What is Competitive Intelligence in relation to web sites and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Competitive Intelligence when related to the web involves two distinct components:
- What is your online reputation?
- What is your competitor doing?
What is my Online or digital Reputation?
Your online reputation is just what it sounds like. Your business reputation is important to your success and branding. Just as you have a reputation in your community, social circles and with your customers – you also have an online reputation. Do you know if it is good or bad?
To begin with – what are people saying about you, your company, and your executives? We have worked with many customers that did not even know they have negative reviews or public documents online showing law suits or public complaints or any document available to the public including filings.
When someone searches on Google for your company name hopefully they find your web site at the top of the results. But what else do they find? Are there other links to less savory items? Is someone delibrately trying to sabotage your reputation using supposed online anonymity?
Sadly, we have seen cases where competitors have intentionally changed addresses of sites that did not belong to them in online directories. We have also seen false reviews that basically amount to libel and can actually be prosecuted. We have seen companies that list their executives not knowing that there are public documents relating to unsavory charges against one of them.
So what does your online reputation say about you, your company, and your employees? Do you know?
In many cases some of the items can be fixed, removed, or suppressed. In some cases the information can not be removed, but strategies can be employed to counter negative information.
Why is it important that I know what my competitor is doing online?
In business, it is important to know your competitor – or if you are anArt of War fan – to know your enemy. Every good business owner knows who he is in competition with and should try to get to know everything about them and their products. Questions like:
- What makes their product superior? Inferior?
- What is my competitors pricing?
- Who are my competitors customers?
Raiding your competitor’s office and acquiring documents would obviously be illegal – however, did you know in many cases much of this information is available online through web sites? Information published on a web site is public information and therefore it is not illegal to obtain documentation that would otherwise be illegal to have.
For instance, many competitors may list their customers on their web site. Or their customers may list them on their vendor/partner/supplier pages. Some competitors may list pricing information on their web site or have it available for download. Sometimes competitors list very specific product information when describing their product online. Many times there are documents or diagrams which may be useful in understanding their methods.
Also, you can find out what keywords your competitors are bidding for in Pay Per Click advertising campaigns. You can see what areas they are targeting and guestimate their budgets. You can then cleverly counter these campaigns with campaigns of your own.
Overall, you can learn alot online – you just need to know where and how to look!
I want to know what my competitor is doing and if someone is hurting my online reputation – How can someone help me?
So what is your online reputation – is it being sabotaged? What are your competitors doing online – what are their intentions? What can I learn from the internet to bolster my Competitive Intelligence?
At eKrum, we can help you establish answers to these questions and many more. We can help you repair or establish a good online reputation and branding. We can also help you find out what your customers and competitors are saying about you online. We can even help you discover public information about your competitors that can help you create a better business plan. We do NOT endorse sabotaging your competitors online reputation. All of our methods are legal, ethical, and effective.
Contact us to see how we can help you and your Competitive Intelligence (CI).