Think of your landing page as a salesperson. Its job is to convert browsers into buyers. And just like any other salesperson, it needs to be armed with the information it needs to close the deal.
That’s where competitor analysis comes in. By studying your competitors, you can learn what’s working for them and adapt it to your page.
For example, if you notice that one of your competitors uses many images on their page, then perhaps you should consider doing the same. Or, if they have a strong headline, you might want to use something similar on your page.
What’s Competitor Analysis?
Competitor analysis isn’t just about copying what your competitor is doing. It’s also about finding out what’s working for them and figuring out how to improve on it. Maybe one of your competitors has a high conversion rate, but their page is a mess. You can take what’s working for them and ignore the rest.
It’s is a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t in landing pages. By studying your competitors, you can create a page that outperforms them all.
How’s It Important?
Competitor analysis helps you learn your competitors’ strong points and identify their weaknesses. Armed with this information, you can create a better page than theirs.
It all allows you to keep tabs on the industry as a whole. If a competitor changes something on their page, you’ll know about it immediately. And if a new competitor pops up, you’ll be the first to know.
Plus, competitor analysis is a great way to get inspired. Seeing what other people are doing can give you some great ideas for your page.
So, how do you go about conducting competitor analysis?
Analyse, Brainstorm, and Compare
Ignore your competitors for now and direct that attention to your target customers. What might they be looking for? What would they like to see?
Rebekah Edwards, CEO of SEO agency Clara, says, “when doing customer research, be sure to wear your customer’s mind.” Think about what they might be looking for when they touch down your landing page.
What do they want to see?
You can start by Googling the terms that your target customers might use and looking at the pages that rank at the top. Analyse the pages in the top 10. See if there’s anything special about them.
You want to take note of the following specifically:
Once you have a general idea of what works, it’s time to brainstorm. Take the information you’ve learned and see if you can develop your own ideas.
You can use this information to reverse engineer their strategy and figure out how to improve on it.
Using a combination of Ahrefs and Similarweb, Rebekah suggests you look at the following:
Be sure to run the keywords through Clearscope to generate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords to include on your page.
It includes an overall content grade based on relevant terms, ranking positions, page types, search volume, etc.
The more you know about your competitors, the better you can compete against them. Use competitor analysis to help improve your landing pages and increase your conversion rate.
Make a side-by-side comparison of your landing page and a top-ranking competitor, mobile and desktop.
- What do they have that you don’t?
- How can you improve on what they are doing?
- Can you find any weaknesses in their strategy that you can exploit?
Jot down the observation.
Remember, always be brainstorming and testing new ideas to improve your landing pages. The more you know about your competition, the better prepared you will be to beat them.
Identify Your Audience
Christopher Penn, the co-founder of the PodCamp Conference, believes that people focus too much on their competition when they should be focusing on their audience.
He says, “Your job is not to outrank your competitor; your job is to serve your audience better than anyone else.”
Watch his video here:
Among the things he mentions is that the success of your landing pages depends on three things:
- If you have the right target audience
- If you have the right offer for the audience
- If your creativity is that good that it overcomes resistance
Note that he mentions creative last. Many people focus on the creative first and then wonder why it’s not working.
Your audience is not your competitor, so don’t treat them as such.
Start by understanding your target audience and what they want. Then give it to them in an easy-to-understand-and-navigate format.
Penn advises against optimizing your content when you’ve not nailed down your audience.
He says, “If you don’t know who your audience is, all the optimization in the world won’t help. You have to start with understanding your customer and creating content that’s useful, interesting, and relevant to them. Only then should you start thinking about how to tweak and improve that content.”
Once you understand your audience, you can start to think about how to tweak and improve your content.
You can start by doing in-depth research into and with your target audience — run focus groups, conduct one-on-one interviews, do surveys, and more.
- The more you know about them, the better you can serve them.
- Then it will be easier to develop landing pages that convert.
For e-commerce brands, check Amazon reviews. B2B marketers can look for reviews on G2 and Capterra.
You can also use a software solution such as Google Marketing Platform’s Optimize to deliver engaging customer experiences through web personalization and A/B Testing.
Start Interacting with Your Competitors
The best way to understand what your competitor is doing is to talk to them directly.
Start interacting with them on social media, forums, and even in person.
Attend their webinars, read their blog posts, and follow their executives on Twitter.
These are people selling the same product or service as you, fulfilling the same need, or solving the same problem as you.
Start by being genuinely interested in what they are doing and how they’re doing it, and you’ll be halfway there.
Take note of both direct and indirect competitors.
SEMrush should be your friend.
Go through the SEMrush dashboard, click on “Domain Overview,” and enter your domain name. You’ll be provided with a list of your top competitors and related data.
