Headshots of contributing YEC members
Top row, from left: Shu Saito, Tyler Gallagher, Maria Thimothy, John Weiss, Firas Kittaneh. Bottom row, from left: Amine Rahal, Blair Williams, Daisy Jing, Chris Christoff, Thomas Griffin.

Every business faces competition. In order to succeed in the marketplace, companies must do what they can to stand out from each other. An important step in this process is analyzing the competition to figure out what they do well — and what they don’t — so you have a better idea of where your company stands and what you need to do to get ahead.

To help get you started, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared a list of helpful pieces of data or information you’ll want to find out when studying your competition and why those things will help you succeed. 

10 Things to Target When Studying Your Competitors

  1. Their competitive advantage.
  2. Their shipping and handling rates.
  3. Their message.
  4. Their traffic sources.
  5. Their conversion rate.
  6. Their pricing information.
  7. Their domain authority.
  8. What customers love about them.
  9. Their keyword strategy.
  10. Their weaknesses.

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1. Their Competitive Advantage

If your competitors are offering more value to customers, you need to absolutely know what that advantage is. Is it an ideal geographic location, a catchy brand name or access to new technology? What is it that makes them better than you? Your business can only benefit from getting a sense of the resources that your competitors are using. — Shu Saito, SpiroPure


2. Their Shipping and Handling Rates

If you’re in the e-commerce business, monitor shipping and handling rates. These charges tend to ebb and flow regularly, and if your competitors lower their rates or delivery speeds, it can sometimes fly under the radar but lead to massive sales growth for them. I recommend looking at who their shipping vendors are and seeing whether you can achieve cost parity. — Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets


3. Their Message

A critical aspect of analyzing your competition is figuring out what their message is. How do they position themselves in the market? How do they talk to their customers? What are their key selling points? Knowing this will help you better position yourself and ensure you highlight your strengths and are better prepared to handle going toe-to-toe with them in the future. — Maria Thimothy, OneIMS


4. Their Traffic Sources

Look at their traffic sources via Similarweb. It can be very helpful to see what sources a competitor is getting traffic from and what keywords people are searching for to find them. — Josh Weiss, Reggie


5. Their Conversion Rate

A lot can be said about a brand’s social metrics, its price points, their reviews and the publicity they gain. What matters most, however, is the quality of traffic they receive and the sales that traffic generates. The more you know about a competitor’s conversion rate, the more you can benchmark your performance. — Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress


6. Their Pricing Information

In today’s environment, prices can change at the drop of a hat. Watching your competitors’ pricing can be beneficial for your company because it can allow you to raise your own prices in step with theirs. You may be holding off on a price hike because you don’t want to be priced out by competition. If they hike first, you can match at little risk. — Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions


7. Their Domain Authority

From an SEO and content marketing perspective, you need to find out your competitor’s website’s domain authority, which is a metric that represents how likely a website is to rank on a search result page. Knowing this metric will tell you whether you need to grow your own domain authority and by how much. You’ll then be able to track the impact of your SEO efforts and know what steps to take. — Blair Williams, MemberPress


8. What Customers Love About Them

Learn what their customers love about your competition, not so you can live under their shadow, but so you can study what you should do in terms of marketing, customer service and PR. We can learn from our competition’s strengths and avoid their weaknesses. We can’t copy other brands, but we can learn from them and use the lessons to form strategies. — Daisy Jing, Banish


9. Their Keyword Strategy

One thing you’ll want to check when analyzing your competition is their keyword strategy. You can learn a lot about the people who visit your competitor’s website by looking at what visitors search to find their site. I’ve found plenty of new words that we ended up ranking for on our site by looking at this crucial data. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights


10. Their Weaknesses

A very important piece of information to know about your competitors is their weaknesses. When you know that, you can easily use it and turn it into one of your strengths. This is a great way of gaining an edge over your competitors to achieve your goals faster. — Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

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