There’s a lot to be said for the old phrase ‘know thine enemy.’ Especially if you are struggling to get your new ecommerce site off the ground. In simple terms, there is no better place to start than taking a long, hard look at what your competitors are doing.

If you don’t know what the competition is doing, you can’t make plans to take them on. And given that, all business is, in effect, a contest, failure to research is going to end in an inability to sell.

In today’s guide, we’re going to go through a broad range of methods of using benchmarking and analysis to boost your business. Let’s take a closer look.

The importance of benchmarking

You cannot tell how well you are doing without judging your business against the competition. Benchmarking yourself in a broad range of areas will point you in the direction of where you are going right – and wrong.

And this applies even if you are making waves and enjoying a lot of success. Once you get noticed, your competitors will start to fight back, and if you aren’t analyzing them, they will take away valuable customers.

The metrics

So, how do you go about using competitor analysis to your advantage? The first step is to know who your competitors are. Look at your keywords and seek out the companies that are beating you in the search engine rankings. Where does your position compare?

Once you find these leading lights, look at their SEO and content – is there anything they are doing that you are not? They might be finding traffic through blog posts, for example, or effective landing pages.

You should also look at the way the site flows. Is there anything you can learn? Perhaps their checkout process is a lot easier than yours. Maybe you could use their ideas to reduce the volume of abandoned shopping carts you experience?

The investment

Once you understand where your rivals are doing better, it’s time to start making changes to your site. There are a variety of tools you can use to do this, such as whitelabel SEO services and even standard products like Google Analytics.

The idea is to compare yourself to the competition, and then work on the areas where you need to improve. But don’t forget, it’s not good enough to match your rivals – you need to do everything better. Ensure your blog content is better than theirs.

Make your UX smoother and more fluid than theirs. And aim to beat them on every last keyword that is bringing your rivals the business that you need.

Making competitor analysis work

As you can see, this might be a significant investment on your behalf, both regarding money and time. At this point, it is critical to weigh up the costs of making improvements against your estimates for the return on your investment.

Start with the quick, easy wins so that your revenue increases. Then, you can start tackling the larger obstacles with your increased profits.

Finally, never stop analyzing. Thorough research into your competitors will enable you to react to anything they might try to win back your online business. If you want to win the big game, you’ll need to know what your rivals are doing – and when.