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Before you can raise the bar and rocket past it, you first need to know where it currently lies! Familiarizing yourself with your competition’s online presence can help you do just that. “Spying” on your competitors doesn’t mean you should simply copy what they are doing. Rather, you should gather information to keep tabs on trends, be inspired to try new tactics, and use what you learn to market yourself not at the status quo, but far above it.
A simple approach to competition analysis is to begin research like many potential clients or patients would – with a Google search. Search the niche phrase that best applies to your industry and see what kind of results you get. Whose advertisements show up? Who is ranking on the main pages? If your own business or practice doesn’t appear within the first few search results, then you have a problem.
Also take a look at the reviews. Who has good reviews and bad reviews? How are your reviews stacking up compared to your competition? If you have mostly 3-star reviews or lower, or if you don’t have many or any reviews at all, then that is also something you need to address.
When you are exploring a competitor’s website, take note of features like accessibility. Is the location easy to contact? Is the website easy to navigate? Professional and inviting? Are there distinct features that highlight the services and promotions they offer?
After this evaluation, ask yourself the big question: If a new prospect visited your website and the competition’s website, which one of you would they call? Even if your answer to this question is “I’m not sure,” your website needs to be updated immediately.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways to improve your website, making it more distinct to your practice or business, as well as more inviting to potential prospects. With the right resources, your website can be 5-star worthy in no time.
Also try to get a sense of how much money your competitors are spending online in direct advertising, and try to match or exceed that number if it’s feasible. There are a variety of free and paid tools online you can independently take advantage of to get a sense of the competition’s investments. AdWords, Spyfu, and SEMrush are a few examples, but it is important to keep in mind these sites often only show part of the story behind a website.
Another way to do this is to hire a marketing firm like Jimmy Marketing, who has access to paid tools that provide insights to what your competitors may be spending online.
Google Alerts is a simple, worthwhile tool that monitors content changes on specified websites and notifies you directly of new search results. In other words, if you would like to keep tabs on a website or keyword, when a new webpage, blog, newspaper, or research article matches your specifications, you will be notified of the change. Don’t reserve Google Alerts just for your competition, either! Set alerts for your own website, too, and see when your business or practice turns up on the radar.
Lastly, signing up for the competition’s mailing list and following them on social media are strategies that can keep you in touch with the particular promotions, positioning, and other information that they are using. To remain incognito while you do this, you can create a separate email account devoted specifically to keeping up with the industry.
Knowledge is power, and information about your competition is at your fingertips! Take the time to understand where the bar is set, and you will be on your way to surpassing it.
Jimmy Marketing offers these and other services to help you position your business or practice for ultimate success over your competition. If you would like to learn more, schedule your FREE, no-obligation marketing strategy session with Jimmy Marketing’s top advisor.