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 first in organic search (not paid)? If it’s not your business, you have to address this. (Related: An SEO Tale of Two Auto Repair Shops). What are they doing that you’re not?
- 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?
- 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 all together, how many posts in any given week and the engagement.
- 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?
- LinkedIn: Follow someone without connecting to them. Not many people know that you can do this. You can see the updates. Same thing – what are they sharing?
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
Look at who comes up in the bottom of the first page of Google. Check out their website. How often are they blogging? If they only blog once a month, if you start blogging 3-4 times a week for two weeks, then 2-3 times a week for the next two weeks, you'll be able to bump them off and put yourself there. Google looks for the freshest content that most closely matches the search query. That's why you need to blog and blog often. What is their main offer or call-to-action. This might give you an idea for your own business.
How often are they posting on social media? How many followers do they have? When was their last post? However often they post, you need to post more often than they do.