It is often said that competition is a great thing for business. That it helps drive the economy in amazing new directions, and can see monetary benefit for everyone. I’m not going to deny that any of that is true. But sometimes it feels like it’s impossible for it to be true. Think of those times any competitor has trumped you in some business endeavor. It’s certainly feels difficult to defend the benefits of competition then!
The fact is that competition is good, but you need to put yourself in a position where it is good. You need to use the competition to drive you to do better. If you can’t do this, then you’ll keep getting beaten.
One of the best ways to do this is to keep track of your competition. After all, if you don’t know what it is they’re up to, then you’ll have no way of accurately gauging yourself against them.
Start with the website
The website of any business is one of their most important assets. It’s what most people see when they’re introduced to a business. It’s where first impressions come from. So you need to check out the website of the competition if you want to start with the basics, here.
You can look at this from a purely functional perspective. After all, the usability and like-ability of a website is very important when it comes to driving sales. How does your website compare? Does their website look better? Does it work better on mobile? Do all their links work? Is it obvious from the off where you should click to get to where you want? You can read more about user-friendly website design at www.websitemagazine.com.
Keeping track of local competitors
If your business isn’t web-based and is located in public, then you need to take things further. For some, keeping track of local competition seems like an easy game. Some simply pose as customers and visit competing stores in order to track prices.
I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t do this. After all, actually visiting the competition tells you more about their business as a physical entity, which is very useful. But you need to consider the fact that all reputable businesses have reviews and performance analyses online. The tricky part can be tracking down and collecting all of this information. But you can actually get management tools that help you track competitor performance. Find out more at www.chatmeter.com.
So much of efficacy in Internet marketing boils down to content. How much have you got, and how often is it being shared? It’s the second question here that you’ll probably need to focus on the most.
Their website should reveal to you just how many social media platforms they’re on. Not only that, but it will show you what platforms their content can be shared on. Most of their content – let’s say, news or blog posts – will come with ‘share’ numbers. This will tell you how often their content is being shared across social media. What kind of competitor content is going viral? How can you capitalize on this sort of interest?
[post contributed for tamarhela.com]