Your business always has a competitor no matter what niche you’re in. And when you’re into e-commerce, your website can be your ace against your competitors. When doing a full website assessment, you also have to do a website competitor analysis.
Some people say that ignoring your competitors and focusing on your business is the best way to go. However, analyzing how they run their business will give you a holistic idea of how to run yours. These valuable insights can be improved to overcome your competitors in your niche.
This article will go through the different tools you can use to analyze your competitors. Along with these tools are tips to help you further improve your website’s statistics.
Why Analyze Your Competition
For every business, it’s healthy to do a full competitor analysis to know what you’re up against. Analyzing your competitor’s strategy will give you an idea of how well their strategy applies to the market. By applying the same strategy to your website, you’re certain that it will bear a positive result.
By analyzing your competitors, you will know what marketing strategies and keywords they’re targeting. With this knowledge, you can boost your online presence just by copying their strategy. Imagine the reward if you’d optimize and improve it.
How to Identify Your Competitors
A business will offer a product, whether it’s a service or an item, that satisfies your customer’s needs. Even if your product is unique, there’s always another product that will satisfy the same customer needs.
Understanding your competition can increase your website’s potential for success. You can separate these competitors into two categories: direct competitors and indirect competitors.
If another company offers the same product as you do, then that company is your direct competitor. Direct competitors offer the same products at different price points and quality of service.
This is where you need to stand out from your competition. If your target consumers are wealthy, you don’t need to compete for the price. You have to focus on the quality of your product to make sure that your consumers get what they’re paying for.
Knowing what your competitors offer will help you identify the “gaps” in your market. By placing your business in a position to fill these gaps, you can reach those customers that your direct competitors cannot.
Here are common examples of direct competitors:
- McDonald’s and Burger King
- Apple and Samsung
- Google and Bing
- Shopify and Oberlo
- Local bakery and the neighborhood BreadTalk.
Indirect competitors are businesses that offer different kinds of products from yours. But these products satisfy the same customer needs. These products are also known as “substitutes”.
These indirect competitors thrive in the same niche but sell a different kind of product. Take a local pizza shop and a burger joint for example. They sell two different food products but target the same customer need – food.
They may sell a completely different product, but their marketing strategy towards the same audience is effective. And that’s what you need to observe from your indirect competitors.
Here are common examples of indirect competitors:
- Cellphone companies and companies that sell cameras (photography)
- Make-up companies and local beauty salons (beauty)
- Uber and other car companies (Uber sells transportation services while car companies sell cars for transportation)
What to Check From Your Competitors
Tip #1: Check Website Authority and Link Profile
The first thing that you need to examine is your competitor’s authority. Their website’s authority on search engines will determine their traction to their audience. The higher their authority, the more reliable their marketing strategy is.
There are a lot of online tools to check a website’s authority and link profile. Ahrefs and Moz are the two reliable tools to check the domain rating (DR) and domain authority (DA) of a website, respectively. Other tools include SEMRush and Searchmetrics.
Tools to use: Ahrefs Site Explorer Tool
The first thing you need to do is to sign in from Ahrefs homepage. Once you’re in, click on the Site Explorer option to start tracking your competitors.
The Site Explorer Tool will ask for a domain name that you have to input on the search bar. It will start analyzing the domain once you click the search button.
You’ll be able to see the domain rating (DR) and backlink profile of your competitors. Check what sites are referring to your direct competitors. If they accepted the link from your direct competitor, there’s a good chance that they will accept yours too.
Tip #2: Identify Keyword Usage and Ranking
To understand why your competitors are so ahead of you, you have to know their secret recipe. You can optimize your content by knowing what keywords they’re using to gather organic traffic.
Search engines give a fair chance for every website to rank on the first page of SERPs. And if your competitors are ranking high on Google’s SERPs, the quality of their keywords and SEO effort must be remarkable. That’s why you have to know what keywords are they using to rank on Google.
Tools to use: BuzzSumo
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about BuzzSumo already. It’s a great tool to use if you want to find websites that are ranking for the same keywords as you do.
BuzzSumo provides a scope of high-ranking websites competing for the same keywords as yours. This tool generates high-ranking keywords that are relevant to your niche. These keywords were gathered through crawling the web for their monthly search volume.
Tip #3: Measure Organic and Paid Traffic
Improving your website’s SEO leads to more organic traffic. This will eventually improve your ranking on SERPs. Knowing which competitors attract the most organic and paid traffic means that their marketing strategies are working.
By looking at the demographics of your top competitor’s organic and paid traffic, you will have a targeted market with specific demographics. Doing a Pay Per Click (PPC) ad campaign will be easier if you have a target market.
