How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

December 13, 2010 at 4:52 am 5 comments

When you design or redesign a health website (or any other type of site), you increase the likelihood of success if your site is better than or different from anything else available. A competitive analysis is a systematic analysis of “competing” sites to learn from them.

I teach how to conduct a competitive analysis and assign it to my students in Online Consumer Health, which I teach in the fall at Tufts University School of Medicine. The Competitive Analysis Worksheet I give my students has been refined over time. One of my students, Claire Berman, gave me permission to post the competitive analysis she did of the Benson-Henry Institute Mind-Body Medicine (BHIMBM) at Massachusetts General Hospital. It is an excellent example of how much can be learned through this process.

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  • 4. Tania Schlatter  |  December 15, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Hi Lisa,

    A competitive review can be really helpful in getting a team of stakeholders on the same page early on in a redesign project. While reviews are designed to capture information and insights, how well a competitive review is presented can make the difference in how well it is received and how useful it is for decision makers. Screen shots of a home page and sample content page for each site reviewed help a lot.

    Selecting who to review is important, too. One mix that has worked for me is to include 1-2 sites that the organization I am working for views as competitors, 1-2 sites that patients/users view as similar and one site that seems to be new, hot or otherwise noteworthy in the provider space.

    • 5. wymetto  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Great point. Google “owns” the web and you have to understand how they think and work. Any valuable medical information can get lost if you dont know how to play the game.


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Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa:

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