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How To Perform A Basic Local Business Competitive Audit

    Why are these new businesses outranking me in Google's Local park?

    If your client is asking you this question, it is certain that they are lacking in proper competitor audit. Most businesses are afraid of their weaknesses so much that they do not compare themselves with other businesses.

    What it does is that it lets the business owner hide their mistakes and keep repeating them. If a business is outperforming your business in the local search, you must need the zeal to know the reason behind it. This is where you will need a competitor audit. 

    Competitor audit is important, especially when you are a startup or a small business. Sizing up your competitors will help you find the road toward success. This will help you understand where your competitors excel and where they are weakest. Then, you can use their weak point against them and find an advantage in the market.

    In a nutshell, a competitive audit can help uncover threats and opportunities for your business. You can turn what you know about the competition into a competitive advantage.

    Competitive Audit

    What Is A Competitive Audit?

    As we know that audit is related to assessment and study, a competitive audit is the assessment of the strength and weaknesses of your competitors in the market.

    While doing a competitive audit, there are many areas you can cover. For instance, what are the market strategies your competitors are working on, their sales funnel, how they are attracting customers to their sales funnel, and how they ensure customers complete the sale cycle?

    It is important to take out time to look into what your competitors are doing. The right approach and timing of the analysis can help you find the best time in the market to showcase your strength and get the most for your business revenue.

    Performing A Basic Local Business Competitive Audit

    If we had lived in the perfect world, all businesses would have been equally appealing in customers' eyes. However, in reality, there will be competitors who will perform better and rank higher on the local business SERPs.

    Knowing why your competitor is outranking your business can help you gain valuable insight into your marketing strategy and help revamp it for better performance. 

    Unfortunately, not everyone can perform the right competitive audit. This is why we are here. Below we have tips to help you perfect your local business's competitive audit.

    Tip 1: Identify Your Competitors

    A boxer will never enter the ring if they don’t know who they are fighting with. A match between two boxers is not about the day they fight. It is all about the preparation they take with only one goal - to defeat their opponent. 

    The same thing stands true with your business. You can just start your business and hope to fight on equal footing, especially when your competitors are in the market before you. 

    Before you enter the market, the first step is the competitive audit. A competitive audit will help you know who your opponent is and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Furthermore, you can compare yourself against them to know where you stand in the market. 

    Tip 2: Analyze Competitors' Online Presence

    Once you have identified and analyzed your competitors, the next thing is to look into their online presence. Start with assessing their online presence by -

    visiting their website. 

    Their website experience.

    How easy it is to shop on your competitors' websites.

    How engaging they are on their social handles.

    With good digital marketing and eCommerce strategies, most businesses have access to great opportunities to stand among the competition and maintain a good lead.

    If your competitors have an excellent social presence, you need to create the same so that you both have the same starting line when targeting your business customers.

    Tip 3: Check Online Reviews

    Today people are comfortable giving their reviews about their experiences. Customers who visit the business website leave reviews. You can go online and read the reviews to better understand your competitors' business traits and personalities. 

    Online reviews give you valuable insight into the customer's experience a business is offering. When you are reading the reviews, read all the reviews the online platform offers.

    The good reviews will tell you where your competitors excel, and the bad reviews will tell where your competitors fall behind. You can use your competitors' weaknesses to your advantage.

    SEO Ryan Howard recommends keeping on top of your reviews with a reputation management software, as well as actively getting reviews with software that automates the acquisition process. 

    Tip 4: Identify Their Strength & Weaknesses

    While conducting your competitive audit, you will come across much information about your competitors. Compile all the information in one place and evaluate the information to find your competitors' strengths and weaknesses.

    Use this information to improve your business and focus on the areas where your competitors lack. As no business is perfect, you do not have to stick with the information, just take the good part of it and revamp your marketing strategies.

    Tip 5: Talk To Competitors’ Customers

    As you are reading reviews and online comments, make a note of the people from whom you would like to know more. Talk to them directly and see who they are and what they weren't for your business. You can even ask why they had a good/bad experience with your competitor.

    By engaging with the customers directly, you are not only knowing about their needs and experience expectations but also giving them the leads to your business.

    Think of this engagement as a relationship, where you are making it known that if your competitors are unable to give them something, you will fulfill them.

    Wrapping Up

    Before you can start with your competitor audit, it is important to understand the SWOT for your company. It is a prerequisite to taking action in response to your competitors' audits.

    As you conduct a competitor audit for your local business competitors, you will be surprised to find the strength and weaknesses.  

    Most businesses do not pay attention to what their competitors are doing. This is where you get the opportunities to use competitor audits and gain an advantage.

    Before entering the market, it is always a good idea to know how the audiences perceive the market and whether or not you can use that to your advantage. If you can do that, you will stay ahead of the competition.

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