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Your competition delivers a similar product to yours, to the same audience as you do. Studying your competition will help you deliver a better product or service to your audience than if you don’t know anything about them. Your business will improve by the act of studying your competition.
No competition is going to be exactly the same as you. You are uniquely you and they are, too. Identify the ways in which your products and/or services differ. Note exactly what is different so that you can see whether or not you need to make changes, or whether or not your product is different enough to make your business stand out.
In what ways does your competition market to their audience? Do they use social media, freebies, blog content and/or other means to get the word out about their products and services? Plus, how successful are they in their efforts?
In what ways are your products the same? Is there something about their products that could be confused with yours? If so, how can you make yours stand out better and how can you improve yours so that you are one step ahead of them in terms of the quality of products that you deliver?
Are they less expensive or more expensive than you? Why? Is there anything you can do in order to change your own price to make your products stand out better? If they are cheaper, can you make your products better in order to not be the low-cost leader?
Check out every aspect of their website, from the colors to the words on the page. Do they have a newsletter sign-up? Do they offer a freebie giveaway? How are they using their website on the whole to market their business?
Do they have sign-ups on their website for social media? Do they use share buttons on their blog posts? Are they answering questions on social media and engaging with their audience? Knowing how your competition uses and misuses social media can help you become better at using it.
Is your competition using content on their website that is keyword rich? Do you think it's private label rights articles, ghostwritten, or written by the website owner? Do they use a variety of different forms of content such as text, video, infographics and so forth?
Is the content updated often? What days and what time? Is the audience commenting on, liking and sharing their website content regularly? Does your competition share their content updates via social media, email newsletter and other means?
Don’t study your competition once and then rest on your laurels. Instead, take the time to regularly look for new competition and check out your old competition. You never know what you can glean from the information you collected. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to continue following and observing your competition at all times in order to stay abreast of your industry.
Rich Thurman’s passion is helping small businesses realize their full potential. With twenty years of real world experience in both small and large business, Rich has worked for and with both global industry leaders and small-town family-run storefronts.
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