There are very few truly unique companies in the world. Even if you feel you have no direct competitors, we all have indirect competition – those businesses you’re your target market spends money with rather than spending it with you.
For example, you may be the only gym in town, but the local park runs and suppliers of home gym equipment are definitely competitors!
Simply knowing what competition you have and what they offer is not enough.
You have the ability to know more about your competition than ever before. Use this opportunity to learn about them and get ahead of them – before they do the same to you!
Here are some things you should be thinking about:
- Who are my top ten competitors?
- On what basis am I able to compete?
- What is the range of products and services they offer?
- Are their products or services aimed at satisfying similar target markets?
- Are my competitors profitable?
- Are they expanding? Scaling down?
- How long have they been in business?
- What are their positive attributes in the eyes of customers?
- What are their negative attributes in the eyes of customers?
- How do current customers view us compared to the competition?
- How can I distinguish my company from my competitors?
- Do they have a competitive advantage; if so, what is it?
- What is their marketing strategy?
- What is their promotional strategy?
- What are their pricing structures?
- Do they operate in the same geographic area?
- Have there been any changes in their targeted market segments?
- What is their size? Revenues?
- What is their percentage of market share?
- What is their total sales volume?
- What is their growth rate?
- How do they rate on:
quality of product/service?
hours of operations?
Here is a simple process to follow:
Identify Your Top Ten Competitors
If you need any help identifying your competitors, Google the type of service or product you are offering. Ask around and look at local advertising as well. Talk to prospective customers – who do they use for the product or service you will offer?
Analyse and Compare Competitor Content
Once you've identified your competitors, you can start to get an understanding of what type of content they're publishing.
Different types of content can include:
- Blog posts
- Visual content
- Feature articles
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Buyer guides
Once you've found their content, see how it compares to yours. Check how frequently they publish and update it. What are they doing that you haven’t planned to? This helps you identify where you need to focus your effort and should also give you some ideas for content!
Analyse Their SEO Structure
How are your competitors using keywords, are they included in:
- The page title
- The URL architechture
- H1 Tags
- Internal links
- Image alt text
Not only should you check the SEO structure of the content but also what types of keywords your competitors use.
When trying to rank for specific keywords, rather than looking for keywords that have high search volumes, look for keywords that have lower search volumes, these types of keywords tend to be long-tail keywords making the keyword more specific.
Also by looking at your competitors keywords, you can generate a list of additional keywords that you can start to target.
Check out their Social Media strategy
A company's presence on social media is key and every company uses it differently., so how are your competitors are using social media and integrating it into their marketing?
Check out the owners and senior managers on LinkedIn - what type of information are they posting? Do they ever post? Are people following them? Do they have cover photos and profile photos?
Identify Areas for Improvement
After performing a competitive analysis, you now have a better idea and understanding of what your competitors are doing.
Take all the information you gathered about each competitor and identify areas that you need to work on.