Spying on your rivals is expected in the cutthroat world of online marketing. You might be surprised at what you could learn from a canny competitor. If you are nearly dead even for #1, however, you need to get innovative and come up with something they will find hard to duplicate.
If you have a blog and your arch-nemesis doesn’t, you have an undeniable edge – if you start using that blog to its full potential. Just imagine what you can do in the way of social networking! Consider polls, optimize your blog for traffic, and get in there with some cool contests or giveaways.
When you competitor issues a press release, issue a better one. When he holds a sale, hold a better one. When he slips up and makes a gaffe, jump in and show ‘em how it’s done. No, it’s not nice, but hey, this is business!
You don’t want to be second best, right? Second place means first loser.. Or hadn’t you heard? You want to make it to that #1 position and stay there, so sometimes you have to fight for it.
Don’t get all black hat, now – you don’t have to use tricks or try to trap your opponent or sabotage his site. Simply watch what he does and go one better, and make up your own batch of new things to try.
Around the holidays, competition becomes especially fierce, particularly in arenas where seasonal traffic is everything. The emergent victor will be the one who started laying the framework in June. Don’t wait for the customers to start lining up before you advertise!
You will have to come up with ways to convince consumers that you are the right choice, and you will have to find a brand new way to say it. Your rival is probably just as knowledgeable and dedicated as you, so you have to assume he is saying the right things.
That means you have to think outside the box, and make new connections and visualize new things to attract your customers away from him. Mr Jones didn’t get where he is at by being stupid, so assume you have to be twice as cunning. Sometimes an easy ride to the top breeds a sense of security, and you can manage to topple him unawares from his throne and take over the position as king of the castle.
Another note, if Jones is ranking so well for a particular set of keywords and seems to have almost unlimited resources, consider finding a few less competitive phrases and monopolizing them. If you can drag some of the more specific traffic away, you have a better chance of conversions and he will be let with the high volume but considerably less targeted flood of consumers.