• Hilary Nightingale

Why prepare a competitor website analysis?

Undertake a competitor analysis when you want to be sure you are positioning yourself in the industry correctly. As a start-up you may want to see what your competitors are doing, but established organisations keep a regular eye their competitors as part of their overall marketing strategy.

The point of running a competitor analysis is not to copy what the others are doing, but to gauge an opinion of what you like to see, what you think is user friendly for your audience and what you want to avoid doing in your strategy.

So, why do a competitor analysis? The simple answer is to be aware of what’s going on in your circle of influence and understand how your company is positioned in the market.

When should you compare your company to others?

There are three main times when it is useful to run a competitor analysis:

Marketing strategy revamp – factor competitor analysis into your marketing budget when looking at new avenues and reporting on results for existing strategies

Website creation / update – time spent researching other websites and noting the aspects you want to emulate

Social media creation / update – what are others doing that you like or don’t like? Are their posts successful? Can you dedicate the same time/budget to compete?

What could you be looking for?

We’re looking at websites in this article, and we’ll take a look at social media competitor analysis later…

If you decide you want a full marketing competitor analysis, you may want to book a marketing consultation day with us so we can get to the crux of the issue in your existing marketing strategy.

Website competitor analysis

Things to look for – this list is not exhaustive, and you may have identified specific parts of websites to take note of in your marketing consultation, for example, galleries or recruitment pages.

Pages breakdown

  • What pages do they include, what are they called, do they include secondary pages?

All pages

  • Header banners: are they static, scrolling or video?

  • Images: number and layout of images, local, national or global. Large or small

  • Copy: Word count, keywords, call to action, contact details

  • Social media: Is it present? Are there buttons or live feeds, are there other feeds such as industry stats or news?

  • Logos: Any awards, membership logos or client mentions

  • Tone of voice: Purely professional or a little personal information?

  • Links: Does the copy contain links to other pages within the website? Are there links to affiliates, membership bodies?

  • Policies and promises: Does the website clearly display their ethical and social responsibilities, corporate vision, promises to customers and terms of use policies?

  • Specialisms: Does the website include specific landing pages for their specialism, or does it come under ‘services’

  • Forms and contacts: Is there a simple contact form? Are email address and telephone numbers displayed? Is there a map, links to social media or the privacy policy?

As you can tell, there is a lot to consider when you’re looking at website competitor analysis. Once you have set up a process it becomes easier with time, and if you have a clear objective before you begin you will not get lost in information.

We recommend using PowerPoint to collate the information, and the Microsoft snipping tool for taking screen shots of what you see. Be very careful with whom you share the information though, it cannot go public without serious risk of prosecution and total loss of professional reputation!

Have you conducted your own website competitor analyses? Did you look for something that isn’t on the list above? We’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you might have to make it go with ease.

Find us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and leave us a comment.


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