Alexa, Quantcast and Compete.com are all great free tools for doing our competitive analysis. However, care must be taken when viewing and presenting the data. The metrics they yield are quite error prone as most of you know who may have read my past blog entries on audience measurement issues including: Be Careful When Looking at Those Numbers From Comscore, Nielsen and Others
For example, suppose your client is Charles Schwab and they are interested in understanding how they stack up against other financial websites such as Vanguard, Edward Jones and Fidelity for various key metrics such as reach, page views and time spent. When obtaining the reach from Alexa regarding schwab.com, remember there is error associated with it. And quite a bit I am sure. However, not to worry. How I handle the error is by indexing all metrics for Schwab.com to the other sites and thereby hopefully eliminating most of the error impact. Very important guys that you do this.
Remember, as a stress in my web analytics classes constantly, it is dangerous to make decisions regarding web metrics based on a single number. There is just too much error and differences in calculations out there.
Below is a chart I might show the Schwab.com team management regarding how they stack up to their competition.
Additionally, how I might present back demo data is also shown below:
Watch the video I have created and uploaded to my YouTube channel that helps you understand how to view this data, create the charts I show above and present it back to management.
Using Alexa, Quantcast or Compete.com for Competitive Analysis
Hope you find this helpful.