Online Competitor Analysis – What’s The Point!

In any professional sport one of the vital roles in preparation for a match is competitor analysis. Countless hours are spent analysing video footage, looking at tactics and pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. All of this information is then used to pick the most effective team and tactics.

If a professional coach or manager wasn’t doing this, then they could well be setting themselves up for failure. The same could be said in business. For any company trying to make the most of their online business opportunities, it’s surprising how many business owners don’t analyse the competition. Instead they will often make blind marketing decisions based on hope rather than cold, hard facts.

Given the fact that the internet is fairly transparent, it makes it all the more easier for businesses to carry outcompetitor analysis than it would in the ‘bricks and mortar’ world. With this in mind, here are some important facts on why this should be a priority for any company looking to expand their online business.

Positioning

For any business, knowing where they’re positioned amongst their competitors is vital to success. Using online tools the internet allows you get an accurate picture of how you stack up against your competitors. From this, you can then put strategies in place to either improve positioning or maintain it.

Identify key strategies and tactics used

Solid investigation into how your competitors perform online using online tools can uncover key strategies and tactics that they use in order to be that one step ahead of their rivals, namely you! These are tactics which can probably be replicated by you to improve your results, or alternatively you can identify strategies that will leapfrog what they are doing.

Identify new competitors

Keeping abreast of who’s doing what in your market is vital, although sadly this is often overlooked. The internet allows you to keep a close eye on the ‘movers and shakers’ in your area of business, and as a result it allows you to be stay that one step ahead. Very often it is not the competitors that you know well who will put you out of business – it is the new entrant that will shake things up. After all, look what Amazon did to the book business or indeed Apple did to the music industry?

Close scrutiny through Competitor Analysis

Just imagine how much easier it would be if you were told that you could closely scrutinise a competitor in terms of where their main focus lies, where they are targeting, their strengths and weaknesses, and their best practices? Proficient online analysis of your competition allows you to do just this. Looking at questions such as

  • What keywords, products or services to the focus on
  • What social media channels are they using and to what effect
  • How and where are they advertising and who is this targetting

Learning from competitor activity

By discovering what activities have been successful and what hasn’t worked for your competition it allows you to avoid timely and indeed costly marketing mistakes. This then enables you to set more realistic goals and targets.

In essence competitor analysis should be used as a regular part of your online marketing strategy and if done correctly can position your business ahead of your rivals. So like any great sporting team, if you want to succeed then do your homework and above all be prepared!