Your business competition could hold the key to improving your online presence. Learn how to use the information they share to improve your business.
Your business competitor, at least in regards to the marketing strategies promoted by the MegaMad Institute, is probably not who you think it is. For example, if you have a gym, I don’t care about what the box down the street is doing. If you’re a dentist, I don’t care about how that dental office across town is doing. If you’re an online retailer, the fact that your competitor just came out with a brand new color of thingamajig is of no consequence.
YOU are the resource. YOU are too busy building a long-term brand to worry about an enemy who just stole a dime out of your pocket. YOU are creating an online destination, not traveling to it.
For me, “competitors” are really just case studies in what to do and what not to do.
For our purposes, they don’t even need to be in the same industry to help you create your vision. They are simply examples of larger, more successful companies that already have what you hope to achieve. That could be an enviable website, a killer Facebook following, a committed fan base, or a massive email list. They target the people that you want, and they’re good at it.
When you’re looking for your competitors, remember that you don’t need to fully understand what they are doing in order to benefit from the information. Every idea you gain from observing them will be useful.
A Guide to Spying on Your Business Competition
The Purpose of Spying on Your Business Competition
“Spy” probably isn’t the right word; “observe” would be better (the word “spy” sounds cooler though, so I’m sticking with it). Below I’ll show you how to evaluate your competitor’s marketing methods to figure out why they are as big as they are. Use this list of questions in order to see how your competitors market themselves.
Step 1: What does their Website Focus on?
Look at your competitor’s home page starting at the top and working your way down. What does their primary navigation bar say about their focus? Do they emphasize a certain type of training? Are they all about products or services? Do they focus on describing the company?
Move down to the first set of pictures (it’s usually going to be some form of slider). What kind of pictures do they use for their products? Is there a common theme or message that they emphasize? Do they feature lots of sales or encourage people to find out more about an upcoming event?
Move farther down the page and see what they consider secondary to their primary imagery. Do they list direct links to their products or major product categories? Do they include links to recent articles, company news, or blog posts? Do they list upcoming events or simply more information related to the brand?
STEP 2: WHAT DO THEY POST ABOUT ON FACEBOOK?
If nothing else, you need to see what they are doing on Facebook. No matter what, Facebook is most likely to be the main source of social media traffic to their webpage. Look at what they have posted for the last two weeks.
What are the posts about? How often do they post and when do they seem to emphasize product sales? Do they promote a sale every Wednesday or Thursday? Should you promote a sale on those days? Which posts seem to resonate the most with their audience?
Find out how many likes, shares, and comments that each post gets and figure out the average per post. Then, look at the posts that do the best. What do they have in common? Do they challenge their followers to do something? Are they contests? Are they particular images with particular messages?
STEP 3: FIND OUT HOW POPULAR THEIR WEBSITE IS THROUGH SIMILARWEB.COM
SimilarWeb.com is a free and simple way to judge your competitors. Just go to https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites and type in your competitor’s website address at the top of the page. You’ll instantly find out their rank globally and within the United States.
As a general rule, if they are ranked under 100,000 globally and under 25,000 in the United States, they are kicking some ass. If this is the case, you may want to seriously consider following their lead in regard to how they target the market.
STEP 4: Analyze Their Website Performance Through SeopTimer.com
Some websites might look great, but their performance could be crap. You can find out about their performance, seo optimization, social media presence, mobile responsiveness, and much more all in one place. Use the information to compare their website against yours, then get to work catching up if necessary.
How Many Competitors Should You Research?
It’s tough to really observe, analyze, and understand too many other companies. I advise that you select three to five companies to study consistently over a 3 to 6 month timeframe. Don’t limit yourself to your local business competition.
Ideally, I suggest have three competitors to study: one local direct competitor, one extremely successful competitor, and one competitor that is outside your industry but targets the same market you do.