With the pandemic turbocharging demand in online shopping, the digital retail landscape has never been more competitive for brands looking to get their products in front of consumers.
But with so many established players, as well as an increasing number of new online-only businesses, how can you make sure that your website is hitting the podium on Google’s ever-expanding search results pages and maintaining a healthy presence across the social platforms?
The answer: by keeping your ‘enemies’ very close indeed.
Thankfully, there are a huge variety of tools that will do the stalking for you, providing you with data that can help you assess what you need to do to match – and ultimately top – the strongest players in your market.
1. Brandwatch – analyse competitors’ social presence
Brandwatch has a whole host of use cases, from brand management to influencer marketing, and its interface is flexible and very user-friendly, making for easy analysis.
In a nutshell, the software ‘listens’ to all the main social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ etc.) in dozens of languages, specifically to capture any mentions of your business keywords in posts.
You can track products, brand terms and names of competitors etc. And you needn’t worry about being bombarded with rubbish because the tool has some pretty hefty filters to help kick out the irrelevant posts.
You can’t talk about this tool and not mention its sentiment analysis capabilities, which help businesses keep tabs on their reputations. The good, the bad and the neutral can be filtered, allowing brands to drill down to the issues that are driving audience engagement for the purpose of content ideation.
For competitor analysis, Brandwatch can help businesses benchmark the size of presence, in real time, against anyone else in its market. It’s simply a case of pulling together a list of direct, indirect and tertiary business competitors, using a variety of traditional methods, and programming the tool to do the rest.
In analysing posts mentioning competitors and comparing them with your own, social strategists can see how audience perception varies from brand to brand. In addition, highlighting the topics where competitors have weaker presence will yield exciting opportunities. The software looks beyond typical demographics to include a poster’s profession, as well as interests/hobbies, further expanding the possibilities for gap analysis.
- Measuring share of voice across social media platforms
- Analysing brand perception
- Alerting businesses to potential opportunities or brand risks
Visit brandwatch.com to find out more
2. BuzzSumo – analyse competitors’ social profiles and content
Social intelligence platform BuzzSumo has really come into its own in the past few years. The sleek interface update in 2019 was refreshing but its growing capabilities have made it an indispensable tool in the marketer’s arsenal.
For content production, businesses can get the upper hand on competitors by quickly pinpointing the trends connecting the pieces from across the web that most people have engaged with or shared.
Have the tool analyse thousands of popular articles to uncover vital editorial guidance within seconds, including best type of content to run, recommended content length, best network to publish on, best time to post and more.
For more direct competitor analysis, its Facebook Content tool can search by keyword or Facebook page to help social teams understand which brands see the most engagement for topics relevant to their own business. In doing this you can analyse results to better understand the make-up of a winning Facebook strategy.
- Informing content strategy, from content type to time of publish
- Monitoring industry and consumer trends on forums and social media platforms
- Uncovering secrets of competitor success
Visit buzzsumo.com to try the tool for free
3. Pricesearcher – analyse competitors’ pricing
Pricesearcher is a product search engine similar to Google Shopping, except it orders its results based on the best price being offered to the consumer (rather than using some bafflingly complex and mysterious algorithm).
The ‘Pricebot’ crawler visits more than 10,000 websites a day, eliminating the need for shoppers to lose themselves in the roomy digital aisles of sites that don’t necessarily dominate elsewhere online for their pricing strategy.
Businesses can upload feeds of products to give them the chance of being found by Pricesearcher users or request a visit from Pricebot, a web crawler, which will swing by websites to gather relevant information about products to store in the search engine’s index.
There are currently no paid-for marketing opportunities within the platform itself. However, its free data can be used by business strategists to keep an eye on competitor pricing and inform their own game plan.
- Gathering live data on product pricing
- Analysing historic competitor product pricing
- Enabling business/product discovery
Visit pricesearcher.com and use the tool for free
4. BrightLocal – analyse competitors’ local search performance
BrightLocal, as the name so helpfully suggests, enables marketers to manage their online listings, SEO and reviews in local search. Ideal for anyone looking to promote a physical business that makes face-to-face contact with its customers, BrightLocal contains a suite of useful tools, the all-in-one platform can help establish how a business is performing in both local pack and localised organic results.
The super handy Local Search Rank Checker, one of a number of Brightlocal competitor analysis tools, tracks a business’s performance for keywords across multiple search engines, which makes spotting patterns in brand visibility a breeze.
You can also use BrightLocal to run a Google My Business audit and see at a glance the top 10 performing businesses for keywords in a specified location. Competitors can be compared on several key local SEO metrics – including citations, links, numbers of reviews and star ratings, Google My Business listing categories and more – to inform benchmarks for success.
With an ability to integrate analytics, social and insights systems, this sleek tool outclasses many other players in its field.
- Centralising local SEO and online listings and reviews data
- Auditing Google My Business listings
- Cleaning up and developing local citations
Visit brightlocal.com for details on a 14-day free trial
5. Pi Datametrics – analyse competitors’ search performance
Brighton-based Pi Datametrics offers a search intelligence platform that can be used across departments to aid every area of a business in understanding and acting on digital equity performance.
It offers a vast suite of tools, though its three core products stand out when it comes to smartening up an SEO strategy in double-quick time.
Pi Market Intelligence
Share of voice (SOV), a powerful metric in search marketing, can be calculated and tracked with Pi Market Intelligence. Arming businesses with information on competition quality, as well as details on their own share of the market space (down to the most refined product or topic sub-category), can ensure that decisions are always driven by proven commercial value.
Pi Platform tracks any global competitor, at the frequency of the user’s choice, to understand its visibility, and subsequently potential reach in Google Search. It’s perfect for uncovering the competitors who rank more consistently, and in the best positions, for terms across the market grouping of interest.
Last but certainly not least comes Pi Vault, an incredible resource that gives years’ worth of industry data across 650+ business categories. This historical data bank has been built with speed in mind, allowing users to unlock powerful insights regarding search engine real estate within a few clicks of the mouse. Perfect for pitching, steering content strategy and more, Pi Vault blends traditional competitor analysis with a fantastic user experience to deliver insights on tap.
The platform can be hooked up to in-house analytics, as well as technical SEO tools such as DeepCrawl, to help centralise and streamline company search efforts.
- Tracking product, business and topic search trends
- Analysing Google pages, including standard results and popular features (such as the Top Stories box)
- Pinpointing competitor rank weakness and analysing success cases