Because it lacks an immediate drive of results, competitor research is often one of the most overlooked parts of a company’s marketing strategy. Find out why it should still remain an integral part of your activities:

Why Should I Do Digital Competitor Research?

Competitor research has many benefits, and should be a staple part of your marketing strategy. The piece can prove valuable for a variety of reasons including:

  • Checking your campaign performance against the wider industry.

    Performance of some marketing activities vary widely by industry – a cost-per-click of £2 may be a good price in your market, but expensive for a completely different sector. Similarly, within your SEO organic rankings you may be competing in a marketplace where it’s much harder to achieve a first page organic search engine than a different industry which can easily score first page locations for more niche services. This doesn’t mean that your campaigns are performing poorly; competitor research allows you to benchmark your performance in the relevant industry and align your strategy accordingly.

  • Understand the state of the marketplace.

    Identify trends that may affect your business – do you have dips in sales and traffic of your PPC campaigns in months that you can’t explain? Performing competitor research may uncover trends during that period that affects your wider competitors too.

  • Check that you’ve correctly identified your competitors.

    A lot of businesses may find that who they believe their competitors to be, and who their online competitors actually are, are actually completely different things. Based on keywords, rankings and other factors, Google may assign a completely different competitor pool to you – and these will be the people your market activity is competing for traffic against. Identifying these will give you an advantage when optimising your performance.

  • Spot opportunities.

    One of the key benefits of competitor research is the chance to analyse your competitor activities and use it to strengthen your own campaign. This could be a new set of keywords you hadn’t thought of targeting, or a compelling piece of advert copy that could inspire your own train of thought. You could also discover a whole new marketing segment to tap into, making the information discovered invaluable.

  • Maintain an aggressive marketing strategy.

    Once you understand the keywords your competitors are bidding on, and the level of spend they’re putting into these keywords, then you can start an aggressive strategy to ensure you’re competing (and triumphing) in the market.

How Do I Perform Competitor Research?

There are many SEO and PPC tools that can gather the data for your competitor research, but many of these require paid subscriptions, which can be costly.

SEO Quake is a great free toolbar that can be used to analyse the performance of a competitor’s website – pulling out key features, such as mobile optimisation of landing pages, and notes on whether your competitors are implementing key features like meta descriptions correctly.

SEO platform Moz also offer a great suite of tools that can be used to inform your research. For more information on compiling your analysis, get in touch with our team today.

When Should I Do Competitor Research?

Competitor research can be as in-depth or top-line as you need, depending on the amount of resources available to you. As the market (and your competitors’ activities) are ever-evolving, it’s good to conduct competitor bench-marking as often as possible. For companies struggling to find the time to put the resources into this analysis, a 6-monthly thorough benchmark piece is recommended, with shorter monthly reports pulling out key top-level statistics. For companies that can invest more time, a monthly in-depth report will allow you to make the most of the opportunities competitor research can present.