5 undeniable signs your competition is beating you online
Do your rivals have a superior website or rank better on Google? Contributor John Lincoln takes a look at five indicators that you may be falling behind your competitors online.
Competition is the essence of capitalism.
That’s great news for consumers. It means that companies will bend over backward to win their business. It’s not such great news for entrepreneurs, though. They have to stay vigilant to make sure they aren’t losing market share to peers in their industry.
You might be at a point where your competitors are doing a better job at reaching people in the digital world than you are. Fortunately, you can determine if that’s the case by looking for a few telltale signs.
Here are five indications that your competition is beating you online.
1. They have a better website
If you’re disappointed with lackluster sales, take a moment to have a look at your website. Does it look professional? Is it marketing your products or services effectively? Would you want to buy from that website?
But take the analysis a step further. Visit the websites of your competitors.
What are your competitors offering that you aren’t? Are their websites more user-friendly? Are they easier to navigate? Do they have a better color scheme?
Take a look at the product or service descriptions as well. It might be the case that your competitors are much better at marketing than you are.
Also, don’t forget to visit the websites of your competitors on a smartphone and tablet. You might find that their sites are far more responsive than yours. That is, they look much better on a mobile platform.
For example, does your site have clear tap targets like this so users can easily convert on mobile?
These things make all the difference and result in much higher conversion rates.
Finally, visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and Mobile-Friendly test tool. Plug in the URL of your own website, as well as the URLs of your competitors’ websites. If you find that your competitors score better on either speed or mobile-friendliness, then follow the advice the tools offer about how you can improve your site.
In the Information Age, your website is your digital storefront. Make sure that it’s doing your brand a service.
2. Their pages are AMP-ready
Have you heard of accelerated mobile pages (AMP)? If not, then you could already be at a competitive disadvantage.
Why? Because Google absolutely, positively loves AMP. Our own site, Ignite Visibility, increased traffic by over 30 percent after implementing AMP.
Here are the example AMP pages on our site:
AMP, as the name implies, loads pages very quickly, offering mobile users a superior experience. If you want your site to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs), then AMPed can certainly help.
Fortunately, it’s easy to create AMP versions of your blog posts if you’re running a WordPress website. Just install the AMP plugin and activate it.
If you’re not using WordPress for your website, and you still want to take advantage of AMP technology, it’s probably best to hire a professional developer. Full AMP implementation requires quite a bit of technical knowledge that’s outside the expertise of many entrepreneurs.
3. They have a more vibrant social media presence
That’s a simple two-word tweet that Taco Bell recently used to boost its brand.
Radio host Julia Lepidi tweeted a video of Josh Holleman bringing home takeout Taco Bell. She tagged Taco Bell in the original tweet.
Whoever manages Taco Bell’s Twitter account saw the tweet and retweeted it with the words, “Dream guy.”
That may seem silly or insignificant, but it’s exactly that type of social media marketing that builds brand-name awareness and creates goodwill.
In fact, Taco Bell is widely considered a company that’s mastered social media marketing. For good reason. The company also uses YouTube to tell “Taco Tales.” Those are mini-movies that build the corporate brand with a humorous slant. They also make people hungry.
While you might not have the budget to create full-blown YouTube productions, you should look to Taco Bell as an example of how to manage your social media presence.
If you see that your competitors are earning more shares, likes and engagements than you are on social media, then you’re losing.
That’s a harsh truth, but it’s accurate.
4. They are on more top industry lists
Who are the key players in your industry? Who are the companies that win awards and recognition?
If you’re not among them, then your competitors are probably beating you.
If that’s the case, it’s time to go the extra mile. Bend over backward to provide outstanding customer service. Improve quality control so that you’re only producing the finest work.
Get recognized, and you’ll win.
5. They show up when you Google almost any term
Google a keyword or phrase related to your niche. Does your website show up on the first page?
If not, that’s bad.
However, it’s even worse if the sites of your competitors do show up on the first page. You’re guaranteed to lose market share that way.
If your competitors are all over the SERPs and you’re not, it’s time to hire an SEO expert who can optimize your site.
That will require an investment. It won’t be cheap. But it will give you increased visibility and a healthy return.
It is never too late
Technology is changing faster than anyone can keep up with.
It’s not too late for you to jump ahead of your competition. As soon as they implement something, get ahead of the curve and use the opportunity to come out with the next big thing.
Get started now.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.