Sector and competitor intelligence can be a time consuming process to do well, but it can provide invaluable insights to inform decisions about marketing strategy, new market entry, product launches and content marketing approaches.
Online competitor comparison tools simplify this process by aggregating ISP data and or using panel data to give you easy access to up-to-date information on a sector or competitor. This allows you to do competitor benchmarking, get an understanding of market size, collect geo and demographic data, monitor the search and content strategies of your competitors, and look at audience segmentation.
The solutions below are ideal for when you are drafting a business case, reviewing your marketing strategy, conducting a SWOT analysis or just if need to get a better understanding of what your competitors are up to.
1.AdClarity: This is a leading social media and competitor intelligence solution for digital media. It allows you to examine which campaigns, creatives and traffic sources are working most effectively for your competitors. If you want to identify which publishers your competitors advertise with, the creatives used and landing pages they are sending visitors to AdClarity can provide you with this information.
2.Alexa: An easy-to-use tool for obtaining web traffic metrics, top sites lists, site demographics and other data from websites with reasonable traffic volumes. The free service provides competitor data including traffic metrics, top sites in the sector and visitor demographics.
The APIs can be integrated to allow you to validate your own analytics.
A user friendly tool as it is part of Amazon and APIs can be integrated to allow you to validate your own analytics. It enables you to run comparison against competitor sites provided they get a reasonable amount of traffic. The free tool is very limited for smaller sites, but the subscription tool does provide a large variety of additional data from users who download one of the browser extensions.
3.Compete – (Millward Brown Digital):This is an enterprise solution for larger organisations that have the budget to conduct comprehensive competitor analysis. The tool provides a great depth of cross-industry data, including traffic, engagement and demographic metrics on competitor websites. Benchmark your site performance and conversion rate by tracking online market share in your industry. Examine key words and referral traffic sources used by your competitors. Identify best in class websites from performance data. No free trials are available.
4.Experian Hitwise: A subscription only service for large organisations which provides benchmarking of websites with detailed visitor profiling so that you can understand user behaviour across multiple websites and devices. Its strength lies in the demographic data that it provides as a result of collaboration with ISPs and integration of visitor data.
5.Google Analytics Benchmarking: This is free feature of Google Analytics that automatically benchmarks sites against at category level by channel, location and device. It is based upon data collected directly by Google Analytics across many websites within the specific category selected within your web analytics set up. The categories can be a bit generic and actual number of visits is not known.
6.Google Alerts:This is a free tool which can inform you every time a competitor or your company is mentioned online.
7.Quantcast Measure:Provides free audience insights for over 100,000,000 websites including detailed demographic, geographic and lifestyle data. Quantcast Measure offers a range of analytics and data mining tools to understand audience behaviour across devices and platforms. You can obtain audience demographic and geographic profiles for your websites and mobile apps, plus for your competitors.
This a great tool for getting information on the number of mobile apps users, visits and page views for a set period of time. Audience demographics are broken downy by gender, age, number of children, income, education, ethnicity, political affiliation and political engagement. In addition the tool can provide data on audience interests, other sites your audience visits and source of traffic.
8.SimilarWeb: This is considered the best free benchmarking tool as it shows website visits broken down by traffic source, keywords that your competitors are using and the number of mobile app users. The paid version provides organic and paid keywords, including not provided, evaluates most popular pages, benchmarks campaign strength and mobile app engagement.
The data used by Similarweb is collected via browser toolbars and extensions and so like all these tools it is based upon a sample of users and its accuracy may vary according to specific category you are monitoring.
9. Siterankdata: A free tool that offers current and historical website rank data and analysis. You can compare top websites by keyword, domain extension or ranking changes. Works best for sites with a reasonable amount of traffic.
10. Website Informer:This is a free service for web masters which gathers detailed information on websites, general information, statistics, main competitors, similar sites, IPs and more.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com. He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback. By aligning each stage of the customer journey with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.