Some businesses avoid focusing too much on their online competitors, preferring to concentrate solely on what they are doing rather than worry about others. But it is actually that case that other businesses in your niche can have a lot to teach you about things that you should be doing (and things you should be avoiding too).
What you can learn from your online competitors
Here are six things that your business can learn or steal from your competitors, and turn them into something that can help you succeed.
Strong sites linking to your website remains one of the most important aspects of search engine optimisation (SEO). Many businesses spend a significant portion of their marketing budget creating content and outreaching to high-quality sites in an attempt to attract great links. But finding new authoritative sites can be time consuming and expenses. Analysing your competitors’ backlink profiles can provide you with some quick (and cheap) wins.
It is worth using an analysis tool such as Ahrefs which can provide you with information on which sites are linking to them. You can then use this information to contact the sites and establish what it would take to get a link from them. For example, if the site is linking to a guide about something specific in your industry, you could create a more up-to-date and in-depth piece of content and encourage that site to use yours instead.
Blog content ideas
Blog content can be an extremely important aspect of your overall digital marketing strategy. Blogs with high-quality content are not only a means of attracting visitors to your site, but they can also generate links from other sites, and provide vital information to potential customers that could ultimately make the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity.
That’s when it can be extremely useful to take a look at your competitors’ best-performing blog content – what is it about the content that is making it successful? Can you create a better version of this content, or apply the lessons from the content to another topic? And, of course, competitors blogs can also be valuable when you need a quick idea for something new to put up on your blog.
LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses – especially those providing B2B products or services. Companies and important figures often connect with their clients on LinkedIn and this can provide you with a great opportunity. If you can identify clients and customers of your competitor businesses, you can reach out to them directly to offer your services.
This could be carried out in a relatively subtle way: first, connecting with a potential client, and later influencing them to make the switch to you.
The best time to engage in social media
If you are looking to get more active or engage more with potential customers on social media, then you can learn a huge amount from your competitors. One of the most important things to learn is when your potential customers are most active on social media (i.e. the time that you need to be most active on social media).
The best way to learn this is simply by watching when your competitors choose to engage with their followers.
The customer journey through your site is one of the most critical things to get right on your website. If your site suffers in terms of usability then all the hard work that you have done to get traffic to your pages will be wasted, as a potential click away and seek out competitors with better user experience.
“It is important to understand the customer journey on your websites, and use data analysis to improve your conversion rates,” says Justin Aldridge, Technical Director at SEO agency Artemis. “But don’t forget that your competitors offer another rich source of data. Look at the most successful competitors in your niche, and establish what their sites are doing in terms of usability”.
Their job roles
One aspect that you may not have considered is what you can learn from your competitors’ ‘About Us’ page. Chiefly, it can be hugely valuable to take a look at the roles of staff members to ascertain if there are any members of staff that you are missing out on. If your competitors have members in key positions that you have not considered, this can be making a difference in how successful you are.
Text: Annie Button
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