How Competitor Research and Analysis Can Help Your Business

As business owners and service providers, it is only natural for us to have competitors. Identifying them and differentiating your products, services, and marketing strategies from theirs is most important. However, once you identify your competition, it can be hard to determine where to start when differentiating yourself. That's when a competitor analysis comes in. 

A competitor analysis is a vital part of any business’s marketing strategy. By understanding your competitors, you can develop a competitive advantage, stay one step ahead of the competition, and make better-educated decisions. While conducting thorough research on your competitors can be a time-consuming process and can be challenging once you start, we recommend that you continue to do that research at the very least quarterly. It is important to stay educated on what your competitors are doing. 

To help you and your business, we’ve put together this guide on the benefits of competitor research and analysis. We also included questions to ask yourself about your business and your competitors.

Table Of Contents: 

What is a competitor? 

A competitor is any business that provides a product or service similar to yours. Understanding your competitors is an important part of running a successful business. Researching your competitors can help you learn their strengths and weaknesses, how well they are doing, and what areas need improvement. In addition, knowing who your competitors are and researching their business can help create a competitive advantage for your own business and help in decision-making.

Competitive Research vs. Competitive Analysis 

Competitive research is the process of gathering information about your competitors. This includes their products, pricing, marketing strategies, and more. While doing competitive research, ask yourself: 

  • What keywords are you seeing? 
  • What are they doing differently? 
  • What are they doing that works and does not work? 

This research is meant to help you gather all the information you need to complete a competitive analysis. 

Competitive analysis is a step beyond research. In a competitive analysis, you not only gather information about your competitors, but you also analyze that information to understand what it means for your business. This understanding can help you make strategic decisions about positioning your own business in the market and who your audience is. 

We wrote a similar blog about researching your competitors and how to do a backlink analysis and increase traffic to your website. While a competitor analysis and a backlink analysis are similar, a competitor analysis includes information about the product, prices, and strategies you see and any backlink analysis you do. If you would like more information on doing a backlink analysis, check out our blog all about How Examining Your Competitor’s Backlinks Can Boost Website Traffic.

Business owners discussing the website flow of a competitor's website.

Conducting Competitor Research 

Researching your competitors and staying on top of their marketing and business strategies should be ongoing. As marketers, we want to continue to deepen our understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, strategies, keywords, etc., of our competitors. 

Competitor research should be standard for every business, and many companies already do some form of competitive research even if they don’t formalize it into a process. 

There are several ways to conduct competitor research: One way is to Google your competitors and look at their websites. Another way is to sign up for their email newsletters or follow them on social media. You can also attend trade shows or industry events where they will be exhibiting.

Once you have gathered some information about your competitors, it is time to analyze that information. Here are some questions to ask as you’re conducting your analysis:

  • What products or services do they offer?
  • How do they price their products or services?
  • What is their marketing strategy?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What opportunities and threats do they face?

After you have answered these questions, you should have a good understanding of your competitor’s business. 

This understanding can help you make strategic decisions about your own business. In addition, by doing consistent competitive research, you can gain insight into the competitive landscape and other aspects of the competition on an ongoing basis. 

Creating a Competitive Advantage 

Once you have gathered and analyzed information about your competitors, you can use that information to create a competitive advantage for your own business. To do this, pinpoint areas where you do better, and have a stronger strategy than your competitor. Do you notice any potential “weaknesses” in their business? 

A few examples of this could be: 

  • If your competitor has high prices but low-quality products, you could create a competitive advantage by offering lower prices and higher quality products. 
  • If one of your competitors is lacking in customer service, you could position your business as the customer service leader. 
  • If another competitor is strong in online marketing, you could focus on offline marketing to differentiate yourself.

By understanding your competitors and using that information to create a competitive advantage, you can stay one step ahead of the competition and grow your business.

Benefits of Understanding your Competitors 

Understand your audience better.

By understanding who our competitors are targeting, we can understand our audience better and communicate with them more efficiently. Knowing our audience allows marketers to better advertise to and communicate with them. We need to understand what our customers want and how they want it delivered. We can learn what works and does not work and use that information to improve our own business by understanding our competition.

If you’re unsure about who your audience is, we recommend you reference our blog “Do you Really Know Your Audience or Are you just Guessing?” Where we expand on what a target audience is, why it’s important, and how to find your target audience. 

Separate yourself, so you stand out to your audience.

No business is the same, and we want to highlight our differences. Competitive research provides us with all the information we need to know what our competitors offer and find ways to make our offering more attractive to our audience. When we stand out and highlight our differences, we can attract and keep more of our customers. 

