You Wouldn't Go Into Battle Without A Plan Of Attack: Marketing Is No Different
If you want to market successfully online, you need to do some marketing research before you dive in and start creating content.
First, you need to do some market research to find out where your customers hang out and what problems they’re experiencing that you have a solution for.
You need to find out how they’re looking for answers. You need to know what they like, what they do for a living, what income bracket they’re in, are they family orientated, what hobbies do they enjoy, what work do they do, etc, etc.
You need to create a customer avatar to address all the issues they have, and use their interests, their profession, income bracket and any other information you’ve gathered about them, to craft your message.
Look for the specific types of keywords they use to ask questions and find answers.
Look for the buying intent keywords that they use right before they make a purchase.
Get inside their heads and make sure that you can create content that will answer their every question, desire and fill in the blanks, so that they can make the decision to buy.
Before you create content, you also need to check out the competition.
Use these tools to do competitive Market Research
Competition is something every business has to live with, but monitor. No matter the size of your businesses it’s important to keep one eye on your competition.
In the past we could only monitor competition on physical presentation, the ads they created and the number of press releases they did.
These days, with digital marketing, we’ve got access to a lot more data than that.
The internet has exploded in growth and most businesses have realized the importance of digital marketing for their business sustainability and growth.
These days, we have many tools at our disposal to check, monitor and stay updated about any developments in our industries and our immediate competition.
You need to set benchmarks and then develop KPI’s for your marketing team.
By analyzing your market, you can see if your business is losing or gaining market share.
It’s vitally important that you constantly monitor, compare and analyze your business against industry standards and adjust your campaigns and efforts accordingly.
That is something we do naturally and can help you set up a Benchmark and help you analyze your market.
Below you’ll find some tools you can use to do it yourself.
Keeping An Eye On Your Competitors
To get a holistic overview of your competition and their activities, use these tools to extract all the data you need to create spreadsheets and charts to stay informed about all the activities your competition are carrying out.
Adapt and strategize your way to stay ahead and compete with them on even ground.
You might already be familiar with some of the tools listed. Use whichever makes sense for you, and leave us a comment if you know of better tools. Feedback is always welcome.
- SEE HOW FAST THE SITE LOADS
Google has already made it clear that site speed is important. Google stated that page load speed is a key ranking factor and there’s plenty of research to prove that if you have a lazy loading site you’re going to lose customers.
Speed will continue to be important. To set a benchmark against competitors try Google’s page speed tool and see how you fare.
See Google’s Page speed tool
- WHICH TAGS Are THEY USING
We use an app called Ghostery to check which personal data your competitors are tracking on their site.
See what kind of tracking tools they’re using, scripts they’re running and the speed at which these tools are loading.
This type of data can help you find an advantage over competitors by using better tracking or implementing it in a more sophisticated way.
Note: Ghostery can also be installed as a browser plugin that remains active on every website your visit.
- WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT IS MOST POPULAR
BuzzSumo must be one the best tools you can use for digital marketing and SEO.
What many people don’t realize is that it’s also great for competitor analysis.
Simply enter your competitor’s website address to find out which content is most popular on social media, who their key influencers are and how much reach they’re getting from their content marketing efforts.
Have a look at Buzzsumo
- WHERE ARE THEIR LINKS COMING FROM
Although there are many link tracking tools, we’ve found SEO profiler’s free version good for giving quite a bit of insight into competitor link profiles.
Simply enter your competitor website address and find out where they’re getting their links from, the types of links they’re getting and which links are most important to their site.
Once you have that kind of data, it’s time to sneak up behind them and grab a link on these sites too, there are usually a few hidden gems in every competitor site audit.
See SEO profiler
- TRACK THEIR PERFORMANCE
Similarweb is a powerful traffic comparison tool that allows you to view estimated traffic figures to your competitor’s websites, while also giving you data on the various channels to see which channels they are better in and which channels they’re worse at.
It’s great for getting an overview of their digital marketing efforts. The free version gives you a reasonable amount of data.
See Similar web
- TRACK THEIR FACEBOOK PERFORMANCE
LikeAlyzer does health checks of any Facebook page.
The tool is commonly used for competitive research because it doesn’t require access to Facebook Insights to provide data.
LikeAlyzer is excellent for performing a quick checks on your page, but you’ll get the most benefit from it if you use it to analyse multiple competitors.
Pay close attention to suggestions the tool provides for other pages to determine where your brand can capitalize on weaknesses.
- TRACK SOCIAL INFLUENCE
Social Mention allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your brand, products, or any topic across the web.
Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Tumblr etc.
Anything your competitor does on social media – from owning hashtags, topics, brand terms, etc, will be at your fingertips.
You’ll even get insights to their positive or negative sentiments around their brand.
See Social Mention
- TRACK THEIR KEYWORDS
SEMrush is a popular keyword tracking tool that’s been around for years and offers some really helpful competitor keyword reports.
Simply enter your competitor’s website address and get keyword related information for keywords they rank for, the volume of searches for specific keywords, the URL ranking for the keywords, competition for the keyword, cost and the trend behind each keyword for free.
- TRACK THEIR INTERNAL LINKS, KEYWORD DENSITY AND LONG FORM CONTENT
One of the Best SEO Tools for newcomers is Screaming Frog.
It’s become very popular and enjoys a large following of devout users.
With Screaming Frog, you are able to gather data from a competitor’s site and find what keywords they’re using in their title, meta descriptions, how many words they use per page and even how many times they link internally to each page.
When you’re in a competitive market these metrics are key in finding better ways to optimize your site vs your competitors.
See Screaming Frog
Note: The free version only works on sites that are smaller than 500 pages
- GET A WEBSITE OVERVIEW
If you’re not keen on all the deep diving and just want a broad overview of what your competitors are doing then I suggest checking out woo rank, it pulls together a range of data from traffic, to SERP views, backlinks, social trends, server downtime and much more.
Check out Woorank
SNEAK UP ON THE COMPETITION
Now that you know how to get better insights on what your competitors are doing, how do you think it will change the way you run your businesses? Is it just a nice to know or will you be using the data proactively? Let us know in the comments section below.
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