Guest Post: How I use Compete.com as a Publisher

With an overwhelming amount of online data available, pinpointing relevant data to support marketing initiatives is a challenging task. Even the most experienced online publishers can easily be inundated with all of the tools, applications, and articles that flood the internet. Here at Compete, we pool all of the relevant information you’ll need to fuel competitive marketing decisions (like you didn’t know that). More specifically, in this blog post I will show you how to pull Site Profile & Comparison reports while using this information to guide SEO and SEM decisions. This is the first blog of a larger series that will lay the foundation for your competitive marketing initiatives.

First off, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Kyle Waring, and I am an entertainment publisher for a network of 170 websites. Our main property, Bored.com, provides entertaining content to cure boredom and acts as a portal to our other websites. As a publisher, identifying revenue as a derivative of traffic is the first step in understanding the larger picture. By using Compete.com’s Site Comparison Report tool you can see how you stack up against your competitors using various metrics.

I took our main competitors (I-Am-Bored.com, Kontraband.com, and Killsometime.com) and ran a report analyzing the metric: Unique Visitors. This allows me to quickly gauge how Bored.com is performing relative to our Competitors.

How is this information useful to us as publishers?

When a competitor’s website is performing well, this should spark a rage of fury. Compete.com’s Site Profile tool allows you to quickly see the composition of your competitor’s traffic, and provides insight into how your competition is executing their marketing tactics.

If we use I-am-bored.com as an example, let’s pull up a Site Profile report by clicking on the I-am-bored link below the graph on the Comparison page. I have selected I-am-bored.com because it is the closest competitor in terms of unique visitors.

From this page we are able to see a snapshot of several key metrics. Unique Visitors, Visits, Page Views and others, which illustrate I-am-bored’s user base. If you are a PRO subscriber, you can pull a comparison report for each of the metrics. This allows you to see how a competitor has performed in the past, relative to your website (by: Unique Visitors, Visits, Page Views, etc).

When I compare Bored.com to I-am-bored.com based on Pages / Visit, we are able to understand the differences in visitor engagement across both sites. This poses questions like, "Why are their visitors viewing more pages than ours, and why is it picking up at a rapid rate?" Thinking on a higher level and going beyond the tools, we should look into a few distinguishing factors – What kind of layout they are using? (Is it a 2 column layout, or 3 column, etc.?) What content is generating the most views? Did they add anything new to the site to enhance engagement?

Understanding visitor engagement for each of your competitors provides valuable data that can guide strategic decisions. For example, looking further into I-am-bored.com’s high engagement, I decided to setup an account on their site and browse the site for content. It didn’t seem like they added a new section, or built new content for their users. After spending some time on the site, I did notice that once you sign up, you’re automatically subscribed to their weekly newsletter. Although this is just one minute detail that I noticed, it could certainly affect pages / visit dramatically.

In further efforts to tackle the engagement gap seen on the Site Analytics reports, we are setting up a weekly newsletter to encourage visitors to frequently return to the site. This release is scheduled for September, and will help our website remain competitive in the constantly changing marketplace.

This is just one way I use Compete.com to guide my marketing decisions. There are many other ways to use the same data discussed in this blog. From my perspective, one of the most powerful aspects of this tool is that it points me in a direction where I can easily find subtleties in my competitors’ sites that would have otherwise taken me hours to uncover. Next week when we uncover Search Analytics and Referral Analytics, I will show you how powerful actionable competitive data can be, and how much time Compete.com can save you. Please leave me a comment if you have questions or feedback.