We will discuss on how you can identify and analyzing your online competition while starting your online business. In identifying and finding your competitors, you need to identify the providers that are dominating your niche online.
A niche is a small market that has highly specific needs. For instance, in safety industry, safety boots is a niche.
Identifying your online competition
The first step in online competition analysis is to identify the niche or industry or sector that you belong to. Once you identify the niche, select keywords that are associated to the niche.
You will identify your competitors by doing a simple search engine query. Just head to google.com or bing.com and Search for your main niche keywords, one at a time and pick the following information:
- Websites that show on the first page of search engine results.
- Social media pages and profiles on the first page of search engine results like facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+ or youtube, pinterest etc.
- Blogs on the first page of search engine results like blogspot.com, wordpress.com, livejournal.com etc
You have just identified your competitors and done a little analysis of them. This information will assist you in the next levels of your online business startup.
Analyzing your online competition
The web is quite transparent in regards to identifying those that are successful online. One can easily identify businesses that are soaring online and hence the importance of an entrepreneur to keep on analyzing the market.
After you come up with a list of ten websites, blogs and social media profiles, do the following:
- Identify business websites (not Wikipedia or social media networks)
- Note the website addresses (domain name). This will assist you in selecting your domain name while developing your website.
- Go through the websites and look at their design and content. While designing your website, you will borrow from the websites.
- Check at their social media networks pages and profiles. Note the number of likes, followers or friends. This will be relevant in online marketing.
- Check the number of posts that each blog has.
- Note the websites that have their correspondent website address and their social media profiles and blogs on the first page of search engine results.
- Note of the competitor that has more than one page of its website on the first page of search engine results.
- Also note of the competitor that has listed on google places.
You can now record and save the above findings in a document. You will be referring the information as you embark on starting and developing your online business.
Advanced competition analysis
Search Engine Optimization experts use advanced competition analysis to ensure that they rank in search engines. Ensuring you have this information initially will assist in developing a solid strategy thay will ensure your business succeeds online.
The reason that you would analyze your competitors is to know the reason why they are succeeding online. One of the online successes is actually search engine ranking. The better your competition ranks, the more worried you should be. Fighting to rank highest in search engine is one of the biggest milestones in building a successful online business.
You can use the following strategies to do a deeper competition analysis:
Backlinks – Analyzing the backlinks of your competitors. After getting the website urls of your competitors, it’s worthwhile to analyze the sites they have linked to. Remember that backlinks is one of the strong factors that influence ranking of websites in search engines. Sites like majestic and Ahrefs can easily do this for you. The factors to consider are:
- Quantity of backlinks
- Quality of backlinks
Social signals – This how frequent your articles or pages have been shared on social media. The most common social networks are Facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest and If you find your competitors information having been shared frequently, then know that you will have to do far much better than them.
Content quality – The quality of you content is mostly realized by the reaction of the readers. This can be noticed in comments (incase the website allows commenting) or on social media sharing. High quality content will enable you beat your competitors.
3 steps to effective competition analysis
- Gather the keywords (approximately 20-30 keywords)
- Filter the keywords (Short list by 50%)
- Refine your keywords to 10% of the initial keywords.
When you are analyzing your competitors, you are basically getting insider information on what makes them successful online. This information is very crucial. As you already know, if you copy what your competitors are doing, you have a high chance of getting to where they are. But that’s not enough. You need to even do more than they are doing. Get beyond your competitors. Learn their weaknesses and capitalize on them. Mark your strengths and put your weight on them. That’s the only way you can outdoor your competition.