Article by Michael Todd, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

Where do you rank compared to your competition?

Competitive analysis should play an important role in shaping the marketing strategies of your business. Your brand’s rank in your market helps reveal your strengths and weaknesses. So why don’t many businesses analyse their competitors?

Competition makes you leave your comfort zone and encourages you to give it you’re very best. Their strategies and identify the areas where they are most vulnerable.

A marketing competitor analysis should be a critical part of your own marketing strategy. It isn’t a reactive approach. Find answers for questions like; what products or services are they selling? How aggressive are they on the advertising front? Are their strengths and weaknesses the same as yours? How big of a threat are they to you? How do their strategies affect your business?

The answers should lead to strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited.

Online, some elements lead it to be a different game. You can track and analyse the performance of your competitors in relatively simple ways. There are so many software tools available that can be invaluable to you.

Analysing link profiles (so you can find the valuable backlinks that are being used), like industry based websites with a large following are highly beneficial to your online rankings.

In SEO, both analysis and evaluation should play an important part of your online strategy. If you are not aware of how well you are performing, you cannot tinker with your strategy meaning you can’t improve your methods.

It goes without saying that rankings for individual keywords are one of the most important aspects of online marketing. These need to be keywords that are close to your industry, more precisely the product/service you offer are those for which you want to rank the highest. Naturally, your competitors are attempting to do the same so stay on top of them.

Finally, don’t just analyse your industry. You can learn best practices from almost any industry. Gaining marketing insight from other brands can provide valuable information of competitive advantages you may hold.