Many people who are set off on their own path, claim that they have no competition. This, however, is far from the truth – no matter what industry or niche you’re in, everyone has competition.
Knowing your competition is not something you can dismiss matter-of-factly. Apart from the benefits we will review shortly, it is commonsense that every entrepreneur in any business knows what else is out there. Before we dive into just how important it is to complete competitor research, let’s stress that it is also important to understand your users. This book assumes that you have already made it clear to yourself who your target audience are.
Within a short period of time, any business can develop a framework for making competitive assessments.
But why should we, as business owners, invest precious time in making a full fledged research?With competitor research you can sharpen your instincts as to who you are targeting and what their needs are. This, in turn, will help you create the right focus and content for your website and will enable it’s users to feel as though they are being benefited by what you are offering – be it a product or simply good content.
The answer, naturally, is that the benefits of competitor research further exceed the little time spent surfing in other websites. Completing this research will enable you to:
- Better assess your competition and resources, which will in turn help
- Understand who it is that your business is for, and eventually
- Optimize your site for potential customers.
Testing the water before diving in
Whether or not you have a clear idea about who exactly your competitors are, researching them and even finding more competitors will enable you to predict more accurately what you’re getting into.
Assessing your competitors enables you to find out exactly whether the market is ready for your website. After which you will know if you need to refine your expectations on how many opportunities are available in your market sector.
This in turn help you decide whether you need to focus yourself on a more specific niche or if this sector needs your products and services. Finding the soft spots in your competition will help you focus on what your site can deliver to its visitors that the competition isn’t.
By researching your online competitors, you can estimate how much money you will need to invest in developing your website. Just by browsing their websites and taking notes on their amount of content, special features and the products offer, you can gauge how much money they have spent and revise your budget accordingly.
This kind of estimation will also come hand in hand with learning what the common price is for your product or service. It will help you assess when your investment will pay for itself, and help you make decisions as to what kind of niche in your market segment is worth diving into.
Naturally, learning how to price your services and products would also enable you to better price them in order to meet the market’s demands. This can determine which kind of promotions and sales you could go for, and better understand your potential clientele.
Exploring into the Depths of your Reach
More often than not, knowing what isn’t out there, can benefit you more than what is. Extensive competitor research, will help you find untapped niches in your market, which will teach you what your site should be more focused on.
If you notice that a certain range of products or services that is not covered enough by your competitors, you will know that this range would be the center of focus in your site, regardless of whether you offer everything else.
By reading between the lines, you can also educate yourself about the audience of your website. Taking special note of the content in a competitor website enables you discover your target audience, and refine your initial assumptions regarding your users.
A deep research into how your competitors position their brand, will teach you about making yourself visible. Taking note of specific keywords used in a competitors website will give you ideas for keywords to target while building your online presence.
Retrieving Applicable Data from your Expedition
Alongside ideas on how to position your brand in the online scenery, conducting a research into your competitors will give you practical directions which you could follow in the immediate term.
Noticing how certain competitors lay out their website and design their pages will enable you to get ideas for your website concept. While some architectures work perfectly for certain websites, others demand a completely different blueprint.
Try to register how each of your competitors made their content accessible, what kind of pages they have on their website, and whether or not this blueprint could work for you. This will give you a general idea about your own blueprint, and what design better suits your needs.
More important than the design itself, is the content. Learning what messages to use in your copywriting is the most powerful information you can gather from competitor research. Try to note how your competitors describe their products or service, and what kind of content they are using besides that.
Learning the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors copy will enable you to draw inspirations from their strong points, and improve the weaknesses in their content.
Wrapping up your Boats and Sailing Home
You can learn a ton from your competitors. Whether it is getting to know what kind of strategies you could take to make your website blossom, or what kind of mistakes to avoid.
In essence, keeping track of who your competitors are, what people are saying about them and what they are saying themselves can help you differentiate your business and stay ahead of trends in your market.
Staying smart on the competitive landscape helps you make very practical decisions around product development, pricing, promotions and messaging – as well as where you fit in the vast horizons of the online world.