Eat the best, leave the rest.

SEO FAQ For Small Business 5 of 10 – What About the Competition?

You have a competitor; said competitor is outranking you and/or outselling you. This is bothering you to no end and the self-doubt talk is beginning to come forward from the back of your mind. You know you can do better than you have, but are unsure of how to overcome this obstacle. You begin to question everything and anything in your organization. You know your performance must improve, but you’re just not sure what to do. This happens to the best of us.

Before you can ‘do something about’ whatever your particular situation is, you should revisit the basics. Zig Ziglar is fond of retelling the story of Vince Lombardi, who, after his team performed poorly, would inform the players that they would need to go back to basics. In the locker room, Mr. Lombardi would produce a familiar object, hold it above his head for all to see, and state “Gentlemen, this is a football!” Mr. Lombardi holds the honor of having one of the most prestigious trophies in all of sport named after him. Do you? If a back-to-basics approach is good enough for an American Football legend and is promoted by a master in the art of salesmanship, then it’s good enough for me, and your organization. SEO FAQ

A second thing to remember is the nature of your business. It doesn’t matter what your business sells, fixes, transports, or provides. You are in the twin businesses of sales and customer service. Without a proper working knowledge of your product or service and the benefits it provides for your customer, you can generate no income. Without the willingness to satisfy your customer’s needs and wants as it relates to your business dealings, you will have no repeat business and possibly generate negative word-of-mouth.
With this in mind, I give you the only proper answer to “What about the other guy”:

The competition is immaterial to your business.

There will always be someone faster, richer, smarter, and higher than you on a Google search. If you’re the top dog, you won’t be forever if you don’t evolve with the changing nature of business. This is the nature of things. The best way to deal with your competitors is to focus on building your business into what it could be as opposed to trying to undermine the competition. This does not mean ‘don’t have a sale’. It does mean ‘don’t try industrial sabotage’.

It also means you should understand the ways in which your competition handles its own SEO and marketing. Perhaps they’re doing something very well and you can emulate it while not duplicating it. Perhaps they’ve found a sub-niche you were not aware of, or they have a blog or are using social media. The games industry presents a good example of sub-niche. In the category of games, dice games would be a niche, and ‘Cosmic Wimpout’® and ‘LCR’™ are in the non-gambling or family sub-niche. I will discuss Social Media in a later article.

In conclusion, other than looking up the competitor’s information and analyzing their marketing strategy, there’s little you can do about what they do, so your energy is best spent improving your own small business SEO and marketing, starting with a re-examination and re-implementation of the basics.


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