Competitive intelligence is a hot topic, but how are small businesses using this data to grow?
According to Kim Cooper, Senior Marketing Manager at Alexa: "Getting insight into the strategies of the most successful sites in a category can give you the upper hand in crafting your own winning strategy."
Here we take a look at three very different small businesses and how they're using data to make smart strategic decisions.
Wildfang is a Portland-based clothing company targeting fierce, free-spirited women.
SEO and paid search are big priorities for the brand; as CEO Emma McIlroy explains: "We know our girl - we are our girl - so our strategy is to be her brand of choice by owning the entire tomboy space."
This translates directly into Wildfang's paid search and SEO strategies. The brand's team monitors their target customer's searches, follows her path to their website and tracks her journey once she's arrived. This data feeds directly back into their strategic decision-making process.
Wildfang uses Alexa, a suite of intuitive analytics products, to transform the raw data into meaningful insights. McIlroy says: "The platform is unique insofar as it combines the best features of Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, HootSuite and New Relic. The dashboards are easy to digest and contain the most important nuggets of information to monitor user behaviour and glean actionable insights."
Alexa's monthly site audits - which clearly show where security and SEO can be optimized - are a highlight of the platform. "These have allowed us to make major enhancements to our site and be really focused about our development priorities," McIlroy says. "It definitely makes our lives easier."
Competitive intelligence has proven incredibly important for Reverb, an online marketplace for musical instruments. With its strong emphasis (Read more...) paid online marketing and organic traffic-driven brand building, SEO and content are huge priorities for Reverb. Competitive intelligence helps Founder and CEO David Kalt optimize his choices.
Kalt uses Alexa scores, which rank websites based on popularity, to evaluate which websites are worth advertising on and gauge the performance of his own marketing activities.
He explains: "Being aware of SEO and what's working and what isn't is hugely important, as is being aware of our Alexa rank."
Competitive intelligence, including Reverb's rank and relative rank, has also helped Kalt keep an eye on his position in a crowded market.
He says: "It gives us relative goals. There's no other tool like it to help understand where my brand is - it's an immediate brand score. When I discovered it I was so unbelievably excited."
Skiis & Biikes
When Devin, Gillian and Alexis Montgomery took their family business, Skiis & Biikes, online they suddenly had access to a whole new world of data. But it was important for the siblings - whose father founded Skiis & Biikes in 1978 - to keep the analytics process in-house.
Competitive intelligence has proven incredibly useful to the Skiis & Biikes team, allowing them to accurately measure how ad campaigns, events and promotions are performing based on their website's Alexa score.
As Devin Montgomery explains: "We started our newecommerce website two years ago with an Alexa Rank close to 2m. After every upgrade, every investment and every new marketing campaign we saw the rank start to tick up, affirming our direction and giving excitement to the team."
Clearly presented data also allows the Skiis & Biikes team to accurately evaluate their SEO performance, find growing traffic segments and monitor their competitors without sourcing outside expertise.
Montgomery continues: "In the past we couldn't see how well we were doing compared to our competition. It's one thing to see great traffic to the site, conversion rate and traffic sources, but when you can compare to others in your industry you can achieve real benchmarking and then make real decisions."
Want to know where you stand against your competitors and what you need to do to win? Get a 7-day free trial of Alexa.
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