Digital marketing competitive analysis
Prompt and easy information gathering methods are often required to take important decisions. In this article, you will find a way to accumulate general data on your competitors’ digital marketing quality in several steps.
Who can find this useful?
- Recruiters who target companies for their digital marketers andanticipate actual results of their work.
- Digital marketers who “forgot” to check on their competitors and systemize common metrics.
- Sales specialists who underestimate the traffic and potential online sales of their competitors.
What industry did we choose as an example?
We show evidence of the gap in quality of digital marketing between Ukrainian production companies oriented towards international B2C markets and outsourcing enterprises working in B2B format. The latter prefer partnership programs, personal sales systems and IT conferences attention as primary sales channels.
It was interesting to review general markers of outsourcing companies’ lead generation through their main sites.
Who was on the list?
45 IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine with 4.5 to 925 thousand visitors per month.
SimilarWeb (free version) WEB tool for site analysis, competitors’ websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.
Approaches and assumptions
- Data gathering period: June 2016.
- Traffic analysis period: general for December 2015 to May 2016, detailed (display only) May 2016. SimilarWeb’s free version limitations account for one month of detailed analysis.
- SimilarWeb provides data with definite uncertainty due to which the data might not fully correspond to those provided by other software (Google Analytics etc.).
- If a company runs several websites (social network pages, YouTube channels), we chose the one intended for clients, not for the attraction of new employees from the states where their development centers are located.
- We evaluated the main sites from the point of view of potential lead traffic. We have therefore taken effort to erase traffic from irrelevant sources, for example from CIS states, as companies there look to sell their services on foreign markets. Corresponding comments are provided below.
Study 1. Traffic, age, personnel number
Our list contained both Ukrainian and international outsourcing companies with development centers in Ukraine. The companies’ age varies from 5 to 27 years, personnel number from 50 to 16,000, traffic from 4.5 to 925 thousand visitors per month.
To ensure convenience, we have separated the companies into 5 groups depending on the average monthly traffic for the period of December 2015 to May 2016:
Group А: 100 thousand – 1 million
Group В: 30 thousand – 100 thousand
Group С: 15 thousand – 30 thousand
Group D: 10 thousand – 15 thousand
Group E: 4 thousand – 10 thousand
We turned our interest to which companies took the longest to increase traffic and which took the shortest.
The following companies were the top 5 in average monthly traffic increase per annum (traffic/age): EPAM, Luxoft, Globallogic, Ciklum and SoftServe. Notably, there was a near ten times difference between EPAM and SoftServe.
However, taking into account the top 5’s age of 14 to 23 years, we paid extra attention to companies under 10 years: Cogniance, Provectus Inc., MobiDev and Dev-Pro.
We have been surprised at the low traffic rates of the following companies considering their age: CS Ltd, Softengi, Program-Ace, Itera и TEAM International (below 7,000 monthly traffic while their age is over 15 years).
The suggested rating help evaluate SEO site promotion activity, as our companies’ primary traffic sources, apart from direct referrals, are referral links and search systems.
Study 2. Traffic by country
Outsourcing companies with development centers located in Ukraine aim to sell their services on leading consumption markets in North America, Western Europe etc. Did the companies succeed in attracting visitors from target markets to their websites, and what are the numbers?
We carried out traffic analysis and determined the share of foreign visitors excluding CIS states as they tend to target the labor market. You can see below the chart for 15 companies with over 65% foreign traffic share.
We have removed Levi9 from the rating as their highest foreign traffic rate of 92% mostly refers to Serbia where the company has several development centers.
However, Globallogic with their 82% of foreign traffic remain on the list, having large shares for India, Poland and Argentina which are not client states, as well as Luxoft with 70% and alike attributes due to large total traffic and over 30 countries covered.
While positioning themselves and their services as well as forming an attractive employer image for recruiting through their websites, most outsourcing companies in Ukraine fail to acquire relevant client traffic. This fact is reflected in low shares from the targeted states in general traffic. This takes place despite many companies establishing separate sites for employees that we did not consider.
The companies we chose showed the best results in May 2016, and some looked considerably impressive and outstanding among others.
Softheme: the UK share exceeded 60% in total traffic, Dev-Pro: USA share reached over 75%, Astoundcommerce: USA, Great Britain and Canada shares combined constituted more than 70%. Softheme has also drawn our attention as the owner of the most outdated website.
Study 3. Traffic sources
Sites visitors are segmented into different sources: direct traffic, links, searches, social networks, mailing and display advertising.
We have analyzed the websites of 45 outsourcing companies in Ukraine and found the following results.
The majority of the companies receive most of their traffic through direct referrals to their sites: 10 companies have this rate at the level of 60-80% of the total visitor numbers; 25 companies have around 40-60%. Akvelon showed the best result in May 2016, having 80% as direct referrals, the lowest rate of 21% went to Softheme.
Average reference from other websites accounted for around 15-40% of total traffic; in May 2016 this concerned 29 companies out of 40. Softheme demonstrated the highest result for links share of 37.7%, the lowest rate was Daxx’s 1.76%.
Analyzing traffic shares received via organic search, just like reference mass, helps estimate the company’s SEO level. The investigated companies showed varying results: 8 companies had a rate within 40-70%, for 18 companies it was 20-40%, and 19 companies had search traffic share under 20%. According to SimilarWeb, the average global searching traffic share constitutes 27.8%.
Among the outsourcing companies, the best result was shown by Program-Ace (67.4%), and the lowest was Dev-Pro (2.9%).
Email marketing remains a strong instrument for client loyalty, ensuring and fostering repeat purchases. Only 3 companies from our list reached around 10-17% share of referrals to their websites from mail: Softheme, Bvblogic and Ignite. 9 companies have this rate within 2-10%. The remaining 33 companies had no referrals to their websites from email.
Globally, average share of traffic acquired from email is estimated as 0.36% of total visitors.
Social networks have a relatively small share in the structure of the global traffic: 5.8% on average. However, this share is growing rapidly due to the possibility of precisely targeting the audience and refer them to the site at minimum cost.
Among the outsourcing companies, iLogosEurope and IT Craft showed the scope of this rate within 10-20%: 17.4% and 13% correspondently. 11 companies had a share within 5-10% and 3 of the enterprises had a result under 5%.
Study 4. Social media
Characteristics of traffic from social networks show the result of SMM specialists’ work and efficiency of approaches in source choice. We have selected 15 out of 45 investigated companies with traffic to their sites from social networks and over 800 visits in a month (May 2016). EPAM and Luxoft had corresponding results of 37,695 and 19,584 visits respectively, and were far in the lead. Ciklum, Intersog and NIX Solutions showed decent results too.
In our research, the majority of traffic fell for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
Rating 4. Traffic from social networks. Top 15
Having studied the number of social networks pages and channel d/ or followers, we found out that once the audience is gathered, not all companies have sound enough management for successful conversion into leads and ensuring traffic for their main site.
This concerns Levi9’s and Perfectial’s activity on Facebook, DataArt on LinkedIn, and Perfectial on Twitter.
The remarkable work of Luxoft, EPAM and Globallogic’s SMM specialists in Facebook and LinkedIn should be noted, as well as Cogniance and Intersog’s activity on Twitter.