Carrying out a competitive analysis can sometimes be a time-consuming task. Fear not! Your analysis does not have to be a daunting chore. Based on training that I have attended and personal experiences, I can provide you with 9 useful yet simple ways of conducting your competitive analysis.
One of the first steps in undertaking a competitive analysis is to identify your current and potential competitors.
Your competitors can be:
Your competitors can be identified in a number of simple ways. You can do this by recording natural search results on search engines, conducting customer surveys in order to find out who they are buying from, using your referrer data, and surprisingly word-of-mouth.
Once you have identified your competitors, you can then analyse the environment. This environment consists of your competitor’s strategies, tactics, and value proposition. If you can analyse these, then you will have a strong competitive advantage.
Joining your competitors’ email lists allows you to find out all of their promotions, new products and announcements.
Buy from your competitors or make use of their services. If you do this, you can generate ideas on how to improve your product or service by analysing theirs. It also allows you to take note of their after sales process, which again allows you to improve yours or distinguish if yours is better than theirs.
Search your main keywords on Google, Yahoo, and MSN and record who is spending more and who is spending less for their ads.
GoogSpy is a free tool that allows you to see what keywords your competitors are bidding on. You can type in your own domain in order to see what competitors come up.
A pros and cons list can prove to be very useful when it comes to comparing your business to your competitors. By taking, for example your main competitor’s websites and your own website, and doing a pros and cons for each, you can picture how well yours is doing in comparison and where you can improve.
Analyse who are the first few businesses that pop up in the local search when you search your main keywords.
Take note of what Google page your competitors are listed on, if they are using re-marketing, if they have an active blog, and if they have active social media accounts.
Research your main competitor’s product range. The product range is usually available on their website. This gives you an insight into what they are selling, gives you an idea on what you could also potentially sell, and what you are selling that they are not.
By following these 9 tips, you are not only working smarter, but you are on the road to effectively optimising opportunities and eliminating threats.