work won’t get you to page one of the search results that matter most in your market.
Before we get the data, we can’t determine what channels are best for conversion. After we complete the report, we will know where to get the best conversions against what competitors, who are your real online competitors, what keywords to use, and what kind of marketing we should do from what channels.
The Deep Dive
Here is where we look deeper into the specifics of your business.
We conduct a Competitive Analysis and communication brief. This exercise will provide an objective and thorough understanding of where your competition is, your positions within your market, and where you specifically need to go.
We also examine your competitors’ successes and failures, and that helps us design a well-executed program that will work from the start.
Based on this knowledge, we can present a high-level action plan that looks something like the following. Again, the approach would vary based on your business.
Competitive Website Analysis
- Analysis of your top competitor websites
- Their site structure
- How they segment their audience
- Their marketing tactics
- Their Search Engine Optimization campaigns
- Their key message and how it compares to or affects yours
- Their offers and the way they relate to or impact yours
- Their media buys that had success, and the ones that didn’t
- Their keyword buys that had success, and the ones that didn’t
- Media analysis – their mentions in the news
- Keyword search engine results tracking – you vs. competition
- Social media tracker – you vs. competition
- Brand monitoring (how you and your competition rate in online mentions)
- Your defined marketing value proposition
- Content voice
- Audience segmentation
- Buyer Personas
- Your buyers’ journey
- Product segmentation (what your audience is buying)
- Content for each stage of your buyers’ journey
A high-level Action Plan
This personalized marketing planner optimizes your marketing around:
- Who your optimal customers are and where they sit in the buyer’s journey
- The expected cyclical buying cycle of your customer
- Live events that matter to your audience
- Promotions you do regularly
- Promotions your competition does regularly
- Planned product launches
- Any new sectors into which you want to grow
A Competitive Analysis will demonstrate how to fine-tune or replace a company’s website, social media, and ad campaigns and go beyond your rival’s best techniques.
Combined with implementation, a Competitive Analysis gives you the ability to see how your competition is spending their marketing dollars and allows you to plan when to begin campaigns on certain keywords and when to end them. Paid or organic.
When competing business change their tactics, you know immediately. You can see every offer and new marketing tactic the moment it hits the internet. Keeping an eye on the competition will allow you to respond to changes in your market and stay at the forefront.
Founded by Raoul Didisheim, Didisheim Consulting helps companies succeed online by defining and implementing a digital strategy as it relates to their overall business.
Didisheim Consulting also provides solutions for the private sector and individuals facing disinformation and personal risk to their reputation.