When you enter into business and decide to compete against other companies in your niche, one of the most important activities you’ll have to engage in competitive analysis. But what should that entail?
There are three key areas that you should analyze your competition on today. This may change in ten years, but today I’d say you need to look at these three areas:
- Inbound links – Where are inbound links to your competitors’ websites coming from, what anchor text are they using, and which pages are being linked to?
- Social influence – Which social networks are your competition using, how active are they, and what kind of content are they posting on these social sites? Also, try to determine, if you can, the reach your competition has.
- Content analysis – This is a very important piece of the competitive analysis puzzle. Look at your competition’s top content. What is it? Also, which pages are getting the most traffic? What kind of on-page optimization strategies are they using?
The idea behind competitive analysis is not to find things to copy from your competition. Rather, you are looking for opportunities they may have missed and looking to see what strategies you might capitalize on.
Competitive analysis is a big part of the overall picture when starting a new business. Don’t forget about it.