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Research Your Competitors Online

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    If you are in business then it can be worth it to carry out some market research on your competitors. You need to research your competitors in order to create a good business plan, but you should not stop there. Great businesses always have an eye on what their rivals are doing. By doing so you can learn what is working and what is not and give them a good run for their money. Don’t try to copy or match what your competitors are doing, but observe and learn from what tactics they are employing.

    To help you carry out some market research on your own here are a few useful tips on how to get started. These are all free tools and techniques so if you are looking to save money they are a great place to begin.

    • Keyword Research – Use a keyword research tool and see how effective your competitor’s keywords are. Think strategically here too. Look at the keywords used by your competitor and see how they rank for them. They may not be targeting the same keywords as you, but this will give you an insight to what they feel is important to their business. You never know, they may not be using SEO effectively and this gives you an opportunity to outrank them for the keywords they deem important.
    • Get Social – Social networking is a fantastic place to keep an eye on your competition. Check out their campaigns, read customer posts on their wall, see their latest links. If you do not have your business on these networking sites then ask your SEO provider if it is something that could be of benefit. Social networking can be a fantastic way for business to keep in touch with customers when used in the right way.

    Free Tools from Google

    • Google Trends – If you are looking to create new content then use something like Google Trends.  See what is hot in search and create content geared towards these search terms if it is appropriate to your industry.  Check to see the content on your competitor’s page to see if they are staying one step ahead using trending search.
    • Google Insights for Search– This is a free tool where you can carry out keyword research and be given options on which terms are being used most frequently all over the world.  Google Insights search tool is great if you are looking to target a certain country or area as the results can be broken down showing you what is working best all over the world.
    • Google Alerts – Create a search that you wish to monitor and Google will send you the results you request directly to your email.  If you want to know what your competitors are up to as soon as possible just create an alert and you will be among the first to know.

    Use Your Findings to Your Advantage

    By being aware of what your competitors are doing using these market research tools you can adjust your own marketing efforts accordingly.  Market research can be done for you by experts but it never hurts to learn these free tools for yourself. Learn who your competitors are and start your own market research and see how you compare.  You could learn some great tips and gain insights into where they are going wrong.  Learn from the mistakes of others to help improve your own business.

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