You’ve probably read about how to review and manage your company’s online reputation, which is an important step in boosting your company’s web presence and social endorsement. The next step you can take to gain an edge over your online competitors center is reviewing and analyzing their online presence and reputation. There’s a lot to be learned from Googling yourself and your online competitors and taking note of where they shine and where they sag. Here are some tips to help you get an edge over your competitors online.

Build a Stronger Web Presence

Your web presence includes any place a consumer can find information about your business online even beyond your website, like your social media pages and local listings.

Start by taking a look at your competitors’ social media sites. Are they regularly posting and engaging with their audiences? What social sites are they active on? What social sites are they missing? You can take inventory of these gaps and capitalize on them by establishing an active presence (as long as it makes sense for your business).

Another place to look is local listings and online review sites. How does your online reputation compare to your competitors’? If you notice that your star rating is lower than the majority of your local competitors’, you may want to take a more proactive approach to building up your reputation. The goal for your business should be to outshine your competitors no matter which site prospects are searching for you on. This also includes checking your listings for the right information and maintaining accurate info at all times. You can streamline the process of managing your directory listings by finding a marketing partner to help you optimize each listing and stay on top of things that may need updates going forward.

Smart Search Marketing

Are your competitors actively targeting your prospects and customers on search engines? The answer is probably: Yes. But, how can you tell? Try doing a search for your top keywords and seeing which companies’ ads are popping up in the paid portion of your search engine results page (SERP). Then try doing a search for your business name — you may even have competitors advertising on your business name keyword!

So, how can you stand out here? Currently, more than half of the time users spend on digital media every day is spent on a mobile device, and 80% of all U.S. consumers make purchases on smartphones. So, getting your ads on search engines and optimizing them for mobile are critical steps toward putting your company’s message in front of the greatest number of prospects and capturing leads. Geotargeting is also more important than ever before, as the number of mobile users making “near me” searches continues to climb steadily. So, make sure you’re employing search marketing best practices so you can get in front of the right searchers, in the right places, at the right times.

Multiply Your Ad Success With Better SEO

Now, go back to the last search you did for your top keywords and your business name and look at the organic search results. Which businesses are showing up for your keywords? How does the SERP look when you search for your business name? Don’t overlook the benefits of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s true that search engines are pushing the market toward more paid advertising, but at present, the organic reach companies can gain from effective SEO on their websites and social media are still powerful multipliers when used in conjunction with paid advertising. There are a lot of things that factor into SEO, including the backend of your website, your web content, how consistent your information is listed across the web, and more. But, all that work pays off in helping more visitors find your website and your business when searching for relevant keywords, and can help them find you instead of your competitors online.

Invest In Better Lead Management

Every lead your company earns has a cost attached to it. If you’re not effectively managing those leads by responding promptly to inquiries and helping those leads reach a buying decision in your favor, you could be missing out on that business to your competitors. Consider investing in a lead management system that helps you stay on top of collecting contact information, following up, and responding immediately to inquiries. Convert more leads and watch your cost-per-lead plummet.

How Does Your Business Stack Up Today?

Take the time to polish and update your company’s online presence, then start looking at your online competitors for ways you can shine while they’re stuck in the shadows. Give your target audience plenty of opportunities to find your company and read the positive things others are saying about you, then provide them with a welcoming experience, and they’re likely to look no further.

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