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Analyzing your competitors

Competitive Website Analysis

Continual review of your web competitors and their pages is an essential part of competitive analysis and the best technique for optimizing your own pages:

  1. determine why competitors pages rank higher or lower than yours for the same keywords or keyphrase
  2. learn how each search engine differs by examining how the same page ranks differently between engines
  3. examine how competitors market the same products and services.

If you wish to undertake the competitive analysis yourself, purchase a software package that compares your competitors' pages to your own pages. This will provide clues as to changes that can be made in the HTML and content of your pages so as to improve their indexing by search engines.

Tools are available to check page rankings or you can conduct the searches manually. If you do, ensure you take advantage of the advanced searches where you can obtain 50 or 100 results at a time.

It is particularly instructive to thoroughly examine the sites of your web competitors (as distinct from bricks and mortar competitors). Look at the structure of their sites, usability and how they market their goods and services.

For competitive analysis to be effective, you'll need a good knowledge of "spider-friendly" HTML, weaknesses in your software packages and tools (none are perfect nor comprehensive), recent changes to search engine rules and algorithms, web demographics and trends, your competitors' marketing strategies and trends in the markets for your products services.

Be prepared to make a fairly substantial investment in time to get this right. To maximize success, thorough and regular competitive analysis is essential.

If you would like some help analyzing your competition, contact the Internet Marketing Engine.

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