Scroll down to “Main Organic Competitors” and click on it to see a list of your top competitors.
Claire Beveridge, a freelance blogger at Convert Kit, suggests using a burner email (instead of your official company email).
“This will allow you to sign up for competitor newsletters without having them added to your primary inbox and monitored by your boss. You can then read these newsletters at leisure, taking note of any new ideas or strategies they’re testing.”
Now, go through their landing pages one by one, taking note of the following:
- User Experience (UX): Is the site easy to navigate? What fonts, colours, and images are they using?
- Messaging Strategies: What are they saying on their home page? Are they trying to be funny, serious, or casual?
What language are they using on their CTA buttons? Are they using images, videos, or text?
- Trust Strategy: Are they using any trust signals (e.g., seals, awards, certifications, customer reviews)?
- Value Proposition: What’s their unique selling point? What problem are they solving for their customers?
- Onboarding Friction: Did you encounter any snag while signing up? What’s the process of creating an account? You want to avoid any friction in the onboarding process.
- Tech Stack: What platform are they using (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)? What tools and plugins are they using to prompt conversions? For example, are your competitors accepting crypto payments?
- Analyse Their Traffic: Once you’ve analysed your competitor’s landing pages, it’s time to analyse their traffic.
Do you see any success with social, organic, or paid traffic? What channels drive the most traffic?
For example, if the site sees a lot of success with paid traffic, common sense dictates you invest in paid ads.
If the site sees a lot of success with organic traffic, focus on SEO.
In SEMrush, you want to click on “Traffic Insights” to identify where their traffic is coming from — country and channels.
Once you’ve gathered all this data, it’s time to start creating your own list for your landing pages.
You can find a lot of inspiration from their pages, but be sure to put your spin on things.
Once you have all of this data, it will be easier to develop landing pages that convert.
Research Competitors’ Keywords Further
A world-renowned SEO consultant, Nick LeRoy uses a pillar content approach to conquer SERP domination.
“Pillar content is a term used in the online marketing world to describe high-quality, long-form content covering a specific topic in detail.”
He’s a big fan of using Ahrefs and SEMrush’s “Keyword Magic Tool” to identify seed keywords and determine which websites or landing pages drive the most traffic for those keywords.
Using this information, you can list critical keywords and use them to cover new content pieces for your landing pages.
Nick also encourages web owners to go through Google search’s “People also Ask” section to find related topics and questions to answer in your pillar content.
The last step is to compile all of this data into a single document and keep it handy for future reference.
Don’t just stop at your top three competitors; go through as many as possible. The more data you have, the better.
You also want to include internal links to your landing pages from other high-traffic pages on your site.
That will help your content get discovered and send the much-needed internal link equity to the new page.
Start by signing up for your competitor’s newsletters (without your boss knowing). That will allow you to read their newsletters at leisure, noting down what’s working for them.
Observe Commonalities in Search Rankings
Once you’ve gathered all of this data, it’s time to analyse it.
What are they doing that you’re not? What tactics are they using to gain a leg up on the competition?
Are they ranking for keywords that you’re not targeting? If so, why?
Zoe Ashbridge, an SEO strategist at AS Marketing, prioritizes SEO when creating landing pages. She wants each page to rank for something specific and rank well for it.
To do this, she begins by looking up the top competitors for the target keyword.
“I’ll look at what pages they are ranking for and try to find commonalities in the on-page optimization. I’ll also look at their backlink profiles to find link-building tactics that I can replicate.”
She also looks for any patterns or common elements in the SERP features. For example, if her competitors rank for videos, she’ll create a video for her landing page.
“By looking at what my competitors are doing, I can reverse engineer their successes and implement them on my own pages.”
The idea is to model your content after the top-ranking search results.
This will give you an idea of what’s working for them and help you replicate their successes.
Get Insights into Your Competitors’ Ad Spending
Another great way to gain insights into your competitors’ landing pages is by looking at their ad spending.
As the CEO of Terkel, Brett Farmiloe, puts it, “Follow the Money Trail.”
You can start by visiting the landing pages that your competitors pay to promote.
They’re spending money on these pages, which means the pages are highly converting.
What’s more? You can get some great insights into their marketing strategy by looking at the ads themselves.
Are they using branded or unbranded ads? What type of copy are they using? Are the images relevant to the product or service?
To identify the presumed high-converting pages, head over to Google, click on the sponsored ads (the pages with the word “Ad” before them), and analyse them.
You can also use tools like SEMRush to better understand your competitor’s ad spending.
That will give you an idea of where to allocate your marketing budget and what type of ads work best.
Use Non-quantitative Data to Gain Some Insights
While numbers are important, they’re not the only thing you should look at when analysing your competitors.
You also want to take a look at non-quantitative data.
