Archives for electrical distribution

Business Intelligence: Find Out What You Don’t Know

How are the “others guys” getting traffic?
Who’s sending them traffic?
 Is your site losing traffic?

Below is an actual competitive analysis done for an Electrical Distributor client. They wanted to see what their competitors are doing online. Specifically, the source of competitor inbound traffic and overall quality of internal and external links that can affect performance in search engines. Further, they wanted to identify problems with their own site (e.g, page errors, duplicate content, broken links) and other ways they might improve site performance.

I’m only showing the high-level analysis portion of the report. I gave the client supporting detail so we could drill down into specifics and address issues.


This competitive analysis covers how [Company XYZ] could go to market in an online business and gain significant visibility with electrical products and hardware. This is an actual analysis I performed for a company, and I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent.

Electrical Distributor Marketing

Business online requires a new kind of Competitive Intelligence gathering.

Product Data and Descriptions Aren’t Enough

Gone are the days when you could post 10’s of thousands of products and see a large portion of these product pages appear in the first or second page of  search results. Those days ended in the past few years. Now we’re in era of content creation, and it’s beginning to get crowded. You can gain a competitive advantage now by aggressively creating content, and you shouldn’t stop.

Competitors who have established search positions by gaining Site Authority using the old tactics can be difficult to beat in the rankings because they’ve sent so many signals to Google and other engines over time. However, you can do it. Consistently create content. More importantly, create content that will get transmitted (shared) by others.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Link Analysis below shows the Competitors I compared and where off-site content “signals were coming from. In other words, the content that was sending them traffic due to being shared among the masses (Social Channels), or the fact that it appeared on an Authoritative site.

The report shows the source of each competitors traffic, so the company I was doing this analysis for could see what others were doing. Next, they could decided if they should be doing it too, or consider a similar strategy.

Drilling down into URLs where the competitor is getting traffic.

Drilling down into URLs where the competitor is getting traffic.

Where’s the competition getting traffic from?


Where’s the competition getting traffic from?


 Taxonomy: Take a Baby Step by Planning

[Company XYZ]  and [Division 1] can take its first steps toward e-Business by organizing its legacy product data (e.g., order history, inventory) into an electrical supply database. I recommend developing a “Category Tree” in a Pivot Table showing product Categories and Sub Categories for their e-Business. Beyond internal data, the company can now explore external sources of data and images where it has a supply relationship, or collect open source data and images.

Category Tree planning can be used to map out shopping navigation.

Category Tree planning can be used to map out shopping navigation.


Category Tree
(shown left) helps the web Category Manager map out the product navigation structure in a simple Excel Pivot table.


This brief analysis can be expanded to identify tactics that will enable [Company XYZ] to roll out an expanded web presence to increase visibility, matching or exceeding that of competitors.

Electrical Marketing has 15 years of e-Business experience in the industrial/electrical industry and can help [Company XYZ] build a database and online catalog that will generate significant new business. The catalog could be connected to the existing site without a re-design, reducing cost.

Greg Carter has served as director of marketing for large and mid-size electrical and industrial distributors and OEMs since 2001. His contributions include writing for Industrial and Electrical equipment blogs educating customers about clients’ products and services.

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