Competition is the norm these days. As we give birth to new ideas, create more opportunities, and fill existing voids, every entrepreneur is battling to outdo one another.
While some individuals secure tangible results, others exit the field through mergers, acquisitions, or close down.
To survive, organizations try to outshine the competition through benchmarking. Tons of other ways include taking part in Omnichannel sales, influencer marketing, use of lead magnets, and content marketing.
When organizations benchmark competitors website, they must have a goal for the process, such as:
- Compare past with present results/activities and see what’s working and what’s not.
- Set KPIs.
- Get new ideas from competitors.
- Keep a tab on competitors progress.
Here are four ways online businesses get past the competition by benchmarking competitor websites. Plus, the best tools for benchmarking and competitor analysis.
Advantages of Benchmarking
The art of benchmarking competitors’ website is no easy one-off process that ends when you met the set goals. It is continuous and profound and helps organizations to:
- Gain industry knowledge and insights.
- Set targets.
- Measure your organization’s KPIs and ROI.
- Set clear directions and monitor performance.
- Benchmarking is a learning process for everyone.
- It helps in social listening and monitoring.
Benchmarking Best Practices
1. Visual Rubric
A visual rubric is the most straightforward way to benchmark competitors. Think of the UX and UI and compare what you have. Some metrics you would want to track include:
- About page: to find what your competitor is offering –- mainly any additional services they provide which you don’t.
- Blog and blog content, readability, and ease of website use.
- Images and videos. Are your competitors using stock photos or do they take time to produce and brand their pictures and videos?
- Website design, navigation, access to information, useful pages, and promotional information.
- Branding, Voice, Ease of use, Loading speed, Layout, UX, UI design, conversion channels, and call-to-actions.
2. Use Tools
Using visual rubric method is one way of conducting competitor analysis and benchmarking. The data extracted is excellent for making improvements and in filling what you lack.
However, this perspective provides little conclusive results, especially on things like backlink building, looking for images with no descriptions, or pictures that are too heavy to load. In such cases, tools are your best bet in producing tangible results.
Saas tool like Screaming frog spider is ideal for SEO and finding how images behave on a site. This tool provides you with tons of information in spreadsheet format on competitor SEO. Other tools like sitechecker.pro, SEMrush.com report, rankranger.com, and mysiteauditor.com provide significant results when you benchmark competitors for SEO, keywords, and social statements.
For Norwegian Airlines, which had poor website health and relied on hard keywords, the SEMrush tool helped them to perform a thorough keyword and competitor analysis. The results led them to create a page, ‘flights from Croatia to the UK,’ with call-to-action buttons, increasing their ranking on SERP to #2 after British Airways.
By using the mentioned SEO tools, you can find where your competitors’ traffic originates, how many times they distributed or shared content, SEO rank, and ways used to achieve online success.
3. Industry Case Studies
We are in the information age, and what is essential about this age is that information is everywhere.
Every year, organizations release data and information on their respective industries. If you are serious about benchmarking, finding from publications and manuscripts on an industry outlook, and which companies are the movers and shakers is one way to snoop on competitors’ activities.
Also, industry case studies help in finding how your brand is performing in the market.
Socialbakers.com is one such online platform producing industry case studies you can use to benchmark competitors from any industry. It offers both free and priced solutions for Facebook benchmarking, Influencer benchmarking, and social content benchmarking for different sectors, countries, and markets, plus reports on the latest platform benchmarks.
4. SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is not only helpful for competitor benchmarking, but also for analyzing your website and social performance, the opportunity cost, measuring strategic results, KPIs, and ROI.
A websites’ strength can be its content, landing page, enhancing a weakness, or lead magnet. Threats can be weak UX, access to critical data, or a knowledge warehouse. It can also be its backlinks that affects its overall ranking performance or a new entrant.
For example, after Facebook’s inability to buy Snapchat, the social media giant launched a similar platform –- Instagram. It went ahead to copy features from Snapchat’s DNA onboarding close to 2 billion of its users to Instagram.
Best Tools You Can Use for Competitor Benchmarking
Founded in Olso, meltwater is not just a company helping with competitor analysis projects but also social listening, social monitoring, and social reporting. Its AI-driven system can identify new trends on news portals and social media by sifting through billions of data giving more insights in real-time of your competitor’s actions, next course of action, and business updates.
2. Rival IQ
Knowing your competitor’s strategy and the next course of action is key to staying ahead of the competition. Why not do that with Rival IQ. This tool helps you to know your competitor’s best-boasted post, how often they post, how quickly they gain followers, and their engagement rate.
It also helps you to find your competitor’s most successful post and plan how you can react, imitate, and make smarter decisions quickly to counter your competitor’s actions, either by sharing better content or launching a different marketing strategy.
Rival IQ is not merely for competitor analysis but also for developing new content ideas, social media benchmarking, and improving your social media engagement.
3. LinkedIn Business Page
As a social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn is the place to find information on competitors. It is through LinkedIn that most firms share their organization’s activities and probably their next action plan.
Through a company’s profile, you can find whether the firm changed VPs, partners, new business models, what new services a competitor introduced which got past the eyes of the online audience. You can also upgrade your account to premium for more insights and data on the company you are benchmarking or competing against.
4. Social Report
Socialreport.com boasts all features needed to perform social media activities in one compact package. For starter, their sophisticated analytics and AI gives you the ability to track your competitor’s profile as well as your own.
This includes your competitor’s social media pages, business reports, reviews, social media, and website performance. It also provides a real-time comparison of your brand’s and competitor’s social channels.
Other ways you can benchmark competitors or report analysis include looking at competitors’ social media activity, engagement, size of their platform, number of followers, competitor ads on social channels, websites, and blogs. These provide useful information on your competitor’s activity if you have limited resources or cash to subscribe to an online analytics tool.