Have You Checked Out Your Online Competitors Recently?

A Simple “How To” Guide For Competitor Analysis.

No, you don’t have to hire your local Sherlock Holmes to do this, but it does make good sense for all businesses to carry out competitive analysis.

Bricks and mortar businesses know who their immediate and local competition is, and are very aware (or should be) who else their customers are considering buying from. However, in the world of search engine shopping, competition is a lot more involved. Not only are you competing with businesses who have the same product as you, you’re also competing for the content and information which shows up in search engine results. This competition isn’t just local, this is worldwide!

Wow! That makes you an international entrepreneur!

Competitive analysis is a really good (and legal) way for you to assess your market, to see what everyone else is doing and hopefully, to learn from it.

So, how’s it done? Well, this is one (free) way.

Firstly, never underestimate the value of simply typing your keyword phrase which your customers themselves are likely to use in the search engine, and looking at the results. Apart from seeing how their websites are laid out, take note of features that you like (and those you don’t). You can then use this to improve your own website. Pay particular note of the webpage which they ranked for, because this, after all, is in direct competition for your own. Take a note of this webpage address (URL) because we’re going to check it out.

Next, go to http://www.alexa.com, and on the first page result, click on “toolbar”. Follow the instructions to install the alexa toolbar. It will appear in the top right hand corner of your toolbar as an “a” in a blue circle when done.

Click on this icon and then click onto any of the highlighted boxes to open. It will more than likely open in “site info”, but if it doesn’t, click on “site info” on the toolbar across the top of the page.

Type your competitors webpage URL into the box at the top and hit the search button.

Voila! You will now see the Alexa ranking for this site. The lower the number, the better the ranking. Beneath that, you’ll see the number of sites linking in to your competitors site. (I’ll write about links soon.) If you click the “get details” button, a whole new page of information appears.

The graph you can see shows the amount of traffic the site receives. If it shows a peak, maybe they’ve had a promotion. If it shows a trough, what happened? Maybe there was a public holiday or were they lax in updating the website?

As you move down the page, you’ll see a box with the top search queries for the site and the percentage of traffic which looked for these keyphrases. Click on the “search analytics” button below this, and you have each of those phrases and their search popularity.

Ignore the most popular phrases and concentrate on the rest. You can now do your own keyword search to broaden your own list of keywords. Remember that it’s easier to rank for a less obvious phrase than the ones that everyone is after.

There is plenty of software out there, both free and paid, which will help you with your research, but I have used this one as an example because it’s so easy to access and understand and it makes a good starting point if you’ve never tried your own competitor analysis before.

It is rather addictive though, especially if you enjoy being nosey!

Finding the Right Information Is Critical

If you are looking to start an online home-based business to create a second income or maybe even create your primary source of income, the amount of information available can be overwhelming. I found that most sites offering information were more interested in promoting their products than providing free and honest information to help you get started planning your business.

The first step before you perform your research is to have a product or service in mind. If you are not sure what you want to do then I think you need to spend some time thinking about what interests you. What are you passionate about. If you decide to pick a product because you believe it is the hottest thing going and you can make lots of money but you aren’t that interested in the product then you will soon lose interest as the road to building an online business is long and hard. It is an uphill battle for the most part before you start to see results from your efforts.

Once you really know what you want to do as an Internet business person it is time to do your research. The question that comes to mind is where do I start. You can find tons of information on everything when you search the Internet and spend hours looking over the information available and at the end still feel like you haven’t got the whole picture in order to get started with your business. My recommendation is to start with Google and enter some keywords on the topic you want to research. Try to be as specific as possible. Look for information on where your product or service is going. Is the trend indicting it’s popular and on the rise or is it beginning to decline. Read the reviews. Bad reviews will be an indication the product or service is on the decline. Google is the primary site to find the information to help you in your decision making.

Two other sites I find very helpful are Alexa.com and Compete.com. You will find rankings for businesses you are competing against and other valuable information so you can see where the market is going for your products or services. Compete offers analytical tools and other resources that help me while I was researching my market.

Finding the right business to promote to people so they visit and purchase from you is no easy task. In a bricks and mortar store the customer is able to see and touch the product they are looking for but with an online business the customer must rely on your word as well as the description you provide. They deal with you more on faith than they would in a bricks and mortar store.

One of the best ways to lay out your research pattern is to break up your research into three categories. Customer, competition and environment.

First, who is your customer and what is their buying pattern. Are they interested in your product? Is the trend going up or down?

Second, who are my competitors? Where are they located? Try and determine what has worked and what hasn’t worked for them.

Third, the environment, look at the economics, can or are people willing to pay me a fair price for my product or service and is it enough to be profitable. Who are your suppliers and what type of arrangements can you make with them to purchase their product for resale by you. What are the legal matters I have to deal with?

Take advantage of reading free e books that cover the topics you are researching. You might be surprised at what you will find. Best of all it’s free! There are many sites giving away free e books. Even though these sites may hope you will buy their product or service from them, the more information you gather will help you determine what’s proper for your success.

While performing your research you will come across websites promoting easy ways to make an income from the Internet. I have yet to come across any that are as easy to make an income from as they state. There may be some but for the most part you will have to work hard to make any money from the Internet. Don’t sway from your primary idea of the type of business you originally set out to run. If this is the product you understand the best, then this will be your best chance for success. There are so many programs available such as Affiliate marketing, selling e books etc that can be enticing by their ad structure that you may want to jump around from one to the other. If you do, you are doomed to fail. Stay focused on your original goal!

