You might know your SEO from your SEM, but do you know how your website ranks against competitors? Although the only metrics that really matter are your own company’s brand equity and sales, it’s a helpful integrated marketing activity to suss out the competition online and know how you stack up. Fortunately, with the abundance of free and low-cost tools available, you can benchmark your website against the competition and create a plan for improvement.
Work with the Numbers
First, fire up your favorite search engine and type in a relevant service or product. Where does your site appear in comparison to the competition? This ranking measures nonpaid, also called organic, relevancy and is one of the most-important indicators of the performance of your website. Sites that rank higher receive more online traffic and feature more relevant content for users.
Second, does your site carry authority? To find out, you’ll need to measure the off-site optimization of it. This refers to the factors that have an effect on your site, such as backlinks. These are links on other websites pointing back to your website. Backlinkwatch and Open Site Explorer are two free online tools that give you visibility into the backlink ranking of your site or competitive sites.
Third, look holistically at all of your online marketing efforts. One popular way is to run your website through Marketing Grader to get a report card of how your website and online marketing is performing. Then, run a competitive URL through the online checklist to determine its strengths and weaknesses. media junction also offers a free online competitor analysis that rates your website against three competitor properties.
“Once you run the analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve and what you can do differently than your competitors,” advises Jessica Meher, a marketing manager at HubSpot and founder of clickify, an inbound marketing and web design agency.
By staying ahead of your competition and comparing important site performance metrics against key competitors, you can find out which strategies are working and refine future integrated marketing activities.