Snooping on the competition, spying on your competitors or, to give it its official name of competitive intelligence, whatever you like to call it, check out these great tools and tips for sizing up your competition.
Many people are put off by competition believing the market has been cornered, leaving no room for the sole entrepreneur. Looking at it another way, if there’s lots of competition then you have chosen a good market to sell in. You just need to offer a product or service that meets the customers needs and is better than the competition.
Snooping on the Competition
So, how do you find who you’re up against? There’s a few ways to find out who the major players are in your niche.
One of the top global search engines to get ranked in. Google the keywords from your niche and see who pops up.
At the very top are the sponsored links. These are businesses who have paid alot of money to be there so it’s safe to say that they are reaping the rewards profit wise or they wouldn’t pay and it indicates to you that it’s a good niche to be in.
After these come the natural ‘organic’ list of businesses in order of best keyword match according to Google. Choose a few and take note of:-
- the products or service they sell and their price range
- have a look at their bestsellers list
- do they run promotions?
- do they offer free P&P?
This is a great little tool bar you can download for free from Alexa.com that will give you loads of information about your competition, including:-
- traffic stats including ranking, reach, page views, time on site
- search analytics that show the top queries that drive traffic to the site
- audience demographics for the site
- reputation measured on number of sites linking in
On the Alexa site you can find the top 500 sites on the web, or by country, and it also shows what’s hot on the web right now including hot topics and hot products, which could spark some ideas for you.
Shopping Comparison Sites
These sites are great to find out who you’re competition is, how potential customers buy, who they buy from, which brands are popular, and of course price comparison. There are loads of shopping comparison sites including these popular ones:-
All this information will help you form your business to cater for the needs of your niche market. There’s no reason to second guess anything. It’s all there for you. Use it to your advantage when creating your website and hopefully, before long, you’ll be ranked high in the top search engines.