What Can You Learn From Your Competition?

Virtual CompetitionIn the world of digital marketing, success largely depends on a brand’s ability to recognize changes and adapt to them. Staying one step ahead of the competition is crucial to long-term success, but not everyone can always maintain that lead. If a brand finds itself falling behind another, then a different path and strategy must be considered. Sometimes, our competition has more figured out than we might, and learning from them is crucial. Because of this, we often have much to learn from our competition – sometimes, it is more obvious than others – and we should take every opportunity to explore that. Below, we’ll discuss what can be learned from competitors in order to employ better tactics.

Exploring Their Target Audiences

There will be times in which you notice that your competitor is absolutely dominating in key search results and across various other mediums. While your brand may be doing well at the time, they obviously have figured out similar success that may revolve around different strategies. One common area to assess in such a situation is the difference in target audiences. You can start out by determining which mediums they are advertising in (radio, social media, search engines and email, just to name a few). Using a variety of tracking tools and metrics analysis, you can even determine whether they are doing better with their various audiences with respect to social media engagement and web traffic. With this information in hand, you can begin to break apart the differences in target audiences and decide whether to start pinging URLs, targeting keywords and emailing users differently.

Using Generic Search

Whether you are a local business or a worldwide brand, it can sometimes be useful to perform a variety of generic searches to see who is beating whom. Before doing this, you will need to clear your cache and remove any browsing preferences (especially on Google) that would rank your site higher in your personal search preferences. Rather than searching for your brand, search for the terms you both are targeting. Repeat this act for all shared keywords to see who is doing better; this will give you an idea of where their upper-hand may be coming from and where you can do better.

Finding Mistakes

Even if you have taken a recent beating when comparing traffic, conversions and rankings, your competitor isn’t perfect. They will no doubt make mistakes and there will be evidence of this across the web, if you look closely. Explore review portals to see how their customers were let down. Analyze keywords to determine which ones your competitor targets, then see how well they perform in each. Check out their pages to see where you may notice obvious design flaws or improper SEO use. These can all be learning lessons for you, as well as an auxiliary inspiration in knowing that no brand can be absolutely perfect.

Whether you are posting on social media, pinging URLs to subscribers via email or bidding on keywords, there is always room for improvement and always potential for mistakes. Your competitor is no different. They will undoubtedly succeed and fail in many areas, so tracking their actions via search, target audience analysis and the mistakes they make will help your brand become stronger in the future.

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