Sometimes it’s easy to identify your key competitors. You can Google them using relevant key words, find them on business directory listings or at your local Chamber of Commerce. But once you know who they are, you want to know what they’re doing and whether it’s working!
Here are 5 new rules for sizing up your competition:
- Use Google Alerts: Google alerts are email updates of the latest, relevant, Google news based on your choice of key words. You may enter search terms that describe your industry or your competition. Then whenever there is new information, you will receive an email that helps you keep close tabs on your area of interest.
- Check out their social media presence: Are your competitors on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Are they using these networks to engage prospects, generate interest in their brand and even encourage online sales? Investigating your competitors’ social media strength helps you to analyse your own strategy and make the necessary adjustments.
- Use SEO: Find out what keywords your competitors are using on their website. These are located in the description meta tags within the HTML script of their index page. The way to do this is to right-click on their home page and choose ‘View page source’. This opens up to the HTML script where you can then locate their keywords. This information will help you figure out if there are keywords that you should be using that will help you rank higher in organic search.
- Visit their websites every week: It’s not enough to visit their website just once. Go back to your competitors sites regularly to see if they have posted new content. New content might take the form of seasonal promotions, freebies and giveaways, or they may be posting new blog articles every week! Also watch the feedback that they’re getting from these activities.
- Blind shop them: Call and ask for a quote or visit their location if possible. Rate their services based on your experience: How was their customer service; How long were you on hold; Was the sales person courteous and helpful or pushy and impatient; Did you get what you needed right away or were there several steps in the process; Are their prices similar to yours? Even better, go ahead and actually buy from them and learn from their processes.
What you will learn from these rules might open your eyes to things that you might be missing and also get you excited about the improvements that you could make!
Do you have any other strategies that you have used to size up the comp?