By: Amy Merrill
There’s always a thing or two to learn from your competition. This doesn’t mean to copy what they’re doing, but rather to find areas of improvement. It’s a way to get inspired! Here are 5 effective ways to learn from (and get a leg up on) your competition.
Look At Your Competitor’s Online Reputation
Did you know 92% of consumers look at online reviews? This is huge. If you’re not aware of what people are saying about your competition, start now.
There are several areas of opportunity here:
- Where is your competition succeeding? For example, do they have a quick response time to customer issues? Are they successful with a product or service you don’t provide? See why your competitor’s customers enjoy working with them.
- See where your competition is lacking. Are there repeating complaints? Take note of the poor experience and make sure this is where you excel.
- Compare reviews. If your competitor has a ton of reviews, chances are, they’re being pro-active and asking them. With so many people doing research online before making a purchasing decision, reviews have become extremely important. Being aware of your competitor’s reviews gives you a chance to learn more about your industry, and what to expect from reviews left about your company.
Seeing what others are saying about your competition is a window into their business. It provides clarity of perception.
Scope Out Your Competitor’s Social Media Presence
Tap into your competitor’s personality by scoping out their social media profiles. Social media (done right) humanizes your brand and helps you connect with your community.
Odds are, you and your competitors have a similar audience. Take a look at their Facebook business page and see which content gets the most engagement. See what works for your audience and doesn’t.
For example, do their fans like pictures? Maybe they love sharing articles on a specific topic. You can also see which posts aren’t engaging and stay away from those. This will provide insight into what to publish on your social channels.
Check Out Your Competitor’s Digital Storefront- (AKA their website!)
Have you ever visited a website and instantly pressed the back button because you didn’t like it? I know I sure have.
Your website is your digital storefront. You want to leave a good first impression and present yourself professionally. It takes less than .2 seconds to form a first impression about a website.
Now, take a look at your competitor’s website.
How do your most important pages compare? Take a look at the following pages:
- Contact Us
Questions to ask yourself: What’s the difference? Do you match up to your competition? Do you have clear Calls-To-Action to convert website visitors? Do they provide a FAQ page and you don’t? Is it easy for people to get in touch with you?
Is your competitor’s website mobile-friendly and yours isn’t? (If yours isn’t, you better get started on that pronto, but that’s a whole other article in itself.
This all needs to be taken into consideration. Why? Think about it- if your competition’s website is lacking in these areas, you bet visitors are pressing the back button. They just lost themselves a potential client! The same applies to you.
Glance at Your Competitor’s Visibility in Search Results
Is your competition more visible in search results than you?
- If your competition is investing in search engine optimization (SEO) and you’re not, this can play a huge part in your website’s visibility in search engines.
- Content is another factor. If your content is thin and you don’t have well-optimized, valuable content on your website, the search engine will not display your site in search results.
The sole purpose of a search engine is to provide results for what a user is searching for- they have the user’s experience in mind.
Ask Your Clients Why They Chose You Over Your Competition
This is a great way to get inside the mind of the consumer. Your customer did research before deciding to do business with you, ask them what differentiated you from your competition.
If a client came to you after having a poor experience with another business, ask them what went wrong to ensure you don’t make the same mistake.
There’s a lot to learn from your competition. Take this opportunity to become aware of areas of improvement. Learn from what your competitors are doing right and put your own spin on it.
Need help getting a leg up on your competition? Contact us today to receive a free analysis of your current online presence!