The Benefits To Doing An Online Competitors Audit.
Before you embark on a new company website design or redesign, you should plan it out and complete an analysis of your competitors to ensures you can make informed decisions on what is best for your company. In this process you will identify what frustrations users may face, identify common elements that you could adopt or decide to discard.
This is the fourth blog in the “How To Prepare To Hire A Web Designer Blog Series”
If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first” or any of the following in this series before continuing!
How to Analyse Your Competitors.
1. Create a list of your top competitors.
If you have not done so already, create a list of your business competitors and order them from your top competitor down until the least most competition, add their url in a column next to the name in case you need to refer back to them quickly.
2. Create A Comparative List
Let’s break it down, and create a list of questions or points for you to guide you through each site individually but analyzing them exactly the same.
This questions or important points maybe include your online goals or maybe they are as simple as looking at layout and colour schemes. Here are some questions you might want to consider adding to your list:
- Which features feel intuitive?
- How fast do pages load?
- What is the hierarchy of information?
- What is the message they are conveying?
- What is on their landing page?
- What is the overall feel?
- What are their visual design choices?
- What stands out?
- How are they using typography?
- Is the site responsive?
- How do they manage contact information?
- What features don’t you like?
- Is there something they are missing (think features or content)?
- What keywords are they using?
Here are some customer engagement questions you should consider:
- What social media accounts do they have?
- Which social media accounts do they have the most client interaction with?
- Do they have a blog?
- Are they getting customers / clients commenting on their blogs?
- Are people sharing their blogs?
- What are they posting on social media?
- What call to actions are they using to entice people to interact with their social media or blogs?
3. Analyse Each Website
Using your points you created in the previous set, you are going to go through your top 5 competitors websites and write down an answer to each question.
4. Compare And Create A Report
By now you should have at least 5 of your top competing companies to compare with each other.
Go through your findings side by side and draw up your own conclusions, and for a list of recommendations to be able to give to your website designer and/or a list of feature to adopt or ones that you should avoid.
Keep an eye out for new marketing channels, strategies or even audience groups you haven’t thought of!
By creating a report, you can refer back it from time to time to ensure your project is on track and that you’re not wasting time making the same decisions twice.
Congratulation, You Have Just Completed Your First Audit Of Your Competitors!
Now you have learnt that reviewing your competitors websites it a fantastic tool for developing your own online strategy, creating website feature lists or understanding what works and what doesn’t in your line of business.