Competitive Analysis Tips and Tricks

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Well.. I hate to admit it, but I fell behind my goal of publishing one blog entry a month. In July, I started a new job as a Digital Account Coordinator at Northwoods Web Solutions, continued to work part time at my previous job and wrapped up wedding planning, leaving me with limited free time and my blog on the (unattended) back-burner.

However, in the spirit of the new year and resolutions, I’m going to start blogging again. With my new role and experiences, these posts will move toward topics and experiences related to digital marketing.

As part of my (fairly new) current position, I have conducted a variety of detailed digital analyses for a handful of our clients. As part of the analysis, I consider everything from SEO and website traffic to backlinking opportunities and social media landscapes.

While I think there is value in hiring an expert to conduct a competitive digital analysis (an outside perspective is invaluable!), there are also some steps you can take to conduct an analysis on your own.

Below are some tools, ticks and tips to get started:

  • Get familiar with GA: Setting up a Google Analytics account, and studying data about the visitors to your site, is the most important part of conducting a digital review.
  • Evaluate your competitors’ website traffic using Similar Web: This free tool provides an estimate of website traffic as well as how it arrived at the site (ie through search, referrals, social, etc.). I’ve compared the data provided by Similar Web to the data provided by Google Analytics and while it’s not exactly the same, it does provide an estimate that can be used as a baseline.
  • Check up on your SEO using WooRank: Conducting a quick SEO check up will identify trouble spots that may be negatively impacting your search traffic and (usually) bring to light some actionable items that can be tackled right away.
  • Keep tabs on social buzz using BuzzSumo: Using a simple keyword search, BuzzSumo identifies popular (industry specific) content shared on social media sites. BuzzSumo also provides insight on how the content traveled through the social space by reporting the number of shares on specific social networks.
  • Identify influencers using Topsy: Topsy, a free tool from Moz, allows you to identify influencers in your space by searching Twitter biographies for specific keywords. Reviewing what they share is a great way to determine what type of content gains traction within your space.

While the tools and tips outlined above won’t provide you with the same type of detailed competitive analysis I’ve been conducting lately, it’s a great way to get a bird’s-eye view of the digital landscape within your space.

Finally, if you want more information and you’re in the greater Milwaukee or Chicago area, check out my company’s free workshops covering many of the topics outlined above.

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