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With market research, businesses and organizations are able to gather and analyze information about consumers’ needs and preferences, as well as assess the performance of their competitors. This research also provides these companies with insight about a particular market, product or service. In the past, traditional market research was a common method of gathering this sort of information, but as technology has advanced and the digital era has firmly taken hold, Internet market research has arisen.

Traditional Market Research

Traditional market research relies on surveys, sales data, and focus groups to collect information about consumer buying habits or feedback, as well as the salability of a product or service. Its tactics include mailing questionnaires, conducting telephone interviews, or utilizing on-site observations. The researchers first identify an opportunity or issue, such as declining sales, poor demand for a product, or increasing customer service queries, and then collect the information they need to develop a more successful sales strategy. One flaw of these traditional techniques is that they use a large sample size to gauge a trend; another is that traditional market research is timely and costly, often requiring weeks or months to gather and examine the data before new strategies can be implemented. By the time new strategies are implemented, the research may no longer be relevant.

Market Research on the Web

Unlike traditional market research, the online variety allows you to effectively assess your customers and business rivals. Before the Internet, it was difficult to keep a close eye on your competition, but now you can easily identify and examine them. As consumers spend an average of 11 hours on digital media every day and make a substantial number of their purchases online, it’s important that your organization’s website is up to speed – otherwise, you stand a good chance of falling behind. An Online Competitive Analysis allows you to assess your competitor’s websites to better understand how they are performing and their position in relation to your site.

Internet marketing research allows you to quickly and conveniently assess relevant statistical data on a rival’s site, and using competitive analysis tools will help you to see how your website stacks up. This assessment will determine another site’s search engine rankings and which keywords it’s ranking for, as well as how many backlinks it has and where they are coming from. The analysis also examines your competitors’ site layout, domain authority, and social media presence.

Once you understand their strategies and performance metrics, you can adjust your own website or marketing tactics to outperform them and gain more exposure. In an effort to achieve a greater online presence, all that your business does should have a direct relationship to the activity of your competitors.

To see how your website compares with your competitors, try our free competitive analysis tool at Competitive Analysis.com.