Posts Tagged ‘competitors’ analysis’

How to analyse a competitor’s website

Friday, February 12th, 2010

The website of your competitor can be an abundant source of information and ideas. A thorough analysis of your competitor’s website and their success can be a path to your own success as well. So what are the different factors that you need to check? And how do you analyse a competitor’s website and bring it to your own advantage?

First and foremost, you need to recognise your main rivals. Competitors can be of different types. They can be direct competitors, that is, those from whom your customers can get the same products or services that you also offer. There are indirect competitors who sell products that are similar or can act as a substitute to what you sell. There are your future competitors, that is, those who are not yet big enough to be a strong rival for you but they could be there very soon. Once you make out who are your direct, indirect and future opponents, you can select a few from each section and start analysing their websites. (Checking out the sites of all the competitors is not an easy job, for there could be tens or hundreds or even thousands of rivals in each section.)

The most obvious thing that you’d notice in the competitor’s website is the product gallery and the cost of each product. The best part about a review on such a website is that you can get yourself familiar with the latest products that your competitor has. Moreover, a website can be quite helpful to know the strengths and weaknesses of the business and the company it promotes.

So what are some of the main factors that you need to check while analysing a competitor’s website? Check out some of them here:

  • Performance: How long does it take for the site to load? How fast do the various internal links load? Are the different functions like search, subscribe, RSS feeds, etc. working properly?
  • Home page: Find out how much information you can glean about the business from the home page. How is the layout and interface of the site? Does it have a lot of content? Does it irritate the visitor with a lot of pointless graphics?
  • Viewability: How easy is it to read? How large is the font? Is the page appealing to the eye? Are there good images of the products? Have they added good videos?
  • Navigation: How are the pages linked internally? Is it easy to find what the user need fast and without ending up in other unrelated pages? Is the site map easy to understand?
  • Tags & links: Are the tags helpful and relevant? Can the links be easily distinguished? Are there many quality links?
  • Content: Is the content informative and relevant? Is it rich in keywords? Does it reflect the mission of the business? Does it provide the answers to the different questions that customers might want to ask? How informative are their articles and blogs? How often do they submit their press releases?
  • Keywords: Which are the major keywords that bring more visitors to the site? How often are they used in the content? Which are the variant forms of keywords used?
  • SEO: Is the website adequately and effectively optimised? What are the different aspects of SEO done for the website? What is the page rank of the website? Is it visited often? What is the position of the website in the search engine result pages for targeted keywords? How many pages of the site are indexed?
  • The main point that you need to keep in mind while analysing a competitor’s website is that none of these are meant for you to be blindly copied into your site. Similarly, you should be informed about the copyright laws. It is, needless to say, very important that your website is not attacked for duplication of any kind. Your aim is to keep your website unique. But yes, you can glean some valuable information like their innovative products, helpful categorisation, difference in prices, company information, etc. The trick is to imbibe the positive aspects of the site and ignore the negative ones.

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