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Know your Competition

Web Hosting Blog

Knowing your competition online is more than simply being aware of names and activities, it involves monitoring what they do and how successful they are.

Keeping an eye on who your competitors are and what they are doing is so much easier in the digital marketing sphere as information is freely available to everyone from the anonymity of a computer screen!  Take the time to get to know your competition just as you would in traditional marketing, and compile information to help you in your own digital marketing campaigns.  Watch what they do, how they do it, and whether they are spending money on digital advertising, or involved in other activities.

The beauty of digital marketing is that everyone can see it, after all, that is the point.  It also means that your competitors’ marketing efforts are totally transparent as long as you know where to look.  Study who they are, and what they do, to learn, and give your own digital marketing a boost.


Start with gathering intelligence on your competitors by searching online for a few keywords and terms generally used in your industry, note who comes up, and in which order they appear on the search results page.  The higher up the page, the more successful their digital marketing strategy is (or they are paying for it!).  Some of the keywords for CWCS Managed Hosting, for example, are webhosting, cloud computing, and so on.

Physical location and area are not generally as important in digital marketing, as your online reach can be worldwide, but if proximity does play a role in your business, make a shortlist of those within your given area and study those carefully.  Do not, however, ignore similar business or competitors in locations further afield, as you can still learn from what they are doing and apply it to your own digital marketing activities.


Visit your competitors’ websites.  See how they describe themselves and what they do (which keywords do they use); explore their website and read their reviews. Learn everything you can about them.


Collect information.  Sign up for competitors’ newsletters; screenshot advertising you find; follow their social media channels.  Keep up to date with changes and new activities.


Divide your competition into ‘direct’ – those offering very similar products or services to you; indirect – those with different products or services but competing for your audiences attention; and comparative – those with similarities to you, whether it be targeting the same customers with different products or simply with a similar look and feel but a different product.  There is something to learn from each of them.


It is always worth being aware of the different types of online advertising that are appearing, regardless of the industry; which digital banners catch your eye and why; and who seems to have most interaction on social media channels and why.

Broadly speaking, your competition online is ‘any business that is competing for the attention of your desired target audience’. Online browsers for products and services are easily distracted – just look at your own browsing habits and see how quickly your can lose your focus and go off at a tangent!  Your digital marketing, whether it be social media posts or digital advertising, needs to be able to grab attention, and keep it!

We are certainly not advocating that you copy your competitors’ activities, but by understanding what they are doing and how they are attracting and keeping their clients will help you to formulate and refine your own digital marketing strategy.  After all, knowledge is power, even online!