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Chess Game Strategy For Competitor


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Sun Tzu might have been talking about war strategies centuries ago, but the principles still most definitely apply in business. In this digital age, if your marketing strategy does not include a thorough competitor analysis, then you run the risk of defeat.

Who are your biggest competitors? If the answer to this question is not at the top of your head, then you are not taking advantage of your full digital marketing potential.

Competitive analysis is the most effective technique for mapping out your business ranking in the marketplace. Once you understand where you stand, you can then create a kickass digital marketing strategy that will outperform the competition, reach new customers and win the branding war.

Who should learn how to do competitor analysis?

Any business owner who wants to have an effective digital marketing strategy must first conduct a competitor analysis. Thanks to the internet and social networks, you can now snoop on pretty much any company and their marketing strategies. These can tell you two things: what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.

You can also enlist the help of an agency that offers Digital Marketing Services. Their expertise can prove handy in giving you objective insights about your company and your competitors.

How to do competitor analysis and set your business apart

Currently, 50% of firms involved in digital marketing do not have a strategy according to a report by Smart Insights and TMF&A.

This means that if you know how to do competitor analysis and use the information from your research to develop your digital marketing strategy, then you will be leapfrogging ahead of at least half your competition. Furthermore, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your business rivals is essential for boosting your competitive edge.

The two main steps of competitor analysis

1.    Identifying your competitors

  • Set your goals
  • Pick a list of the biggest threats to your business

2.    Analyzing your data

  • Gather information
  • Analyze data and find areas that need improvement
  • Implement the necessary changes from your intelligence-gathering work
Digital Marketing Research Process

Infographic by StableWP

Competitor Analysis Step 1:   Identifying your competitors

Set your goals

A competitor analysis or competitive research specializes in the collection and review of information about rival companies. Like any research, it must have some clear objectives. For example, you can aim to find out:

  • The most threatening competitors
  • The strengths and weaknesses of rival firms
  • What digital marketing strategy you can adopt from the best players in the industry

Defining clear goals for your website competitor analysis is essential for your digital marketing strategy because it will help you set the scope and gauge the success of your competitive research.

Pick a list of the biggest threats to your business

Competitor Types

Infographic by Masha Maksimava on Buffer

Many firms, especially ones that already enjoy a large chunk of the market share, typically assume that they know who their competitors are. Some don’t even care. After all, they are doing great!

But in the world we live in today, new and innovative companies disrupt the market in a matter of days. Therefore, you must approach competitive research with an open mind since preconceived notions may lead to misleading conclusions.

Furthermore, businesses are reviewing and changing their digital marketing strategies frequently. You cannot live in a bubble and assume that everything shall be well. It is critical to re-examine the competitive environment whenever you can, and it always starts with knowing the other players in your field.

Competition falls into three main categories:

  • Primary competition– businesses the same services or products as you and those that target the same audience in their digital marketing communications
  • Secondary competition – businesses selling products in a similar niche. For example, a secondary competitor to a website development firm is a mobile development firm
  • Tertiary competition – firms that are not competing with you directly but may become a threat in the future

Five sources of information in identifying your competitors

1. Search engine result pages (SERPs)

This is an obvious one. Whenever you are looking for information in 2020, you know Google is your friend (also Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.). Checking out search engines is the best starting point when it comes to competition research.

Of course, Google will give you results based on the keywords you use. Therefore, try to put yourself in the shoes of a customer who is looking for your services and see what comes up.

2. Google maps

Man Holding Phone With Google Maps On Screen

Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

Google is also excellent at finding businesses near you. You can easily discover competitors around you using relevant keywords. For example, if you are running an IT firm in Boston, you could search for ‘mid-level IT company downtown Boston’ to see a list of similar businesses near you.

Then, all you have to do is note down all the essential information and record it in your website competitor analysis checklist for further analysis.

3. Paid ads

Not all your competitors invest in SEO efforts. Therefore, some of your biggest threats may not show up on the first page of Google’s organic results. It is then essential to pay attention to the paid ads and see if that is a digital marketing strategy some of your rivals prefer.

4. Customers

Your customers are an excellent source of knowledge concerning your competitors. First, most customers spend a lot of time researching different businesses to find the best solutions for their issues.

Try asking a few questions like:

  • What features make them prefer your business to others?
  • What are other companies doing better for them?
  • Where can your business improve?

Additionally, new entrants in the market are always employing new features and benefits to try and steal your customers. You must keep your finger on the pulse and stay on top of such threats.

5. Find out who is ranking for your target keywords

You want to know who is ranking for the same keywords you are targeting if you have a chance at beating them. Fortunately, some tools can help you with this; one of our favorites is SpyFu. This tool’s primary purpose is to do competitive research for both paid and organic traffic.

All you need to do is type in a URL that you want to analyze, and it will give you all the details concerning you and your competitors. These include, but not limited to:

  • A list of your competitors
  • SEO and PPC competitive research
  • Backlink analysis

Competitor Analysis Step 2: Analyzing your data

Now that you know who your competitors are, you can go to the next step and start analyzing the data using different metrics and tools. Here is a sample template that you can use as a guide in your analysis:

Competitive Analysis Framework

Competitive Analysis Framework by Myk Pono


A competitive analysis is a great tool that gives you much-needed insight into your business and its immediate environment. As a business owner, knowing how to do competitor analysis gives you an edge in an ever-changing, competitive market.

It is crucial to carry out the process objectively to avoid bias and landing on the wrong conclusions. It is a good idea to use a trusted third-party SEO firm so they can help out with the competitive research and digital marketing strategy preparation for your business.

If you would like to speak with a digital marketing specialist so you can start with your website competitor analysis, get in touch with us today.

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