Step 1. Competitor Analysis
There is no use reinventing the wheel.
Competitor analysis is the first of the 6 steps to web marketing success because understanding how your competitors have succeeded online can help you avoid the costly trial and error of testing strategies that do not work. After we disassemble your competition’s web marketing we will outline in clear detail what they have done right to be worthy of your scrutiny.
In this analysis we typically analyze a minimum of three competitor websites in order to see if any trends are developing. This intelligence will play a critical role in creating the custom web strategy that will serve as your map to online success.
1. Offsite Factors Analysis
We will closely examine the links pointing to your competitor’s website(s) and the number of social interactions (i.e. Facebook shares/likes, Tweets, Stumbles, etc.) to determine which have contributed to their online success. In addition, we will provide additional commentary should something of particular interest arise.
For example, we may find a number of extremely relevant websites that provided link popularity to the competition but would be willing to link to your web site as well; with little or no work on your part. In one instance this meant a rare opportunity of finding a world-famous and highly credible website willing to provide a link for a client; links such as those are more valuable than gold. We may also find particular pieces of content that did exceptionally well in the social networks which you could copy or improve upon to similar/greater effect.
2. Search Engine Friendly Analysis
How search engine friendly is the structure of your competitor’s web site? Have the search engines found a large percentage of the pages that actually exist on their website(s)? If so, it could be that their web site structure is helping them win online. We will outline our findings and provide live online examples wherever applicable.
“We underwent a search of vendors to provide Search Engine Optimization services for the Time Inc. family of websites, and we chose Ross Dunn and the Stepforth team after looking at a number of other companies. Their skill set was as good or better than their competitors, their prices were appropriate for our needs, and most importantly – they were extremely professional while maintaining an easy demeanor. We found their ability to pull together a diverse set of needs and variables to look at impressive, and the presentation and data provided at the end of the engagement was quite educational and exactly what we needed. Engaging Stepforth on the websites of Fortune Magazine and Business 2.0, we also have the opportunity to improve our other centrally managed titles like the websites of Time Magazine, In Style, People and Parenting.”Dean Heistad
3. Search Engine Optimization Analysis
How well has your competitor’s web pages been optimized for search engine rankings? We will carefully pick apart the background programming (source code) of their home page and other major pages in their web site to determine what they may have done correctly to assist their success.
4. Organic and Paid Keyword Analysis
What organic keywords are your competitor’s focusing their marketing on? Using a variety of analytical and statistical methods we will put together a comprehensive list of the keywords for which your competitors chose to focus advertising dollars. This includes the review of each competitor’s pay-per-click advertising campaigns which can yield incredibly valuable detail on the words and ad copy which provided the greatest conversions.
5. Summary Recommendations
The competitor analysis will be concluded with summary recommendations for your website based on the effective tactics discovered. The end goal is to drive more conversions and ultimately sales to your website.
Appendices are provided for additional context into our findings should you wish to review them. Do you have any more questions about how we work? We are an open book. Please do not hesitate to call us or email us with your questions: see our contact page.
Move on to the 2nd Step to Web Marketing Success – The Web Site Audit