Knowing your competitors is just good business planning for YOUR business. One of the biggest mistakes your company can make is not conducting competitor research or better yet knowing your competitor’s branding. In a world of high speed everything, missing posts and trends will give your competition a leading edge and leave you in the dust.
Step 1 – Identify Your Competitors
Don’t know your competition? We really need to talk..but seriously…write down your list of competition. Review their website. What is their tagline? Mission Statement? Customer Promise?
Step 2 – Monitor Online Presence
Are they all over social media? Are you? If they are, so should you be. But, what are they posting? How much are they posting? Note: The general rule is, if your industry is on social media, you should be too. If your industry is not using social media for example, maybe you figure out a way to use it effectively. Be a creative innovator! As for directories, it’s just smart to be where you should be. If you don’t know the answers, well, there are many of us who can answer that question.
Step 3 – Organic Traffic
How is your SEO doing? Do you care? Well you should. Rankings will get selected more often, which only means more revenue. So, check your competition’s organic rankings by Googling key search words and seeing what comes up. It’s good to check your own key words and how you stack up and while you are at it, how your competition is doing. Check their websites out and what their content says and how their website is laid out. Maybe it’s time to check with your marketing company or website co!
Step 4 - Check Out Your Competitors’ Backlinks
So, why do you care about your competitor’s backlinks? Well, because quality backlinks help your rankings, or should I say, help their rankings!
One great tip is to add have a Chamber backlink to your website. This is a quality backlink. Anything that Google considers is a legitimate source is a good quality backlink. But, you can get great ideas from you competition, so go for it! Ps. You can also go to http://ahrefs.com and type in your competitor’s url.
Step 5 – Social Media Followers
I have not personally been above checking out my competitor’s clients on LinkedIn and I know the same goes for others. Connect with others in your industry and find out who they are connected to. Don’t be afraid to connect to those you don’t know! LinkedIn is an excellent database of business people, use it! Speaking of spying…yes, spy here, spy on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google+. Who do they know? Why don’t you know them? Maybe they have groups? How do you get into the groups?
Step 6 – Blog Popularity
Not likely to fit all businesses, but, many businesses can benefit by blogging and by posting regularly on social media. What is popular? What is buzzworthy? What is popular on your competitor’s website? It’s easy to tell, just look at the likes and comments! Hint: It’s usually NOT about their service or product! You want engagement? Blog about something of interest that may not be about your business, but something you may have an interest in and so do others! You just might lure a bunch of buyers to you!!!