You already know that your offer can help your ideal customer reach those goals. But what do you know about the other businesses out there that can also help them reach those goals? Knowing who your competitors are and what they offer can help you make more informed business decisions and stay ahead of the competition. In this episode, we’ll talk about identifying and evaluating your competitors so you can plan your website for success.
Welcome to Website Success. I’m your host, Chrissy Rey, and I have more than 25 years of experience helping my clients make websites that their clients love. Tune in each week as I share tips and tricks that’ll help you make your website the best it can be.
In this episode, we’re gonna talk about the competition. Everyone’s favorite or not so favorite subject. And we talk about this because your ideal customers, they, they have goals and you already know that your offer is going to help them reach those goals. You already identified that when you created your smart goals, when you talked about who your target audience was and when you thought about your ideal customer avatar, you’ve already figured that part out. But what do you know about the other businesses out there that can also help them reach those goals? That’s your competition, and you really do need to know as much as possible about that competition to help your business. So unless you have a truly revolutionary product service or whatever it is that you’re offering, and nobody has ever offered anything even remotely like it before, which you know it, it’s possible, but it’s most likely you probably have some competition.
And it’s really important to identify those competitors so that you can learn more about the market, identify any new opportunities or gaps in what they’re doing, and also to create a strategy that’s gonna differentiate you from all of those competitors. And this is really important, not just for your website, but for your business in general. So I really want you to figure out who your competitors are and then do some critical analysis of those competitors.
So just who are your competitors? There’s a really good chance you already have some idea of who they are, but if not, you really need to do some research. You need to find at least three competitors out there that do something at least remotely similar to what you’re doing, to what you’re offering.
And one way to figure out who your competitors are is to ask your existing customers and any potential customers. So you can do this by including questions about your competitors in the survey that you maybe sent out or will send out for the ideal customer avatar research that you hopefully have already done. But if not, now’s the time to do it. And you can also do this on social media. You can ask questions, you can go into any Facebook groups or Reddit or anything like that, and ask questions about who people would recommend for what you do. So whatever your offer is, who are people recommending for that? Who else are your customers considering? And those are going to be your competitors. And another way to identify who your competitors are is, again, social media. So check on social media, ask questions in the Facebook groups and other things like that.
But you can also do searches for words and phrases that describe your offer. So for example, if you’re opening a coffee shop, you could search for a coffee shop or coffee in whatever your geographic location is, and you can perhaps find some competitors using social media.
And another way to do it, again, doing searching, is to use search engines. So you can use Google, bing duck dot, go, whatever search engine you prefer and do some research. So search for those competitors on the search engines. And this is probably pretty easy if you are a local business, you, you offer things in a geographical or service area you might be able to search for, again, with my coffee shop example, coffee shop near me, or coffee house near me, a coffee or tea house near me or something like that. You can, you can find that information on the search engine. So whichever method you want to use, start searching.
Now, another thing that you can do, if you can figure out at least one of your competitors and that competitor, that competitor is big enough, then you might be able to also get some more information using similarweb.com. Similarweb is a paid service, but they do have some free tools that you can use. And one of them is a tool that analyzes websites. It really only analyzes very large high traffic websites. So again, this is, this is possible if you are your, if your competitors are very large. So for example if my, again, using my coffee shop example, if I wanted to analyze Starbucks, I could search for starbucks.com on similarweb.com, and it’s gonna give me information about things like the websites, audience, any technologies they use. But most importantly for this discussion, it’s gonna tell me who their competitors are. So if I search for Starbucks on similarweb.com, then I would see that their competitors are Pete’s Caribou Coffee and Dunking Donuts.
But you do want to try to find some local competitors because that’s going to give you some better information about the local market and also what, what people are looking for locally. So you wanna try to find maybe some national competitors, if, if that’s what you’re doing nationally. If you’re, if you’re a brick and mortar based business, you definitely wanna find some local competitors and that, that could be difficult if there are no local competitors. So you might need to search in other areas to find those competitors, even though if they’re not directly competing with you, if they would compete with you, if they were in your geographic area, then it’s good to get some information about them.
Now, after you identify some competitors, I want you to spend some time critically evaluating each of them. So put yourself in your ideal customer avatar shoes. So hopefully, you’ve already created your ICA. If you haven’t, go back and do that. But what does each competitor offer? What, what is it that they’re going to sell or give or do for your ideal customer? What would your ideal customer consider their strengths? So again, keep yourself in that ICA’s shoes. What would they consider their weaknesses? And most importantly, why would your ICA choose you over each of those competitors? And why might they choose the competitor over you? So you really need to think about all of that. And as you do this, you might start to notice that your offer is really close to your competitors, and that’s okay. That’s part of why you need to do this research. Knowing who your competitors are and what they can offer can help you figure out ways to make your offer stand out from the rest.
Now, you might also find that your offer is so similar to your competitors, that it really doesn’t stand out, and that’s okay too. You need to fix that. So a couple of ways that you can do that. Number one, you can tweak your target audience and your ICa. So if you maybe didn’t get narrow enough with your target audience or your ICA, then you can work on that. So for example, if your competitors target women business owners, which is kind of broad. So if you listened or watched my ICA episode or my target audience episode, then you probably already know, you really need to get as narrow as possible and this is why you wanna do that. But if you, again, your competitors are targeting women business owners, then maybe you could narrow your niche a bit and target US women business owners who were in the fitness industry and make less than a hundred thousand dollars per year. So maybe that will make your offer stand out from the competition. If not, maybe me should even further.
Another option is to tweak your offer. Try to make it more appealing to your target audience. So if you know absolutely that you wanna work with a specific audience that is your target audience, you know you can help them, then you may need to tweak the offer to make it more appealing. So for example, if your competitor offers a one-time course on creating TikTok videos for businesses, then maybe you could create a membership around that topic. So if they’re not offering a membership, this is a gap that you might be able to fill and offer that membership to provide ongoing support for the platform. So, you know, try to think about maybe tweaking that offer to change this. So again, for both of these options, you may need to do some more research into your target audience to figure out the best course of action.
Now, as you analyze the competition, you’re gonna wanna make note of what you find and you can make note of things like the colors they use, the graphics they use. Those are things that will cover more in-depth when you get into the brand section of the website success plan. So, or the website success path. But you, you really want to think about right now, what are the things that they offer, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses? And you should also try to make note of how you from those competitors. So write those things down. If you have my website planner, you can use that to document your findings. If you don’t have my website planner, you can get it from websitesuccessacademy.com or you can just put the information in a Google Doc or write it down in a notebook. So I hope you found this useful, and I’ll see you in the next episode.