How To Conduct A Competitor Analysis (& Useful Tools)

Marketing Theory Video
4 mins


A competitor analysis is an important bit of research - it helps you get a good idea of your competition so not only can you emulate their success, you can also try and avoid making the same pitfalls and mistakes.

There are many different elements that you need to consider when pulling together a competitor analysis; details about their product, market share, pricing comparisons, marketing and social media strategies, traffic and more, so we have pulled together this video to help you get started.

By the end of this video, you should have a solid understanding of how to pull together a strong competitor analysis as well as receive some useful tools to help you uncover all those need-to-know stats.

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So, how can I do a competitor analysis?

There are lots and lots of free tools that can help with this and they divide into a few different areas, so we’ll look at those as we go along.


So, let’s start with web analytics?

Yes, so you've got your own web analytics. The problem is you haven't got web analytics for your competitors. But what you have got is tools like SimilarWeb. And SimilarWeb, although it's estimated, will basically give you web analytics for somebody else's website. It’s not perfect, but it's, it's pretty good. And it's based on a whole load of sources of data. So it’s definitely worth taking a look at SimilarWeb.


So what about social activity?

I think probably the best tool for this is What it allows you to do is go through, put your own website in, put your competitor's websites in, and it does a range of different things. It looks at emails, but it will track all of their social media posts, which ones are getting engagement and it will benchmark it against your ones. It basically gives you a really nice dashboard of what you're doing, what they're doing and what's working and what's not. It also tracks any changes that they've made on their website, on any of the pages.

That’s really telling because you step back and you get these weekly reports and like, well, why have they done that? Oh, that's interesting. Or maybe we could be doing a bit of that.


So what about keyword research?

So there's a few tools. I mean, you can use a lot of these. Tools like Semrush, SE Ranking. So Semrush is on the pricier side of things, SE Ranking is a much more affordable one. They both do a similar thing when it comes to looking at your competitors, you put in the URL and it will literally, admittedly, scrape data. And there's a lot of calculations, bespoke to each of these platforms that they make on your behalf.

They’re not necessarily brilliant and get exact numbers, but what I find with these kind of spy tools, they're always very good at spotting trends, and you get breakdowns of how much organic traffic are they getting, on which keywords and what pages does that get driven through to?

You can see things like what they're doing with their paid search. What keywords they are spending heavily on and which ones they are ranking highly for. Some of the better ones even give you a breakdown of what search engine result page features are they getting for all these keywords.

You get lovely little diagrams of little icons that show you which ones they're getting and you can benchmark yourself within those. So what I always say to people, the numbers are never terribly accurate. Because you could only get that if you had access to everyone's analytics and people can't do that.

But actually using these spy tools, if you can generally very often see a trend, upward trend or a downward trend, those trends are true because they're recognizing that within the pattern of data that is scrapable, and from that perspective, it's very, very useful.

I think the key thing is that if you're going to do this, you need to use a range of tools because none of them are a hundred percent accurate, but as Ciaran says, you start to see the trends and you can start to untangle and come up with some theories about how you might apply some of these ideas as well.

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