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:
2° 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 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
- Improve the KW yield = organic traffic to KW count ratio (by investing in brand awareness and long tail / low competition info content). If your ratio is 0.6x and the winner has a ratio of 10x, you have room to grow. Identify winning content on competitors websites using the Top Pages sections on ahrefs & semrush. Leverage the Skyscraper SEO Technique (Go Wider & Deeper than your competitors).
- Repurpose your content to maximize your ROI: atomize ebooks in blog posts, transcribe videos, promote interviews both as videos and podcasts, promote & reschedule winning content, elaborate on your winning topics, etc.
- Develop an authentic community on social media (beyond pushing “in your face” ad creatives)
- Invest time & money on Youtube, where it’s easier to rank for competitive keywords (than on Google Web Search) by deploying frequent quality info content, both on your channel and in collaboration with influencers, even in a corporate vertical
- Build an email list to kickstart a backend acquisition funnel and lower CAC (Similarweb gives us an estimate of the traffic generated by channel (direct, referrals, social, search, display and… email).
- Invest in SEM (PPC), starting with long tail / low competition keywords, identified via ahrefs / semrush / Google Keyword Planner. Deploy a smart mix of entry-level (awareness phase) keywords, to build a prospects list and high intention (purchase phase) keywords, more competitive / expensive.
- Install pixels from Facebook / Google (via GA) / Linkedin / Email Tool (SendInBlue, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign,…), via Google Tag Manager, to launch retargeting campaigns asap. You can also use lead identification tools such as Albacross, Clearbit, etc.