The Internet is filled with websites willing to give you free advice and guidance to make you successful. By performing your due diligence and taking your time to gather the information you require to get you on the right path, you can build a successful Internet based business. Remember there are no shortcuts to success. It requires hours and hours of dedication and hard work in order to create an income from the Internet. Do something you like to do so you make it fun as well!

If you are looking to start an online home-based business to create a second income or maybe even create your primary source of income, the amount of information available can be overwhelming. I found that most sites offering information were more interested in promoting their products than providing free and honest information to help you get started planning your business.

The first step before you perform your research is to have a product or service in mind. If you are not sure what you want to do then I think you need to spend some time thinking about what interests you. What are you passionate about. If you decide to pick a product because you believe it is the hottest thing going and you can make lots of money but you aren’t that interested in the product then you will soon lose interest as the road to building an online business is long and hard. It is an uphill battle for the most part before you start to see results from your efforts.

Once you really know what you want to do as an Internet business person it is time to do your research. The question that comes to mind is where do I start. You can find tons of information on everything when you search the Internet and spend hours looking over the information available and at the end still feel like you haven’t got the whole picture in order to get started with your business. My recommendation is to start with Google and enter some keywords on the topic you want to research. Try to be as specific as possible. Look for information on where your product or service is going. Is the trend indicting it’s popular and on the rise or is it beginning to decline. Read the reviews. Bad reviews will be an indication the product or service is on the decline. Google is the primary site to find the information to help you in your decision making.

Two other sites I find very helpful are Alexa.com and Compete.com. You will find rankings for businesses you are competing against and other valuable information so you can see where the market is going for your products or services. Compete offers analytical tools and other resources that help me while I was researching my market.

Finding the right business to promote to people so they visit and purchase from you is no easy task. In a bricks and mortar store the customer is able to see and touch the product they are looking for but with an online business the customer must rely on your word as well as the description you provide. They deal with you more on faith than they would in a bricks and mortar store.

One of the best ways to lay out your research pattern is to break up your research into three categories. Customer, competition and environment.

First, who is your customer and what is their buying pattern. Are they interested in your product? Is the trend going up or down?

Second, who are my competitors? Where are they located? Try and determine what has worked and what hasn’t worked for them.

Third, the environment, look at the economics, can or are people willing to pay me a fair price for my product or service and is it enough to be profitable. Who are your suppliers and what type of arrangements can you make with them to purchase their product for resale by you. What are the legal matters I have to deal with?

Take advantage of reading free e books that cover the topics you are researching. You might be surprised at what you will find. Best of all it’s free! There are many sites giving away free e books. Even though these sites may hope you will buy their product or service from them, the more information you gather will help you determine what’s proper for your success.

While performing your research you will come across websites promoting easy ways to make an income from the Internet. I have yet to come across any that are as easy to make an income from as they state. There may be some but for the most part you will have to work hard to make any money from the Internet. Don’t sway from your primary idea of the type of business you originally set out to run. If this is the product you understand the best, then this will be your best chance for success. There are so many programs available such as Affiliate marketing, selling e books etc that can be enticing by their ad structure that you may want to jump around from one to the other. If you do, you are doomed to fail. Stay focused on your original goal!

The Internet is filled with websites willing to give you free advice and guidance to make you successful. By performing your due diligence and taking your time to gather the information you require to get you on the right path, you can build a successful Internet based business. Remember there are no shortcuts to success. It requires hours and hours of dedication and hard work in order to create an income from the Internet. Do something you like to do so you make it fun as well!

Webmasters Real Estate Marketing is The Key to Success

It’s a fact that the majority of real estate buyers use the internet to find a new home. Investors in search of overseas property by its very nature will have to use the internet to find their next overseas investment property. It’s then no surprise that the internet is a great place to promote real estate. It is also very difficult place to shine amongst hundreds and thousands of real estate related websites. The average realtor, estate agent or property developer does not have the time or inclination to promote a website seriously.

This is where webmasters with a bit of determination steps in. So is it possible to run a popular real estate website when your competitors are multi national companies with huge budgets. The answer is a resounding YES! The internet is a great leveler and a determined webmaster can make it big on the net.

Simple marketing strategies that may include online press releases, email newsletters and distribution of free articles can bring traffic and more importantly links to your website. Capture a keyword that your local realtor may like and you have the possibility of capturing their business.

Pay per click marketing although expensive can be used very effectively when marketing a single home or development. The idea is that your advert is so specific that only the people you want to click on it do. Description: 5 bedroom house in Orlando Florida for $180,000 is the sort of advert I am talking about.

Getting people to your website is only half of the battle. Once they get there; you need to get them interested in the real estate you offer right now or in the future. Property email alerts are essential. This will capture those who are actively seeking a new property. To capture those that are merely researching, offer free guides and advice importantly the user will need to submit there contact information. Websites that offer for sale by owner listings should consider offering free guides on how to sell homes online in order to capture potential sellers. It is important to make the user feel that it is safe to submit their email addresses so if you are not going to pass these data on mention it

A savvy webmaster can drive buyers to seller’s properties by the use guides aimed at buyers. Buyers love to undertake research before buying property. This is especially true for overseas property investors. Buying international real estate is complex with different legal system and restrictions. So why not attract buyers by offering something they need that is worthwhile information.

Dealing with real estate internet leads and inquiries fast is probably one of the most underestimated sides of maximising your real estate website potential. Buyers are always comparing like for like and your site is just another on the list, early contact is key to success.