Comparing your website to the competition – do it properly

Knowing what your competitors are up to is an important step to building an effective marketing strategy for your website. However, it’s not enough to just constantly compare your own site with theirs – you’ll need to check if what you are doing is worth it.

There is a right and wrong way to compare your website with your competition. It’s ‘wrong’ to compare for reasons like measuring your progress and success against theirs. The ‘right’ way to go is to run a proper competitive analysis, which can be extremely helpful in understanding your site and how it fares against the competition.

A competitive analysis categorises and evaluates your competitors, so you can identify & understand their weaknesses/strengths against your own. Only by understanding your competitors can you develop better ways of getting ahead of them. It may seem simple, but it can be complex when you start looking into various disciplines and metrics. Some criteria will even be dependent on your personal opinion and understanding of your business and industry.

How do you start? We have put together this quick guide to help you compare your website correctly with your competitors:-

When should you compare?

Website competitive analysis is typically done before building a new site, but it can also be performed if you want to redesign your website and improve its performance. You may also compare your site with your competitors’ if you are considering additional bench marking strategies.

Regardless of your reason for making comparisons, remember that the goal is to obtain actionable insights so you can use them in your own marketing plans and strategies.

What should you compare?

In doing website competitive analysis, the factors that you need to compare might be different from what other businesses use. That said, there are certain universal factors that everyone should definitely look into:

  • Traffic & ranking – Identify the competitor’s high-ranking keywords and their estimated traffic.
  • Marketing performance – Find out if they are using videos, blogs, and downloadable content. Take note of the conversion points they are using, such as email, phone, live chat, or messaging.
  • Search engine “friendliness” – Determine how fast their website loads. Also, is it accessible and responsive on both desktop and mobile?
  • Social media presence and performance – Find out what social networks they are using and their reach within your industry. You may also want to consider their most shared content.
  • Call-to-action methods – Identify their critical call-to-action on their homepage and the calls-to-action throughout their website.

Which website should you be looking at?

How do you pick websites to measure yours against? You can consider selecting competitors based on the following factors: 

  • Your personal knowledge (the businesses you consider as your competition)
  • What your prospects and customers consider to be your competitors
  • Businesses you can find in paid and natural search results for the keywords you are using, or for the keywords you want to use.

When you base your selection on these criteria, you can achieve a more balanced perspective on who your business is competing against. This also lets you pick businesses that are more likely to be leading your industry or market.

How to do it?

Keep it simple. Make a list of competitors you have chosen on a spreadsheet, and align the different measures with each of them. You may even write a narrative document for your analysis.

You can also look up tools that can help in your analysis, such as SpyFy or Woorank for analysing ranked keywords & traffic, and Google PageSpeed Insights, which lets you measure the loading speeds of websites.

Working with an SEO specialist can also simplify the process of doing a comprehensive website competitive analysis. You can’t go wrong with Omni. Contact us today for a free SEO Audit

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Alistair Hague

Alistair Hague

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