Sunday, December 29, 2013

Expert Competitive Analysis Essentials- Top Tools and Strategies Discussed

Competition is constantly increasing and to increase the rate of conversions coming from your site, you need to think like an expert and use special tools that enhance your power to gather and analyze data. In a broader sense, competitor analysis (CI) is the study and analysis of data gathered from your competitors.

The Essentials- How to Perform Competitive Analysis like an Expert?

There are certain essentials which you must keep in mind before analyzing the data. These essential points are shared below:

Specify the Objectives- Before the start of any campaign, you must take some time and list down all your objectives which you are trying to fulfill from the campaign.

Identify Your Biggest Competitors- Create a list of your brand rivals. Instead of identifying the top 3 competitors related to your targeted keywords only, try and check the overall traffic of the top performing sites and analyze them separately.

Identify Strengths- The next step is Observe Their Products and Services- Check out their services thoroughly and carry out a comparative analysis what your products/services are missing.

Perform SWOT Analysis- One of the greatest step you can take to analyze competitors is to perform SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for:

Image credit: Wikipedia

Strength: Identify the biggest strengths of your competitors. Factors like their social media existence, their clients, the most linked to pages that they are having on their site etc.

Weakness: Find out the weakness by identifying factors which your competitor is lacking and which you can make use of effectively.

Opportunities: Carry out a separate campaign to identify opportunities that you can capitalize upon.

Threats: Find out the threats that your competitor is facing.

Now, carry out a similar style SWOT analysis on your site.

What are the Types of Data that I Need to Gather?

Data is the core where all the analysis rests. The type of data you are using as an input counts for the output you will get after the complete analysis gets over. Let's discuss the types of data used in competitive analysis: 

Keyword Data- Identify the keywords for which your competitor's are ranking on the search engines. You may use tools like SEMrush and Alexa for this task.

PR Data- Identify the sources which are mentioning about your competitors brand. Who is taking care of their branding? How is the PR department channelizes information and makes it newsworthy? How many press releases does it sends over the month? These and many more questions should be answered while gathering the PR data.

Services Data- Identify the services that your competitor is offering. Prioritize the important sources that are generating the maximum revenue and buzz for the company. 

Geolocation Data- Track the locations where your competitor is generating the maximum revenue. Identify the sources that are leading to that growth. This will help you to identify your own markets where you can witness an exceptional growth.

What are the Tools for Compiling Data?

Thanks to the scientific and analytical approach that is being applied to the gathering of data, there exists several tools for analysis competitors which you can use for your business benefit.

Semrush - One of the best tools for analyzing competitive analysis data which provides information related to the current search engine traffic and the organic keywords that are sending in the organic traffic. It also provides data related to the backlinks.

OSE- The Open Site Explorer helps to display the domain level data related to the website. It displays the domain authority, backlinks, anchor text and social metric data.

Ahrefs- The expert link analysis tool which displays detailed link level data like number of linked domains, referring IP's, anchor text, top pages, lost backlinks over a period of time etc.

Alexa- This site analysis tool lets you quickly identify the popularity of any domain. It displays the global site rank and local site rank in the most popular country. It also displays the audience demographics as well as the top keywords sending in the traffic to the site.

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