Shayla Price, a content marketing strategist and founder of primostats.com, does this by looking at customer support options, plan comparisons, platform features, and more.
For example, if you see that your competitor offers a telephone support line, you may want to consider offering one yourself.
Or, if you see that your competitor has a more comprehensive pricing plan, you may want to consider creating something similar.
You also want to analyse their copy and see if there are any elements that you can borrow.
What tone are they using? What is the headline? How much detail are they going into?
By looking at non-quantitative data, you begin to better understand what your competitor is doing well and what you can do to improve your own landing pages.
Write a Connection-focused Message
When creating a landing page, it’s important to focus on connecting your product or service and the customer.
Your goal should be to connect emotionally with the customer and evoke a positive reaction.
Dom Kent, content marketing director at Mio, interviewed Oliver Meakings (of Roasting My Landing Page) about what makes a great landing page for a marketing product.
Here are some of the recommendations he made:
- Develop Customer Personas: Don’t lump all your customers into one category. Instead, develop customer personas and a page for each. This will help you better target your message.
- Collect Customer Feedback: Show your customers that you are interested in their feedback by collecting it and using it to improve your landing pages. What are they saying about your products or services?
What are their pain points?
What are their needs?
- Empathize with the Customer: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about what you want to see on a landing page. Make sure they know you understand what they’re going through and that you’re here to help.
- Create a Connection: Make an emotional connection with the customer by using powerful images, videos, and copy. Help them see how your product or service can solve their problem.
- Add Social Proof: Add testimonials, case studies, and trust seals to help build trust with the customer. Give your target audience a reason to buy from you.
For example, HubSpot uses its number of users, country locations, and examples of well-known brands to establish credibility and trust.
A/B Test Your Landing Pages
The only way to know which landing page is the best is to test them.
You can use Optimizely or VWO to run A/B tests on your landing pages.
This will help you determine which version of your page converts the best.
You can test everything from the headline to the images to the copy.
Just make sure that you have a clear goal for each test and that you are measuring the right thing.
Quantitative and Qualitative Checklists
All the advice for competitor analysis can be boiled down into two main categories: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data can be measured and is often numerical, while qualitative data is more subjective and harder to measure.
When analysing your competitors, you want to look at both data types.
Here’s a quick checklist of things you should be looking at:
- Number of Backlinks Your Competitors Rank for: This will give you an idea of the competition level.
- Domain Authority: This will help you determine how difficult it will be to rank for the same keywords.
- Paid Search Traffic: This will help you understand what keywords your competitors are targeting.
- Organic Search Traffic: This will help you understand how much traffic they get from organic search.
- Social Shares: This will help you understand how popular their content is.
- Keyword Rankings: Keyword rankings can help you understand what terms they target and how well they rank for each term.
- The number of leads/customers: The number of leads and customers will help you understand how effective their landing pages are. How many customers are they acquiring through their landing pages?
- Revenue: This will help you understand how much money they make from their landing pages. Not easy to measure. But some companies might give you a ballpark figure.
- Pages Per Visit: How many pages are the visitors viewing on average?
- Time on Site: How long are people staying on their site?
- Bounce Rate: What percentage of people leave their site without viewing any other pages?
- Visit Duration: How much time are people spending on their site?
- Domain Authority: A numerical value representing how well a website will rank in search engines. The higher the number, the better.
- SERP Rankings: A website’s position in the search engine results pages for specific keywords.
- Customer Support Options: Do they offer any customer support options? How easily accessible are they? You want to list them all and compare how your business stacks up.
- Platform Features: What features does their landing page platform offer? How customizable are the pages? How much support do they provide for integrating with other marketing channels?
- User Experience: How easy is it to navigate their landing pages? Are the images and videos impactful? Does the copy reflect their branding?
- Copywriting: How well does the copy resonate with their target audience? Does it clearly explain how their product or service can solve the customer’s problem? What tone are they using? What is the headline? How much detail are they going into?
- Design: How visually appealing are their landing pages? Are they using any cutting-edge design trends? Is it pleasing to the eye? Are there any distracting elements?
- Customer Support: Do they have a telephone support line? Do they offer live chat? Is there a help centre or FAQ page?
- Pricing: Are they competitive? Do they have a comprehensive pricing plan?
- Trust Factors: Are they using any trust seals? Do they have any testimonials? Is their branding credible?
- Emotional Connection with the Customer: How well do they evoke an emotional response from the customer? Are they using any powerful images or videos?
- Target Audience: Is their targeting on point? Do they understand their target audience’s needs?
- Social Proof: Do they have any credible social media accounts? Do they have any testimonials or case studies?
- A/B Testing Use: Do they run any A/B tests on their landing pages? This will help you understand what changes they’re making and how well they perform.
