Bonus: If the site is popular enough, Alexa will show you demographic data for the visitors.
This is a great tool for all kinds of competitive analysis. And the
correlation between SimilarWeb rankings and traffic is higher, .827.
It’s more accurate.
Bonus: If the site is popular enough, SimilarWeb will show you traffic sources, including referring sites!
Rankings are public, so it’s easy to get data on the competition’s
SEO efforts. We recommend two tools for this, Moz and SEMrush. Moz shows
the general likelihood of ranking. SEMrush shows the number of phrases
they’re raking for.
5. Domain Authority
This is a powerful indicator of the strength of the competition. Domain Authority
is the overall ranking potential of you and your competitors. Whoever’s
higher has more horsepower in search. The quickest way to compare you
to them is to enter you both into Open Site Explorer.
Use the “Compare Link Metrics” tab to see the specifics, including the number of sites that link to each of you.
6. Number of ranking keyphrases (non-branded)
Use SEMrush to
check their rankings. Most website rank for hundreds (if not thousands)
of phrases. Just enter your websites into this tool and look at the
number in the lefthand column.
Of course, you both already rank for your business names, so that
doesn’t count. What matters is the number of “non-branded”
keyphrases. Those are the phrases that don’t include the business name.
If you have the paid account (worth it!) you can use a filter to remove
these branded phrases.
This is another important yardstick. The advantage goes to the brand
with the larger, more engaged following. The winner here gets more
social traffic and greater networking benefits.
7. Social media followers
Pick whichever network is important to your brand. That often means
Facebook for B2C brands and LinkedIn for B2B. Twitter tends to be
relevant to everyone. Next, just compare the size of your following to
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8. Average new Twitter followers per day
There are tools that measure the growth rate of a Twitter following.
They simply show average daily new followers minus average daily
unfollowers. User the “Compare Users” feature in FollowerWonk. Make sure to select “Compare Users They Follow” from the dropdown menu.
As we know from previous research, the biggest factor in follower
growth isn’t activity or “authority,” it’s the size of the following (source). The rich get richer, it seems.
If you’re looking to grow your following fast, here’s our Semi-Legit Guide to Getting More Twitter Followers.
9. Average shares per post
Who gets shared the most? Some marketers are good at making sharable
content. Some marketers are just good at getting others to share.
Lots of factors contribute to sharing: headlines, visuals, using
contributors (see below) and social automation tools. Regardless of how
they do it, here’s how to find out how much they get shared.
With the BuzzSumo free version, you can see what gets shared the most
on your domain and theirs. But in BuzzSumo Pro (or with a free trial),
you can do a domain comparison and see the average shares, you versus them, on every social network.
Now you’ve got a good sense for who’s getting more social traffic.
It’s a controversial metric, but it does mean something. Klout is based on 400+ signals.
It’s a measure of “influence” as in the likelihood that others are
interacting, responding, answering, favoriting, liking and sharing.
A high Klout score means they’re doing more than just dumping links into social streams.
Every serious marketer I know is intensely focused on email
marketing. Unlike most traffic sources (Google, Facebook, Twitter and
LinkedIn) email is not a company. It’s the list you own. It makes you
less beholden to those companies to drive traffic.
With email, there’s no company acting as the intermediary between the
reader and the brand. Here are the two main ways to do a little email
marketing competitive analysis.
11. Email list size
This is a key comparison. It’s also not necessarily visible. If your competition knows how to optimize an email signup form by adding social proof, the number of subscribers might be right there on the blog or in a popup window.
If not, try asking them on social media. They might just send a quick response!
12. Email frequency
As with publishing on the blog, there isn’t an easy way to measure
this. Just subscribe to your competitors newsletter and count the emails
as they come in.
Advanced Content Strategies
Content can go far beyond blogging. Some brands are doing much more
in creating and promoting their content. Let’s give credit to those
strategies and show who is giving themselves a competitive edge.
13. Publishing research
As we’ve reported already, 75% of content get no links and almost no shares. But one format for content rises above all others: research.
Look for original research that creates new data and statistics:
charts, graphs, percentages and sound bites that were published there
first, before they appeared anywhere else. These are probably the pages
with the most links (according to Open Site Explorer) and shares
(according to BuzzSumo).
14. Collaborative content
Including keywords is good for search traffic. Everyone knows that. But here’s something most marketers miss: including people is good for social traffic.
Our competitive analysis of content marketing includes a check into
collaboration. So browse through recent articles, looking for ego bait; content that includes the faces, names and voices of influencers.
This usually means:
- Contributor quotes
- Contributing guest bloggers
Marketers who collaborate with others on their content get big networking and social media benefits over the long haul.
Tip: Email interviews are a fast, powerful way to get more people involved in your next article.
5. Using popup windows for list growth
It’s a more aggressive, more effective way to grow an email list. Marketers love popups, even if visitors don’t.
- Percentage of visitors who like popup windows: 0%
- Percentage of marketers who say popups work: 100%
How well do they work? Oli Gardner shared the data at the Unbounce CTA Conference in Vancouver. Here are typical conversion rates:
Oli also shared the difference between average and excellent. It’s all about relevance, value, timing and design.
Are you already using popups? Use these benchmarks as another way to compare your content marketing to others.
As with popups, retargeting is another way to more aggressively
improve branding and traffic. A retargeting campaign uses a tracking
pixel and a cookie, so after a visitor comes to your website, ads appear
on other websites, encouraging them to return.