Keeping Your Friends Close and Your Competition Closer

Knowing your competition is one of the most vital concepts in business, and in the data driven age we’re in there is always a way to learn more that can help you gain an edge. Below we will discuss a couple ways you can gain that edge.

When analyzing your competition it is important to focus on multiple competitors who are similar to you, 5 or more is a good start. Look past the brand awareness and market share of each competitor and evaluate their digital presence measuring traffic volume over a 6 or 12 month period. The total number of website visitors may mean nothing compared to the volume of direct traffic, as it represents a loyal audience. Keep in mind, it is harder to win users who already visit your competitor’s website directly than those that only visited their website once as a result of a referral or advertising campaign.

Find out if your competitors are engaged with the same target audience as they intend to?

Audience overlap between you and your rivals can be another data point to help understand your competition. If you look at their home pages, you may notice they are all alike, as the same news is posted around the platforms throughout the day.

If you look at their actual audience overlap, though, you will see the difference in these magazines’ readership. You should then check the websites’ referrals and media placements. If this sounds familiar you can increase the number of placements in the media that you share with your competitor or try to differentiate your target audience.

Don’t overreact to social analytics of your closest competition to the point where your focus is lost on your specific goals. You may discover that your rivals fail on search traffic, so use updated SEO and content strategies to outrank them.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and different strategies work better for some companies than others. Numerous visits brought in from partner media may end up with a high bounce rate. At the same time, ubiquitous social media may bring highly engaged users to the webpage.

Take what’s worked for your competition and better understand how and what made it work but copying is not ideal and the best practice is experimenting to find your groove.

Understand what your competition brings to their customers via mobile and desktop optimization is another key factor that can give your company an edge. Evaluate their traffic metrics, note what they are doing they you are not. Adapting your campaigns for different platforms is crucial to set yourself apart and minor tweaks like length of video, imagery can pay huge dividends.