Competitor Research Tips For Building Material Manufacturers


Competitor Research Tips For Building Material Manufacturers

by Samantha Feller

As a building materials manufacturer, there is value in having a clear picture of what your competitors are doing online. This research process will enable you to market better and smarter. By reviewing your competitors’ websites, social media accounts, and Google ads, you can glean their strengths and weaknesses and gain insight into how you can improve your own marketing efforts and do better than them.

It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but it is possible to find innovative and creative ways to do the same things better. Sometimes it’s as simple as using more descriptive language in your building product listings on your website; other times, it’s more challenging, like turning a video of a product in use into a 3D animation.

Regardless of what you choose to do with competitor data, it’s a very important piece of your online marketing puzzle, and gathering that information should be a priority.

Here are some areas you can focus your research on, along with some tips and tools to help you get what you are looking for.

Review Competitors’ Content And Keywords

There are a few good reasons you should be actively looking at your competitors’ content. First, it’s helpful for gaining ideas as to what you should be writing about. It also gives you an understanding of the language they use to talk about their product. Do they talk about how their product is a solution to architects and distributors problems, or is it all about them and how great their product is?

To help get a bird’s eye view of their digital presence, you should also look at all of their social media channels. You can try to glean what their strategy is, how often they post, and what their tone is.

Another great insight you can gain from viewing their social is how they are spending their advertising budget. On Facebook, you will be able to see if they are boosting posts right on their company page, and you may be served ads in your own newsfeed from looking at their site and engaging with their content due to cookie tracking.

To research keywords, a great tool to use is SEMRush. You can enter a competitor’s domain and see what their strengths are in terms of organic search, as well as their top keywords. Having the ability to evaluate what they are doing will inform what keywords you should be focusing on as well. SEMRush is also a good tool for getting a snapshot of your competitors’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Once you have determined what keywords your competitors are focusing on, check out their blog. It’s great to see those keywords in use and learn what angle they are taking to cover specific topics. Maybe they have created a step-by-step guide for how interior designers can use their product or how their product save architects X amount of dollars. Again, this is a way to brainstorm your own content and keep tabs on your competitors.

Another part of their blog that is important to look at is their comments section if they have one. Your number-one concern is how prospects are engaging with your competitors. Are the comments positive, asking questions that the post isn’t answering already, or even giving a review? The more information you can collect, the stronger your own strategy will be.

Compare Competitors’ Website Designs To Your Own

When observing a competitor’s website design, the key things to look at are the layout, navigation, user experience, and calls to action (CTA). Is their site easy to use? Is it simple to find what a prospect or customer would be looking for? How do they use images, and how do they prompt visitors to take the next step?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself when viewing a competitor’s site—and your own. Then comes the comparison part. Maybe you will see a site where everything seems perfect. Before you make the decision that your site is subpar and that you need to replicate your competitor’s site, do some more research.

There are trends and requirements that any website needs to have in place today in order to succeed. Remember, a website is more than its design. If you need help deciphering what ideas you should be taking from competitors or just improving your site in general, it’s always a good idea to talk to a Web professional like a designer or digital marketer.

The main goal of your website should be to have a digital asset that reflects your brand and is friendly for users, which ultimately aids in the selling process.

Identify New Competitors With Google

Every good digital marketing strategy is a mix of inbound and outbound marketing. A portion of your marketing budget should be allocated for Google Adwords. When people type keyword phrases into Google, sponsored results appear first. Why not get ahead by making sure you show up in the top three results with a sponsored ad?

Using this method of typing your keywords into Google, you can identify new competitors. The sites that are showing up as sponsored are vying for the keywords most important to your business. You should start recording and keeping an eye on them.

Upon further examination, you may find that the businesses that are buying the keywords most important to your building products are not directly related. Even so, they are competitors for the specific keyword or phrase that you are trying to rank for organically. You can decide which competitors are worth taking a closer look at and use this strategy to consider which keywords are worth purchasing.

The tool I mentioned earlier, SEMRush, can also be helpful when attempting to evaluate the Adwords spend of your competitors. Use this tool for free to see a domain’s ad spend, the keywords they are targeting, and the effectiveness of their campaigns.

After doing your research and picking your top competitors across the board, it is best to evaluate them each time you sit down to refresh your building products marketing strategy. We’d recommend checking up on your top competition on a quarterly basis and any time you need to brainstorm content ideas or need inspiration for a new design.

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