|"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
Identify top competitors
Are you a new search engine looking to increase web traffic? Your top three competitors are Yahoo, Google, and Bing. And no, you don't have to overtake the top competition. You can use them as benchmarks for your own product. Use them for analysis - what they're doing wrong, and what you can do to avoid these wrongs.
Check their social media platforms
This pretty much gives you an insight into their core stuff - whatever they're posting, the type of content they share to the public, among others. We all know that social media is essentially every company's front, so it's good to be updated about whatever your competitor is sharing.
Know your key areas of improvement
And once you've had a gist of how your competition works, enumerate what you need to improve both for your short- and long-term goals. Are you looking to gain 1M unique page visits? Do you aim for 1000 shares for your next Facebook sponsored post? What measures are you taking to reduce your bounce rate? How would you increase your email readability?