Tools to use: SEMRush Competitive Research Toolkit
SEMRush is one of the most recommended SEO tools for digital marketers. According to a link building survey conducted by LinkDoctor™, SEMRush is the 2nd most used SEO tool for 2020.
It’s a very powerful tool that can analyze your competitor’s traffic. Just go to the Competitive Research section on the sidebar and click on the traffic analysis of your competitors.
You can start your competitor’s traffic analytics and see what kind of traffic are they receiving. Are they receiving paid or organic traffic? How do they do it? You’ll be able to answer these questions after doing the analytics.
Tip #4: Check Competitor’s Social Media Engagements
If you want to compare the engagements that your posts receive versus your competitor’s, you should track their social media engagements. Analyzing these engagements requires social media listening tools like SimilarWeb and FollowerWonk.
Tools to use: SimilarWeb
Under the “Explore” section of SimilarWeb, you’ll find a search bar where you can input your competitor’s domain. For this, we’ll compare the social media engagements of the top social media platforms in the world – Facebook and Twitter.
SimilarWeb provides an overview of the social media engagements and interactions of a website. It can also compare your website to your competitors. Detailed graphs and comparisons are also provided by this tool.
Put your domain and your competitor’s on the tool, and it will start analyzing the traffic received by the websites. There’s a free version of the tool, but the results will be limited.
Tip #5: Observe the Technology Used By Competitors
Technology can be a huge factor in why you can’t keep up with your competitors. Their content must be more optimized for search engines because they’re using more advanced tools.
When doing a web competitor analysis, you should also look into the technology that your competitors use. Observing the tools and plugins used by your competitor will give an overview of the tactics they employ.
Tools to use: BuiltWith
BuiltWith is a free website analysis tool to know the latest software and technology used by competitors. It shows a detailed technology profile of a website. It also gives an estimate of the spending used for these technologies.
This tool will give you leverage against your competitors. By knowing the technology they employ and how much they spend for it gives an estimate for your spending. You can also pick what technology to use on your website from the list this tool provides.
Other Tools for Competitor Analysis
Tracks: Authority, traffic, website rankings
Alexa is one of the most trusted website competitor analysis tools out there. The famous “Alexa rank” is a parameter used by marketers to give an estimate for the popularity of a website all over the world.
Tracks: Social media engagements (Twitter)
FollowerWonk is a social listening tool specific for Twitter user engagements. It’s best used for quick analysis and counter-checking your account with your competitor’s. It can also give you the active times of your competitors on Twitter.
Tracks: Authority, rankings, and advertisements
SpyFu is a multi-tool that can track different parameters for competitor analysis. You can see which phrases your competitors are using to rank. This tool gives enough data to give you a fruitful insight against your competitors.
Tracks: Keyword rankings
Using iSpionage will help you get leverage from high-ranking keywords used by your competitors. However, this tool is paid. To use the free version, you’ll have to make an account on their website.
Tracks: Site authority
Moz is a popular SEO tool that’s trusted by most digital marketers. Moz Link Explorer Tool gives the domain authority (DA) of the website. It’s a metric for site authority and SEO. The higher the DA, the more competitive the website is.
Tracks: Authority, ranking, and “trust” factor
MajesticSEO is a tool that tracks a website’s credibility based on the links and citations it has. It gives a holistic idea of how to improve your outreach efforts to overtake your competitors.
Tracks: Traffic demographics
Quantcast measures the user behavior of your site’s visitors. You can use this tool to get the audience demographics of your close competitors. By knowing their audience, you can optimize your content so you can attract them too.
Tracks: Authority, keyword rankings
Searchmetrics is a very special tool that will show you the keywords your competitors are ranking for. You will also see the traffic index of each keyword. You can access the top 10 keywords by making a free account but the paid version will give you every detail you need.
Tracks: Site authority, keywords, and social media engagements
Serpstat is a competitor analysis tool that will give you an advantage over your competitors. It tracks the keywords, backlinks, and social media efforts of the domain you’re analyzing. All you need to do is create an account on their website and start analyzing your competitors.
Tracks: Competitor advertisements
This website competitor analysis tool is specific in tracking efforts in advertisements. By using this information, you can see what advertising strategy has been effective for your competitors. You can employ these strategies to improve your website.
|Tool||Keyword ranking||Site authority||Social media||Site traffic||Technology||Ads|
The key to a fruitful website competitor analysis is to collect information and evaluate them, not just copy them. By understanding how these strategies allow them to rank high on SERP, you can design one of your own and improve it.
Look for strategies that work. You won’t benefit from a competitor’s strategy that’s not working.