Evaluating Your Competitive Landscape
Nearly every industry has reported facing more competitors in the last several years than before. This article will help you identify your biggest competitors so that you can get started gathering intelligence to get you ahead in your industry again.
Take a Look at Your Industry’s Competitive Landscape
Industries are constantly evolving. With the advent of new technology and rapidly shifting customer needs and opinions, it can be hard to keep up. Not to mention, businesses are facing more competitors now than they ever have before.
In fact, 90% of businesses in one survey reported that their industry had become more competitive in the last several years, with 48% saying their industry had become much more competitive. With so many competitors, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Sometimes, you might have trouble identifying the major competitors in your industry. You actually have two different types of competition that might pose a threat to your business: direct and indirect.
· Direct competition
These are the businesses that vie for the same customers as yours. They sell similar products, so customers will likely directly compare your products against what they have to offer.
· Indirect competition
These businesses might not sell the same products, but they are related enough to use similar keywords and publish similar content. That means you are constantly competing with them for high rankings on search engine result pages and for your viewers’ attention.
Both of these sources of competition can be difficult to pinpoint. You might know some competitors in your industry, but how do you make sure you’re not missing any? Indirect competitors can be even harder to identify. What companies might be including keywords that are causing your search engine rankings to plummet?
Identifying Competitors in Your Competitive Landscape
Here are some helpful strategies to help you evaluate the key players in your business’s competitive landscape:
Consult your customers
A good place to start is finding out what your customers think about your industry. While they won’t know everything about your business’s competitive landscape, they likely have a better idea of your competitors than you would expect.
Customer surveys and polls can be incredibly valuable tools to gauge what your market looks like. Ask customers what other companies they may have considered when deciding to make a purchase. Include a section for them to tell you how they ultimately made their decision.
It can be easy for your team to spend a lot of energy on your own business without looking around at who your competitors are and what they may be doing. Your customers can help you get a fuller picture of what your competitive landscape looks like.
Conduct an SEO Analysis
Tracking down indirect competitors is not quite so clear cut. Since these are the companies that are competing with you for search engine result space, you’ll need to take a look at which companies are using similar keywords to yours. Often, these may overlap with your direct competitors, but you may notice other indirect competitors diverting attention from your site.
Even if your business hasn’t been using an SEO-driven content strategy, an SEO analysis can help your team figure out what keywords are working for the competition. SEO is all about matching the keywords in your content to the keywords that users are frequently searching on the internet. An SEO analysis allows your team to identify which words are most successful and which competitors are using them.
List your products, then research your market
Complete a detailed inventory of your own business. List out your major products and then search them on the internet. It may sound simple, but this strategy is likely to yield insight you may not have thought about before.
Are there new companies in your industry that are showing up in the results? Can you detect any indirect competitors that may be lurking in the results and distracting users from your site? Which companies are showing up at the top of the results page, and where does yours fall?
Keep a list of all companies that sell products that might directly compete with yours. These are key players in your competitive landscape. But don’t forget about the indirect competitors who may be competing with you for search engine ranking space.
Finish strong with a competitor analysis
Knowing who your competitors are only gets you so far. Now you need to go through the process of a competitor analysis to figure out where your business may be lacking compared to your major competitors.
A competitor analysis will prompt you to think of your own strengths and weaknesses and compare those to your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. It can be a difficult process, but it’s definitely worth it. Going through a competitor analysis with your team can give you insight into what’s most successful for your competition and what you can learn from them.
An investigation of your competitive landscape should not be complete without a competitor analysis.
Using Competitive Intelligence to Make It in Your Competitive Landscape
With industries reporting more competition than ever before, it’s clear that you’ll have to work even harder to stay at the top. 94% of businesses have started investing in competitive intelligence to make sure they stay ahead of the curve in their industries.
The experts at Archintel can help you craft a comprehensive competitive intelligence strategy that will help you stay ahead of the competition. Their research can make sure you know what the competition is planning to do before they do it.
Their intelligence comes from a variety of publicly available sources and from their original market research. They analyze social media updates, patent databases, customer review sites, online forums, competitor websites, and many other sources to get your team insight-packed reports on what the competition is planning.
You have the power to give your business the competitive edge it needs. Archintel can help your business thoroughly evaluate your competitive landscape for direct and indirect competitors. Request a demo from the professionals at Archintel today to help get your business to the forefront of your industry.