Using data from a variety of public sources, our intention is to position a selection of web properties in their competitive landscape.

How do we do this? What are the KPIs we pay attention to when we carry out the first step of a due diligence?

We have two primary objectives:

evaluate the dynamics of the niche in which the target is active (e.g. Switching Assistants, Weightloss sites,…)

evaluate how much headroom the target still has to progress in their niche if they deploy appropriate tactics, informed by actionable insights

If the target is evolving in a mature and/or not-so-dynamic niche and has already maxed out its potential, this might moderate the advisable cash allocation.

On the contrary, if we see a clear path for significant progress in a vibrant market, we’ll be able to deploy a more substantial budget.

Niche Dynamics Evaluation

1° Check the average Alexa rank of the direct organic competitors

The easiest way to evaluate the dynamics of a niche is to pick a few players and first have a look at the average Alexa rank of their direct competitors (the level of affinity being determined by the cluster of keywords shared by a selection of web properties).

For instance, if we start our research with Les Furets, a comparison site / switching assistant on the French market, here’s what we get on Alexa.

Les Furets Competitive Landscape Alexa
LesFurets.com Competitive Landscape. Source: Alexa

Les Furets boasts an Alexa rank of 160,021. We notice that most of its competitors (except Empruntis) hover around the 100K rank, which is a fairly good achievement. This market galaxy is already positioned pretty high among the 30,000,000 websites ranked by Alexa (out of 200M active websites on the WWW in late 2021).

2° Check the evolution of the organic traffic of all competitors over the last 12 months

In our study of 10 switching assistants, we noticed that the median & average organic traffic change ratio over a year was just above 1 (1.12), 3 sites out of 10 even lost some traffic.

Which led us to conclude that it’s a fairly mature / not so dynamic market (and “old galaxy” to stick to our space metaphor). But there are still opportunities for the actors lagging behind in terms of PPC investments and social activity.

Headroom Evaluation + Actionable Insights

If we had to evaluate the growth potential of the winner in a niche, e.g. Meilleur Taux in France in the Switching Assistants market, we would assess the growth friction based on the overall dynamics of the niche. In this case, it will be tough for Meilleur Taux to generate a substantial jump in growth in a rather mature / not-so-dynamic vertical.

But the sites lagging behind can pull a few levers, easy to identify after collecting and comparing data for all targets.

Typical low hanging fruits