It’s easy to operate in a bubble when you’re working on your own business, but it’s not beneficial. Being aware of who your competitors are and what they are doing can be helpful for your business in a variety of ways. Of course, you have to know what to look for and focus on, as well as how to use that information for your business.
What to Look For
First, you should figure out which businesses are your top five competitors. You can do this by using a site like spyfu.com to find businesses that are the same size as you, have the same target audience, and provide the same products or services.
Then, look these businesses up via a Google search using an incognito window. You’ll be able to see your competition the way your prospective customers do. Review (but don’t click) any pay-per-click ads that pop up for them. Look over your competitors’ websites and social media accounts, too. Take notice of the pricing for their products and services, their calls-to-action, their presence on social media, and any customer responses or reviews. If you’re able to sign up for their emails, do that as well.
Take note of what these businesses are doing right, as well as what they’re doing wrong. Consider the following questions:
- Which keywords are they using in their ads?
- Do their websites look more up-to-date than your company’s, or are they a bit outdated?
- Are the sites easy to navigate?
- Are there more positive reviews than negative reviews for their products and services, or vice versa?
- How are they communicating with customers?
- How relevant are their social media posts and emails?
- Are they getting positive or negative social media engagement?
How to Use the Information
By reviewing what these businesses are doing well and what they could improve, you’ll be able to see where your own business could improve, what you’re actually doing right (and, potentially, things you might be doing better than your competition is). You’ll also be able to see what the competition is doing wrong, which will show you what you might also be doing wrong, as well as which mistakes to avoid making.
Start with any changes that you can implement now. For instance, if they’ve been successful using certain social media platforms, sign your brand up for an account on those platforms, and manage those accounts accordingly. Add a product review section or customer/client testimonials to your site. Revamp your site navigation if necessary. Add video or infographics in with the site’s written content. Don’t forget to keep track of analytics for your site, social media and emails to see how these changes are working for your business.
Changes that will take longer to implement include things like overhauling your website, implementing a social media or email campaign, and adjusting and improving the services and products your business provides. But these might be necessary in order for your business to at least be on par with your competition, if not beat your competition altogether.
Note that researching your competitors isn’t a one-time deal. You’ll need to do continuous research so that you are always of what your competition is doing, which will help you be aware of what is happening in the technology world, as well as in your particular field of business.
If you need further assistance with researching your competitors, or you need assistance with your digital marketing, please contact Barge Marketing by visiting our Contact Us page or call us at 614-401-8800.