The Secret Weapon of Competitive Analysis

Note: This article contains references to Advanced Web Ranking Desktop, a version that is no longer under active development. 


Competition Men RunningThe competition changes in time. Some of your competitors grow, some of them don’t and some of them are newly born.

You must stay updated and follow all of them.  But do you know all of them? Are you  tracking the rankings of the right websites? What if new competitors are hunting for your rankings?

It would be a really bad surprise to wake up one morning and discover an unknown website in the top ten rankings.

Start now!

To avoid this, you have to search for new competitors all the time. But, for Advanced Web Ranking this is a pretty simple task to do and you start it right away. There are two ways you can do this using Advanced Web Ranking:

  1. By checking periodically the Top Sites Report. It shows you the first 10, 20 or how many ranked websites you choose as search depth,  for the keywords you are interested in. Thus you will see if any new websites are ranking for your terms.
  2. By using the Suggest Competitors feature.  It gives you a list of websites that are competing with you for the keywords you are targeting and you can easily spot the new ones.

However, it’s not enough to just know that there are some new websites competing with you. You need to know what keywords are they targeting, what is their seo strategy and how well do they do. In other words you need to watch them closely.

Keep your competition close!

Advanced Web Ranking does just that! You can add their website to the list of your other competitors you have created in your Advanced Web Ranking project and start checking their rankings, their keywords and website optimization.

At this point you probably think “Ok, but this is not good enough for me. I need to know its website’s history. Where is it coming from? How well did they do?” .

Well, Advanced Web Ranking won’t let you down. When you add a new website to your project, Advanced Web Ranking is able to gather for it all the ranking data from your project history.

This means that you will have the rankings for this new website just like it would have been there since the creation of your project. Thus you will be able to view right now its evolution in time and generate all the charts and reports.

To be able to access this information, there are a few settings you must apply at the moment you set up a new project.

  1. Go to [Settings] –> [Performance]  –> [General Performance Settings].
  2. You must make sure that the “Gather Top Sites in Time data” check box is enabled.
  3. Further on you are required to enter the search depth. This is by default 20. This means that from the Top Sites report, Advanced Web Ranking will save as historical data only the first 20 websites that rank for the keywords in your list.

For future added websites, Advanced Web Ranking won’t display any rankings if the website ranks below the 20th position in search results because these are not saved. So, if you are interested in competitors ranking further than the second page, you need to adjust the “Gather Top Sites in Time Data”.

Make sure the search depth for the Gather Top Sites in Time Data is not higher than the search depth (number of results) used for the current updates. If it does, you must also increase that.

And that’s all! From now on you can analyze any competitor you find along the way without worrying about not being able to check his historical data.

Your secret weapon?

Now, what is your secret weapon for competitive analysis? We would love hear your comments and suggestions in the section below.  Thanks!

Photo credit: Susanna Bolle

Author: Dana Loiz

Dana Loiz is an Online Marketing Strategist at Caphyon. She is passionate about her job and always in a mood to chat about SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media. She tweets the news at @awebranking and you can also find her on Google+.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *