Digital marketing has generally been good for smaller businesses, leveling the playing field and making it possible for one brick and mortar location to compete successfully with much larger competitors. Still, we have to admit that your competition now includes not just you and the other shops in town, but also everyone else in the world who has a website.
You’re competing now not only with everyone else who offers your specific services in your service area, but also with everyone who solves the same problems you do or appeals to the same desires your goods and services inspire.
Josepha makes that point in the video below:
If you offer ecommerce, you can compete with people far from you. If you do work that has to be done in situ — say you’re a masseur, a hairdresser, or a surgeon — then you don’t usually have to compete with anyone outside your service area.
You’re still competing online.
So check out your competition online. Here’s how:
- Use a different computer or a different browser from the one you usually use, but one in your geographic area — go to the library, borrow your kid’s computer, or try Opera.
- Pretend you’re new in town and trying to find the services you offer. If you’re a sports medicine clinic, try googling “sports medicine.”
Important note: if your website doesn’t show up at this point, you have a problem — or an opportunity.
- Check out the websites of those who show up ahead of you or just below you. For the moment, ignore what you know about these competitors. Do their websites make them look better than you? If so, it’s time to fix up your website.
- If their websites don’t look better than yours — be honest, and get an outside opinion if you need it — and yet they’re ahead of you, check out their website management. Are they blogging regularly, using social media more effectively than you, or getting more and better links and citations?
- Finally, consider whether they are actually more established and more important in your local community than you are. If so, you can compete with them better online, so beef up your online marketing efforts.
More about your competitors and your digital marketing strategy: