It’s no secret that competitive analysis is an increasingly critical element of success in the digital age. As country borders continue to recede giving way to a global economy, markets expand and competitors rush in to grab their piece of the pie. As this is taking place, companies must constantly be on the lookout for competing alternatives to their own products and services, not to mention changes in price and the introduction of special offers or promotions. With the ever-growing expanse of the world wide web, the task of monitoring your competitors’ activity is monumental, and quite frankly, exhausting. That’s why we have spent the better part of the last two years developing innovative technologies that tackle the hardest and most time-consuming part of the competitor analysis process: website monitoring.
However, if you don’t know what to look for, even the most robust data collection isn’t going to help you, in fact, you could still be missing vital information necessary for strategic decision making. In this article, we’re going to show you how to setup your competitor analysis and integrate it into your daily routine so you always stay one step ahead of the competition.
1. The Setup: Are you tracking the RIGHT information?
While Kompyte is an amazing tool that is tracking your competitors’ comprehensive digital presence (website, blogs, social media, Adword campaings and SEO) 24/7/365 without so much as bathroom break, the internet is a big place and you can still suffer from information overload. That’s why it’s critical that you know and understand what to look for. Here are the most important competitor website pages to track broken down by industry:
Services and SaaS
- Home page – main call-to-action
- Prices & Packages
- Features, Functionality & Benefits
- Terms & Conditions
- Press & Media
E-Commerce and Online Showrooms
- Home Page: Changes to featured products and conversion strategy
- Main Category Pages for new products appear and price changes.
- New offers, promotions and banners – see what’s hot and what’s overstocked
- News section – trends and forecasts
- Terms & Conditions for shipping, pricing and return policies
Blogs and Media Companies
- Home Page
- Press Page
- Main Category Pages – sections
- About Us
- News and Current Events
- Media kit, advertising rates or “advertise” sections to develop an economic assessment of their services.
As you can see, deliberately selecting the most critical webpages to monitor is an important step. The better you configure Kompyte to suit your needs, the more effectively you can monitor your competition.
2. Your Daily Routine – Practice makes perfect
Now that you know what to look for, you need to train yourself to be a filter for important updates to your competitors’ websites. The most effective way to do this is to add a quick morning scan of the “Updates” section to your daily routine. In less than 5 minutes, you can quickly scan the updates made to your competitors’ websites, Adword campaigns, SEO movements, new blog article engagement, social media activity, newsletters sent out and even any new mentions of their name anywhere on the web.
Consider it your daily digest that can be incorporated into your morning routine and frees up your team from the mundane and time-consuming effort of weekly competitor analysis. Remember, it’s the habitual process of checking the updates that will make you the most dangerous competitor in your field. By establishing a system for monitoring your competitor’s updates you can respond immediately and avoid being caught off guard or overwhelmed when a major competitor tries to surprise you.
3. How to get started?
For industries that compete on price, like fashion, airline, car rentals, technology, retail and a thousand SaaS subscription models, it’s critical to know exactly when a competitor updates their pricing page, including when they announce a special offer, discount sales and one-time promotions.
Specifically, there are 3 things you should be seeking from your competitors’ updates:
- The pricing page, including special offers, discounts and one-time promotions
- “Hot zones” – this includes banner ads, landing pages and pop-ups on the home page
- The hidden updates – sometimes the changes occur behind what the eye can see, in the code.
The hidden updates may be invisible to the naked eye, but include things like new menu sections, new features or categories that weren’t previously visible and especially code snippets for SEO optimization and new plugins. For your legal team, this is where they can save time pouring over the tiny updates to the terms & conditions section of your competitor’s website.
Train yourself to look for patterns. Is there specific time of year where your competitors are dropping prices? Is there a big event coming to a major city that would account for the change in price? If you don’t keep an eye on your competitors’ pricing updates, you run the risk of losing market share and justifying your prices to a disgruntled target audience.
Before & After Screenshots
After you’ve run your daily sweep of competitor updates and online changes, sometimes you’ll have the sneaking suspicion of subtle changes to their website. Perhaps it’s the copywriting, or a new testimonial or image that wasn’t there yesterday. Something just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on it.
Not to fear! We built a time machine. But instead of a sweet Delorian that runs on plutonium, ours offers a side-by-side comparison of the updates highlighting in green and red where the changes were made to the website. It doesn’t matter if they only changed the font on their lowercase “j”, our Before & After machine lets you zoom into the most minute and detailed changes to your competitors’ websites. We can even show you changes to their code that don’t make any visible changes to the appearance of their site. Yeah, it’s that good!
Don’t forget to ask “why”. By analyzing their website, landing page and pricing updates with Kompyte’s side-by-side before & after machine, you get a glimpse into the mind of your competitors. If they changed the color, font size, call-to-action button, copywriting, layout, testimonials or even a slight modification to their metadata for SEO purposes, you get to stand in their shoes and attempt to understand why they’re making the changes. Are they A/B testing a new landing page? With Kompyte, you’ll understand which one is performing better and why.
4. Respond like a PRO!
So, now you know what your competitors are doing. Big deal. While Kompyte does give you the ability to track your competitors’ website monitoring, the only thing that really matters is how you respond. The first thing you need to do is categorize the updates and decide who else on your team should see the incoming competitor updates. Using the Eisenhower Matrix as your guide, you can highlight, comment, share or archive each individual update.
When you see an update that may affect your business, the next step is to categorize it and take the appropriate action. If a competitor changes something that is both urgent and important, you must alert the relevant members of your team and take action.
If a competitor’s update is important, but non-urgent, you should highlight the change and jot down some notes while they’re fresh in your head. The highlighted competitor updates can then be addressed in your next team huddle or board meeting.
By creating a specific set of actions for each update, you are training yourself to recognize important competitor updates instantly, almost as a second-nature. You’ll become so adept at sharing or dismissing competitor updates that when you see something important you’ll know exactly how to respond. This is a major competitive advantage.
The vast majority of global companies have a very simple, reactionary method of competitive analysis. By taking a strategic and proactive approach to your competitive analysis, you’re placing your organization alongside the top percentile of high-performing companies. These are the companies that automate their competitor website monitoring and instead train themselves to ask “WHY” when a competitor makes a change, rather than “WHAT HAPPENED?”. These are the companies that never miss a new trend and are never blindsided by innovation. These are the companies that are always stealing more market share and they’re the ones that will outlast everyone else.
Which kind of company are you?