We’re going to break out of our typical blog format today and make this more of an exercise. A lot of us are in back to school mode, so let’s take your business to school.

I want you to take a moment and think about your competition. Who are they? Let’s pull their websites up and take a look; I invite you to choose three.

Take your time; I’ll be waiting here for you to come back…

Looking at the websites, make notes about the following:

1. If you were your target market, what about their website would you LOVE?

2. And what would you be confused about?

3. Do you know what the next step is?

4. Does the website seem up to date and current?

5. What’s missing?

Now pull up your website, and ask the same questions, at the same time, comparing what they’re doing with what you could do better.

The best example is looking at their social media, is it current? What is the date on their last blog or social media post? I always start there. People frequently put up websites, and then leave them whether or not they’re still in business. So, I always look to see what their content is like, if they’re posting regularly, then they’re still actively engaged in their business. If they post in spurts (really excited about their business for a week or two and then disappear), then I wonder if they’re working part-time in their business or if this is a side gig that they revisit when they have time.

Diving further, do they respond to comments? These could be comments on their blog or social media pages? Do you see someone ask a question, with no response (and the response doesn’t need to be a resolution, but an acknowledgment of the question is fine)?

Make notes about your social media activity – do you post regular blogs and respond appropriately to comments or questions? What could you be doing better?

Why is regularly reviewing your competition important? We frequently get so caught up in doing what we do, which may be awesome, that we don’t look outside of ourselves to see how current we are, and while we’re content doing what we do, someone else could be pulling ahead.

The biggest challenge can be critiquing yourself. You’re so familiar with your content and can make assumptions about your offerings, that sometimes a fresh set of eyes is what you need.

By Peggy Murrah, Founder of PMA Web Services

Author's Bio: 

Peggy Murrah is a unique combination of web and marketing savvy, along with dependability and resourcefulness. These qualities have been instrumental in her building a successful business that serves clientele across five continents. PMA Web Services provides marketing direction and strategies for entrepreneurs through mentoring, social media marketing, list building and management, and development/maintenance of their online presence.