Like a boxer studying his opponent, taking time to research your online competitors could mean the difference between winning and losing the marketing game. Not only does online competitor research give you a deeper understanding of your target market, it provides specific information that can help you improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
How Your Competition Can Help You Make Money
A full competitor analysis sheds light on your main competitors and allows you to study their online activities. This includes SEO, social media marketing, usability, domain name, and online campaigns.
An important aspect of competitor research is studying your market from the consumer’s perspective. By looking at others’ online activity through the eyes of your target clientele, you can see what will drive people to your website and what will fall out of style. Ask yourself if your competitors’ activity really will enhance the visitor’s experience.
Staying up on what your competitors are doing not only sheds light on your own activity, exposing strengths and weaknesses in your products or services, it also allows you to remain at the forefront of your industry. You may be able to recognize new niche markets or come up with bright ideas for unique products or services. All of this equates to better products, better marketing and, ultimately, more money.
How to Conduct Online Competitor Research
In order to truly understand your market, it is important to do a thorough analysis of at least three of your online competitors and compare them alongside your own operation and strategies. Be sure to include the following.
- Your competitors’ objectives. This will help you understand their strategies and predict behavior, like whether they plan to focus on top performing products or come up with new ones.
- Your competitors’ strategy. This can be found in annual shareholder reports, interviews with analysts, manager statements and press releases. Delve into their financial indicators including hiring activity, capital investments, promotional campaigns and mergers and acquisitions.
- Your competitors’ marketing profile, including the target market and their marketing strategies.
- Your competitors’ product or service profile, including quality, pricing and costs.
Incorporating Offline Competitor Research
Do not neglect to study your competition in real time, either. Attend trade shows and conferences and network regularly in order to truly understand your competition and therefore your industry.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Marketing and Online Research
Some business operators are more confident, skilled and knowledgeable about their products and services than they are their market analysis abilities. This is where outsourcing to a professional online marketing operation really pays off.
Online competitor research by the experts will:
- place your efforts in contrast with competitors and help you optimize your marketing campaigns
- identify where your business is competitive and where its offerings are weak against your competitors
- assist you to expand your B2B (business to business) search engine optimization – based on what potential clients are searching for online – and drive more web traffic to you than to your competitors.
Conducting thorough online competitor research will open the door to unique opportunities and bright ideas and give you an advantage in your field.
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