Internet Marketing: 5 Areas to Evaluate a Competitor

by Jeremy Powers on July 8, 2012

Internet Marketing Competition

Any experienced business owner knows you only invest time and money in activities that have a payback. One of the easiest ways to see if a marketing tactic is worth exploring is to analyze what your competitors are doing. After all, smart competitors will not invest in activities that don’t work.

What internet marketing are your competitors investing in?

Here are questions you can ask to evaluate:

Website

The first review of a competitive website should be subjective.

  • Does this website look and feel professional? If I were a prospective customer, would I trust this business based on the website?
  • Is the primary product clear? Is the call to action clear? Does this company promote a phone number, email address, or an immediate online transaction?
  • If I knew nothing about this company, what would the website tell me about their organization, products, and price position in the marketplace?

The second review of a website is more technical.

  • Does this website make proper use of title tags?
  • Is the URL structure optimized?
  • Are the internal links on this website focused?

If your primary competitors all have stronger websites than you do, why are they investing in an area that you are not? What value do they see that you are doubting?

Facebook

Winding Staircase Facebook Fan Page

Facebook can be a difficult platform to review. There are, however, some obvious aspects of a competitor’s fanpage you should review:

  • Does my competitor actively post on Facebook? How frequent is the latest post, and how often do they post?
  • How many fans does the page have?
  • How many comments, shares, or likes did the last three posts receive? (How engaged is the fanbase?)
  • Is the profile image and header image optimized?

Twitter

Twitter is undoubtedly an accelerator for interesting messages. Here are a few aspects of your competitor’s presence on Twitter you should review:

  • Does ABC company have a Twitter profile? Do the owners or business development personnel have a Twitter profile?
  • How many followers does the profile have? How many people are they following?
  • How engaged is the profile? How many retweets, replys, and favorites is it receiving?

Search Engine Optimization

Internet Marketing Cincinnati - SEO

SEO is a foundational element of any serious internet marketer.   SEO is often the first sign a competitor is getting serious about web marketing. Here are the basic aspects to look for:

  • Is it obvious what search phrases this company is targeting?
  • Are title tags and descriptions consistently used on embedded pages?
  • How many incoming links does the site have?
  • What is the website’s current rank on Google for the targeted terms?

Email

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An incredible brand building and direct response platform, building a strong email list is a priority for any company serious about internet marketing. Here are the warning signs your competition is beating you in this arena:

  • Is the primary call-to-action on the website to sign-up for emails?
  • Do they publicize how many people receive their email?
  • Have you ever received an email from an existing client/customer with one of their emailed offers attached?

Conclusion

Now that you have reviewed your competitor’s web marketing to your own, how did you stack-up? What areas did you struggle to compare, and why? Should you consider partnering with an internet marketing generalist?

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