Guides and Templates

Competitor benchmarking guide

Complete a structured analysis of your competitors to inform your own marketing improvements

Why a guide to competitor benchmarking?

Whether it's sport or business, you have to know how you rate compared with your peers, to know where you need to improve relative to them. If you want to be "best-in-breed" in digital marketing, or just to "do better" you need a baseline to review the marketing effectiveness of competitors.

Online, potential customers will often directly compare what a competing brand or site has to offer. Benchmarking "puts you in the customers' shoes" and gives you insight on where you need to improve. It can also give you the inspiration to try new approaches whether they're related to content, design or the brand communications used.

Benchmarking is vital when you're refreshing a website through a major redesign, but it can also be useful to review more regularly to see how competitors' marketing changes. It's also an essential part of developing a digital marketing strategy to grow your reach where you need to look beyond a site at all aspects of online communications effectiveness, especially for SEO, content and social media benchmarking.

How will the guide help me and my business?

We know you will already be reviewing competitor sites, but when we talk to marketers we see there are some key issues that are often missed and you may also be missing some of the great free tools available to help you.

The guide can help you with:

  • A template to follow for the key issues to include in your benchmark report
  • A table of KPIs and qualitative criteria for benchmarking in the RACE framework presented as a table - so you can review the whole of your online marketing - not just website effectiveness
  • A comprehensive listing of free and paid tools to help with benchmarking structured within the RACE framework including the top 10 tools every 'hands-on' digital marketer should use to improve their SEO, content and social media marketing .

Who is the guide for?

Our 7 steps  guide will give you all the detail you need to perform a structured analysis of your competitors. It’s designed to be easy to follow with featured definitions and practical tips.

It’s aimed at:

  • Marketing and digital marketing managers who need to understand their competitors to inform their strategic planning.
  • Agencies and consultants who use it to review their client’s current strategy against their main competitors.

Latest updates

  • New info about social media marketing and communities
  • Review and update of all benchmarking tools updating links to the latest sources and removing tools that are no longer available
  • Improved integration with other Smart Insights resources including our online marketing benchmarks statistics compilation and Essential digital marketing tools compilation

Resource Details

  • Author: Dave Chaffey
  • Format: A4 page PDF Ebook recommending approach and tools

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-founder and content director of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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