To run a successful business it is good to always be under the assumption that your competitors are trying to steal your customers. The reason? Because it’s true. Not only do you need to be aware of your competitors and how they’re trying to steal your customers, you also need to be aware of how your company is performing within it’s niche market.
To address this subject, watch our latest video –5 Steps to Successfully Gaining a Competitive Advantage. We’re at the point where the business world is fully intertwined with the digital space, which means it moves at the same breakneck speed as the Internet. The truth, if you’re willing to admit it, is that some of your competitors are doing a better job managing their digital presence than you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what they’re doing, add to it, and get better results, so here’s how:
Here are the 5 steps to gaining a competitive advantage
- Search Engine Visibility – The easiest way to determine who your top online competitors are is to do a Google search using a phrase that best describes your business. If you’re a plumber in Milton Keynes, you would search ‘Milton Keynes plumber’ or ‘Plumber Milton Keynes’ and find and find a good starter list of companies that you need to keep your eye on. If you want to dig a little deeper for information on which of your competitors is actively building links, look into the tools over at Moz. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to mess around with learning curves, ask a WSI digital marketing expert to perform an analysis on your business.
- Top Performing AdWords in Google – Another aspect of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) that you can search for data on your competitors are the AdWords for phrases and keywords associated with your business. Using the “Milton Keynes plumber example” we get a good idea of which companies show evidence of digital marketing savvy and are therefore worth analysing.
- Top Performing Keywords Using the information you uncovered in #1 and #2, you can begin to form a list of keywords and phrases that your competitors are using to appear ahead of you in the search results. At this point, you have a decision to make. If it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of content or competition around the top performing keywords, you could certainly try to outrank your competitors for these terms. However, if there’s a lot of action and history with the top companies and their keywords, it’s more efficient to use different, less competitive keywords that will be easier to rank for (but deliver similar traffic).
- Best Preforming Content – Once you know what keywords you’re going to focus on, you’ll need to create compelling content that readers find useful and interesting. To generate ideas, you can again look at what you your competitors are doing with content (and maybe more importantly, what they aren’t doing).
- Social Media Engagement – Expand on things by visiting your competitors’ social profiles to monitor their engagement levels and to see what kind of social posts are moving the needle for them. If you really want to get inside their social thought process, engage with them as a mock-customer to gather information of what their customer experience is like and how attentive they are to their social presence. When it’s all said and done, don’t forget to bring all this information back to your team and figure out how you can develop a more engaging social footprint than your best competitor!
Author: Brian Holroyd