Competitive Intelligence: Be a B2B Spy

Competitive intelligence is an important component for any company, but it is an absolute necessity for B2B marketing. As we mentioned in a recent post, B2B companies face unique challenges in obtaining customers, one of which is the fact that their customers research, scrutinize and comparison shop every purchase. Eighty percent of that research is done online before they ever contact a vendor, so it’s critical that they can find your web site when they’re searching.

As marketing experts specializing in companies with complex products and services, we subscribe to a variety of online tools that allow us to audit your competition’s online presence (and yours) to determine where you have an industry edge, where you may be lacking, and what to do to improve your online presence. Below are links to a few of these tools that you can access for free—we encourage you to try them out to see how you rank against your top competitors.

iSpionage
Use this tool to view your competitors’ top paid and organic keywords. What industry keywords are they using? Are they just getting positioned based on their company name?

B2B Marketing Tip: potential customers may be looking for what you sell, but they may not be looking for you—it’s always a better idea to get positioned on words your customers are searching rather than on your company name. You can also sign up for a free account to create competitor alerts and get a limited number of competitive reports.

Alexa
This tool shows you how popular a site is based on traffic rankings (global and in the US), as well as some basic engagement statistics and top keywords. Use this data to benchmark your site’s popularity compared to your competitors.

B2B Marketing Tip: Install the browser extension for Chrome, Firefox or Explorer to instantly see the Alexa rankings of any site you visit. Check out the Wayback Machine to see how your competitors’ sites have changed over the years—what they used to sell, how recently they’ve updated their site, etc. As marketers, we enjoy using this tool to remind ourselves how terrible web sites were in the early years of the Internet!

SEMrush
This tool provides a fairly technical look at organic and paid search, and shows your top competitors based on similar keywords. A free registration gives you access to their online audit tool (go to Tools>Site Audit and follow the on-screen instructions). Use it to get an overview of your site’s health compared to your competitors’ sites.

B2B Marketing Tip: The site audit dashboard gives you a good idea of what’s going on behind the scenes of your web site that could be hurting your search rankings.

Unsure what to do with the competitive intelligence you uncover? We can help. Give me a call at 614-923-6000, ext. 210 to request a complete report for free. We promise to be open, honest, candid and challenging in our efforts to help further your business.

Jason Janoski

Jason Janoski

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