Did you know that your competitors on search engines, such as Google and Bing, may be different than the competitors you know? And are your online competitors actually who you think they are? In most cases, you will be surprised to know who is competing with your business for keywords and phrases in the modern digital space.
There is no doubt that competitive research is the core of a strong and effective marketing strategy. This is because if you cannot identify your online competitors and their marketing strategies and tactics, you will find it hard to differentiate your business and your products or services from the crowd.
You should keep in mind that your online competitors are the various websites that are competing with your business for visibility in the search engine result pages (SERPs). So, your search competition comprises websites that are competing for the same search visibility on SERPs as your own domain.
Note that search visibility means how visible your site is in search engine results. And it is essential that you know who you are competing against in the search results battlefield. This is because that is the best way to determine where your SEO efforts and initiatives will be best spent.
Also, you are likely to have a wide range of competitors, and you will likely have a slightly different group of competitors depending on each of your keywords and phrases.
If you ask most people in any company or business organization who they believe their competitors are, note that they will likely name a couple of companies that sell similar services or products. And it is worth noting that these are the same businesses you usually keep in mind when talking about your competitors in business.
However, if you ask this same question to a digital marketing firm or team, you will likely get a different answer. Most businesses don’t realize that their online competitors can be very different from the companies they know.
Typically, when you consider your competitors, you mostly think of companies in the same space as your business in terms of the services or products you sell. And there is no doubt that these businesses are your competition.
However, keep in mind that when it comes to the web unless these competitors are competing for the first page of search results for relevant keywords and phrases, they might not be your true competitors at all.
So, we can say that any business or company occupying the search results space that you’ve your eye on is who you are competing against for that coveted space.
You have to bear in mind that in the digital world, search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing – not customers – decide which sites get the highest visibility. While you may have the most relevant site for a specific keyword, if you have not optimized it properly, it is not likely to fetch a lot of organic traffic. And this can be a concern for your business.
Here are some ways to find your online competitors.
While this is a fairly simple technique, it is very effective. All you have to do is take the key phrases and words that you have selected and use Google and find out who else is ranking well for the same key terms. And it is vital to compile a list of companies as well as domain names that are ranking well on SERPs for your top key phrases.
We cannot stress enough that your customers or clients are the key to unlocking your competitors. Here is what you can do. Once they have decided on your company and product or service, you can ask them which other companies and products they were considering and evaluating.
Did you know that your customers can reveal unexpected competitors that are not even on your radar? And their feedback may surprise you. Also, during the sales process, your sales reps can ask your prospective customers which businesses or companies they are considering.
Often, companies focus all of their time and resources on real-world competitors. And, as a result, forget or overlook that they have more competition on multiple fronts in the digital world. So, it is always a good practice to keep these online competitors in check. This is especially true if you would like to get higher organic rankings on search engines and run more successful paid campaigns to grow your business.