Checking out what your competitors are doing can be a great way to see what’s on trend within your industry, or to simply get inspired. Although, try not to fall into the trap of assuming that their methods and strategies are successfully hitting the mark without some actual research.
Why research your business’ competition at all, you ask? Studying the way your competitors’ strategies are implemented and how they’re fairing within the market can be highly beneficial. It can help you find out what methods and mediums can assist you and your business, or help you pinpoint what to watch out for.
A key point to note here is that we are encouraging you to study and possibly use your competitors’ strategies…not their ideas.
Assuming that you and your competitors have similar target audiences, researching their social media presence can give you a first hand account of what these audiences think about your competitor, while giving insight into what they want. Social media allows us to see what types of mediums and topics receive the most engagement from audiences, as well as showing us whether it’s a positive or negative reaction.
If your competitors are receiving positive attention from their audience, take note of what they’re doing to achieve this. Are they posting videos and photos? Perhaps they’ve uploaded a suite of infographics or links through to their latest blog post. Finding out what type of content draws a positive or negative reaction from the audience will give you a good concept of what to post and what to steer clear from.
If your competitors are at the top of the search engine result page, chances are they’re doing something right with their SEO. Take this opportunity to compare any of your keywords with theirs and see how often they appear on their site. Content is extremely important when it comes to SEO, so without copying specific content from their site – ensure your keywords are used throughout your site as much as theirs are.
Testimonials can also be a great way to see what types of services your clients’ audience appreciates. Take note of any of their service areas that are positively commented on and see what you can do to offer similar services or achieve similar results. This will also enable you to determine how you can effectively use and display positive testimonials on your own site.
Another area that can greatly benefit from solid research on your competitors is your business’ blog. Obviously talking about key areas within your industry is a great starting point to base your blog around, but studying your competitors’ blogs and the level of engagement various topics receive from their audience will give you a sound understanding of what areas to target, and which ones to leave out.
Studying the methods of successful businesses within your industry while using these simple techniques can effectively improve your online presence. However, don’t be afraid to branch out and do something that your competitors haven’t tried yet. Who knows, they might be watching you just as closely.