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How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis of Your Website?

A competitive analysis is instrumental in driving your website development project in the right direction. It provides valuable insight into your website and lays the guidelines for improving the overall performance/usability of your site. If done rightly, it reveals areas for improvement in your website, providing you with a unique edge over your competitors.

Find out who your direct as well as indirect competitors are. Collaborating with the marketing department should help you identify all the potential competitors that your company is competing with. Create this target list.

Determine the factors on which you want to conduct the competitive analysis. These factors will serve as the benchmark on which you will carry out the comparison with your competitors. Some of the factors you must analyze include the website homepage, navigation, site organization, links and labels, search results, readability, performance and content. For each of these factors, establish a rating, say from 1 to 5, 1 standing for very poor and 5 for outstanding.

Conduct the analysis. Visit one site at a time and make notes as you proceed from one factor to the next. Carefully analyze the website for the factor at hand and rate it for the respective criterion. Repeat the procedure for all the websites. Finally, rank your own website for these factors.

Evaluate the results. Make a table listing all the factors in the first row and the websites in the first column. Plot the ranking you allotted to the websites for different factors in the respective cells. Identify the websites that are ranking highest for different factors and compare them with your website. In this way, you will get a sense of direction for your website, allowing you to identify how to improve your website for each of the factors that you have analyzed.

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