Nowadays, when there is a huge competition in any field and any niche, no company can afford to develop in an information vacuum. To make improvements on your website, to grow your rankings and develop your business in general, you have to research your competitors and always keep a finger on the pulse. In this article, I will tell you how, by investing a minimum of resources, you can constantly be aware of the competitors actions.
How to find your main competitors
No one canceled the simplest way: to tap keywords you are promoting for in the search bar. The top 10 of SERP you get are your main competitors. But if you want to know the whole picture, use the tools like SimilarWeb.
I adore its Chrome extension, it simplifies the process very much.
Or you can use Serpstat to look for competitors. With its help, you can find those whom you compete in the organic search.
And also in ads.
Ok, the rivals are revealed, let’s move on. 😉
How to find general information about the website
SimilarWeb is very suitable for this purpose as well. With its help, you can easily find out:
- The number of estimated visits per month
- How long the average visit lasts
- How many people left the site immediately (Bounce Rate)
- How many pages the average visitor views
- The overall traffic dynamics with % of incidence (rate) for the last month
- How traffic distributes by countries
- Where traffic comes from (Direct, Referrals, Search, Social, Mail)
- Detailed traffic from social networks (Facebook, YouTube and so on)
- Keyword Analysis, and possible links to other websites (although we’ll use Serpstat as it gives much more accurate results)
These numbers themselves can’t say much, that’s why you have to compare it with your competitors’ indicators.
For example, on the graph above, we see that the traffic has fallen by a third. But the examined store specializes in selling goods for skiing, so there’s no surprise its traffic has decreased comparing to the beginning of winter. To make sure if things are going on fine, you have to check your competitors. If their traffic fell harder, then you’re moving in the right direction. And visa versa.
The Pages per Visit and the Bounce Rate indicators help to find out how quality the traffic is. For example, even if the total number of estimated visitors is growing, but the Bounce Rate is increasing too, while the number of Pages per Visit is decreasing, then the more likely, a traffic he gets is of the low quality.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the Traffic Sources, as something which works well for your competitor may also work well for you. This information will help you to build the successful marketing strategy.
In-depth competitors analysis
Although many specialists predicted the death of SEO long ago, sure it still means a world to any website promotion strategy. And knowing some basic SEO parameters of your competitors lets you avoid the same mistakes or use the successful cases.
Serpstat perfectly handles such task. With its help, you can find out:
- The number and dynamic of keywords in organic search;
- Ads keywords and their CPC range
- Trust rank (comparative parameter aimed to determine how much the search engine ‘trusts’ the website);
- How many domains and pages links to the website (backlinks);
- Many other things you’ll find out while playing with this tool’s features yourself
All these information about your different competitors give a perception of how complex and the competitive is the chosen market in general and how strong is each player himself. For example, knowing how much domains link to a particular resource, what are the keywords your competitor ranks for and the approximate price of his ads, you become able to calculate your CAC (cost of attracting a new customer) of customers attraction. Moreover, comparing it with your lifetime value (LTV) will give you the understanding of how your unit economics works at this market.
How to spy on competitors in social media channels
Staying on track about how your competitors’ social channels perform, and actually your own as well is crucial. To my mind, the best tool for this purpose is Fanpage Karma. With its help, you can easily analyze your and your competitors’ accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, and Pinterest.
It allows analyzing the content (top posts, weakest posts, effective keywords, and hashtags), time and type of posts, audience activity.
With just a few clicks you can create an overview of the most important KPIs on all your and your competitors’ social media channels. And that’s exactly what you need to identify why your competitors have gains or losses quickly, and which strategies work best.
SimilarWeb is perfect when you need to find out quickly the general information about the website like the number of estimated visits, traffic distribution by countries or even whether the website has the related mobile app.
To obtain the more in-depth information I suggest to use Serpstat. With its help you’re able to find out keywords the website ranks for in the SERP; the cost of ads; how much Google trusts the particular site; how many domains links to the website and dozens of other information related to the core SEO parameters.
Fanpage Karma is a very convenient tool to study your competitors’ social media channels. It allows to find out many interesting data like the most popular posts or the most engaged user about any page on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. Benchmarking and filling in the gaps for where social channels leave us blind.