When it comes to creating marketing strategy, there may be nothing more important than the tried and true competitive analysis. This is where we take a good, hard look at the competition to reveal things to mimic and what to avoid as we shape our own campaigns. No two analyses are the same as there are plenty of different directions and rabbit holes to go down at each stage of research. However, there are some basic phases to this strategic marketing staple.
Google and Keywords
It begins simple enough. Google can tell us a lot about the user intent that is driving traffic to competitors’ websites, whether we’re doing simple searches for our product or service or using the related search and autofill feature for clues.
Keyword research takes things several steps further. This is where we find the searching gaps and opportunity lies either with content, advertising or both.
Over the course of all this research, we may discover that a competitor is ranking well for a particular search term. How are they doing that? SEO-focused software like SEMrush can point you in the right direction. Ghostery is another useful tool that can uncover advertising you might not otherwise see if you are not the targeted demographic.
The website is the first place you really want to dig in. Start with the home page and ask where they are putting the emphasis. How are they capturing leads? This isn’t necessarily about design, although you may want to take notes as far as what looks good to you and what doesn’t.
It’s important to dissect the structure of the website. What does the menu look like? How is it organized? You’ll want to go through each individual page to look at what content is being presented in what priority.
What did you find in the blog or news section of the website? Was it even up to date? That could be an opportunity. Now that you’ve analyzed the website, you’ll want to break down their social media.
This is more than an inventory of content. You want to actually spend some time with all this stuff. Don’t just skim the articles, read them and understand why they were created. Watch and re-watch video content, seeking the understanding of why it was made in the first place. In fact, it’s important to note what types of content they are using and how they’re promoting it on social.
We’ve just put together a very simple framework for competitive analysis based on basic search, keyword research, and website and content analysis. This should be enough to give a rough idea and provide a little inspiration for your next campaign. Of course the tools and experience of a marketing agency can push all these steps a little further and make your next campaign a lot stronger. You can always give us a shout if you’d like to go that route.