Businesses like yours need to stay on top of competition in order to get ahead. Fortunately, there are many resources you can use to keep tabs on your competitor’s websites as well as your own.
The information you gather from these resources can paint a picture of what you need to accomplish to level the playing field -- and eventually become a leader in your industry.
The list below details a few of the top free websites and tools you can use to stay one step ahead of your competition:
1) Marketing.grader.com by Hubspot is an excellent starting point to understand how your website stacks up against your key competitors. Enter your URL and it generates a grade from 0 to 100 based factors like the number of indexed pages, readability level, meta data, links, domain name quality, social media presence and more. If your website scores significantly lower than your main competitors, you need to start working on the suggestions produced to improve your site right away.
2) Alexa.com by Amazon provides a ton of useful information on a website’s ranking, the top search queries leading visitors to the site, related links, bounce rate, and even the average number of pages viewed. This is like having access to your competitor’s Google Analytics data. *Requires signup for free trial.
3) SEOProfiler.com provides a lot of similar information to Alexa, but excels at allowing you to enter multiple competitor sites or keywords to track and see a graphical breakdown of the traffic trends, top search terms, and sites sending traffic their way. This helps you visualize how your competition stacks up on several key metrics. *Requires signup for free trial
4) SEMRush.com shows valuable keyword information about the visitors for any URL. With SEMRush, you can Get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building.
5) tools.pingdom.com is a very simple website that focuses on one very important aspect of web pages: their load time. With Google’s Caffeine update, one of the factors in their ranking algorithm gaining importance is the load time. With the explosion in mobile devices accessing search, Google wants to provide results of websites that load quickly. You can also see how your pages compare to competitors to see where you need to get to.
6) Google.com/alerts is vitally important for staying abreast of the most recent Google results for a particular keyword phrase or competitor name. Simply enter the search term, and the frequency you want the alerts emailed to you, and you will never miss out on important news, video, blogs, or discussions on your competitors.
7) Spyfu.com is one of my absolute favorites. It allows you to see how much your competitors are spending on pay per click, what keywords they are bidding on, their top ad competitors, and even their top organic competitors. If you aren’t topping the list of their competitors, it may be time to put a plan into action.
8) Waybackmachine.org is as unique a tool as you will find. By entering a competitor’s URL, you will open the vault to all of the previous iterations of the website this tool has stored going back over a decade. What features have stayed on your competitor’s website through multiple re-designs? These are likely their best converting features that you need to potentially use.
9) https://moz.com/link-explorer Open Site Explorer by Moz is a vital tool to analyze the incoming links of your competitor’s websites. By entering the URL, Open Site Explorer will show you all of the incoming links to that UR. This is an excellent place to look for link possibilities for your own site, because they are already linking to your competitor. Getting all of the same incoming links will even the playing field. Remember, the amount, relevance and quality of incoming links to our website’s pages is a key factor in ranking highly for any competitive search term.
10) developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ is last, but certainly not least. With PageSpeed Insights you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly. Google offers a lot of useful developer tools, so feel free to explore their core developers.Google.com domain for more.
The best way to use these tools is to monitor the results over time to see how they fluctuate, and compare them with the results you find on other sites. Having a game plan to continually monitor your competition will keep you one step ahead of the game.
It's clear that most people know the difference between a good website from a bad one.
We've all been to terrible, anxiety-inducing sites and clicked away as fast as we could, resulting in lost sales for the site and a sigh of relief from ourselves.
But what makes the difference between good and bad? What factors are involved?
It's important to know what makes bad websites bad so that you can avoid wasting resources and, instead, draw in customers and get them to stay.
Keep reading to find out 5 of the most common design mistakes so that you can avoid them.
1. Bad Websites Have Bad Navigation
Your website shouldn't look like a sale flier in a newspaper.
If it does, you have too much going on, leading to slower load times and dissatisfied users.
Simplicity is the key to design. People should be able to easily look through your site to find the information they're looking for...including contact information.
Also, your site should be user friendly for all users. Think about accessibility for impaired users or people who primarily use their mobile phones.
73% of users say content on websites must display well on the device they're using.
And really, you only have a few seconds to impress people before they click away. Make those few seconds count by implementing simple but good-looking design.
2. Low Quality Images and Content
Speaking of good-looking, do not use low resolution pictures. A picture isn't worth a 1,000 words if the picture is blurry or generic.
Use images that are crisp, relevant, and unique.
As for content, do the same. Seek to write in a simple but authentic voice that gives the reader an idea of who you are and what your business is about.
One way you can draw people in and provide quality content is to incorporate a blog on your site. This is an added-value product where the user will gain information and you will have more opportunities to show what you have to offer.
3. Unclear Message
Have you ever seen an advertisement or website and thought to yourself, "what are they selling?"
It happens all too often. Don't be one of them.
To do this, have a clear brand and intent on your website. Your main page should summarize what you do, how you do it, and how it can enhance the user's life.
