The first step that you need to do is identify who your competitors are on a granular and general level.
General level of identifying is to see the ranking of your competitor’s on Google. Different brands position themselves differently and have different keywords that they use – for example, ‘influencer marketing’ will rank different than ‘marketing gurus’, etc. You need to identify the key word, in this case, ‘marketing’; so that you can understand the industry’s sub-sectors and major players that fall within them.
Granular level of identifying is to explore more about competitor’s in your industry and checking up on how your digital strategies are compared to theirs. You need to note things like where they are driving traffic from, top sources of referring traffic and your competitor’s competitor.
“SimilarWeb can be used as a Chrome plugin that will give you a website’s traffic and engagement statistics. You can see the sources that are bringing users to that site. You can also see direct competitors by choosing your industry, and find the list of websites that are getting the most traffic.”
Conduct a Competitor Audit
One of the key components of creating a digital strategy is to mark the competitor’s online presence against your own. This doesn’t mean that you need to check the number of followers or likes; but to note the following points:
- Type of content created
- Time-frame within which the content is shared
- Type of content that has the most likes, shares and commented on
- Number of videos and images shared v/s content posts
- Social media influencers following them
- Number of networks that they are active on – for example, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
Plot Your End Goals
After doing a competitive audit, the next step is to plot your end goals to save your time, man power and money. The question that you need to ask yourself is, “what is the burning question that I need an answer to while auditing my competitor’s digital strategy?” This will help you gain valuable insight from a competitor’s marketing campaign or SEO results. It could also help you determine on how to market your company’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and attract customers.
You can either note down the goals and make them SMART or write a SWOT analysis – this will help you determine your end goal with complete certainty.
Develop a Better USP
As we’ve discussed in the earlier point, it is important to develop a USP to attract your customer’s attention to gain a larger market share in the industry. A good USP helps improve branding and building trust. Using the customer’s psychological response, you can turn random traffic users into loyal customers, persuade people to buy your products by creating a unique heading, posting pictures or a short video to grab their eyeballs, or encourage people to share your content and website.
Using Competitive Audit Tools
SEMrush: The tool offers reliable, LIVE data on organic keywords, competitors’ URLS and real-time traffic.
Quick Sprout: An SEO tool that analyses up to 3 competitors’ sites and reveals what internal factors improve so as to get more organic traffic and rankings.
Ahrefs: It is a backlink research tool that searches the web by picking up your backlinks and the exact anchor text used. It helps you to find out where your competitors get inbound links and to improve your corporate governance.
Alexa: This intelligence tool will help you to reveal audience demographics and site rank in specified countries.
Open Site Explorer: This tool reveals the Domain Authority and Page Authority of a particular domain name and is great for backlink research and analysis.
Open Link Profiler: This tool will help you determine the industry and influence a particular competitor, as well as the exact number of active backlinks.
Majestic: This tool will help you source backlinks and referring IP domain names for a given site URL.
Google Keyword Planner: This is the number tool for keyword research tool.
Buzzsumo: Check how popular a particular keyword or URL is in the social space or how many times the user has shared your post.
Run a Complete SEO Audit
Another to do strategy is to run a detailed SEO audit that includes the following information:
- Title tags, meta descriptions, URLs, headings, etc.
- Anchor text used for internal linking
- Conducting redirect audits
- Robots.txt file functionality
- Duplicate content and URLs that need rewriting
- Broken links and link-cleaning
- Image file sizes and alt text on a particular page
- Google Analytics code
Competitive auditing works wonders if done correctly. The main goal is to not blindly copy their strategies or strategize your social media marketing based on their followers; it is to create digital marketing strategies that are best for your company or product. You’ll not only need to keep in mind your competitor’s strengths but also be able to point out their weaknesses and not repeat their mistakes.
The ideal way to ensure that your digital strategy works is to engage with your own customers and note their likes, dislikes or wants from your products. If you can use digital strategy to convert your current customers to loyal customers – then gaining new customers is just a matter of time.
Increasing page authority, creating inbound links and concentrating on social media are some of the few key components that make your digital marketing a success.
If you need more help in auditing your competitor’s digital marketing strategy, you can contact the App Scoop Team for assistance.