There was a time, not so long ago, when checking competitor activity was as simple as walking around the block. For all but the largest organisations, competitors were distinctly local, which made standing out amongst such a limited selection, and securing your slice of the consumer pie, a simple – if equally limited – process.
The internet has changed everything by bringing abundance: not only do you have the opportunity to get your brand in front of anyone with an internet connection, you also find yourself competing for the attention of this audience against a wealth of other, similar businesses from around the globe.
But how do you find out who these competitors are?
Difference between online vs. offline competitors
Your first task is to separate those around the corner from those a click away. Online and offline competitors are very different beasts, and understanding these differences will allow you to compete against each effectively.
Depending on your industry, your online competition could feasibly be located anywhere in the world. Globally, internet users are higher income, better educated, and younger than non-internet users. But abundance is a two-way street: getting the attention of this valuable market is incredibly difficult when every competitor is trying to do the same.
There is a familiarity and immediacy to offline competition. To succeed you need to be the best option in your area – well placed and available when your target market needs you. In the last couple of decades ‘offline’ competition could to some degree be defined as ‘local’ competition, but that is quickly changing. 46% of Google searches are now for local information, making truly ‘offline’ competition less and less relevant every year.
How do you measure competitor performance?
Measuring the performance of your competitors is the first step in understanding how to outperform your competitors. So how do you do it? As always, answers can be found in the hard data.
Growth Partners brings the proprietary technology and experience to accurately measure the performance of your competitors. As part of the Digital Enablement Program (DEP), we’ll compare your market share against that of your competitors across key content categories, serving up the results in visual form.
Gaining an understanding of where you sit in the market for key categories shows areas of opportunity, as well as highlighting competitive risks and emerging threats to your business.
How do I stop competitors from stealing my customers?
How do you compete against those who may be able to do it faster or cheaper? When you’re competing against the rest of the internet, losing customers can be somewhat inevitable – you just need to ensure you’re bringing more on board.
There are no shortcuts or tricks for stopping your competitors from stealing your customers. Sure, you may not be the cheapest, but do you really want to be? The key to success is to understand your unique value proposition, your competitors and your place in the market, all of which will be revealed via the Growth Partners DEP.
What can you learn from your competitors?
Often the actions of competitors can serve to highlight where you could improve. Healthy competition is a chance to grow and evolve as a business – to strengthen your offering and cement your future.
By conducting deep benchmarking of your competitors, you can work to understand the areas in which they’re realising success, and where you could be better. The Benchmarking Competitors and Market Share stage of the Growth Partners DEP does just that.
How do I spy on competitors on Google Ads?
Your competitors are very visible on Google Ads. Whenever you put in keywords relevant to your business, you’ll more than likely see a number of competitors sitting at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). It’s natural to feel compelled to create an ad of your own, and get it sitting just above theirs.
But performing this simple check leaves a wealth of questions unanswered. How big is their spend? What keywords are they targeting? And, most importantly, are they seeing a return on these ads?
As part of the Growth Partners DEP, you’ll replace this superficial look at your competitors’ Google Ads activity with deep and meaningful insights: the sort that will see you secure a prime piece of real estate on the SERP for keywords that really matter.
How do I find out where my competitors are advertising?
There are a wealth of (often free) online tools designed to enable you to check exactly where your direct competitors are advertising. But just because those companies are advertising there, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
An organisation serious about online success will seek a more comprehensive view of competitor activity, and one that compares that activity to their own, to see which channels are the most effective in achieving organisational goals. They’ll understand the need for deep analysis if useful and actionable insights are to be produced. In short, they’ll look for a program like Growth Partners’ DEP.
What keyword are my competitors targeting?
Similarly, there are many tools that allow you to spy on competitor ad activity. The issue here is that these tools offer a severely limited view of the situation, as they lack the foundation upon which good benchmarking is built: research.
Search marketing success is less about focusing on the external as the internal. Your online strategy should be driven by what’s going on within the four walls of your organisation: your unique value proposition, your target audience, your products and services. Sure, there’s a place for competitor analysis, but it comes further down the line, once you’ve gained a thorough understanding of your own situation.
At Growth Partners our Digital Enablement Program has been designed around this ethos. It first looks inward, and once a detailed and complete picture of your organisation has been painted, it then takes competitor activity into account. In the process it offers up ways to seriously enhance your online efforts, eventually turning your website into a lead generation machine.
Ready to get a clear picture of who your competitors are, and where you sit amongst them? We’re ready to help. Book a 15-minute consultation with Growth Partners Director Steve Bambury today.