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5 Steps To Successfully Gaining A Competitive Advantage

Originally posted on May 5, 2015; Updated on November 5, 2021

5 Steps to Successfully Gaining a Competitive Advantage

A truth of running a business is that your competitors are always trying to steal your customers, and in all honesty, you’re also trying to win over theirs! As entrepreneurs, it’s vital to your business to maintain a competitive edge by taking advantage of technology and making your business stand out. Contact us today to find out how we can help you stand out!

Step 1: Search Engine Visibility

Start by determining who your top online competitors are. Do this by searching Google using a phrase that best describes your business. Example, if you’re a plumber in Edmonton, search “Edmonton plumber”. The top links that come up are your competition. Take a look at their webpages. Identify gaps and opportunities for you to improve your website and overall online strategy. You can use your competitor as a starting point, but you should never just copy what they’re doing! That is not going to make you stand out. Identify what they are doing that works and do it better.

Step 2: Top Performing PPC Ads (AdWords)

Another strategy for gathering keywords and phrases is to look for competitor Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. Continuing with the “Edmonton plumber” example, we can get a good idea of which companies are leveraging digital marketing and thus which ones are your biggest competition online.

5 Steps to Successfully Gaining a Competitive Advatage 15 Steps to Successfully Gaining a Competitive Advatage 2

Step 3: Keyword Research

Using information gathered in #1 and #2, form a list of keywords and phrases your competition is using. You have two options: you could try outranking your competition for keywords and phrases, or if there seems to be a lot of action and history their keywords, it may be better to use different and less competitive keywords that will be easier to rank for but deliver similar traffic. Brainstorm variations of your keywords that may bring in more relevant leads. Using longer but more specific keywords will have a smaller search volume but will bring you searches who are much more likely to buy your particular product or hire your service. Use a keyword planning tool to estimate traffic for your chosen keywords. This allows you to choose high traffic, more competitive keywords, or lower traffic, but easily attainable keywords – or a mix of both!

Step 4: Best Performing Content

Now you need to create captivating content. Engage readers with interesting topics that are relatable. Not only does this mean making sure the content on your website is well written and interesting but also that you are adding new content regularly. Creating blog content that solves a problem or answers a question that your customers may have will bring people to your website. Adding new blog posts on a regular basis also gives Google fresh content to index, indicating that you are relevant! This boosts your SEO keyword rankings and in turn your organic traffic.

Step 5: Social Media Engagement

Expand even further by going to your competitor’s social media profiles to see what kind of posts are working for them. You can become a mock-customer to get a first-hand experience at how they respond to customers. When you’ve successfully gathered all the information, bring it back to your team so you can figure out ways to develop a more engaging social footprint than your competitors!

Find a Partner!

As we had mentioned, your competitor is a great place to start! However, you don’t want to just morph into a copy of them. Build on what your competitor is doing. Do what they do better than they are doing it. Better yet, partner with a digital marketing agency, like Smart WSI Marketing! We want to see your business thrive just as much as you do and put all of our industry knowledge behind gaining and maintaining your competitive advantage. Call us today to discuss a winning digital marketing strategy!

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.


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