Online Market Research & Effective Competitor Analysis

Harness online user data to drive your business. 

The Power of Online Market Analysis: Driving Business Success

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on online market analysis! Whether your an eCommerce, lead generation or brick and mortar business, you need to know your target market. Online data analysis give you an up close and personal look at what your target demographic is doing, talking about and buying everyday. Online market analysis empowers you to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and gain a competitive edge.

In this guide, we will explore the value of online market analysis, exploring its definition, significance, and its role in driving business growth. Join us as we navigate through key topics such as:

  • How online research is different from traditional market research 
  • The fundamentals of online market analysis
  • How does online market analysis help certain business types
  • Identifying and evaluating your target audience
  • Tools used for target audience review and competitive analysis

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to effectively harness online market analysis to propel your business forward. Let’s embark on this journey to unlock the power of market insights together!


Traditional Market Research vs Online Market Research 

Most companies know that they need market information and data to make decisions about products, market demographics, targeting and more. The typical forms of this data are methods like focus groups or surveys, problem is that this data typically covers a small percent of your market and is incomplete. Online market research gives you user data on everyone searching online, which allows you to have more data that is more representive of a population. 

How It Works
Traditional Market Research
Data collection from surveys, user studies, focus groups and other secondary sources
Digital Market Research
Data collection from first party and third party sources based on organic search behavior and statistics
Traditional Market Research
  • Customized solution
  • Can dive deeper with individual respondents, at least in focus groups
Digital Market Research
  • Large scale data
  • Multiple sources for validation
  • Fast turn around
  • No sample bias
  • Lower cost
Traditional Market Research
  • Expensive
  • Time consuming
  • Prone to response and sample bias
Digital Market Research
  • Less customization
  • Unable to distill down to one person's opinion

What is online market research?

Online marketing research is the discovery and analysis of already available data for business intelligence. There is a wealth of online data that is readily available for every business to use to improve their understanding of their customers, competitors, brand perception and more.

Most of the data that search marketers use for SEO and PPC is free and easy to access. You can find keyword data directly from Google using tools like Google AdWords and Google Trends. The hard part is parsing and making sense of that data. That’s where digital marketing research experts like Transistor come into play. We are seasoned professionals that look and make sense of online data every day. That data is translated into understandable, actionable insights that your business can use to improve every aspect of your business from new product idea generation to increasing average order/sales values.

Are surveys the only way to do online research?

If you Google “Online Market Research” or any variation, you’ll find a lot of online survey options. Surveys can be helpful if you have a defined group of people to respond to a survey but you should be prepared for low participation and spoty data validity. Using concrete data from tools from tech giants like Google, Facebook and Bing allows you direct access to your customers. Search marketers have a wealth of information at our fingertips that your business needs to make better business decisions. Instead of having to weigh for sampling limitations or try to deal with response bias, we take data based on how people actually behave to present our recommendations.

How does marketing research help businesses?

Every business needs to better understand their customers. It’s commonly thought that online market data is only for ecommerce sites but that is far from the truth. A majority of the businesses we work with are B2B sites that are in the technology or SaaS (Software as a Service) space. These businesses don’t sell anything online, but they do need to understand how people search for them and their products/services. Our client roster spans countless industries but here are a few that benefit the most from online market research.


Ecommerce digital research is essential. These businesses rely entirely on website traffic to make money, so they need to have a detailed understanding of what and how people are searching for their brand and products. Ecommerce SEO and PPC is common but using search data to define product offerings, naming and site structure are less common. We can harness the vast ecommerce data at our fingertips to power your online sales.


Software companies are in a space to grow rapidly but there is typically a lot of online competition. You need to not only understand how people search but also how to stay ahead of the other tech companies that are fighting for the same space. We provide market analysis to help position your software brand above the competition.

Professional Services

Service companies can overlook the value of online data for their own business. Search analytics isn’t just for ecommerce but can also be incredibly helpful to grow your service or consulting business. You’ll have concrete data on what people search for, what questions they ask and what problems they need solved.


