Many businesses often forget how important analyzing their competitive intelligence (CI) information can be for their business.

Proper CI analysis can give you a great idea of how you stack up against your competition and even what developments they are implementing. Gaining the insights into your competitors will allow you to stay a step ahead and using online competitive intelligence analysis is a fast and effective way to gain this insights. The key to good CI is using it to drive decisions on marketing and innovation relative to your competitors. Use these top tips and best practices from CI analysts to help you gain the data and then use it effectively.

Industry benchmark compare share of visits

A great metric to use to see where you rank in swot reports your industry or among a group of competitors is to benchmark your company against overall visits. Using this information to gauge where you fit into the puzzle and where how you stack up against your competitors can be a great macro metric to use. The better the source of the data that you can collect the higher the reliability of the data, but even a gross benchmark can give you a starting point

Upstream and downstream visits

This type of reporting allows you to understand the average mindset of the visitors to your company’s website. The data will allow you to see where they came from and where they went upon leaving your website. For the CI benefit you want to track how many people come from your competitor’s website to yours and how many go from your website to your competitors. Using this data you can also track where the customers are before they head to your competitors website and work to intercept them.

New key term discovery

Competitive intelligence data is a great way to discover new keyword terms and phrases that your competitors are using that you overlooked. Figuring out what keyword terms and phrases are driving the most traffic to your competitors will help you to develop the necessary strategy to add the links and content that you may be missing. Using tools such as Google Trends will allow you to test out new keywords and monitoring your competition will make sure that you have the broadest amount of nets in the water to help drive traffic.

Adding these tips to your competitive intelligence gathering toolbox will increase the effectiveness of your efforts and provide you with even more actionable data. The internet is a great place to get seemingly unlimited amounts of CI data but you have to be careful to corroborate for best results.