One step that isn’t always compared is competitor websites and landing pages. You may have ads, bids, budgets, etc that are on par with your competitor, but if your website and user-experience are sub-par, you will lose out on sales.
Take screenshots of your competitors’ home pages and line them up side by side with yours. Scroll side to side to get a quick glance to see whose page has what visual features. You can compare items such as:
- Eye-catching components
- Use of images, icons, and other visuals
- Readability and font sizes
- Ease of navigation, navigation bar placement, etc
- Use of pop-ups
- Font types
Do this also for PPC landing pages. Yes, consider clicking minimally on their ads to see where they send people (be considerate since you just cost them money). Copy the link so you have it and screenshot the page. Line these up as well and do the same comparison with your landing page as you did above for the homepage.
It’s important to compare both the landing pages and home pages. Someone might find you first through your landing page, but especially if you have a longer buying cycle, they might come back to you organically to your homepage.
If you need one a great tool taking full length site screenshots is the chrome plug-in Fireshot.
Compare the Copy
After you’ve taken note of the differences in the visual look and feel of the sites, read through the copy. Take note of the following:
- Tone (playful, serious, persuasive)
- Focus (cost, benefit, features, etc.)
- Paragraph length & overall word count
- Use of exclamation points, dashes or other punctuation
- The keywords used
All of these can help you evaluate your messaging to see what you might need to adjust, change, shorten, etc. For example, if three out of four competitors focus on price but your price is comparable or less, you might need to reconsider how your present price on your site.
Compare the CTAs
This is a big one. List out the call to action (CTA) for every page you can find on the site and on the landing page. You might find that you are missing out on an opportunity. For example, there is a big difference between the following three CTAs:
- Sign-up for our Newsletter
- Sign-up for our Newsletter for Exclusive Offers
- Sign-up for our Newsletter and get 15% Off Your First Purchase
Which of those gets more sales? The last one. And if you have good customer service, delivery, product, etc., your chances of having a great repeat customer, referral or review also just skyrocketed. That 15% just paid for itself.
Other CTAs you can be on the lookout for might include:
- Social media engagement (follow us on…)
- Content downloads
- Contact us
- Free anything (consultation, demo, trial, account)
- Create a wishlist
- Shop this product, style or collection (vs that other one)
- Learn how to …
- Join this ….
Compare the Features
Site usability is key. If your site isn’t user-friendly, someone will bounce and go to the next site. Spend time on each of your competitors’ sites to compare and contrast what each of them has to make the user experience better to know how you can enhance your own site.
It’s not easy to say what you’ll find until you do this. However, in carrying out this exercise for one of our clients recently, we realized that one ecommerce site was lacking in the following:
- Click to return to top button
- Add-to-cart product buttons that show above the fold
- Ability to see more products per page
- Filter tools open in the sidebar for ease of use
- Product comparison capability
Some of these are minor, but without their presence, it makes for a more difficult user-experience and may inhibit visitors from completing their searches and/or purchase. That inhibits their conversion rates, ROAS and bottom line.
Compare Page Speed
Run each of the sites and landing pages through the Google PageSpeed Insight Tool. That will tell you not only how mobile friendly your site is, but also how to improve it.
You can then see the results for each of your competitors to know if your site is in line for your industry or if you need improvements ASAP. In one industry comparison, we saw similar rankings for mobile across theboard, but desktop really varied.
Summarize all your findings and provide links to your screenshots and documentation to make it easier for your client to understand and easier for you to update in the future.
If you are looking for more ways to further your competitor analysis, checkout these articles:
- Get Ahead With These Tips for PPC Competitor Analysis
- Is PPC Competitor Bidding Right for You?
- How to View Your Competitors’ LinkedIn Ads
- Need Ideas For New Ads? Consider Trolling Competitors
- Facebook Competitor Research Just Got Easier
What other tips do you have for learning from your competitors’ PPC landing pages and websites? Comment below to share!