You have a brick and mortar business. People show up and buy things. Why would online market data help? Almost all customers start their buying journey online, even if they end up buying in store. You want to get in front of those searchers before they even step foot in your store. Taking advantage of online market data will allow you to better understand your customers interests and buying behaviors to help you drive more sales both online and offline.



Google’s search results page has changed drastically in the last decade and it has drastically impacted the online tourism industry. It’s important to understand how your site speaks to potential visitors because the days of being a listing site is no longer effective. Our travel market analysis services allow you to stay ahead of Google and behavior shifts to drive traffic to your destination.


 Online Market Research Tools

Technology and tools play a crucial role in conducting effective online market analysis. With the ever-evolving digital landscape, businesses need to stay ahead by utilizing the best technology platforms and tools for data collection, analysis, and visualization.

Web analytics is a foundational tool in online market analysis. It helps in tracking website visitors, their behavior, and engagement. This data is essential for understanding customer preferences, identifying trends, and optimizing marketing strategies.

 Data visualization techniques are crucial for presenting complex data in a clear and visually appealing manner. Visualization tools and platforms enable businesses to create interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards that provide meaningful insights and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

By leveraging technology and tools, businesses can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their online market analysis processes. These tools automate data collection, provide real-time insights, and simplify complex analysis tasks. With the right technology, businesses can adapt quickly to market changes and gain a competitive advantage.

Here are the key tools we leverage for effective online market research. 

Google Analytics & Search Console

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are fantastic free tools that everyone should use to collect site data. This is typically a starting point in the market analysis process because it tells us what traffic is being driven to the site today and how they are interacting with the site.


Google Ads

Google Adwords provides a wealth of FREE information about keywords and keyword ideas related to specific categories. We typically use Google platforms like AdWords early in the research process and then work to filter the data to make it more understandable. Google is known for providing a lot of data but it can be very difficult to shift through to find actionable insights.


Google Trends

Yes. We like Google tools. Google Trends is another free tool that allows us to understand how search behavior changes over time. Google Trends can be another tricky one to interpret, I recommended reading our “How To Interpret Google Trends Data” article to learn more about proper interpretation techniques.



SEMrush and other similar tools like Ahrefs are fantastic to help collect and better understand market data. SEMRush is a paid tool that we use everyday to understand the search environment.


SEOmonitor is a wonderful third party tool that allows us to not only track keywords but look directly at day-to-day performance of competitors. The tool also allows us to do projections on your potential growth in organic search.  


Our research process is not just about the things people search for – it’s also about who they are, where they hang out, what they talk about. SparkToro is a platform for this exact data and we use it to build a better picture of your customers.

A market analysis study from Transistor provides you with a detailed analysis of your market, products, services and more. This is typically delivered via a presentation with supportive data, all of which are the client’s to keep.  We are able to leverage market research to better optimize your website and ads along with growing the business overall.


Importance of Online Marketing Research

Understanding your market and the way that consumers are searching for products and services can open up a lot of opportunities that would otherwise be missed. We empower all of our clients with useful consumer data that allows them to improve various aspects of their business. The most common insights companies gain from online market research include:

Better Understand Your Audience

We use Google tools that report on your site’s customer interactions as well as third party tools that allow us to further explore search trends related to your market. Interested in what questions people are asking about your products or services? Want to understand if there is a location where most customers come from? Want to know what other things your market searches for? We have the answers and we make the data easy for you to use to grow sales.

Discovery New Market Opportunities

Searches and search behavior is a window into what people want and need. This information can be harnessed to drive new products, markets, services and more to help boost sales from current and potential customers.

Monitor Competitor Behavior

You may know who your competitors are but do you know what they are doing online? We can provide a one time competitor review or ongoing monitoring of specific competitor sites. This data will arm you with detailed insights that will keep you moving above and beyond the competition.

Want to learn how Transistor can help?

Talk to Lindsie.

Lindsie Nelson | Co-Founder
Vice-President – Head of SEO