Generally speaking, there are a couple kinds of competition online when you’re trying to win the search engine race. The key is understanding what kind of competition you’re up against.
Some people have started their business almost by accident. They had an idea and then they started building it out over many years and they haven’t really given any thought to online competition. They’ve just kind of gone where they’ve had to in order to survive.
Then there’s people who started out the same way, but they’ve learned that they have to show up online and they’ve hired people who have been educating them or assisting them in the process.
Then there’s the the third kind, which is actually what I promote. That is, you do research before starting your business and you look into the online competition and see where you have opportunities to move, create and sell products.
The reason for this is because you want to exist where there’s less competition, but high demand, right? A lot of small business owners don’t start that way.
In school, they teach you to build out your business plan and they don’t really you through researching. Basically they start you out in the middle, skipping the most difficult part of what you should be learning. Starting in the middle, they assume you’ve got money, a good idea and are already hiring a team. That’s actually a disadvantage when it comes to doing business online. It’s as if they are teaching you to work for someone else.
One thing you can do if you’re researching competition and opportunities is to take a look at the competition’s website source code. If you were to take a look at someone’s website, you can find out what all the different marketing tools are that they’re using.
Are they using Google tag manager?
Are they using Alexa?
What analytics are they using?
Are there any other kinds of media or add ons that they have that might give you an idea where their advertising campaigns are?
What data they’re capturing about their visitors?
It’s all there in the header of their website. You want to look at the types of data that they’re collecting, because that tells you their capability for sniffing out a new audience and bringing in customers.
You may even discover things that you have not yet found yourself. So you might want to figure out where do you fit into the spectrum of the competition? Are you in the middle? Are you at the bottom or are you actually already at the top?
This gives you a lot of valuable data about the environment that you’re competing in and who you’re up against, and their skill level. So you can assess the skill level and awareness of your competition to determine how hard it’s going to be to grow in your chosen niche.