Why Should You Research Your Competition & How Should You Do It?
There are a number of reasons why you would want to study your competition
- To improve your products and services and make them better than that of your competition
- To find your competitions' weak points and and exploit them
- To learn the way your competition operates so that you can always stay ahead of them.
- To generate your own ideas that are better.
Basic Competition Research
Search for your important keywords in Google and find the sites you think are your competitors. Open the site in a new tab.
Once you have your competition's site open, first check if it really is a competing site. Many top ranking web pages will be Made For Adsense (MFA) sites created using automated software.
If you think you have a found a competing site, it is time to dig a little more... Here are some of the things you can do...
History of the Competitor
Use the web archive to learn more about the history of the site. When did they get started? How did the website look when they started?
Remember that your competitor may have a number of websites. You may be looking at one of their smaller websites. So, check for other sites they own and operate.
Check Twitter and Facebook to see their social media presence. Do they tweet often? Do they respond to customers?
Again, remember that they may own multiple websites. So check for other sites they may be operating.
Check their web pages. Do they make it easy for their customers? Is your website better? If not, how can you improve?
Are their products presented properly? Does their website make you want to purchase?
Do they offer a newsletter?
Do they appear profitable?
Do they have third party advertisements on their sites? What do that tell you? Do they appear to be a profitable business? Are they active? Do they update their website often?
What appears to be their primary source of income?
Communication with Clients
Do they have a blog? If yes, subscribe to their blog feeds. What do their blogs discuss? Do they allow blog comments? What do people comment on their blogs?
Do you have a business blog?
Buy their products and study the way they handle the purchase process, post purchase handling, back end products, etc.
How do you compare with them?
Do they Make the News?
Go to Google News and search for the competitors. Are they in the news?
Do they have any recent press releases?
Do you do issue press releases?
Are they growing?
Are they hiring? What kind of Jobs are on offer?
Job openings often reveal their future plans and directions.
Make Use of Whatever You Learn
Use any information you learn to make your own plans and improve your products. Some of our upcoming software tools will help you organize and tabulate information such as the above.