Of course, Sun Tzu is quoted even in the context of business! So, think about the fact that he said, “If you know yourself, but not the enemy - for every victory gained you will suffer one defeat” and you will know exactly why competitive analysis is extremely important for your business. There are different parameters that you can include when it comes to competitor analysis and it would be pertinent to look at the metrics that matter.

Social-media-engagementSocial media engagement

Yes, going social is everything as far as today’s business climate is concerned. You should therefore pay attention to the social audience engagement and frequency and quality of conversations conducted by your competitors. Aspects such as the following should go into an assessment of social media engagement:

  • Online sentiment towards your competitors’ brands
  • The amount of social sharing of the competition’s content
  • Influence, reach and amplification

Search engine rankings

It can be something as simple as inputting the keywords that matter to your business and checking out how many websites figure in search engine rankings. Then determine why your competitors’ pages are garnering higher rankings than yours for certain terms. It would then make sense to put the same successful practices to work for your site!

There are quite a few online tools that are available that allow you to input a keyword and add your own domain and a competitor’s domain to compare results.

Don’t overlook the importance of doing some thorough digging into your competitors’ backlinks too – they may present opportunities for you as well that will contribute to increased keyword rankings and traffic to your pages.

Monitoring advertisements

It is important to know what keywords your competition is bidding on when it comes to online ads. It is also important to know where your competition is advertising and what their PPC efforts are like. There are plenty of online tools that allow you to:

  • check the ads that companies are using
  • locations of these advertisements
  • split testing

Website standings

Another useful metric to use when it comes to competitor analysis is to check out how the websites measure in terms of traffic, content, social mentions and authority. Again, there are plenty of firms that deal with analyzing the health of websites and you can easily retain their services to get comprehensive and accurate insights into what your competition is doing.

Online reputation

Online reputations of any company, including yours, consists of:

  • appearance in the search engine results pages
  • discussions on various forums
  • social sentiment and tone of influencers / brand advocates towards your company
  • reviews and existence of any complaints on well-known (and well-visited) 3rd party information sites

It would be useful for you to check about the number of times that your competitor’s blog has been mentioned or shared across various platforms. Perhaps the easiest way in which you can do this is to subscribe to their blogs or even follow them on their different social media accounts. Again, signing up for the company’s newsletter is also an extremely good idea because you can get a first-hand impression about what they are doing right or what they are doing wrong.

How do you size up a competitor in the online world?