One of the most important methods to evaluate how your company’s online presence compares to others in your sector is to conduct competitive research and have a complete competitive analysis performed on your brand.
Whether it’s a lack of time, energy, resources or something else, when one company gains an edge, another company loses it. In business, there are always setbacks.
So, what if your company’s competitive advantage has eroded? And maybe more crucially, how can you reclaim it? It’s not about the setbacks, since every firm encounters them; it’s about how you push through them and fight your way back to the top – no matter what.
Some companies just have it easy. Like Starbucks, they’ve always been atop the coffee world, haven’t they? Nope. Even Starbucks experienced setbacks, and if they can come all the way back to where they are today, your business can too.
One of the biggest differences between an industry’s top-performing brands and those that are a little further behind is how much they are paying attention to the marketplace and the needs of their customers. Top brands keep a close eye on their competitive landscape and are conducting regular competitive analyses on their business to help them evolve, pivot, and stay ahead.
Remaining self-aware of your company’s position amongst the competition is a good preventative measure, but what do you do if you’ve already fallen behind? It’s reasonable to assume that any company that is after your customers has done their research, so it’ll take some digital savvy to gain back your turf.
One of the best ways to even things up with your competitors is to eliminate any advantages they have over you. In the world of inbound marketing, every backlink a company has to their website represents a small edge over other brands in the industry that don’t have the same backlink. Moz’s Link Exchange tool does a great job at uncovering sites within your niche that are linking to two of your stronger competitors but not to you.
The ‘Link Intersect Tool’ is effective in two ways, and we’ll briefly run through both of them. For the first method, think of two heavyweights in your industry and plug their URLs into the tool. We’re using Moz and our partners over at HubSpot. These brands produce exceptional digital marketing resources, which is one of the primary goals of WSIWorld.com. Here’s what the results look like:
There are 4,338 pages that link to both Moz and HubSpot’s root domains but not WSI’s, so there’s plenty of opportunities out there. Many of these links come from places we’re aware of, like Social MediaExaminer, another big industry resource. On the other hand, there are a ton of not-so-obvious opportunities for us to target in our link outreach program. For example, there’s the social media marketing page on Wikipedia, which is a link that seems obvious but isn’t something we thought to target.
If plugging in the big guns seems like an ambitious place to start, try Googling a keyword or phrase associated with your business and using the top two hits. We tried ‘digital marketing resources,’ a term that WSI ranks for on the first page of Google. Here are the results the Link Intersect tools spit out for that query:
Since we narrowed our search parameters, we got much more specific results, and a manageable list of 19 links to sift through. The most fruitful information in this set of data is that a number of articles on Search Engine Land and Marketing Land link to sites like WSIWorld.com.
The technical process of this exercise is simple, but there’s immense value in the resulting data, and you’ll be surprised at how many ideas you’ll get from looking at a list of industry sites that your competitors have beaten you to. It’s inspiring, humbling and definitely helps you to think outside the box.
About the author:
Tali is a results-driven digital marketer with a track record of growing her clients’ businesses and driving revenue.
As the business owner at WSI Digital Path, Vaughan, she takes great pride in delivering powerful but cost-effective solutions for her clients.
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