Web Site Redesign: Assess the Competition First

May 25, 2006 by  

Part of your discovery research on a redesign project must include an assessment of what the competition is doing. Have your client define exactly who they believe their top competitors are. Try to break those down into several categories, such as: manufacturers, retailers and niche specialties.

What you should hope to achieve is an understanding what other companies in the space are doing, how they are talking to consumers and what unique approaches they have implemented.

Create a grid for basic comparison. Make each Web site a column and each row a unique attribute. Be sure to include the client’s site as well. Then methodically go through and identify what each site does. Examples:
– Types of consumer registration (newsletters, free trial, purchase, etc.)
– Types of customer support (24/7, online chat, email, phone, etc.)
– Types of consumer tools for decision making (product education, product comparison, etc.)
– Search Engine Optimization — have pages been optimized for natural search?
– Brand voice or essence — Does the copy speak to the consumer in a compelling way, or is it dry, corporate/marketing speak.

Be sure to sign up for any free stuff to get a sense of how the registration processes work and what types of email marketing they do.

This comparison is only limited by your imagination. But as you begin to cruise through each site, you’ll think of more points to evaluate.

Now you’ll be armed with good ideas to deliver on a best in class Web site.

What do you think? Please post your comments. Thanks.

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