Competitive analysis is a valuable piece of any marketing campaign. Researching what your competitors are doing well (and what they’re not) can help you:
- Gain context about your “place in the pack” and set client expectations
- Understand your larger industry and marketplace
- Become inspired and spark creative ideas for your own campaign
- Receive “free advice” for your overall marketing strategy
Despite these benefits, many marketers shy away from competitive research because they think it can be too time-consuming or doesn’t directly help them get results. But Raven can help make this process better, faster and more beneficial for your campaign. Learn how with this 45-minute training class recording and kickstart your competitor analysis projects.
Basic steps for competitive analysis
After you watch the video, you’ll probably want a simple cheat sheet moving forward. Here are the five basic steps for a complete competitive analysis project:
1. Set your objective
What “type” of research are you performing? What questions are you trying to answer?
2. Identify your competitors
Remember, your online competitors include any website or organization with whom you’re competing for traffic, visibility and attention — regardless of the product or service they’re offering.
3. Research and collect data about your competitors
The data you research and collect depends on your objective and the types of questions you’re trying to answer. Don’t forget the value of social research as a complement to your SEO data. This can help you see the complete picture and discover exactly where you could be outperforming or underperforming competitors.
4. Analyze your findings and draw conclusions
What are they doing that you didn’t realize? How effective do their techniques seem to be?
5. Apply your conclusions to your own campaign
What makes sense for you to try to replicate? What doesn’t? What could you do better or differently? How much attention do you need to pay to each competitor moving forward?
Raven tools for competitive analysis
Want to know which tools in Raven can help you the quickest with competitor research and analysis? While almost every tool can be helpful for competitor tracking, be sure to check out these ones first. They don’t require any type of client access or account authorization to use, and you’ll get nearly instant results in most cases.
- Site Performance. Get 30+ key online marketing metrics for any website automatically. Use them to benchmark campaigns or create side-by-side comparisons with competitors.
- Research Central, URL research. Use the Summary, Quality, Keywords, Backlinks, Design and Compare tabs for in-depth research of any competitor’s website.
- Research Central, keyword research. Start with the Summary, Competitors and AdWords tabs for in-depth research of keyword opportunities and competition levels.
- Backlink Explorer. Find out who’s linking to your competitors’ websites. Are there opportunities for you?
- Social Monitor. Create searches based on your competitors’ brand terms or industry keywords that you have in common. Find out if social sentiment is more positive than yours (or less), or if more people are talking about your competitors than you – and where.
- Social Stream. Set up a real-time view of your competitors’ social interactions and mentions. Find out as soon as they’re mentioned in major industry publications or mainstream media and be prepared to comment.
- Report Wizard. Report on your research results. Even schedule and automate reports on a monthly or quarterly basis to keep the competitive analysis ongoing.
Join us Thursdays
Every Thursday at 11 a.m. Central we host a new webinar focused on making you a smarter marketer.
Next up: Juice Up Your Ranking Results, by Jon Henshaw, Raven’s co-founder
What you’ll learn: 1) Why ranking results are only one piece of your marketing puzzle; 2) critical questions you should ask yourself when analyzing your rankings data; and 3) how Raven’s new rankings tool takes your basic ranking data and mashes it with other data to deliver insights that will improve your work and help you report what clients care about most.
When: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at 11 a.m. CDT
Sign up here: http://raventools.enterthemeeting.com/m/2T8HH4ZX
All of these training events are free and open to new, experienced and non-Raven users alike, so feel free to spread the word and invite a buddy.
Have ideas for other webinar topics and marketing tasks with Raven you’d like to see covered? Let us know in the comments!