I’m a big believer in some healthy competition. If you’re not bringing your A-Game, then you can bet someone else is.

This applies to your digital marketing. Chances are, you have a competitor who is just like you. You’re both trying to win over an identical market with the same products and similar services.

If you haven’t given much thought to your online marketing strategy, then your competition probably knows it—and they’re milking it right now.

Here are some ways to scope out your competition’s digital strategy.

Eyeball Their Efforts

You don’t need to be James Bond to see if your competitors are deploying a solid digital marketing strategy; it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.

Do a Name Search: Simply Google your competitor’s business name and see what their Page One Defense is like. Do you notice any paid ads? If you do, it’s a good indicator that their head is somewhat in the digital game—and yours should be too.

Check Their Reviews: Are there consistent reviews? Are they any good? If they’re crushing it with testimonials on Google, Yelp and elsewhere, this could be the wake-up call you need to reassess your review process. Customer experiences are a big deal to shoppers making a significant purchase, so a lack of reviews could mean leads for your competition.

Search Keywords You Want to Rank for: Every business should be able to pinpoint a handful of keywords they want to associate with their service or products. Search for them. Is your competition showing up?

Surf Their Website: Now that you know your online competition is where you want to be, see what they’re doing that is getting them there.

Take a good look around and see if they’re doing anything you’re not doing (or if you can do something better). Is their content interesting and unique? Can you say the same about yours? Check for keywords they use within their text, specials they offer, the layout of their site and so on.

This one is very important: do they have a blog? Consistent content creation gives not only readers a reason to come back, but search engines too. If your competition is beating you in search results, then “Start To Blog” better be #1 on your to-do list.

Check Their Links

Even if your online competition looks like they’re doing everything right, there are a bunch of online tools to give you some hard numbers to compare your own site to.

Use free tools like Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO to compare one of the most important SEO factors: links.

In short, links to your website are votes of confidence. You want many votes and you want votes that hold weight. Open Site Explorer will give you a sense of how many total links (internal and external) a website has. Just don’t get too hung up on your Page Authority; there are many other factors that contribute to a website’s success.

While Majestic SEO offers limited data with its free version, you can still view handy information like historical backlinks and referring domains. You want your chart to show links growing slowly and steadily, not hitting a plateau.


Be Aware of Their Rankings

One of the best ways to stay on the top of your game is keeping tab on your competition’s successes and failures. This is a luxury PCG has thanks to our partnership with Conductor Searchlight, a game-changing reporting tool that helps you keep tabs on your SEO competition.

Searchlight lets you track up to three competing URLs and up to 50 keywords, so you can see at a glance where your competition falls for the keywords you care about. It’s a whole lot faster than manually conducting searches to see rankings and offers actionable insight. For example, if you’ve been neglecting a particular keyword and see your competitor creeping up, then it’s time to dedicate a blog or page to that term.

If you want to take your competitive intelligence to the next level, sign up for a free one-month trial of Conductor Searchlight to see how it can benefit your business.

About the Author

PCG Digital Marketing is an award winning digital agency headquartered in Eatontown, NJ. We help our clients get found online through innovative search, social and online advertising campaigns.