“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” ― Otto von Bismarck - Author of Gedanken und Erinnerungen. It makes logical sense to watch your competitors and learn from their marketing mistakes and their successes.
Marketing requires a lot of trial and error – why not skip as many lessons as you can by learning from your opposition, nothing nasty or sinister here, just not making the same mistakes they have. If you bumped into them at a function and asked them about their marketing lessons which they were happy enough to share with you, would you go and implement all the ones that were dismal failures for them – absolutely not, you will use the ones that worked.
We will speak mostly about digital marketing in this article, but on the physical marketing front, when you see their marketing gifts, or campaigns, ask your clients that have been exposed to the opposition marketing, whether their efforts are working – 9 times out of 10 they will give you the information you need and where to improve.
Start with a Google Search of your keyword/s
In the search results, look at the advertising Adwords – are the many firms advertising for that space – if not, there is an opportunity for you to grab an advert there that may not cost as much as you think.
If the top spots are made up of a law directory, make sure you are advertising with them and that your entry is as informative in the listing as the ones that appear above you in the rankings.
Once you visit the website of the opposition law firm, right click on the web page and “View Page Source” to see the meta data of that page.
Check what entries they have for:
Meta Name = “keywords”
Meta Name = “description”
See if any specific pages show up in the results and see what content they have that is catching the attention of the search engines.
Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool and use the opposition website to get new keyword ideas, this will tell you what keywords are prominent on their website – you may get some ideas on which will work for your site as well.
See if their website is secure and using SSL – if so the site address would start with “https” and not “http” – Google is rating sites higher if they are secure.
The law firm website
Does the opposition website offer a blog, if so what topics seem to be grabbing attention?
Are the contact details easy enough to find and act on?
Is there a definite call to action on the website?
Visit their social media pages, look for the interaction they are getting, which topics and ideas are of interest to the clients?
Which business pages like their page, they may be interested in your firm as well?
See how quickly they respond to questions and input from their “friends”.
What pages do they follow, see if there would be a mutual benefit between your firm and the business/person the opposition follow?
If they are using social links with counters, where you can easily share their content to social media sites, see which of their content is shared most often and to which social network.