When people market their business, they pay little attention to their competition. However, they can learn a lot from them. Your competition plays a large role in your business and in your marketing efforts, so don't ignore them.
There is an old saying, "Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer". In this case, your enemy is your competition. You shouldn't look at your competition as an enemy, but, as a guide or a valuable tool.
Your competition can be an asset to your business. I want you to think about this for a minute, your competition is like having a one stop shopping center, they have it all. Let me give you an example, take a look at your fearsome indirect competition, they have it all. They may have targeted an area of the market that you've missed, on the web that's not hard to do.
Who Are Their Link Partners
One day when I was analyzing my competition I immediatley noticed something about their link partners, a lot of them were different, but some were the same. Let me give you an example, if you were to take three of your competitors, you may only find a few of them with the same link partners, other than that, a large portion of your competition's link partners will be different.
Once you've found out who your competitor's link partners are, persuade them to link to you. By getting your competition's link partners to link to you, it will take some of your competition's traffic away and give it to you, bringing targeted traffic to your web site.
How do find your competition's link partners? A couple of ways, one is you can use software like Arelis. Arelis will retrieve all the web sites that are linked to your competitor in minutes, saving you a boatload of time. Another way to find your competitor's link partners is by using Marketleap's Link Popularity Tool, which is free to use.
Who Are Their Affiliates
Another way to take advantage of your competition is to find out who their affiliates are. If you offer an affiliate program, this may be an ideal strategy for you. Track down your competition's affiliates and persuade them to promote your product or services, instead of your competitor's.
If your competitors offer their affiliates a lower commission percentage than you, then you already have the upper hand. How? Affiliates are always looking for away to make more money and by offering them a higher commission percentage, they'll be able to increase their affiliate profits.
How do you find your competition's affiliates? You can use the same methods to find their affiliates, as you would trying to locate their link partners, by using Arelis and/or Marketleap's Link Popularity Tool.
Spying On Your Competition
Thanks to the power of the internet, spying on your competition couldn't be any easier. You can easily find out what their marketing angle is, what they have for products, how much they are charging for their products, and any new products that they may be working on.
If you were to go to your competition offline and evaluate their establishment, while taking notes on their products, you would immediately draw attention to yourself and get thrown out of the store. There is nothing worse than letting your competition know you are keeping tabs on them, but on the internet, it's completely anonymous. Your competition will never know you are there or what your doing there.
When you pay a visit to your competition's web site, the first thing you want to know is, what their weaknesses and their strengths are. That way, you can capitalize on the opportunity of making their weaknesses, your strengths.
Rich Hamilton, Jr is the CEO/President of http://www.ElitesMarketing.com and the Author of Inside Internet Marketing. His book will show you how to laser in on your targeted market with unconventional marketing strategies to promote your web site without ever having to pay a cent in advertising. http://www.InsideNetMarketing.com.