Questions to Ask When Analyzing a Competitor’s Website

 A competitor’s website is your gateway into understanding their positioning, their sales focus, and their marketing strategy. When conducting competitive analysis on your own there’s a ton to look at: their product/service offerings, social channels, what ads they’re running and where, emails they’re sending, and their website. While each of those are important to keep tabs on, there’s a lot you can learn from a competitor’s website. Oftentimes their site is the first thing they update with new promotions and new offerings, long before they run a campaign, post on Facebook, or send an email. When you know what your competitors are doing, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re up against in sales and in marketing.

When looking at a website, it can be hard to figure what you really need to look at. Tools like SpyFu, Moz, Pingdom, and others can tell you how much traffic their website gets, how fast it is, what keywords they focus on, etc. All of those are great things to know, but to really get to the core of what they’re trying to accomplish and develop a strategy to beat them, you need to dig deeper. Here’s a list of questions we’d recommend asking yourself when you’re looking at a competitor’s website: 

  1. What is the focus of their homepage?
    • Do they focus on specific products/services, recent awards, promotional offers?
    • Do they have a rotating banner?
      • If so, what do they feature on their banners?
    • What are the calls-to-action? Have they changed?
  2. Are they offering any current promotions?
    • If so, what are they? 
    • When do they end? 
  3. What products or services do they offer?
    • Have they added any new products or services? 
    • How does their pricing compare to yours?
  4. Do they link off to any social channels?
    • If so, which ones? 
  5. How do you obtain their products or services?
    • Can you purchase online? 
    • Do they have a quote process or just a basic contact form?
  6. Do they have a blog?
    • What topics do they focus on?
    • How many posts do they have in the last 30 days?
    • What were their last 3 posts about?
  7. Do they have a news / press release section?
    • How many news articles or press releases have they posted in the last 30 days?
    • What were their last 3 releases about?

It’s also important to keep track of how often a competitor updates their website. It’s easy to keep track of how often they update their blog or news section, since those posts are usually dated. It can be harder to know how often they update their homepage or a specific product/service. You can try checking it daily or a few times a week and monitor for anything new that has been added or changed. This can be time consuming to do and hard to manage and document. 

One of the key features of the Signal Insights platform is our ability to monitor for website changes. We can crawl the areas you care about most on your competitors’ websites multiple times a day to identify changes. Those changes are then recorded via screenshot in a dashboard and also emailed to you daily. If you’d like to learn more about our website monitoring feature and the other features of the Signal Insights platform, you can book a 12 minute demo to see a dashboard in action.