Seven Online Marketing Strategies Your Competitors are Using to Get Your Business
Staying on top of competitors’ marketing strategies has always been a challenge for business owners. It requires constant monitoring that results in refining your own marketing strategies in order to keep up. Today’s internet-driven environment makes it even more difficult to keep up with what competitors are doing to get more business online – business that you are giving up to them.
When it comes to online marketing, there are seven basic strategies that your competitors may use to attract more business. Are you using them? Or are you letting them have a field day?
Your Competitors are Maximizing their Use of Local Searches
According to Google, more than 35% of all search engine queries are for local services. When potential prospects search for products or services, they narrow their search to their geographic area in order to get the most relevant results. In simple terms, they search for “Chinese restaurant in Dallas” rather than “Chinese restaurant.” Why? Because it makes sense. Results for Chinese restaurants out of state will be of no use to them if they have a craving for Chinese food. What’s more, even if they do not specify a location, search engines like Google immediately populate the search results with local results first along with a map pinpointing the various results. If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, maximizing the use of local maps is crucial. Set up a business listing with Google Places and Yahoo! to get your business on the map.
Your Competitors are Using Paid Search Marketing
Another way to quickly attract more traffic and increase quality leads online is to use pay-per-click marketing, a type of paid search marketing. Using keywords relevant to their services or products, compelling ad copy, and strategic placement and scheduling, your competitors can advertise their products or services to show up on top of organic search engine results in the shaded area or on the right-hand side. Prospect queries automatically trigger these adds to show up. The best part is that your competitors only pay for each time their ad gets clicked on. To get more traffic to your website, set aside a budget to devote to paid search marketing.
Your Competitors Have Websites that are Search Engine Friendly
Not all websites are created equal. Even the best-looking websites may not be the best for search engine rankings. Search engines attribute rankings to all websites based on a variety of factors including content, architecture, ease of navigation, and onsite and offsite optimization. Decisions such as using flash, images vs. words or where you place content on each individual page greatly affect how well search engine bots crawl your website. The more difficulty they have crawling your website, the lower your ranking. And the lower your ranking, the lower you’ll show up on the search engine results page (SERPs). If your website is not ranking as well as you’d like, consult a professional search engine optimization (SEO) specialist to make your website more search engine friendly.
Your Competitors are Using Landing Pages
A landing page is a microsite with two or three sub pages used to market or promote one individual product, service or offer. Why do these work? The reason these work is that they focus on one individual product or offer, giving visitors all the information they need to make their decision. The alternative? Sending visitors to the homepage of your website. Using your homepage means that visitors need to search for the particular product or service on your website once again. If your website is well built this may not be a big problem, but if it is not, it may send them away for good. Landing pages are extremely effective when used in conjunction with other types of marketing such as pay-per-click ads or even traditional print ads. If you are launching a new promotion, opt for a landing page and make sure the content and structure further compels visitors to take advantage of the promotion or offer.
Your Competitors are Social
Your competitors are all over the blogosphere, have running tweets and have thousands of loving fans on Facebook. Do you? If you haven’t yet embraced social networks, you need to start immediately. By reaching out to current customers and their friends online, your competitors are gaining huge visibility and brand awareness. While social media may not necessarily translate into direct conversions, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to increase their online exposure through social media networks and a corporate blog. To keep up, set up profiles for your business on all major social networks and promote your current clients to join you through e-newsletters or your website.
Your Competitors are Using Link Building Strategies
Link building is the concept of building relationships and connections with other relevant websites on the World Wide Web. Search engines award high points in the form of high search engine rankings to websites with high-quality links. By linking to prestigious, reputable and relevant websites online, your competitors are increasing their link juice, making themselves more attractive to search engines. Link building is a tricky strategy that is best left to the professionals as you want to make sure you are building high-quality links using approved strategies. Getting links from just any website will not do, and links from irrelevant and untrustworthy websites may actually hurt you. Consult a search engine marketing specialist to start creating meaningful links online for better rankings.
Your Competitors are Maximizing their Use of Online Directories
Online directories are a great way to increase your online exposure and strengthen your brand power. What’s more, positive reviews can make a huge difference when it comes to selecting a business online. If your competitors are actively being reviewed on Yelp!, Yahoo!, Citysearch or showing up on the Super Pages online directory, they are getting the most of their directory listings. Keep up with them by seeking out online directories relevant to your particular industry and create a listing or consider advertising with them. The more you ways customers can find you online, the easier it will be to get more customers.
Keeping up with your competitors should not be an up-hill battle. Stay current and relevant by making sure that you are doing the most you can to stay ahead of them online. These seven strategies are sure to give you a leg up on your competition.
If you need the help of a specialist, contact one of our search engine marketing specialists at ClickxPosure at 888-909-RANK.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy