Guide: How to Do a Competitive Analysis in Digital Marketing

The digital business landscape is more competitive than ever. A key strategy for businesses looking to remain agile and competitive in this dynamic landscape is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. This means getting to know what their competitors are up to so they can find ways to do things better and connect more with their customers. 

Doing a digital competitive analysis is a big part of this. It gives you a peek into how your competitors use online strategies, which can help you play to your strengths and work on your weak spots. Whether working with an established brand, a start-up, or a small business, competitive analysis in digital marketing is a tool you can’t afford to ignore. This blog post provides a helpful guide to performing a competitive analysis for digital marketing professionals. 

Why is it Important for Marketers to Research the Competition?

Digital competitive analysis is a key strategy for business growth, and knowing how to do competitor analysis in digital marketing is vital for digital marketers. How do you analyze competitors in digital marketing?

To analyze competitors in digital marketing, first, identify them. Evaluate their websites, content strategies, SEO tactics, social media presence, advertising methods, and customer feedback. Utilize these insights to enhance your digital marketing strategy, capitalize on strengths, and rectify weaknesses, keeping your online presence competitive and effective. But why is it important for marketers to research the competition? Examining your competition helps you unearth market opportunities, such as spotting gaps in the market that might be due to underserved customer needs, new features, or even overlooked audiences. Knowing competitors’ tactics can refine your marketing strategy, helping you discern what’s effective in your industry and what’s not. 

A pair of smiling female digital marketing professionals presenting during a digital marketing program.
Vital advantages can be gained from conducting a digital marketing competitive analysis

By researching your competitors, you gain insights into customer complaints, preferences, and suggestions about similar offerings, which can guide enhancing your product or service. Moreover, with the rapid evolution of digital marketing trends, keeping tabs on your competitors ensures you stay in the loop and up to the newest and most effective strategies.

How to Do Competitor Analysis in Digital Marketing

To conduct a competitive analysis for digital marketing, identify your competitors. Analyze their websites, content strategies, SEO, social media presence, advertising tactics, and customer feedback. Evaluate their websites, content strategies, SEO tactics, social media presence, advertising methods, and customer feedback. 

Use the insights gained to refine your digital marketing strategy, optimize strengths, and address weaknesses, ensuring you stay competitive online. 

Digital marketing concepts to be explored in our digital marketing program
Competitor analysis in digital marketing can help a business define its business strategy

We’ve broken down the whole process into steps here:

  1. Identify Your Competitors: Start with a Google search for your product or service category. List direct competitors (those offering similar products/services) and indirect competitors (those solving the same problem with a different solution).
  2. Analyze Their Website and User Experience: Visit each competitor’s website. Note the overall design, user experience, call-to-actions, blog quality, mobile responsiveness, and unique features or tools. Tools like SimilarWeb can provide insights into their website traffic and sources.
  3. Examine Their Content Strategy: What type of content are they producing? How often? Is it video, blog posts, infographics, or podcasts? This will give you insights into what content resonates most with your target audience.
  4. Inspect SEO and Keywords: Tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can provide information on the keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can help shape your SEO strategy and highlight potential keyword opportunities.
  5. Assess Social Media Presence: Look at which platforms they’re active on, the frequency of posts, the type of content shared, and audience engagement levels. Social listening tools like Brandwatch or Mention can be handy.
  6. Review Their Advertising Tactics: You can use tools like SpyFu or AdEspresso to glimpse your competitors’ online advertising strategies. Take note of their ad copy, visuals, and the platforms they focus on.
  7. Evaluate Email Marketing: If possible, subscribe to your competitors’ email list. This will give you an idea of their email marketing frequency, style, and promotions.
  8. Feedback and Reviews: Sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and industry-specific review sites can provide a goldmine of information about what customers like or dislike about your competitors.
  9. Identify Their Strengths and Weaknesses: After gathering all this data, list what each competitor does well and where they might fall short.
  10. Draw Actionable Insights: The final step is turning this research into action. Based on what you’ve learned, adjust your digital marketing strategy. This could mean tweaking your content approach, optimizing your website, or doubling down on specific advertising channels.

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