While we are not suggesting you do an in-depth competitive research and analysis, it is good practice to look for and analyze several competitors’ websites before beginning your own website project.
By reviewing your competitors' websites, you can gather information that will help you design an effective web site. The goals of this research are simple.
ONE - Get Some Good Ideas
By noting what your competition does on their site you can “borrow” ideas for your own site. While I’m not advocating copying your competitor’s website content, you may see how they organize their content, or even what kinds of content they offer that you may also want to include on your site.
TWO - Make Yourself Shine
Noting what your competition does poorly also allows you to learn from their mistakes and to ensure that your site does better. This is one way to differentiate yourself from your competition. If there is an area that they are weak in, you can position yourself as expert in that area.
THREE - Stand Out From the Crowd
You should look for overall trends and themes that you see in all of the sites you review. For example, if most of your competition uses blue on their sites, you may want to choose a different color theme that will help you stand out from the crowd.
FOUR - And You Are…?
An important thing to look for is how your competition is positioned. Basically, what you’re looking for is what they say about themselves that makes them different from their competition. Sometimes this is summed up in a tagline or on the About Us page, or you may get a sense of how they differentiate themselves by reading through the entire site.
All in all, the goal is to start thinking about how your website is going to stand out for your prospective customer. Imagine your ideal customer looking at your website side- by-side with your competition and making a decision about who to call. What can you do to make your website memorable and convince them to call you instead of your competition?