Tips to Help You Stand Out Online
By now we know how competition can actually be good for your business AND we know how to suss out our competition in person. Today, we’re going to review how to check out your competition online.
More and more, consumers are discovering new small businesses online before they discover them in person. Whether it be through social media or a search result, their first impression of your business may be virtual. So, that’s why it’s important to research how your competition is coming across online. You can learn a lot about yourself by reviewing your competition’s website, social media pages and online reviews.
How to Make Your Business Stand Out Online
As you peruse your competition’s website, here are a few questions to ask:
- How does it look? Modern and slick or antiquated and clunky?
- Do they offer online ordering?
- Do they have an online store?
- Do they have a blog?
- How do they spread the “news” to their customers? (E-newsletter sign-up or “News” section?)
- What type of events or specials are their promoting?
Look for them on all major social media channels, or see what accounts they link to their website.
- What accounts do they have?
- How often do they post?
- What do they post?
- What is their follower engagement like? (lots of “likes,” shares or comments?)
- How does their brand come across? Would you want to patronize their business?
Search for reviews of your competition – use a search engine or more specific website like Yelp, Open Table or Trip Advisor. What do their reviews look like? Mostly good? Mostly bad? Somewhere in between? Do they take the time to reply to reviews (both good and bad), or is it clear no one from the business is monitoring comments?
Don’t forget to search the news section of your preferred search engine for your competition’s name! Maybe they recently sponsored a charity event, changed ownership or ran a great promotion. Your local paper or Patch site might also be a good place to do some research.
By reviewing your competition online, you can make some quick comparisons between them and yourself. What are they doing that you like or don’t like? How can you make some tweaks to your own online presence based on what you’ve seen?