- 6 min. read
Matthew GibbonsLead Data & Tech Writer
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
Your biggest competitor has just launched a new digital marketing strategy in the hopes of expanding their audience and driving up revenue. Being the first ones in the industry to use the strategy, they expect it to be an easy success. Not long after, though, your business starts implementing the same technique, one-upping your competitor to claim their traffic.
It’s a huge win for your company — but how did you know what your competitor’s new strategy was in the first place?
The answer is, you conducted an analysis of your competitor’s website to see what marketing tactics they were using and then employed those tactics in your marketing. This example illustrates the benefits of competitor analysis. But what exactly is competitor website analysis, and how can you use it?
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What is a competitor website analysis?
Competitor website analysis is the analysis of a competitor’s marketing strategies and tactics.
The idea is to find out how you can use your marketing to match or surpass theirs. The way you monitor your competitors can vary, ranging from a glance at a keyword’s search results to a full-blown, software-driven analysis. Regardless, though, the goal is to stay informed about what they’re doing.
Why should you run a competitor website analysis?
When your competitors implement new and effective strategies, you’ll want to know about it.
Any successful strategy they employ is a detriment to your marketing, and the only way to counter it is to find out what it is and respond accordingly. Of course, competitor analysis can also tell you what your competitors aren’t doing. It can show you the weak spots in their marketing so you can optimize your campaigns to take advantage of those weaknesses.
However you go about it, competitor analysis is a critical tactic for staying ahead.
How can you conduct a competitor site analysis?
When you monitor competitors’ marketing, you learn a lot about how to optimize your campaigns. But how do you do that? What process should you follow to perform a competitor analysis?
Here are three steps you should follow when you want to analyze your competitors’ sites.
1. Identify your competitors
It’s hard to monitor competitors when you don’t even know their names. That’s why, before you can do anything else, you have to identify your competitors. You may already know of several direct competitors, and if so, you can list them right from the start.
But you’ll also want to conduct some more thorough research to make sure you know which businesses to watch. Since you’re looking to analyze websites, the best way to find your competitors is to see which companies’ sites rank high in Google. Try searching for some core keywords related to your business.
For instance, if you sell cars in Los Angeles, try searching “LA car dealership.” Then look at which sites rank the highest for those keywords. The results should give you a solid list of competitors to use.
2. Determine what information you’re looking for
Visiting a competitor’s site and then aimlessly browsing around in the hopes of finding something useful isn’t the right way to conduct a competitor website analysis. You need to go in with a clear concept of what you’re looking to learn. Here are some examples of things you might search for on your competitors’ sites:
- Targeted keywords
- Blog post formats or topics
- External resources, tools, or plugins
- Technical web design features like page speed or mobile-friendliness
- Email capture forms, pop-ups, or other calls to action (CTAs)
By having a goal, you’ll be much more efficient in your search. Go in focusing on the specific information you want, and do it with the best tools for finding that information.
3. Conduct a SWOT analysis
Once you know who and what you’re monitoring, it’s time to go in and start your analysis. Specifically, you should conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of your competitors. Let’s say you’re looking for the keywords that a competitor targets in their content.
You should aim to ask questions like:
- What keywords are bringing this competitor success that you could consider implementing?
- What keywords aren’t working well for this competitor?
- What keywords is this competitor not targeting that you can target to get traffic?
- What keywords is this competitor targeting that pose a threat to your marketing, like your company’s branded keywords?
Once you complete your SWOT analysis, you’ll have a roadmap of how to optimize your marketing.
What are the best competitor website analysis tools?
Competitor analysis doesn’t always mean visiting your competitors’ sites and looking around for surface-level information. It often requires specialized tools or software for digging deeper into the available data. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources available for helping you monitor competitors’ websites.
Here are four of the best tools you can look into using for your competitor site analysis!
SpyFu is an excellent tool for covering the basics of competitor analysis. For starters, it lets you see how high pages across a site are ranking in Google for specific keywords. It also allows you to see how many backlinks a site has, indicating how reputable Google views it.
Alexa offers many of the same benefits as SpyFu, with one notable addition — it can give you insights into a website’s traffic. A site may get optimized for a keyword, yet still not drive very much traffic. Alexa will let you see how many users are visiting the site.
Like Alexa, SEMrush builds on the features offered by SpyFu. On top of letting you view things like rankings and backlinks, it can provide you with insights into a company’s social media presence — another powerful marketing tool worth monitoring.
Each of the above three tools is a fantastic competitor analysis resource, and they each bring unique features to the table. But if you want a tool that will give you a truly comprehensive look at your competitors’ marketing, you should consider CompetitorSpyFX. CompetitorSpyFX is part of WebFX’s larger digital marketing platform, MarketingCloudFX.
It allows you to view a variety of competitor marketing metrics, including:
- Keyword comparison
- Page traffic
- Bounce rate
- And more!
On top of viewing current metrics, you can also use CompetitorSpyFX to project what changes to your marketing will help you best surpass your competitors, giving you the power to make data-driven decisions about your digital marketing strategy.
Get help with your competitor site analysis from WebFX
Want to drive up your marketing to outperform your competitors? WebFX can help!
We’ve been generating successful digital marketing campaigns for our clients for over 25 years, and we’d love to do the same for you. With our competitor analysis services, you’ll gain access to CompetitorSpyFX and all the special features that come with it. You’ll also get our help putting CompetitorSpyFX into action to improve your marketing.
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
WebFX is a full-service marketing agency with 1000+ client reviews and a 4.9-star rating on Clutch! Find out how our expert team and revenue-accelerating tech can drive results for you! Learn more
- What is a Competitor Website Analysis?
- Why Should You Run a Competitor Website Analysis?
- How Can You Conduct a Competitor Site Analysis?
- 1. Identify Your Competitors
- 2. Determine What Information You’re Looking for
- 3. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
- What Are the Best Competitor Website Analysis Tools?
- 1. SpyFu
- 2. Alexa
- 3. SEMrush
- 4. CompetitorSpyFX
- Get Help with Your Competitor Site Analysis from WebFX