Competitive Analysis


What is a competitive analysis?

There are many different types of competitive analysis. People from different fields will understand the word in different ways.

However, the essence of any type of competitive analysis is to look outwards at what others are doing to help you understand what you should do.

Why a competitive analysis is important in web design

When people are researching or buying or shopping around for a new supplier they will visit dozens of websites in the process.

They will compare and pick out the best websites before delving deeper.

It makes sense that your website looks and functions the best, which is why knowing what others are doing is important.

Who to include in your competitive analysis?

Competition can take on many forms – and in its loosest sense – competition can be anyone who you can learn from to help improve your business or website.

Your direct competition

These are companies that in the same market that do the same thing than you.

Search engine competition

These are websites that you are competiting with in the search engines

Your indirect competition

These are companies that do something similar or offer alternative choices. These could be companies in the same industry as you or even in other industries but there will be a link to your business such as location or industry sector.

Best of breed

These are businesses at the pinnacle of their industry, They can be studied for ideas but to be taken with a pinch of salt.

International sample

Websites from other countries always give perspective and always help you think out of the box but at the same time help you global and similar things are around the world.

There are pros at the top of their game in all fields, so it’s good to look at the best


Competitive analysis relating to web design

Essentially, you are collecting websites to look at and study for a particular purpose in relation to web design such as visual ideas, content ideas, structure, features, photography, color scheme.

A website study should be large – over 30 is good and over 50 is better. The larger the sample, the more chances you have of finding websites that will help you in different ways.

The larger the sample, the more clearly a pattern will emerge.

What you will find is that no two websites will look the same, but the difference two businesses will not be that apparent.

And this is why a deeper analysis is often required (a strategic one)

Competitive analysis in relation to strategic web planning

You are looking at websites from with a business lens. Rather than a content, user experience or aesthetic focus – you’re now trying to understand how a business operates and fits into the overall marketplace.

You could go as far as to carry out a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threat) analysis to help you with your plan.

What you hope to achieve from this is a clearer understanding of the business objective from making a website, website promotion or revamp.

Competitive Analysis Relating to Search Engine Optimization

Everyone is competition for the number one spot on Google. For any keyword or set of keywords there are businesses out to best each other.

The research involved here is based on that premise.

It will let you know who is ranking for what keywords and how difficult it is for you to compete for those keywords.

You would then look at the websites of your competitors who are ranking in the keywords you want to rank for and plan how to beat them.

Some factors that will affect ranking and that you can easily gauge your competitors by are:

  • Number of backlinks
  • Site speed
  • Quality of content

Competitive Analysis relating to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing are the all-round activities that a business does to promote itself online. Over and above SEO, there will be advertising, social media, newsletters, downloadable PDFs, YouTube channels.

All of these can be looked at for a source of inspiration and to create an action plan for your digital marketing and SEO activities

When it comes to social media, cast a wider net because your direct competition may not know what they are doing either.