Successful companies know what their competitors are up to at any moment. They use their knowledge of the competition to help develop a strategy for crushing them. How well do you now your competition? Here are 5 things your can learn from your competitors to better prepare your business to compete with them in the online market.
- Keywords they are targeting- Understanding which keywords your competitors are targeting gives you a clearer idea of how competitive your industry is online. This isn’t to say you should directly lift your competitors’ keywords, but knowing the phrases they think customers are typing into the search engines is important because it allows you to create a well rounded keyword list. Perform your own keyword research on their key phrases to determine which phrases are worth using.
- Keywords they aren’t targeting- Even more important than the keywords your competition is targeting are the ones they aren’t. One easy way to do this is to enter the urls of your competition into the Google Adwords keyword tool. The tool will then suggest additional keywords for those sites to target. Find the most effective keywords that they aren’t currently using on their website, and you will be able to make a splash on the SERPs.
- Who’s linking to them- Many website owners say link building is the hardest part of their internet marketing efforts. A good place to start your link building campaign is to study your competitor’s inbound links. I prefer using Yahoo as an easy way to look at backlinks. Simply enter linkdomain:www.yourcompetitorssite.com to find info on your competitors backlinks.
- Their PPC techniques- If you plan on launching a PPC campaign, you can learn a lot from your competition. Search for keywords, and see which competitors are bidding on the PPC terms. You can get a better overall analysis of your competition’s PPC strategies by letting an SEO company handle the work for you.
- Their off site efforts- What else are your competitors doing besides their main website? Search for their names in Google, and see what comes up. If they have a strong Internet marketing plan, you’ll likely find them in social networks, article directories, press release websites, forums, and blogs. Take note of where your competitors are placing their marketing efforts. It will help you come up with a plan for surpassing them.