The next time someone asks me to do “competitive research” for them, my eyes might roll-out of my head. Sometimes a desire for competitive research shows more about a company’s insecurity, than their desire to improve their marketing efforts.
That being said, not all competitive research is a waste of time. There are several valuable things your company could gain from a productive competitive research. The trick: do it without being insecure.
TL;DR: Learn what your competitors are doing- and do it better!
Here are some competitive research projects that can help your company better reach customers.
Link building is an important part of any SEO campaign (or any web marketing campaign, for that matter). Unfortunately, links are hard to get (of any quality, at least).
One of the easiest ways to identify productive link opportunities is through your competitors. This is such a great source of opportunities, I do this for every client every couple weeks.
Here’s how I identify link opportunities from my clients’ competitors:
A company (and their website’s) quality is partially determined by their online reputation. In fact, Google’s manual quality score guidelines tells reviewers to use other websites to determine if a website is authoritative. Even if Google doesn’t use this as an SEO ranking factor, it will help your company as your customers compare you with others.
Seeing what people say about your competitors can help you:
How can you do this? A simple Google search for your competitor’s name can get you started.
Every company (yours, your competitor’s) has limited resources. That makes it hard to do everything you want to, from a technological perspective. A lot needs to get done- but there’s never enough time or budget to do it all. How can you pick the most important priority for your developers? Perhaps competitive research can help you identify your next priority.
Look at your competitors’ web technology. What technologies are your competitors lacking? Could this be an opportunity for you to emerge? For example:
So, I have to admit, not all competitive research is a waste of time.
Are there any other forms of competitive research that you’ve found productive? Am I just being too cynical here? Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.
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