In the world of Internet marketing, most thoughts and activities tend to be directed inward. Almost everything is about what you want to accomplish with your company, which tactics and ideas you should put into play, and what tools or concepts are worth the investment to help you find customers and move your business forward.
But, what about your competitors… not to mention their Internet marketing plans and ideas? Is there anything you can do to help yourself and set them back – or at least keep an eye on their progress – and help your business in the process?
We are glad you asked. Here are five ways you can play defense with your Internet marketing, hold off other companies in your industry, and grow your own business online all at the same time:
1. Set up automated news alerts. You don’t want to be the last one to find out that one of your customers has launched a major project or initiative. With automated news alerts, based on keywords, brand names, or even locations, you can keep a close eye on your competition without having to visit their websites on a daily basis.
2. Regularly audit your competitors for search engine optimization purposes. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit their websites from time to time and see what’s going on. In fact, you should work with an Internet marketing partner who will do it on your behalf and evaluate competitor sites for search engine optimization purposes. At worst, you’ll know what you are up against; at best, you might just get ideas for new keywords and campaigns.
3. Register available domains. Chances are, there are dozens of domain names that could be used by one of your competitors to damage your business that are available right now. Common candidates include variations of your company, brand, or product names. You might also look at certain industry or location-based keyword combination domains, which could be used by other companies who want to market to your customers.
4. Back up your marketing claims (and refute those made by the competition). If you make bold claims in your online marketing, make sure you can back them up. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your competitors point out shortcomings in your product or services. And, it goes without saying that you should look for chances to do the same to them. You don’t want to go overboard or make unsubstantiated accusations, but if you can point out gross exaggerations in their marketing, you can help customers to see the light.
5. Develop a strong online reputation. The best defense is sometimes a strong offense. The stronger your online reputation is with positive reviews, satisfied customers, and a strong social media following, the less vulnerable you are to the kinds of anonymous attacks and fake reviews that are becoming all too prevalent over the Internet.
As Internet marketing has grown and gotten more competitive, it has become more important for businesses of all sizes to pay attention to other companies and even employ some defensive strategies online. Are you doing all you could be to keep others from stealing your customers and damaging your reputation?
Your Marketing Partner
Now is a great time to talk to a member of our team about small business web design, search engine optimization, and Internet marketing. Call us today at 630.551.0334 to arrange for a free consultation.