Competitive analysis checklist/template?


I’m about to start a large scale competitive analysis, and wondering who here has tackled this before. What are your recommendations for what to look for, tools or templates to use, etc.?


I don’t use too many tools at this stage just a lot of browsing although SEM Rush gives a good overview of top level numbers.

Would benchmark own/client site first, use the same checklist for each competitor then score results using a radar chart. Look at everything from navigation, style, content, accessibility, key propositions etc.

Then pick 1/2 highlights for each competitor that could help meet your project goals/needs.


I like to create a matrix, a simple spreadsheet type grid. The first column is a list of features, and the column headers are competitors. Then an X or a Yes for features that competitor has. It’s a pretty universal way of comparing things (see consumer reports for similar).

Then below the matrix I expand on each competitor in the same way. Competitor name as section heading; one or two sentences establishing their relevance and how they differ.

Then I list their key strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a snip:

A direct competitor of [name removed] targeting medium to large organizations.


  • Offers a unique option when initiating a PTO request to:

    • Request Full Day. This defaults to 8 hours and user only needs to specify one date (instead of a start and end date on the same day).
    • Request Partial Day. This again simplifies date selection while allowing the user to enter start and end times.
    • Request Consecutive Days. Starts assuming 8 hours (or other typical daily rate) per day, where user specifies start and end day.
  • Has clear list of PTO requests with their status and details on approval.

  • Dashboard analytics for payroll administrator.

  • User-friendly, clear notices via email to employees on PTO status.

  • Unique onboarding wizard helps employees complete a lot of forms such as the W4.

  • Helpful displays to reduce errors. For example, right where employees enter the number of hours of PTO, it displays the minimum amount and smallest increments allowed.

  • Users like the system. One online reviewer stated: "It has an attractive presentation. It is nice to have all components housed in one system: payroll, hr, applicant tracking, etc. for a smaller company with a straightforward organization, the software may be a good fit".


  • Not intuitive for longer vacancies. An employee made an “error” by requesting Thursday through Tuesday and it included the weekend in PTO days. System forces them to create two requests if it spans multiple weeks.
  • Very low online reviews on support and implementation.


This is awesome, thanks! I hadn’t thought of including user responses yet, but that’s a great and convincing add to any matrix.