Ask Bonshaw: Is My Business Keeping Up With the Competition?

It’s an important question and one that can play a critical role in determining the success of your marketing efforts. If your direct competitors are optimizing their digital presence and overshadowing yours, you’re losing business and the opportunity to reach new customers who are ready to buy now. 

No matter the size of your business, it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your closest competitors online. Especially since research shows that 79% of adults go online to make purchases, a business’ digital presence is more valuable than ever. 

Chances are, you already know who your local business competitors are. To widen your scope, you may want to begin by conducting a search for your own products or services in your area to see what other businesses appear in the search results. Once you determine who your top competitors are, here are a few places you can check to gauge their effectiveness online.

Visit Their Website

Your competitors’ website is a good place to start when assessing their web presence. It will tell you many things about them, such as some of the words and phrases they are using to optimize their website copy for search, their key message, their featured products or services, and their target market. 

This can not only help you understand more about your business competition and what differentiates you, but it can also help you compare your online marketing efforts. Is it easy to identify what they do within the first few seconds? What products or services do they offer? How are they similar to you, and how are they different? Are they promoting themselves more effectively than you are? 

Understanding these key factors is crucial to developing a digital marketing plan that brings customers to your business instead of theirs. Are you set up with a top notch website that puts you ahead of the pack? Request a free analysis today.

Search Them On Google

Gauging the effectiveness of your competitors’ Search Engine Marketing (SEM) isn’t always an easy task, and can take a bit of expertise to know what to look for. However, it can help put your own advertising strategy into perspective by seeing the results of your competitors’ organic and paid search tactics. Here are a few things to look for:

Shelf Space – Search for a competitor’s business name online to see how much “shelf space” – or links on the search results page – they own, and what type of content is displayed, such as their website, blog, videos, reviews, and ads. Take note of which social media and content sites are displayed and compare them against the ones that show up when you search for your own business name. 

Search Advertising – To see what your competitors may be doing in paid search advertising, start by identifying a few local keywords and searching for them on Google. If your competitor is bidding on their business name and related terms in search advertising, chances are their paid search ad will display above and before yours in the sponsored section of the search results. 

Where do your competitors appear in comparison to you? What kinds of content are showing – is it just their site, or do other content and social sites show up as well? Bonshaw specializes in Search Engine Marketing, and our team of experts can give you the competitive advantage you need to be seen.

Check their Social Media

Another crucial place you want to audit your competitors online is on social media. 

Start by looking for their Facebook and Instagram pages. Do they have these pages created and optimized? If so, what types of profile photos and “about” information are they using to represent their brand? In addition, take a look at how many fans they have, how frequently they post on each social network, and what kinds of content they are sharing. 

It’s important to know the kinds of messages your competition shares and how often so that we can determine what’s most effective for your business. Bonshaw’s Social Media Marketing team will set you apart from your competition while staying true to your brand, and grow an active, engaged audience around your products and services.

Set Yourself Apart

If your competitors are on top of their marketing game, chances are they are finding several ways to get their advertising message out there. Whether it’s video advertising, behavioral and retargeting strategies, or simply a blog that boosts visibility and engagement online, a diversified marketing strategy will make sure your brand is visible in the places that matter the most. 

Now that we have a good idea about your competitors’ web presence, we can take this information into consideration while building your own online strategy. What tactics work well for them that we can try in our own marketing? What will we do more efficiently than your competitors? How can we give your online presence that big boost to drive traffic? Ask Bonshaw.