Situation: A company is wanting to do some corporate reconnaisance on what the competition is doing in their industry. They have been strong in the market and in the share of the market has been in the high 30’s percentile for the last 4 years. Although not the largest percentage, no other company in their space enjoys as high a number for their business.

The idea is to keep on top of what the competition is doing so that the company can remain and grow their reach into the psyche of their customers. Each company in their space is well versed in the use of the web as another point of connection for their target market and have spent the dollars in makeing the sites worthwhile. The Internet and the research tools that can be found online are optimal for such information gathering tactics.

Without doing anything unethical, the company seeks to gather the estimated hits each web site is getting, for which keywords and how much each hit is worth to their competition.

Goal: The executive team wants to be aggressive in competing online as well as off with those in their industry. They have set the marketing team on the fact finding mission to ascertain the position of each of their contemporaries. Find out as much as possible, and the marketing team came to me.

Action: I compiled the core keywords for their industry, which numbered 28. The remainder available for research (another 22 words) were able to be separated to target the names of their challengers.

My report scooped out all the estimated hits available for each keyword. The thousands of inquiries searched for monthly. It correlated those hits with the first 100 sites receiving the traffic share for those hits. It further breaks it down with the top 100 sites and their corresponding keywords and the amount of traffic they are getting for each.

Furthermore we saw the strength of each web site and how stiff or easy the competition is in each keyword section. The timeframes of attaining top-of-the-hill status will average 6 to 12 months. Within the information gathered I also saw the values of what competitors were willing to pay for top 10 placement in Pay Per Click search engines. These numbers were encouraging to have to know what type of return on investment others were projecting to have.

The company was shown that each keyword has a decent number of companies vying for the words. The top spot wasn’t going to be easy to gain and I suggested that they pursue placement through pay per click search engines to get an immediate influx of traffic to their site. To continue simultaneously their natural search engine optimization efforts.

Result: The marketing team was happy to gain the reported data, and the information within, to add with the rest of their competitive analysis data. It fit in well with their counter strategies they were developing to contend with those they are going up against. Their executives sought and received exactly what they were searching for.

Benefit: By knowing where each of their main challengers stand online, they can accurately place their marketing efforts without a lot of wasted time, money and corporate exertion for greater exposure to their potential clientele.

— Know Your Market by Getting Familiar With Your Competition —