There’s a not-so-subtle pressure on marketers and business owners to know what the competition is doing. What are they doing on social media? What’s their latest product? What are people saying about it, and them, online?
It’s one thing after another, and it’s overwhelming.
If you notice, one thing on the list isn’t mentioned: knowing what your competitors say on their website and analyzing the intent behind those words.
Studying the headlines, body copy, and other vital copy on your competitors’ websites can guide you toward making better messaging that gets your customers to act.
Now, let’s delve into what competitive website audits are and which questions to ask to get the most out of them.
What’s a competitor website copy analysis or audit?
So, first, let’s define what a copy audit is. It’s qualitative research that goes through the existing copy on your website pages from top to bottom. Then, it examines your headlines, body copy, calls-to-action, and even the tiny disclaimer text you might think no one pays attention to. All of it.
From there, it analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the copy based on your business and marketing strategy, looking at it from the site visitors’ perspective.
Competitive copy audits do the same thing. But this audit digs through your direct and indirect competitors’ sites in addition to your own. It looks at how they talk about their products, who they serve, and how they do it.
Both types of copy audits aim to identify opportunities you didn’t know existed or could take advantage of.
How Can a Competitor Website Analysis or Copy Audit Help Your Business?
Details matter in research. And so does customer experience. For those brave enough to prioritize both, this can increase their revenue by 4-8%.
Not bad for a little bit of research.
You’re answering critical questions about your competitors that show how they compare to you and vice versa. These are some of the most important ones you’ll have answered during a competitive audit.
About their products
What products or services do your competitors offer, and how do they compare to yours?
Knowing what the competition sells is one thing, but you have to understand how their copy markets it. This question compares and contrasts the differences between how they position their offer and if it’s optimized to be irresistible.
What policies and practices do your competitors follow? (e.g., return policies, customer service quality, etc.)
Generous return policies? An easy way to contact customer service to vent out their frustrations? Do they make an effort to leave a small footprint on the planet? What they say—or don’t—about their policies and practices is a critical piece in the language you can use to your advantage to get the “yes.”
Have your competitors disclosed or hinted at any recent innovations or plans?
Here’s where things get really fun. When your competitors mention upcoming projects or products, it can help inspire your own launches. By scrutinizing how they frame the benefits for consumers and build up hype, you can write better copy that surpasses people’s expectations.
About their strategies
How do your competitors price their products or services, and what pricing models do they use?
Competitive pricing audits get to the heart of how each website or product page prices its products and service tiers. SaaS and B2B companies can significantly benefit from seeing how other businesses set up their product levels and if they’re optimized to make people want to say, “Where do I sign up?”
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor’s online strategies?
A few paragraphs back, I mentioned that competitive copy analyses highlight the positives and negatives people experience once they land on the homepage or go deeper into a site.
These audits indicate whether the business talks about its products or services in a company- or customer-centric way.
And it explains why. It’s in the “why” where you can see an opening to say and do what your competitors aren’t.
What marketing and advertising strategies are your competitors using to reach their audience?
People have to reach the site somehow. The competitive copy audit goes through a company’s social media and online advertising to see the journey they take people on. It shows common themes in the copy, and whether it matches the page they’re sending people to.
About their audience
Who are the primary customer segments that your competitors are targeting, and how do they engage with them?
Okay, you can’t be a fly on the wall of your direct competitors to scope out their game plan—at least not legally. The next best thing is to look at the demographics they focus on.
This investigation involves not only spying on their company’s social media pages, their advertising, and the events they’re attending or sponsoring. Pay attention to what they communicate as a benefit to their customers and if you’re speaking to them similarly or dissimilarly.
Does your competitor engage with customers on social media or other avenues?
Because the competitive copy audit looks at their messaging and how well it works, it also identifies what they’re saying on social media. It gives you answers to questions like:
- Are they engaged with their following?
- Do they even have one?
- Does every post sound like “corporate speak,” or is some personality sprinkled there?
- What types of issues are they addressing?
Once you have the answers to these questions, it’s easier to see opportunities to stand out by going above and beyond in your conversations with them.
What are the sentiments and feedback of customers who have engaged with your competitors’ businesses?
Around over 60% of both B2C and B2B buyers expect, no demand, that businesses know damn near everything about their individual needs and expectations as it relates to their buying experience.
That’s a lot of pressure, right?
When you scrutinize the overall sentiment of your competitors’ customers, it can tell you a lot about their experience with the brand and satisfaction with it. This evaluation of customer sentiment is subjective, but it can give you valuable insight, helping you spot trends you can capitalize on.
Beat your competitors at their own game
Competitive copy audits emphasize and compare what the other guys communicate to their customers by assessing every word they say online and offline. Understanding how your competitors speak to the same customers you’re targeting gives you an advantage in writing copy that connects emotionally and authentically.
With this knowledge, you can take a website or landing page from “meh” to “wow.”