They say, “that which does not kill you makes you stronger”, viewing your competition or business adversary in this light offers a true competitive advantage. The last thing any business wants to admit, is what they can learn from their competition, however…
Your competition can teach you:
- How to be resourceful
- How to excel in the face of challenge
- How to adapt and be flexible (when expectations turn out other than you may have expected!)
- and How to make Murphy’s law your best friend instead of your worst enemy
Business and competition are not strangers and tactics are equally as important as techniques. Likewise, sparring a few bouts in the SERPS (search engine result pages) with your favorite nemesis doesn’t necessarily bring a smile to your face (unless your winning), yet it is expected as a result when “Brand EGO” and “Profit Margin” enters the arena.
In real life, acquiring the dominant market share in your industry is not like playing a friendly game of Monopoly, there are real consequences with circumstances lurking behind every decision. In order to grow beyond your competition and evolve past the scope of a tit for tat mentality, you must think of your competitors as your mentors. You may have heard that you should thank your teachers, even though it may not be obvious, your competitors bring out the best in you and for that you both mutually grow in the process to perfect your industry or trade.
With competitive SEO and the search engine optimization industry the proof of competition is painfully obvious. If you are #75 for your main keywords, then that gives you 74 more reasons to find out what you can learn from your competition.
In SEO reaching the number one ranking for your industry is nothing less than spectacular (like the equivalent of winning the Superbowl) except for in regard to internet marketing. In this perfect Zen moment when supply/demand have achieved the perfect sympathetic relationship, the transparency of search engines lay the foundation for the new paradigm of commerce (giving the people what they want, when they want!).
Search engines have redefined and revolutionized business as we know it. Call it what you will, but to industries such as SEO (that exists directly as a consequence) as well as the diverse panorama of industries that mutually flourish as a by-product of engaging the search engine phenomenon, this simple fact remains. Acquiring a top ranking position in search engines and conquering a competitive keyword is parallel to a professional football player scoring a touchdown, a professional baseball player hitting a home run or a race car driver coming in first place of the Indy 500.
Just like a sport, when it comes to search engine optimization, there are millions of like minded individuals harboring one thought as the basis of their obsession (reaching the #1 position). Oftentimes the degree of our success is equal to our to degree of attachment.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our top ranking keywords or the keywords of our clients (are they stable?, do they need augmentation?, are competitors closing in?). SEO is about results, not projections, excuses or posturing. Even though you may slip a few positions for a keyword from time to time, what is important is to get back in the saddle get back in the game and put two more in it’s place (just in case your competitors turn up the heat).
The tendency to get too comfortable at the top must be suppressed at it’s source. Above all else, you should thank your competition for bringing out the best in you. For making you push harder, for reaching higher heights and above all else focusing your resolve to pinpoint accuracy on the goal.
So instead of disdain, try looking with new eyes to see things you may have missed along the way. How will you ever see beyond your own limitations, if you are too busy tending your own garden. Use your greatest asset daily which is your ability to gain a fresh prospective when it comes to engaging your target market. Employ competitive analysis, conduct research and be objective. Although it may not be possible to teach an old dog new tricks, there is nothing like knowing when there is more to gain from humility than lose from “Brand EGO”, so what are you waiting for and what can you learn today about yourself as a result of your competition.