It’s no longer a secret that keeping an eye on the competition is essential to the success of any business. The competitor website analysis will give you insight into the strategies and tactics your competitors are using to attract customers and grow their business.
And who could deny the unparalleled advantage of having access to reliable, up-to-date data? This information helps you effectively analyse your competitors, see where they’re winning and losing, and make adjustments to market trends as they occur. Without it, you’ll most likely be constantly running behind, trying to catch up.
That’s why we decided to create a step-by-step guide to explore how you can effectively analyse your competitors’ websites, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and figure out their unique competitive advantage. You’ll get a detailed roadmap with actionable insights and some proven tips to begin your systematic side-by-side comparison.
Whether you’re just getting started in the business or looking to revamp your business, you’ll find all the tips and tricks you need to know here. Read on to learn exactly where to start a competitor website analysis. Repeat the process regularly, and look forward to seizing opportunities by making actionable decisions that will fuel your growth.
What Is a Competitor Website Analysis?
An analysis of your competitors’ websites evaluates their online presence to understand their marketing strategies and identify potential gaps and opportunities for your own business. Exploring your competitors’ tactics to attract customers will allow you to develop a more effective online marketing strategy that will set you apart from the competition.
Competitor website analysis can provide insight into what tactics work best for other businesses in your industry. Since there’s a good chance that your target audience is similar, you can adjust your marketing approach and set failproof strategies to capture their attention..
Competitor analysis can also tell you what your competitors aren’t doing, revealing weaknesses in their marketing that you can exploit. Regardless of the result, competitive analysis is crucial for staying ahead of the game.
Why Is Competitor Website Analysis So Important?
Today’s fierce competitive environment forces every business owner to fight for their own piece of the pie. So if you want to achieve more and increase your market share, you should know exactly your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Before you launch a new product or service in your niche market or expand your business, you need a razor-sharp understanding of the competitive landscape. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is one of the most effective competitive analysis tools.
SWOT analysis helps you map evolving industry and market trends, evaluate opportunities, adjust your marketing campaigns, and refine your marketing strategy to outperform your rivals’ efforts.
5 Steps to Performing an Effective Competitor Website Analysis
Some companies always cast a much larger shadow over the industry than their actual share. Likewise, unexpected players are lurking in hidden niches of your market, waiting for the perfect opportunity to show up. This systematic step-by-step guide will uncover their identity and tell you whether or not they pose a threat.
#1 Identify Your Competitors and Their Overall Capability
The first step is finding companies that offer similar products or services. Put them into different categories based on the estimated number of customers, the exact nature of their solution to market needs, and the product or service they offer – quality, value, price, etc.
Then categorise them again based on the type of competitors into: direct and indirect. Direct competitors are businesses identical to you in all three areas: a similar target audience, similar solutions to the same problem, and the same product category.
Indirect competitors are identical in only two of the three areas. They might target the same audience or offer a similar product or service but with a completely different solution.
Once you have identified your main competitors, it is time to do background checks. The following information can help you analyse their position in the market: Company size, location, and the number of employees.
This information is also very easy to find in national business registries, official government sites, and even on the company’s website or accounts on social networks like LinkedIn. The next step is to gather financial and business information, including stock value, ownership, investors, acquisitions, and mergers.
Company financial statements should be readily available on business review sites such as Dun & Bradstreet, Hover, etc. Try sites like Crunchbase, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter for startups and tech companies.
#2 Evaluate Their Website Performance
We mainly have design, content, and SEO practices in mind when we talk about web performance. Pay attention to specific keywords or search terms the company advertises, its page structure, CTAs, online services like a free consultation, live chat, etc.
What does their customer support look like? What are the communication channels, phone, email, or other? Do they offer 24/7 support or promise to respond within 24 hours?
Focus on the unique features and values of the company and the benefits it highlights. Every company represents itself in a certain way, and its website is the most vivid picture of its brand image. A competitor’s website analysis can provide valuable insight into their competitive advantages and show you ways to stand out from the competition.
Pay particular attention to things that are missing. If every competitor offers a free trial and only one doesn’t, it’s a sign that this lone wolf is confidently positioning itself as an elite company or service. But remember that sometimes your initial assumptions will be proven wrong as you collect more evidence. So keep an open mind.
#3 Identify Their Target Segment & Market Strategy
Now that you understand your competitor’s business well, it’s time to analyse their marketing strategy and identify their target segment. This can be tricky, as they are not specified on the website or in marketing materials. However, there are a few clues.
One of the easiest ways to quickly understand your competitors’ customer typology, especially for B2B companies, is to look at their customer list. B2B companies like to brag about their customers to gain the trust of new prospects, so you should be able to find the list on the homepage or subpages of their website.
If that does not yield results, tailor your search to match the competitor’s terminology. For example, if terms like “startups in the technology sector” are frequently used, that’s likely what you are looking for. You can also read customer testimonials to get an idea of current customers.
Now it’s time to identify the company’s strategic approach. Usually, any marketing approach boils down to lead generation. So the best advice is to take a few steps into the target audience’s shoes and go down the funnel. Read a few blog articles, sign up for their services, and try out any free tools they offer. Discover their top traffic referrers and the top sources of referrals as well.
Make sure you are methodical about categorising and organising all the information you collect. This will save you a lot of time later and provide brilliant ideas for future improvements.
#4 Get to Know the Buyers
A competitor website analysis is not just about competitors. The role of customers is equally important. Website design alone can tell you what age group and demographics your competitors are targeting. And with the right analytics tool, you can also narrow down whether gender, geographic location, identity, or language are critical to the customer journey.
You can use tactics like situational analysis to understand your audience’s expectations in different scenarios. This analysis focuses on factors influencing a customer’s state of mind, such as their education, knowledge, attention level, and ability to process information.
However, website analysis is just one step in a longer process. You must look at the entire digital landscape, including mobile app intelligence. In 2021, over 58% of all web traffic came from mobile devices. And there is every indication that this trend will continue to grow in favour of mobile consumer habits.
#5 Analyse Their Social Media Strategy
Competitors’ social media activity is an excellent reflection of their overall marketing approach. Check the number of followers and their engagement rate. See what posts are most popular, how followers are engaging, and how your competitors respond.
Remember that content marketing is critical to a website’s success. Every business takes a different approach and chooses a different medium and type of content to engage their audience, but the goal is the same for all: drive traffic, convert leads and grow the customer base.
Again, the best way to analyse the impact of content is to experience it as a user. Visit each site and compare the type of content they produce (blog posts, videos, podcasts, a combination of these three types, etc.). Also, pay attention to the type of topics covered, the articles and posts’ structure, and the publication frequency.
A competitor website analysis can help you identify weaknesses and opportunities in your organisation that you were unaware of. It also opens up new possibilities by revealing gaps in the market that aren’t yet being exploited. So, no further justification is needed to make this process an integral part of your company’s online strategy.
However, this isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of time, energy, and most importantly, years of experience and trained eyes to spot every opportunity. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about walking this rocky road alone. We’re happy to guide you and provide everything you need to make your marketing campaign work.
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