Know your competitors, before they know you.


Many see SEO strategies as a process which is only used when you are constructing your web site, or after launch to improve the site performance in SERPs, but SEO tools can also be used effectively to analyze prospective markets, even before a decision is made to start competing in a particular market.

By using some of the SEO tools, one can quickly identify the leading competitors in just about any market, and analyze their online presence, the quality and mass of their content, effective keywords, traffic, among other indicators. So why not use these tools before launching a business? I know of many entrepreneurs, including myself, that have come up with an idea, then just jumped in with both feet, without taking time to really look at the competitors online, but just generally in the marketplace. And if you feel you can out-compete the existing competitors, then you just go for it. That was pretty much the way we have done things around here for years. However, through the creation of SoloSEO, and the process we went through to learn the market, analyze what was presently out there, and fill the void we felt existed, we learned a bunch about online competitive analysis. Now that we have built the tools, and can perform online competitive analysis easily, it has changed they way we analyze opportunities and it affects our priorities on which markets we now enter and the timing of the entrance.

In one of our other businesses we bring in products from other countries and set up online stores to sell those products online. We have access to a wide variety of products from international manufacturers, so making a decision on which product to launch next has always been open for debate, and eventually decided by “gut-feel.” But those days are past. With the launch of the new SoloSEO competitive reports system earlier this month, we now can actually enter in the domains of the competitors from various industries we feel are most worthy of review, and then we watch how they perform. Based on what we see, we can then decide which industries to enter, and also prepare our new site to better compete head to head with our competitors right out of the gate. We have time to create content, watch pricing trends, see what is bringing in the most traffic, analyze the popular keywords, and make the appropriate changes to the site before launch; it is obviously a huge competitive advantage.

Anyone in business should understand the importance of watching their competitors, it can essentially be the difference between market success and failing miserably, and now that there are tools which make this once daunting, time consuming, and frustrating task very simple, not participating in competitive analysis isn’t an option. If you are not presently analyzing your competitors, I suggest you make it a point to start. In a book called Made in America about Sam Walton’s life and the success of Walmart (a must read for all aspiring entrepreneurs), Mr. Walton speaks freely about walking into his competitor’s stores and taking notes, then going back to his store and implementing the good ideas, and improving on them. The success of Sam Walton is legendary, and much of it is based on his keen understanding of not only his target market, but also the knowledge he gained from his competitors. Knowing your competitors, duplicating what they do well, and then improving on your own product/service is what free market competition is all about. Simply building a better mouse trap.

If you haven’t done so, please review Michael’s blog post on the competitive report system, and begin keeping an eye on your online competitors ASAP. If you are already a SoloSEO subscriber, then these competitive reports are now included in the current service, and have been added at no additional cost. If you are considering starting your own business, the competitive report system can provide you with information on your potential competitors, which will give you an excellent understanding of how you are going to need to position your firm to out-compete the online leaders. Finally, even if you are just extremely curious about online business and want to learn more about trends, traffic and popular keywords, the competitive reports can be wonderfully addictive and couldn’t be simpler to use. Just pick the site(s) you want to watch, and the completed reports magically appear in your email box for review at your convenience. Competitive analysis is now as easy as opening an email. What an improvement!

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