When you’re setting up a marketing plan, wouldn’t it be nice to know what all your competitors are doing so you know how to set the bar higher? That’s what I am going to talk about today. I’m going to show you some very easy ways to spy on your competition, take an assessment of what they’re doing, and set your marketing strategy to take over.

Spying on competitors is not a new game in the marketing industry. For as long as I’ve been working in digital and online marketing, there’s always been the “let’s check out the competition and see what they are doing?” 

Well, what I suggest we do is do a little bit of spying on your competitor. My third book Marketing Espionage is really about turning the tables, looking at what they’re doing, and figuring out a way to overtake them and dominate.

We’re going to talk about spying on your competitors in the best possible way. Nothing underhanded going on here, It’s all legal!

  1. Google Alerts

The first thing I want you to do is set up a Google Alert for all of your competitors, you can do that by going to  google.com/alert put in their website that way you can monitor what they do, You need to keep track and keep a finger on the pulse of what they’re doing, they’re spending money on that. 

I want you to take advantage of the money that they’re spending, how does that sound? So, keep an eye out on what they’re saying, what new products are coming out? Or when they have a new website being launched, you can use this information to your advantage.

Keep in mind that you can really take a hard look at that and you can keep track of what they’re doing.

  1. Spy your Top 5 Competitors

Take a really hard look at your Top 5 competitors. What colors are they using? What’s their call-to-action and what’s their offer. So, as you’re taking this assessment, I want you to be thinking about how your website looks and see what they’re doing and how you can add that to your strategy. 

  1. Social Media

I want you to follow them or just watch them. Are they on Twitter? Are they on LinkedIn? Facebook? YouTube? Pinterest? Reddit? Find out where they’re at and follow them 

There’s a good chance if they got into social media or SEO early, then they’re already pretty much established in this space. I find that a lot of businesses don’t get social media. Social media is more than sharing pictures of dogs and cats and babies or funny videos.

There is real business happening here, and I’ve heard a million times, “We don’t get business that way.” Well, I always ask have you tried to get business that way? Or have you just decided because that’s not your comfort zone that you’re not going to do it at all? But if your competitors are doing it, that should be a very good indication that’s the party you need to attend, You want to look like the cool kids.

  1. Google your “Ego Keyword”

Google a keyword that you know everyone is fighting over, actually, you don’t know if anyone searches for this keyword or not but you want to be number one under that phrase. And every business owner has that ego keyword. Write that down first and foremost.

See what competitors show up there. Is that really where you should be? So, you have to be careful about how you put yourself out there because you may not be tuned in to what people are looking for because they don’t know they need you.

Remember, it’s hard to see the label when you’re inside the bottle. You got to get outside the bottle and take a look and see what’s going on that I had nothing to do with creating.

One of my clients from a long time ago, when I was actually working at Yahoo was a group of Lawyers that specialized in Mesothelioma. Do you know what mesothelioma is? It’s cancer from asbestos. They were all fighting over the same keyword phrase which was mesothelioma lawyer. 

During that time the cost per click for Mesothelioma Lawyers was up to $100 per click. And they were only focused on that one Ego Keyword was the keyword they wanted to rank for. What was interesting is that there were only 10 searches a month at that time for a mesothelioma lawyer. That’s 120 over a year.

They were spending all their marketing budget on that one Keyword, not a smart way to go after your ideal searcher, you need to put your ear to the ground and look for and hear what people are looking for.

The problem was the search volume didn’t justify the competitiveness of that phrase. So, it’s a great example of making sure that you’re not just going after the keywords your competitors are doing. You are finding the right keywords that will speak to your ideal client.

Okay, so when you’re looking at spying on competitors, there are a couple of other nuances I want you to think about: 

  • What hashtags are they using?

Now, I get a lot of eye rolls when people talk about hashtags. They’re like, “Oh if I hear someone else say hashtag again, I’m going to throw up.” Because they don’t get what it means. 

Let me give you the crash course in hashtags, It’s just a club, So, let’s say I like rose gold, I like Earl Grey tea and everyone knows I love search engine marketing.  Now, the hashtags I follow are #rosegold, #EarlGrey, #SEO. 

When I follow those hashtags, they’re going to show up in my feed. And hashtags thank goodness works across all social media platforms. So, when you can tap into those hashtags that are in play, you’re going to be able to get in front of those audiences faster.

But guess what? Your competitors have probably already done that research for you. So, go in. Go to their social media profiles. Check out what hashtags they are using and see if those are ones that will work for you as well. This is fun, I love spying and it’s so cool…

  • Web Results

Google your competition and see what shows up do you see LinkedIn? Do you see Glassdoor? Do you see Yelp? If they are hiring, what does their glassdoor.com profile look like? What does their Yelp profile look like? Maybe they have an account on indeed. 

What do their websites look like? Are there pictures of people actually working there or are there a lot of empty spaces, photos with no one in them.

We call those ghost town photos. Just pictures of empty classrooms and pictures of empty conference rooms and empty reception desks. Make sure that you are trying to convey how great you are over your competitors. 

  • Images and Videos

What images come up under their name? And why? Take a look at their images and see what they’re doing to represent their brand. If it is all logos they have not named them correctly So, you can go back, and start naming your images such as Mycompany1.jpg, Mycompany2.jpg and so on..By doing this you can rank over your competitors since they aren’t doing the work.

The next one is the video. So, go to the video tab in Google or go to YouTube. And search for your competitor’s name. See how often they’re publishing a video. Are they getting likes, comments, and subscribers? Are they giving away anything in the description area of their videos? Do a careful assessment of what is their YouTube strategy, and go in and replicate it but do it better than they are.

YouTube is the number 2 search engine on the Internet. Massive amount of time is spent here looking for solutions to problems, vendors, and of course, there’s a lot of fun elements on the video to you as well. 

Take a good look at your top 5 competitors, go through the things that I’ve pointed out here, and do a real study on what your competitors are doing. 

If you’re going to figure out what is going to put you out front of your competitors, you’ve got to think bigger and you have to think strategically. By looking at what your competitors are doing very methodically, you’re going to be able to set up a strategy that’s going to leave them in the dust.

It’s going to not only outrank them, it’s going to get the clients that you want and pull them away. 

Ooh! I love a good spying tool… Hopefully, you enjoyed some of the recommendations I gave you today on how to spy on your competitors. 

WATCH the full video here: https://bit.ly/30K9eXZ

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