In a tightening economy, it's important for businesses to review their business plan, seek ways to understand their market better and focus on gaining a competitive edge.

One simple resource for competitor analysis and market research is analysing Google Reviews. These user-generated ratings and feedback provide a unique window into customer experiences and perceptions of businesses listed on Google Business Profiles (GBP) and Google Maps.

By delving into the world of Google Reviews, you can extract a wealth of competitive insights and refine your strategies accordingly.

In this blog post, we'll explore how to use the free data available within Google Reviews for market research and competitive analysis,help your business stand out from the competition on and offline.

Identify new, competitive advantages

Google Reviews provide a treasure trove of information about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. What are customers praising them for?  It might be the drink on arrival while they wait for the barber, a temporary hot water system the plumbers set up while theirs await repair, or the beautifully designed care instructions that arrived with the new house plant.

Identifying and analysing strengths can help uncover gaps in your own business strategy, paving the way for an explosively competitive advantage.  It's not just about mirroring your competitors, it's about leveraging what you can see works well for them, to strengthen your own foundation.

Take advantage of your competitors' weaknesses

Just as recognising strengths is crucial, identifying weaknesses is equally as important.

Negative Google Reviews often act as illuminating signposts pointing to areas where your competitors might be fumbling or faltering.  By learning from their mis-steps or mistakes, you can calibrate your marketing and position your business to offer a superior experience, elevating yourself in the competitive landscape.

The mechanic on the corner might be slow to respond, the tyre shop down at number 4 might have a 4 hours wait time, and the accountant on the other side of the highway might have inflexible payment terms.  It's important to look at these shortcomings as windows of opportunity for your business.  Position yourself as the solution to the headaches that your competitors create!

Improve SEO with keyword insights

The aim of the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) game is to have your website and business profile viewed by as many potential customers as possible.  Keywords are essentially clues, or breadcrumbs, that Google's algorithms hunt for, helping your business show up when people search online.

Imagine you're looking for an electrician – the words you type (such as 'sparky', 'electrical work' or 'repair lightswitch' are the most-likely keywords.  When businesses use the consistent keywords in their content (website, articles or page titles and profile descriptions), it alerts Google that the business is highly relevant to what is being searched for, based on those words.

Picking the right keywords is important because it helps your website get noticed by the right people who are interested in what you have to offer. It's like speaking the same language as your online audience.

Google Reviews are often peppered with keywords and phrases that customers associate with your competitors.  By weaving these keywords into your content, you can enhance your visibility and align your marketing strategy more closely with customer (and search engine) expectations.

Better understand your customers' view

Google Reviews offer an insight into the way your competition interacts with their customers. By analysing the sentiments expressed in those reviews, you can gauge what customers appreciate and what concerns they have about your competitors' products or services. This information can help you tailor your offerings to address these customer needs more effectively.

Get inspired by innovative ideas

The voice of the customer often echoes innovation, or, at least, the need for it.  Reading through competitors' reviews might offer you glimpses of customers' desires and unfulfilled needs in your industry.  These insights can guide your product development, marketing and service endeavours.  After all, innovation is not solely about inventing something entirely new; it's often about refining and fulfilling what customers genuinely seek.

Think big here!  Analyse and be inspired by the reviews left for the top businesses in your industry throughout the country.  You might find a great 'wow factor' from the vet in Palmerston North, even though you service the Nelson area.

Localised insight for multi-site businesses  

Operating across different regions presents unique challenges. Google Reviews can be filtered by location, offering you a lens into how competitors perform in various regions.

This localised insight is a game-changer for businesses with multiple branches.  Understanding regional preferences and trends can aid in tailoring your strategies to suit the unique demands of each area.


  • Businesses should review their plans, understand their market, and focus on gaining a competitive edge in a tightening economy.
  • Google Reviews offer valuable insights for competitor analysis and market research.
  • Identifying competitors' strengths helps uncover gaps and improve your competitive advantage.
  • Recognising competitors' weaknesses provides opportunities to market and position your business as a solution.
  • Using relevant keywords from reviews can help enhance SEO efforts.
  • Reading competitors' reviews can inspire innovative ideas and guide product development.
  • Google Reviews can be filtered by location, providing insights for multi-site businesses to tailor strategies regionally.
  • Monitor your competitors star rating and Google Reviews from your betterbunch dashboard. Learn how by booking a demo here. 


The modern business arena is fiercely competitive. Business planning, market research and competitive analysis are important in a tightening economy if you plan for success. 

Google Reviews stand as an underutilized yet valuable resource that can fuel your competitive analysis strategy. By scrutinizing competitors' strengths, weaknesses, customer sentiments, and trends, you can elevate your own strategies, enhance customer experiences, and position yourself as a strong contender in the local market.

Remember, the goal is not to mimic competitors, but to learn, innovate, and ultimately outperform. In the dynamic world of business, the insights locked within Google Reviews can be the key to unlocking your triumph.

how google reviews impact your business reputation
How Google Reviews impact your business reputation
how to create a competitive edge using customer feedback and reviews
How to create a competitive edge using customer feedback and reviews
how to use google reviews for market research and competitive analysis
How to use Google Reviews for market research and competitive analysis