All website owners can work on boosting their online presence by consistently providing fresh content, but the truth is, only a few manage to outsmart the tight competition.
Whether we like it or not, some sites perform better than ours when it comes to SEO performance. The trickier thing is, even if we do try to implement advanced strategies and use advanced tools to make our campaign extra useful, there is no hundred percent guarantee that you’ll get the result you hope for.
Online marketing is ultimately a continuous process with no particular formula over time. Strategies need to change to adapt the trend in the market. But there are certainly ways that will help you increase the chances of performing better in search engines. One of the proven-effective ones is to study your competitors’ strategies.
Why study your competition?
It goes without saying that the very reason you invest in SEO strategies is to make sure your content is found on the first page of people’s online search. This means that there are potential industries or content providers who are giving out similar information as you do. To promote your content, it’s important that you win against these competitors.
But how will you win if you don’t know what approach they are making?
You study them.
It’s a widely-known practice in the marketing industry. Aside from creating a stable market profile to serve as guidelines for your promotional strategies, it’s also crucial that you have good knowledge of your competitors. It’s by doing so that you get to devise strategies on how to appear better to your audience.
It’s by studying your competitors that you also get to see which of their strategies is worthy of emulation or enhancement. By replicating their best approaches and adding your unique touch to it, you increase your website’s chance of becoming the ‘more preferred’ option by your target market.
Below are some simple ways to replicate your competitors’ best strategies and eventually improve your site ranking.
Subscribe to Google Alerts
This one is completely free and is highly customizable regarding its alert frequency. Just input the brand name of your competitors, the standard relevant keywords and even some words that are related to the product or service that you provide. Alerts will be directly sent to your email which you can organize as daily or weekly.
This is an efficient, free method to stay updated with the most recent developments in your industry as well as the activities of your competitors that are making the headlines.
Study their social media activity and engagement
Using social media for marketing is now mainstream. All successful companies do it. Even startup and small business companies do it. So there is no reason why you should ditch off this free opportunity to socialize with your market and freely study the social activity of your competitors.
You can easily create accounts on any SMS and start checking the quality and level of engagement other companies have to their viewers. Are the people responding well to their campaigns? What promotional strategies are they implementing? How often do they post sales and discounts for their goods?
Analyzing their social media performance gives you at least an idea of what works and not. Moreover, it helps you understand the typical behavior or reaction exercised by the market when presented by a particular strategy.
Facebook and Twitter, for instance, have their efficient analytics that helps you assess your own post’s performance through impressions and interactions. Don’t just ignore them. Use them to your advantage.
Subscribe to their newsletters
Acting like a ‘customer’ to your competitor is also a good way to study their ability to personalize their special promotions to fit your preference.
Newsletters usually contain valuable information about the upcoming special promo, best-featured deals and even just a short message informing customers of a major corporate event and how clients could benefit from it.
By studying their newsletters, you get to assess whether or not there is a need to revamp your style and incorporate the style of your competitor.
Take time to visit their website
While you are busy looking into their social activity and skimming through their email marketing, don’t forget to visit their actual website too. It’s the forefront of their brand. While social media and email do an efficient job at spreading the word, it’s ultimately the quality of information found on their website that can make or break a deal.
Google page ranking is more than just about analyzing text. Search engines have different metrics that also examines the images, videos, text layout and the speed in loading the site pages. Even the ease of navigation is part of it.
When you visit a website, you should be able to tell whether or not it’s easy to navigate. It will likely teach you as well the most strategic way to design a landing page that would surely attract the attention of your market.
Find out what your competitors are offering for ‘free.’
Not all of your competition may be giving out something free of charge, but it doesn’t hurt to have a look. Customers always want things for free. Who doesn’t? And it’s considered as a good business etiquette to once in a while give something back to your clients as a display of gratitude. You can learn a thing or two from the ‘Free’ offer strategy implemented by your competitor.
Take a look at their media exposure
One thing that boosts people’s awareness about a company and their website is media publicity. You can choose to pay for an ad on television or print and hope to reach more people. But the best publicity is those unpaid reviews and mentions you get from people working in the media industry.
When studying your competitors, try looking into the media mentions they have. We’re they featured on a local television show? How about a magazine or newspaper? This will also give you an overview on how you can grab the attention of those media personalities to hopefully cover or feature a product or service on your arsenal.
Consider looking into their Guest posting activity
Guest posting or writing quality articles for other people’s blog has proven to work wonders when done right at a good timing. Aside from the potential of attracting external links to your site, this technique also raises your brand awareness even to people who may be considered as your secondary market.
Skilled online marketers invest in guest posting because this can be an essential method to boost one’s credibility in a specialization.
Verify as well if the competitor’s’ site is accepting guest posts from other content providers. This is one way to attract the attention of other entrepreneurs and bloggers who may end up featuring your site especially if they find it rich in information that could also help them promote the content of their blog.
Have a look at the events they organize
Any corporate events is a good chance to build your professional network. Take time to see the calendar of activities your competitors have. If they don’t make this available on their website or social media pages, then looking at their upcoming event announcements could help.
Events are good ways to attract the attention of the market too. It’s even better if they open it to the public where prospect customers will have better means of engaging with the company. Study how well is the response for this kind of activity and see if you can hold an event that would attract your market too.
Get a list of their partner market influencers
Again, not all companies have prominent official endorsers that they can consider as their partners. But in case your competitor does, then might as well get the names and study their level of efficiency in promoting your competition’s products.
Market influencers have their fan base and getting them to promote your goods have a bigger chance of attracting the people who closely follow them.
A good example would be sports brands partnering with world-renowned athletes when doing an ad. Fans of the athlete will most likely pay attention to a sports apparel brand which their idol uses.
Getting good results on your page ranking requires a certain degree of planning. It’s not something that comes automatically after you consistently provide blog articles and cool infographics on your website. It’s ultimately a science and art.
For creative industries such as web design in the Philippines, the need to stay on top of the competition and trend is vital to continue business operations. After all, skilled web design professionals are now appearing from anywhere. Unless one shows a clear edge above the rest, you can’t guarantee the support of your principal audience.
Get a list of your direct competitors and spend time studying their marketing strategy. What things are they doing that you have not yet tried? Which of these are showing good results? How can you enhance these strategies to fit your own?
Start paying closer attention to your competitors as you create a better approach!