Anyone who is in business will at some point have done some competitor analysis. This may be scientific using analytical tools and maybe some market research, or a quick Google search of the other plumber van you saw down your street.
There are a lot of tools out there to supposedly help you, but most are making high-level guesses and assumptions from questionable sources or algorithms. If you are looking at doing any analysis, do your homework and don't be fooled by impressive looking websites and stats.
I came across this one which made me smile, zoominfo.com
According to Zoom Info, my little merry band of 4 has suddenly morphed into 345 employees! I'm more concerned about our revenue though which seems to have dropped nearly $10 million Luckily though, according to Zoom Info, our turnover is still $65 million so we should be able to weather the storm...
Don't tell HMRC though as they'll be wanting more tax off us
A better way of doing competitor analysis is to ignore these comparison apps, such Alexa Traffic Rank, SpyFu and the host of other ones that will want to charge you a monthly fee. Instead, simply work out what your customers type into Google to find your services or buy your products. If you don't know, just ask them! Either a simple textbox at the end of the checkout process, an email or phone them. This information is your marketing holy grail.
It is also often the biggest surprise to a lot of new business owners and leads them to wasting so much money optimising the wrong keywords or incorrectly positioning their marketing. What you think people type in, and what they actually type in are rarely the same.
Once you have this information, type a phrase into Google and you will instantly see who your competition is. Get a list and do your own competitor research with a Mark 1 spreadsheet and a few columns.
Why do they appear above you? How many reviews have they got? Quality of their website? Information on their site? What's their digital profile like?
Once armed with this info, you can then start making some informed decisions, without relying on automated tools spewing out duff info.
Takes longer, but the result you get will be 1000 times more effective.