It shouldn’t be shocking or surprising to say that companies, particularly small businesses, should be looking into their competitors: where they are online, what they’re doing, how they present themselves, etc. However, some still feel that doing this is somehow wrong or unethical.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Gathering information about your market, including your competitors, is the smart way to do business. It’s what gives you an edge, an opportunity, success. Keep an open mind when doing this evaluation as you may find things you won’t necessarily like.

Those are the things you need to act upon. The uncomfortable truths that will make you grow. Align your research with a clear set of goals to make sure that the outcome of this exercise benefits your business.

So, what if you find that your competitors are outperforming you online? Keep calm and use Localbiz360. There are ways in which you can level the playing field if your competitors are, in fact, outperforming you online in one or several ways.

Learning about it is the first step. Once you have a good idea about your competitors’ brands, you will use this knowledge to make your own brand, services and product stand out.

Website

Looking at your competitors’ websites will tell you many things about them. For instance, you can see what products and services they offer, what’s their target audience and maybe even glimpse into the keywords and phrases they are using to optimize their searches (or a lack thereof). Note how they are different or similar to you. See how they are promoting themselves and learn from that. Use all this information to set your business apart.

If you find that your business could use some help with online reputation, contact us. Localbiz360 is an empowering tool that helps you manage your brand’s online reputation by monitoring how your brand is perceived. What’s more, it allows you to compare it to up to three of your competitors in areas such as search engine rankings (by selecting up to six keywords), visibility (How many business directories is your business listed on?) and mentions (what people are saying about you in blogs, press and other digital channels).

Social Media

Don’t forget about social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. This is where most businesses share their content (besides their webpage). In this area, you can gain perspective by seeing how much followers they have (the size and type of audience), how frequently they post, the quality of their content, and how many likes and shares they get (otherwise known as engagement). Use this information to learn how to develop or tweak your own strategy, and also how you can take advantage of what they’re lacking from.

With the data Localbiz360 provides, you can monitor the size of your audience and its growth on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare. As with keyword rankings, you can also see how your brand fares with your competitors in this area.

Reviews

Looking at your competitor’s reviews will give you an idea of their online reputation. Do they have more reviews and mentions than you? Is their reputation mostly positive or negative? LocalBiz360’s online dashboard gathers your latest reviews as well as your competitors’, both positive and negative. This will allow you to decide where improvements may be necessary.

Always ask your happy customers to write a review for your business so that when potential clients are doing research on a business like yours, your online reputation will speak for itself.

If you’d like to learn more about how Localbiz360 helps you stay on top of your online reputation and keep an eye on the competition, contact us. We’ll be happy to lend a hand.