Watching your competitors can give you clues about what you can do to grow your business. Seeing what works for others (and what doesn’t work) will give you the knowledge you need to make changes that will make your business more profitable.
Although you should never copy exactly what your competitors are doing, you can certainly learn from it and adapt some of their good ideas to fit your business. Here are some of the things to look at:
What are their keywords? What keywords are they ranking for? What keywords do they target? Research your competitors’ keywords and use that information to review your own keywords. You may want to target some of the same keywords, or look for keywords that are less competitive that will be easier for you to rank with.
How do they engage? Watching how your competition engages with their audience can teach you ways in which to improve your own engagement. Read their blog. Sign up for their email list. Follow them on social media. What do they do well? Where is their engagement lacking? Identify mistakes and successes in your competition to ensure that you’re covering all bases.
What topics get their audience engaged? Are there topics of discussion on social media and blog posts that get more comments and shares than others? Are there topics that lead to negative engagement, where they anger the audience?
How can you differentiate yourself? You do not want to be exactly like your competition. By seeing how you and your competition are the same, you can identify more ways to make your business stand out. The more ways that you can differentiate your business from theirs, the more successful you can be.
What are their weaknesses? Do they have a limited number of products? Do they only offer one format (e.g., ebooks or video) and not give customers a choice in how to consume information? By studying what your competition has to offer, you can identify gaps in their product line that you can fill. This is yet another way to make your business stand out over theirs.
What influencers do they work with? Do they promote affiliates and others within your niche that you can promote too? Have they interviewed (or been interviewed by) thought leaders in the niche? How can you use this information to build your reputation and increase your profits?
How much do they charge? You don’t have to charge less to get more customers, but you should know how your prices compare to the competition. (It is much more likely that you should consider raising your prices than lowering them.) Also look at things like what type of ordering system they use and the payment methods they accept.
What software and systems do they use to run their businesses? Get into their funnel and see how it works. What do they use for their email list? Order taking and shopping cart? Product delivery? Affiliate program? Do their systems seem to work better than yours?
You may discover something unexpected in this process: Your competitors are not the enemy. One or more of them may turn out to be potential joint venture partners, especially if you do not compete head-to-head. Look for opportunities to work together to jointly serve your customers. That might mean that you promote each other’s products, create a product together, or interview each other on your podcasts or blogs. You might even get customer referrals from your competitors.
Once you have done your research, start implementing what you have learned. Some changes will be simple and can be done in minutes. Others will take more time, and perhaps a financial investment. You don’t have to change everything overnight, but start making changes to make your business more profitable and keep tweaking to improve your results.