Does your online competition match your real-world competition?

Watch the webinar Fire Your Website: How Lack of Content Can Kill Your Leads, above. 

When it comes to keeping up with competitors, many businesses fail to realize that much of their competition now occurs online. Gone are days of the Yellow Pages when people would simply scan the directory until their finger stopped on the relevant category to then select a random number to call. Instead, people are now turning to Google to help find what they need, from movie tickets to scheduling services. With over 50% of web traffic occurring on search engines, search visibility is now essential to growing a business. Such high search volume driving interested customers to your website means your business is never really closed—which makes it essential for your company’s website to be showing up relevant searches.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better

In conducting digital competitive analyses for Vistage companies, I’ve found that many business owners don’t realize that their online competition can be different from their real-world competitors. The fellow business owners you bump into while doing deals might have a weak online presence, whereas another company you’ve never heard of might be ranking in the top spot on Google.

For example, in the turf industry, a local installer might expect to be beat out by the name-brand corporation that installs turf fields all over the world. However, if the smaller business has a stronger online presence, they can easily beat out the corporation by building an ironclad website with content targeted for their top keywords and service area.

Don’t give up your leads to your competitors by falling behind on your web presence. Choose where you want to win and focus your efforts there. If you want to beat your competition on social media, start by building a following. If you want to rank at the top of the search results for your relevant keywords, create targeted content to reach your desired audience.

Define ‘competition’

How do you figure out who your competition is? As it often goes in the business world, you don’t know what you don’t know about your competitors. So, get online and start looking. Google your relevant keywords like “turf installation in Detroit, MI” or “turf field maintenance in Michigan” and see who comes up in the top three search results. Look around on those companies’ websites to see what (if any) marketing initiatives they’ve taken to improve their search visibility. Are their websites relatively new with strong keyword- or geographic-targeting? Do they have multiple service pages that are all optimized for SEO? If your online competitors’ websites are outdated or poorly optimized, you have the opportunity to win in search by creating an easy-to-use, informative, and SEO-driven website.

In analyzing 2,000 small- to medium-sized businesses and their web presence, we found that company longevity, variation targeting, site usability, words per page, and average words per page are the biggest factors to influence a website’s ranking, particularly in high-competition markets. While you can’t control how long your company has been in business, you can give your potential leads and/or existing customers an easy-to-use site that has high-quality content that’s easy to find in search because you implemented the proper variation targeting.

Staying on top of your competitors’ online presence is one of the best ways to get ahead in today’s digitally-driven marketplace. At Blue Corona, we are persistently monitoring and tracking our competitors and our clients’ competitors’ digital presence and strategies. If you want to learn more about your competitive landscape, reach out to our team and we will help find the areas in which you can outpace your competition.

Read more on this topic: How good is your company’s search engine visibility?

Category: Marketing

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About the Author: Ben Landers

Ben Landers is the CEO of Blue Corona, a six-time Inc. 500|5000 analytics and digital marketing company. A passionate entrepreneur with more than 10 years of…

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