Competitive analyses are extremely important to B2B marketing strategies. They help to identify weaknesses as well as highlight where you’re having success against your competitors.
To put it simply: If you’re not measuring your performance against that of your peers, you’re falling behind the competition.
When starting a B2B competitive analysis, it can often seem overwhelming. It’s often a struggle to identify comparable competitors and metrics as well as sift through the mountains of data. So much information, so little time, amiright?
It’s because of this that I’ve put together a list of the 5 most important things (IMO) to pay attention to.
1. What is your competition’s overall domain authority?
A great place to start on your competitive analysis is with domain authority. The domain authority numbers can give you a high level view of where you stand against the competition.
Domain authority basically summarizes the overall “authority” of a site.
In the example below, I used Moz, which rates websites from 0-100 with 100 being the best. Of the 5 different websites I plugged in, Moz automatically identified the highest, which in this example was Apple.com.
Bonus tip: The best way to influence or grow your Domain Authority is through earning relevant, fresh links from other authoritative sites. Some strategies for link acquisition is through brand audits and writing 3rd party articles.
2. How many backlinks does the site have? Are they of good quality?
The next metric to consider is a competitor’s backlink profile. I concentrate on how many links they currently have, what kind of links they are (news, blogs, resources, paid links, forums), and if they are quality. Obviously natural blog, news, and press mentions are superior to paid links and forums.
I pull this information using SEMRush’s backlink analyzer, which has a handy export feature for further investigation into each individual link.
Bonus tip: To improve your backlink profile with fresh quality links we recommend writing 3rd party articles as well as focusing on link building outreach.
3. How often do they post blogs and on social media?
During a B2B competitive analysis, it’s important to dig into each individual competitor’s website and look at their content marketing initiatives. These include blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, videos, as well as social media profiles.
It’s important to not only look at the number of assets, but also the frequency in which they are created and if they are quality.
I do this part the old(er) fashion way, by using Google Spreadsheets or Excel to create a matrix. In this matrix I include: platforms, followers, if the competitor is active and, if so, the frequency.
This is great to get a high level view of the competitor’s social media presence; it also helps to determine how influential/respected a competitor is in the industry.
In addition, BuzzSumo gives you insight into a competitor’s top performing content on social media, as well as what is resonating with their audience. You can then use this knowledge to educate your marketing initiatives and to find influencers in your industry.
4. How many and what keywords are they ranking for?
Doing competitive research on the keyword landscape for your industry can help determine what others are doing. Before beginning, it’s crucial to know your company priority keywords; for this I use Google Keyword planner. Keyword planner can help educate your strategy as far as relevant keywords and what is actually being searched. In addition, Keyword Planner can help identify trends, search volume and suggested keywords.
Once you know your company’s priority keywords you can then analyze where your competitors are currently ranking/if they are ranking for these terms.
SEMRush is a good tool to perform this task as it gives you competitor organic ranking as well as an estimate of how much they are spending on paid search.
5. What are their SEO efforts like?
Last but not least on the list of competitive analysis is SEO efforts. One of the most crucial elements to pay attention to is whether or not your competitors are investing in SEO.
Take a look at HTML Titles, Meta Descriptions, Image ALT text, Open Graph Tags, etc. Not only will this inform as to whether they are indeed focused on SEO, but it will also help determine their keyword priorities.
Competitive analyses not only tell you about what your competitors are doing, but they also let you know where you need to focus to compete. In addition, these analyses can help inspire and inform new tactics.
I hope this has been helpful on your quest for B2B marketing greatness. If you have any further questions, please feel free to Tweet us @KoMarketing.