Creating a cohesive brand includes using your logo and its colors throughout your site to tie everything together.
4. People Don't Find the Site
There are approximately 1.94 billion websites in the world. One can only guess how many of those have only had a couple of views.
Because there's a sea of information and businesses online, it's important to direct some of your web design focus into search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO gets people to your site so that making your site isn't a wasted effort.
The realm of SEO is complicated and ever-changing. Part of it involves analytics, which is how you measure the success of your website based on things like click-rate and site visits.
Even if you already have a site, you can outsource this aspect to generate more leads and sales.
5. No Call to Action
A call to action, or CTA, is the part of your website's content that encourages the visitor to act.
This may mean learning more about a service, purchasing a product, or subscribing. Use a CTA on every page to encourage people to interact with your business one step further.
Use Your Resources
Rather than copying all of the bad websites out there, use them as a resource of what not to do.
Ultimately, your site should be simple to use, easy to find information, and inspiring for users to keep coming back.
If you want to make sure you're doing all that you can online, contact us today and we can get the process going (see what we did there: a straight-forward CTA).
Otherwise, keep reading our blog for more tips.
Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing available. In fact, 81 percent of small business owners rely on email marketing as their primary form of customer acquisition.
Seeing as there are 3.7 billion email users worldwide, it's no wonder email is relied on so heavily as a marketing channel. But, in order to succeed at email marketing, you need to have a healthy list of email subscribers.
Getting more subscribers is easier than you think.
Check out this guide to learn how to get more email subscribers.
1. Characterize Your Potential Email Subscribers
In order to get more email subscribers, you need to know your audience well.
Therefore, you should develop a buyer persona for the client who might be interested in buying your services or products.
Here are some things that should be included in the buyer persona:
Knowing all of your different buyer personas will help you create targeted messages to attain more subscribers.
2. Add an Opt-In at the End of Your Articles
If someone reads your blog posts, it means they're interested in what you have to say. If they make it to the end, it probably means that they'd like to hear more about what you'd have to say.
Therefore, a great place to add an email opt-in button is at the end of your blog posts.
And, don't just add in an opt-in button on a few of your posts. Make sure every single one has this, as you never know which post is going to draw in your audience's attention.
3. Make it As Easy as Possible to Enter an Email Address
If users have to hand over a bunch of information just to be added to your email subscription list, they're probably not even going to bother signing up.
So, if you want more email subscribers, the only thing you should require from them is their email. That's it.
In addition to making things easier by only requiring an email address, you should also minimize the number of clicks it takes to subscribe to an email list.
People should never have to hunt all over your site for an email sign up. Instead, make it easier for your customers by including an email sign up option on every page.
4. Give Them an Incentive
Offering your users some sort of incentive is one of the best ways to grow your email subscription list.
For example, when someone signs up for your emails, you could offer a discount code, a free product, or a trial subscription.
People have a hard time turning down free stuff or discounts, so offering incentives is a must.
How to Get More Email Subscribers: Are You Ready to Grow Your Subscription List?
Now that you know how to get more email subscribers, it's time to put these tips into action.
And, once you've got your email marketing figured, it's time to focus on content marketing. Check out this guide to learn why your small business needs content marketing.
Google’s pay-per-click advertising methodologies are a critical element for any business that wants to promote itself effectively online. In fact, your success in Google AdWords is likely the difference between where you are now (or were) and higher revenues.
As with any online platform, Google AdWords is going through a rapid evolution over the next few weeks by now offering a new lead generation optimization tool. Google’s Lead Form Ad Extensions are the answers to businesses who want to better their position in the online marketplace.
In this short post, I am offering you a quick overview as to what Google Lead Form Ad Extensions are and how your marketing efforts may stand to benefit from using them.
What is Google Lead Form Ad Extensions?
Google Lead Form Ad Extensions is a feature that allows end-users to open a pre-defined form within Google’s search results, which populates their contact info and sends a request without their having to visit your landing page or website directly.
The feature is currently in its pilot phase and is only available via mobile.
Pretty great, huh?
Lead forms are already a star attraction on well-known social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s exciting to see Google start testing this feature and rolling it out within their own environment.
It will also likely increase conversion rates since users are faced with a barrier to participation. And we all know the fewer clicks necessary to access your content equals better results.
Our marketing team is already preparing for the new feature’s arrival and plan to use it to increase engagement and conversion by using it to:
In our minds, the possibilities are endless. And since more than 65 percent of web traffic comes from a mobile device, I am betting that Google Lead Form Ad Extensions are poised to do well for both the platform and the marketing professionals and small business owners that use them.
Benefits of Using Google Lead Form Ad Extensions
While I have already outlined a few simple, primary advantages of using Google Lead Form Ad Extensions, there are a few others definitely worth pointing out.
Other ways that this new feature may improve your marketing results include:
As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons to invest in this new opportunity, mainly if your target audience is fast-clicking, mobile-toting consumers of the IoT.
Reach out to RAD to learn how this can help your business.