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Most every business has competition.

It’s up to you to keep up with what your competition is doing and today’s technology makes it easy to do that without their knowing it! Here are some tips and tools to help you keep tabs on your competitors.

  • Google Search – put yourself in your target market shoes and enter in the search box – not your company name – but the keyword or phrase that they would enter. (Like “auto repair Phoenix”.) Who comes up in the first 15 slots in organic search (not paid)? If it’s not your business, you need to research them. What are they doing that you’re not? That includes how often are they blogging? How many social media followers do they have? How often are they posting? Whatever they're doing, to beat them, you have to do it more often and better than they do. 
  • Feedly.com – Feedly is your online newsstand. You can subscribe to your competitors’ blogs to see how often they’re blogging and what they’re blogging about. Is it good material? Is it well-written? 
  • Twitter: Create a “private” list of your competitors, then add a column in TweetDeck to monitor their tweets. How often are they tweeting? What are they sharing? Is it all about them or do they share other people’s content?
  • Facebook: Once you have 100 likes on Facebook, you can add “Pages to Watch” in your “Insights”. Here you can see how many new likes a competitor’s gotten, how many they have altogether, how many posts in any given week, and the engagement.View Competitors on Facebook

  • LinkedIn: You can follow someone without connecting to them. Not many people know that you can do this, nor do they check who their followers are. You can see their updates. Same thing – what are they sharing? You can keep tabs on their business pages online with this new feature that's similar to Facebook: LinkedIn Company Profile Competion

Here are some things you don’t want to do if you want to stay incognito to them:

  • Like their page on Facebook, or add them to a public list on Twitter – they will be notified.
  • View their profile on LinkedIn too many times. Yes, you have do it once to follow them, but that’s it. People are notified when someone views their profile. And no, you don’t want to keep your identity private. You do want potential clients and referral sources to find you.
  • Subscribe to their blog or newsletter via email.

Coming up first in organic Google search is critical.

Paid advertisements get ignored. You can come out on top if you incorporate:

  • Proper search engine optimization on your website
  • Blogging at least 2-3 times a week
  • Posting regularly on the major social networks

New! Continuous Scrolling on Google MobileGoogle continuous scrolling

No more first page on Google searches! Google is rolling out a new feature — continuous scroll. On a mobile device, Google will no longer have the “more results” button or link at the bottom. The question for you is, how much does a potential customer need to scroll to see your content when they are searching for what you have to offer?

If your website has been up for a while, where are you coming up when someone searches for your main keywords or phrases? Your goal is to improve that position. If you’re brand new, you’ve got some work to do.

This may (or may not) encourage searchers to look beyond the first few results and scroll more through more results. It is yet to be determined how this might impact your click-through rates and traffic from Google search but keep an eye on it.

Search Engine Land

No or Low Competition

First, I’ll tell you about one of my clients who opened the very first Rage Room in Tempe — in fact, the whole state of Arizona. Being the first, he had no competition. He enjoyed being on the first page of Google search for “rage room Phoenix” and “anger room Tempe” among other phrases. Even if the searcher didn’t know the name of the company, he was found by searching for what it is. Most importantly, that’s one of the first things to remember when it comes to search engine optimization…

What is your target market going to enter into the search box to find what you are offering if they don’t know your name?

I’ll let that question sink in for a bit.

For almost 2 years my client enjoyed being the only one in the Phoenix Valley till another rage room opened nearby in the East Valley. Last night, I met someone who opened one in the other side of the Valley. My client can’t afford to become complacent. Above all, he has to continue his marketing efforts or he’s going to lose the coveted first page of Google.

One Formidable Competitor

Another client of mine has only one competitor for one aspect of his business, however, they are a formidable one. They publish an article at least 5 times a week. Yep, daily! So the challenge here will not be to bump them off, but to at least come up on the same page.

Medium Competition

Another one of my clients is my chiropractor. Specifically, he’s a Gonstead Chiropractor — that’s a particular method of chiropractic medicine. Some people search for that and there are only a few in the Phoenix Valley. On top of that, he also practices holistic and functional medicine, which tries to find the source of the pain or issue rather than treating the symptoms. Besides that, he offers several weight-loss programs. Now, with that he has a lot of competition.

He told me he liked working with older people, helping them with “healthy aging”.  That gave me the idea for him to offer a “healthy aging screening” which would get folks into the office then he, depending on their medical problem, offer various treatments. That helped him stand out and reach a specific target. We focus on sharing articles on healthy aging and we’ve built a following with that strategy.

High Competition

In doing research for a client who has a faith-based clothing line in an ecommerce store, I discovered he had more competition than we both thought. His competition is national, if not global. I knew it was a competitive field going in, but I didn’t realize how competitive till I started doing searches online. All of a sudden on my personal Instagram, I started seeing ads for faith-based clothing stores. Every day a new one would pop up. Yikes! I first listed for him the top 8 that came up on Google search and then I found 3 more significant ones from the Instagram ads. If he wants to be successful, he’s going to have to budget some dollars for paid ads.

You CAN learn how to do this! Check out the SCORE classes.

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About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, content & digital marketing consultant & trainer. She specializes in SEO keyword and market research, strategic planning, search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting, social media setups, training and coaching.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
How to Know What Your Competition is Doing and So You Can Beat Them