Monday, June 20th, 2011
It can be easy to get the itch to imitate something you’ve seen a competitor do online, especially when they’re sitting well ahead of you in the search engine rankings, or expanding their company at a time when you’re treading water and are struggling to get by. In fact, we meet with small business owners every day who are motivated to make a change in their website or online marketing plan simply because they’ve seen someone else do the same.
There are times when a competitor’s move can inspire or necessitate doing something different, but take care that you don’t choose a losing Internet marketing strategy.
Why do we point this out? Because not everything is as it appears from the outside. Unless you have a great deal of personal insight into your competitor’s books, there’s nothing to say that they aren’t pouring a lot of time and money into the wrong things. Or, it could be that they’re drastically increasing their Internet marketing budget simply because the rest of their business is doing so badly. It’s surprisingly common for struggling companies to turn their efforts to find new customers after it’s already way too late.
To keep you from copying someone else’s mistakes, here are a few quick things to look for when examining a competitor’s website or online marketing campaign:
Run the numbers. Take a hard look at what the other company is doing and try to make an educated guess at what kind of return they’re likely to be seeing from it. You won’t have all the figures, naturally, but by talking to your web design team in thinking about prices and percentages, you might be able to come closer than you think.
Imagine what a similar activity will cost you. If you were to try the same thing, or something similar, what would the cost be? Compare that to a conservative estimate of what you think it’s earning them, and then try to decide whether it’s an idea that’s even worth considering.
See if there’s a better or more efficient way. Often times, the first business to try something isn’t the one that gets it right. See if there isn’t some way to improve on your competitor site or idea, and you might just make the breakthrough that they weren’t able to find.
Effective online marketing takes a lot more than a small business website. Contact eKzact – One of Calgary’s best web design teams – today to find out what we can do for you.