You're getting your website developed, or you're thinking of revamping your existing website. This means you need to understand who your audience is, and who else is competing for their attention.
This is known as understanding your competition.
Whilst you may not sell products and services that directly conflict with other websites, there is only so much time and attention to go around. Your competition is also vying for the attention of the same audience and they're also looking at ways to captivate them.
For example, you sell healthy, organic dog food. Your competition are people also targeting the owners of dogs that like healthy and organic food. It can be the manufacturers of dog toys, it can be the person who makes diamond studded bowls. Both of these organisations compete for the attention of your audience. Neither of them sell dog food.
When you understand your competition, you can position your website to stand out, and be clear about what you stand for.
When you understand your competition you can create an effective SEO and keyword development strategy. You can maximise your competition and leverage their audience and vice versa. And finally, you can position your products and services to sell as they should, and not how you imagine they will (which is flying off the shelves, right? 😉 ),
When you created your business plan, you did a competitive analysis.
If you didn’t, then now’s the time. Your competitive analysis just needs to be updated to include your website and online marketing, if you haven't included this already. Once you have a competitive analysis, the work’s not done. The world changes and so too does your competition. It’s important to stay abreast of change and how it impacts upon your business. While it’s not a good idea to stress about your competition, it is important to review them semi-annually or quarterly. This means this aspect of your business plan is a living document.
How well do you know your competition?
Think on this a moment before you carry on reading. How well do you know your competition?
Here are five questions to answer about your competition. Note down your answers, take action, and achieve better profits and a website that supports your business goals.
Question #1 Do you know who your competition is?
Do you have a competitive analysis? It’s difficult to differentiate your business if you don’t know who your competition is. Your USP, Unique Selling Proposition, is often created with your competition in mind. You need to know what you do better or differently so you can offer value and benefit to your audience.
Question #2 – How often do you presently analyse and evaluate your competition?
Again, it’s not wise to fixate on your competition. However, it is wise to create an analysis strategy. Semi-annually, annually or quarterly are common periods to review your competition and update your analysis.
Question #3 – What are your competitions’ primary keywords?
What are their Alexa stats? SimilarWeb stats? What does Moz say? SemRush? How do you compare? It’s important to know not only where your competition stands, but also where you stand in comparison. Create a chart or system to track this information.
Question #4 – Do you follow your competition on social networking sites?
Do you receive alerts when they publish new content? Do you subscribe to their blog or newsletter? Simple strategies can help you stay abreast of your competition. You can collect the information and review it when appropriate. Or you can review it as you learn about it. Often, your competition’s actions and content can be helpful to you. Their actions might inspire a new content idea, product or service or collaboration.
Question #5 – Does your competitive analysis and strategy include:
- Keyword analysis
- Linking analysis
- Products/services analysis
- Content analysis
- Advertising analysis
- SEO page ranking
Rest assured your competition is watching you.
You are already on their radar. You may as well return the favour. Take advantage of automated technology to track their activities. Create a plan to assess your competition and reassess your strategies and tactics.
There’s a lot to learn from the people that challenge you for the attention of your audience, and not every challenger is a threat. Your competition may be the motivating force you need to take your business and website to the next level.