Competitive research is so important. It helps you understand your audience, learn how to communicate with them, and advertise to them more efficiently. Standing out from the rest of your competitors will make you much more memorable, especially if you are in an oversaturated market. When doing your competitive research, evaluate ways to differentiate yourself. 

Two women talking about a competitor analysis they completed.

Speak effectively.

We use competitor research to learn how to speak with our customers. We may not speak the way our audience does, and the language they use to search should be included in your website content. Including that verbiage in your website content makes you more searchable.

By understanding your competition, you can create a competitive advantage and grow your business. It also helps marketers know which keywords to go after. Through competitive research, you’ll even be able to find keywords that your competitors are not going after! 

Knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting provides you the opportunity to create content around keywords that they are not targeting to attract their audience to your site.

Competitor research is the key to understanding who your target market is and how to reach them. It’s an essential part of any marketing strategy and should be conducted regularly.

Understand Trends in the Market

Through competitor research, you may find companies you didn’t know about or didn’t consider competition before. However, identifying your competitors is the first step in creating a strategy to stand out from them. Competitive research will also help you determine where there may be gaps for potential customers. For example, where are your customers being underserved? And how can you fill that void? If you find any gaps, you can make serving those areas a part of your offerings and satisfy those needs. 

Pay attention to trends within the market. Trends are marketing tactics you or your competitors use to interact with their audience. A few examples are: 

  • Influencer marketing campaigns 
  • Conversational marketing, like chat boxes 
  • Social Media, like where they’re spending time online? Are they implementing new social trends like TikTok dances or using trending sounds?

Make Educated Marketing Decisions

By analyzing your competitors and tracking their changes, you can also avoid their mistakes. We learn from others, so learn from your competitors, and avoid making those same mistakes. 

Research new opportunities among your audience and new ways to connect with them. By understanding what our competitors are doing, we can identify new opportunities for our business. A competitive analysis and the research done can be referenced frequently to help you, the business owner, make more thoughtful decisions. 

By conducting competitive research and completing a competitive analysis, you are arming yourself and your business with the key insights into what your customers want, don’t want, their needs, and how you can meet them. Additionally, you can find gaps within the market and in your competitors’ offerings and meet those needs. Don’t forget, through this research you can also learn about your competitors’ marketing strategies, what’s working for them, and what isn’t. Finally, by understanding your competition and their strategies, you can make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy and budget.

Competitor research is essential to any business owner or marketer who wants to create a winning marketing strategy. It is the key to understanding your target market, your competition, and how to reach your customers. Additionally, it can help you determine where there may be gaps in the market or in your competitor’s offerings. By conducting competitive research, you can arm yourself with the key insights you need to make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

This information is vital when developing your marketing strategy and building SEO. Your research is meant to help you make educated decisions and increase your strategies’ chances to resonate and drive success. Conducting competitor research is the first step in understanding your target market and how to reach them. It’s an essential part of any marketing strategy and should be conducted regularly.

To be successful, businesses need to understand their place in the market. Competitor research and analysis is one way to gain this understanding. By conducting thorough research on your competitors, you can develop a competitive advantage and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Competitor research and analysis are an important part of running a successful business. Understanding your competitors can develop a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the competition. There are several ways to conduct competitor research, including looking at their websites, following them on social media, subscribing to their newsletters, or attending trade shows or industry events. Once you have gathered information about your competitors, you can analyze that information to understand their strengths, weaknesses, offerings, and any gaps that you can fill to create a competitive advantage for your own business. 

Competitor research can be a time-consuming process, but it is essential for any business that wants to be successful. Through research and analysis, you can understand your competitors and make strategic decisions to help your business thrive.

When it comes to your business, one of the most important things you can do is understand your competition. Knowing who they are, what they do well, and where they fall short gives you a significant advantage. In addition, it allows you to adjust your offerings and marketing strategy so that you can better compete in your industry.

Remember that competitive research and doing a competitive analysis are ongoing, and completing an analysis is not the end of your strategy. It’s the beginning. You’ve done so much research and worked hard. Don’t let it go to waste. Instead, ensure you use the insights to guide your business and make strategic decisions. 

Using a competitive analysis in your strategic plan is an ongoing process. It’s a great tool to reference back to and utilize when you need to make crucial decisions for your business. Stay ahead of the competition by regularly revisiting your competitor analysis. No matter what stage of life your business is in: new or established, it’s essential to keep your competitors in mind when making decisions.

Have you done any competitive research for your business? What did you learn? What did you change in your business? We want to hear all about your experiences in doing competitive research and completing a competitive analysis. 

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join the conversation on the importance of competitive research, completing a competitive analysis, and utilizing it to make changes within your business. 

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