- Share of Voice: This will help you understand their market share. What percentage of web searches are for their keywords?
- Visitor Demographics: This will help you understand who their visitors are. Are they primarily men or women? Are they mostly young or old?
Using both quantitative and qualitative data, you can get a well-rounded understanding of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you create landing pages that are more likely to convert.
How to Scrutinize the Details of a Page
Once you’ve collected all this information, it’s time to scrutinize the page details.
To simplify the process, let’s use the checklist from Rebekah and Claire:
1. What CTA Are they Using, and Where are they Positioned?
- If your competitor is using a CTA, does it stand out on the page? Is it in a prominent location? Is it easy to see and click?
- What copy are they using for their CTA? Is it motivating and action-oriented?
- What colour scheme, contrast, and typography are they using for their CTA?
2. How is the Layout Structured?
- How are the images and text arranged on the page? Is it easy to scan, or is it cluttered?
- Are they using any design trends that might distract the user from the CTA?
- Are the pages big on minimalism, or are they packed with information?
- Use wordcounter.com to see how many words are on the page.
- You also want to check the footer to see if they’re using any legal or copyright notices.
3. How Well Does the Header Reflect their Branding?
- Does the logo stand out?
- Are the colours and fonts consistent with their branding?
- Do the headlines reflect their target audience’s needs?
- What’s the tagline? And does it accurately reflect what they do?
4. How Well Does the Body Copy Resonate with their Target Audience?
- Is the tone of voice appropriate?
- Do the headlines reflect the body copy?
- Does the body copy explain how their product or service can solve the customer’s problem?
- Is the copy well-written and easy to read?
- Are they using any persuasive techniques?
5. What Creative Assets Are They Using? And how?
- Are they using any powerful images or videos?
- Do the images and videos match the tone of the copy?
- Are they using stock photos or original photography?
- Are they using any typography or animations that stand out?
- How are the graphics arranged on the page? Would you term the whole experience as immersive?
6. How Are the Using Social Proof?
- Do they have any credible social media accounts?
- Do they have any testimonials or case studies?
- Do they have any endorsements from experts or celebrities?
- And how are they presented on the page? Are they in the form of images, videos, quotes, or text?
- And lastly, where exactly are they placed on the page?
- Do they have a review section?
7. Does their User Experience Stick Out as Clunky or Inconvenient?
- Do they have any annoying pop-ups?
- Do they require the user to create an account before learning more about the product or service?
- Do they have any dead links or broken pages?
- Do they have any navigation issues?
- How would you rate the site’s overall usability?
8. What Technical Aspects of their Landing Page Should You Take Note Of?
- Are they using any tracking scripts?
- Do they have any form submissions or lead capture widgets?
- Do they have any opt-in forms?
- Do they have any social sharing buttons?
- Do they have any comment sections?
- Do they have any contact forms?
- Are they using any A/B testing tools?
- Are they using any heat mapping tools?
- Are they using any click tracking tools?
9. What’s their Pricing Strategy?
- Are they using a one-time pricing model or a subscription model?
- Do they offer any discounts or bundled pricing?
- Are they using any upsells or cross-sells?
- Do they offer a free trial?
- Do they have a money-back guarantee?
10. Do They Have Any Extra Features or Services That Could Benefit You?
- Do they offer any eBooks or whitepapers?
- Do they offer any templates or tools?
- Do they have any audio or video content?
- Do they have any webinars or live events?
- Do they have any social media training?
- Do they have any email marketing training?
- Do they have any customer support?
- Do they have any FAQs?
- Do they have any blog content?
11. How Well Do They Follow Best Practices?
- Do they have terms of service?
- Do they have an About Us page?
- Do they have a Contact Us page?
- Do they have a Help Centre?
- Do they have a blog?
- Do they have an online store?
- Do they have any pop-ups?
- Do they use Google Analytics?
- Do they use any other tracking scripts?
- Do they have an SSL certificate?
12. What’s the Overall Quality of their Landing Page?
- Are the graphics high quality?
- Is the copy well-written?
- Are the design and user experience smooth and easy to navigate?
- Do they follow all best practices?
- Is the pricing strategy fair and transparent?
- Are the extra features and services beneficial?
- Do they have any negative reviews or complaints?
- How does the quality of their landing page compare to their competitors?
13. How Long Is Text-Based Content?
- How long is the average piece of text-based content on their landing page?
- Is it easy to read, or are they using dense paragraphs?
- Are they using any lists or headings to break up the text?
- Are the text well-written and free of typos?
14. What’s the Tone of their Landing Page?
- Are they using a formal or informal tone?
- Is the language positive or negative?
- Are they using any buzzwords or jargon?
- Is the tone of their landing page appropriate for their product or service?
- How does the tone of their landing page compare to their competitors?