We’ve all done it before.
Maybe it was a quiet afternoon in the office and you just got curious?
Googling yourself isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s perfectly healthy. But we want you to stop doing that for a minute, and consider another search: Your Competitors! There is no easier way to gather market intelligence quickly, and ‘quietly’.
Most astute business owners know exactly who their top 3 direct competitors are, and if you don’t – try Googling your main service areas and seeing who pops up on the first page of results. Once you have your competitors, we want you to take them and follow our instructions below to get ahead. We’ve also got a handy template at the end for you to download and fill out for each competitor that you Google.
1. Check out their website.
This may sound very rudimentary, but when was the last time you had a solid look through your competitor’s website?
- What products and services are they offering?
- Who are their clients?
- How many staff do they have?
- What associations are they members of, or what groups are they affiliated with?
- Do they sponsor any non-profit organisations?
2. News articles.
If there are any news articles, they can usually be found grouped together in the search results:
- What press outlets have featured your competitors?
- What did they receive coverage for?
- Can you access publicity through these same outlets?
It has been identified that blogs are a fantastic way to help with your website’s rankings. They provide a great way to share knowledge, provide value, and expand the content of your website.
- Do your competitors have a blog?
- How often do they post on their blog?
- What do they post about on their blog?
- Does anyone comment on their posts? (legitimate comments only!)
These might be things like the Yellow Pages, Hot Frog, or industry associations. For us at DBG Technologies, an example of an industry association directory is the Australia Web Industry Association.
- What directories are your competitors listed in?
- Can you get listings in these same directories?
- If they are listed in the Yellow Pages – what categories are they listed in? Do you need to be listed under these same categories?
5. Social Media.
This blanket term covers many different entities, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, and Google+. For our template, we’ve just listed Facebook and Twitter – however jot down notes for any others you come across.
- Do they have a Facebook business page or Twitter profile?
- How many fans /followers do they have?
- For Twitter – who do they follow? Should you be following any of these people too?
- What do they post on Facebook / Tweet about?
- Do they receive many responses?
- For Facebook – do they have any apps or additional functionality?
These 5 points should help you to cover off the basics. But if you want to delve deeper and really find out what your competitors are up to online, stay tuned for Part II of this series where Chris Schwarz from The Search Guys will give you some ‘secrets’ that you won’t want to miss!
Download your own copy of our Googling Your Competitors – a checklist (PDF) here.