Competition is present in every walk of life, whether one likes it or not. The open market has encouraged competition and rightly so. The art of competition has some intrinsic benefits for those engaged; they emerge better developed and stronger through the process.
Competitive research is an ongoing process which involves an analysis of the market landscape of the competitors. It helps to form a clear understanding of where your competitors stand, what the people are saying about them, how far ahead on new trends and developments they are and the likes. All these enable you to form strategies, use and create appropriate SEO tools and outsmart other players in the same field as you.
Some of the simplest ways of carrying on proper competitive research are listed below:
Using Search and Suggest on Google
Google Search is probably the first place to start with competitive research. Type the name of any brand that you want to research and Google will provide you with ample information on the same, including blogs and websites. The best part is that the search results will almost always contain links which show you the alternatives present to that brand.
Knowing the popular alternatives in the market will allow you to research deeper into each and compare how one brand fares against the other. It is important to know the current popular choices when you are planning on developing your own tool or looking for the best one available.
Google Suggest is an even smarter option than Google Search. All you need to do is type ‘brand name vs’ and Google will instantly provide you with a list of brands compared, based on the frequency of searches. This means that the name at the top of the list has been most frequently compared to the given brand name and searched most options.
While conducting research using only Google Search and the Suggestion box is not going to be enough besides being a time consuming affair, it is without question the best place to start.
Follow Blogs and Reviews
Blogging has become a huge thing in the last decade and it is safe to assume that most of the brands you are competing as maintain blogs as a way to enter the social media. If you follow blogs intimately, you will come to know a lot about their communication and marketing strategies, as well as their perspective on their products and services.
User reviews found on blogs also enable you to see how well or poorly received they are in the user community.
G2Crowd is a great place to stop by for collecting material for competitive research. The software enables you to access ratings and reviews on vendors and products which are based upon user community feedback. It also allows you to discover new tools and competitor sites by producing popular comparison data.
Analyze competitors based on content
Content is gold. Gone are the days when a few keyword stuffed passages were enough to get your page to the top of the search results. With refinement, even in this field, the relevance of content, links and backlinks, length and quality are some of the factors which truly matter. One of the best ways to analyze your competitors is to check out the kind of content they are putting up. See what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and learn from them.
Similar Web enables you to obtain an analysis of exposure and traffic on any website which contains their index. Not only will Similar Web enable you to have an in-depth idea of how well your site is doing, but also show you how much attention your competitors are being able to draw.
Similar Sites is the most interesting feature of Similar Web. Using a combination of various factors like links, site structure and surfer behavior, Similar Web presents a list of similar sites across the web. Not only does it make your job easier while researching alternatives to your brand, but also allows you to understand the differences and similarities between your competitors and you.
There are many ways of conducting good competitive research. Not only are you comparing other business enterprises to stay up to date on the strategies they are using and how they are faring, you also need to compare top 5 SEO software in order to ensure that the SEO software you are using is the best possible solution to the problem of visibility. The tools you might want to develop for your clients will need to be at least on par with the top level ones, or better.