Researching, monitoring and analyzing your competitors isn’t something that should consume your entire work day, but should play an integral part with your business (and of course marketing) strategy. Key reasons why you want to keep an eye on your competitors are:
- To understand how they are positioning themselves.
- To see the type of content they are publishing.
- To know the keywords they want to rank for.
- To develop a UVP that fully differentiates you.
With that in mind, never utilize the research and monitoring of your competitors as a religious practice to running your company. I’ve seen companies who’ve been so caught up with what their competition is doing that they are always ten or more steps behind in terms of innovating, growth and revenue generation.
Additionally, keep your target and current customers in mind too. As Jeff Bezos states: “If you’re customer-focused, you’re always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow? We want to impress our customers — we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.” Take this and align with your competitive analysis to ensure that you also are filling gaps where your competition is falling short.
Here are a few tools (though not limited to) I believe every marketer should be using:
Have reports sent to your inbox each time your competitor’s name is mentioned across the web. You can also easily track any mentions of top keywords you’re trying to rank for and against your competitors for. Additionally, make sure you track mentions of your own brand name as well.
Get a comprehensive analysis of backlinks to simply see external links that being attributed back to your competitors, including your own site. This tool has great visualization for you to also glean insight on any dips your own website may have incurred due to Google’s algorithm updates. Recently added is the “content explorer” which will enable you to search any keyword and see articles that have been written around that keyword, in addition to how popular the article is.
Receive a snapshot overview of how your competitor’s website is performing with HubSpot’s very own marketing grader. All you need to do is enter in the website URL and your email address. From there, you’ll be passed over to a new screen that shows you how well your competitors are doing with their digital marketing efforts.
I’ve used SEMRush for years – specifically to gain insight on what competitors are ranking for organically, in addition to seeing their ad keywords, ad copy and traffic. This tool also renders results of searched URLs with visual graphs, which makes the information a bit more digestible and easier to ascertain.
Another one of my favorite tools to use while doing competitive research – you can extract a competitor’s entire list of keywords they are pushing to rank for, both organically and paid. You can also see the history of any paid search ads and visualized graphs of shared as well as exclusive keywords you rank for that competitors do not.
This tools allows you to type in a competitor’s brand name and will in turn, pull up results of their social media sentiment, reach, passion percentage, avg. mentions per month, top keywords and any retweets. Additionally, the social media properties this tool tracks are: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
Gain insight into the technologies your competitors are using on their website. All you do is type in their URL(s) and from there, BuiltWith will render results that show the competitor’s website framework, well into any advertising they may be executing and tools used for analytics.
Have more to recommend? Share them with me in the comments section.