Unmasking Your Real Competition: A Digital Marketing Guide
Understanding Your Real Competition
Welcome to Week 12 of our digital marketing journey! Today’s focus is knowing your competition – identifying who they are, their strengths, and areas you can outperform them -not in terms of in-house skills, but in terms of out-marketing your competition. The challenge many faces in this endeavor is navigating the dichotomy between the digital and analog worlds. As a firm operating mainly in the physical world, understanding how to leverage the online space might seem foreign.
Pointing out your competition based on direct encounters or reputation is easy. But have you ever typed “business law attorney in Gainesville” in a search engine to see who appears first? Your real competition is the firms outranking you in search engine results pages (SERPs). These firms garner more clicks, more calls, and more clients. The rule is simple: the higher your SERP ranking, the more website traffic you attract.
The Power of SERPs
SERPs provide a clear representation of your competition in the digital realm. This might surprise you. Perhaps a firm you’ve underestimated appears above you, or an industry giant ranks lower than expected. The truth is, your competition is whoever appears above you in SERPs.
To rise through the ranks, understanding the competition is key. Tools such as Raven Tools or Semrush can help you analyze your competitors. They highlight the competition’s advertising strategies, SEO weaknesses, and used keywords.
10 advantages to researching a law firm’s competitors when crafting a digital marketing strategy:
- Identify your target audience. By understanding what your competitors are doing to attract clients, you can get a better idea of who your target audience is and how to reach them.
- Find out what keywords they’re targeting. This will help you identify the keywords that are most important for your law firm and target your own marketing efforts accordingly.
- Learn about their content marketing strategy. What types of content are they creating? Where are they publishing it? This will give you ideas for your own content marketing strategy.
- See what their social media strategies are. How are they using social media to connect with potential clients? What are their most popular posts? This will help you develop your own social media strategy.
- Get insights into their paid advertising campaigns. What keywords are they bidding on? What are their ad copy and landing pages like? This will help you optimize your own paid advertising campaigns.
- See what their website is like. How easy is it to navigate? What kind of information do they provide? This will help you improve your own website.
- Learn about their customer service. What kind of reviews do they have? How do they respond to customer inquiries? This will help you improve your own customer service.
- Get ideas for new marketing initiatives. By seeing what your competitors are doing, you can get ideas for new marketing initiatives that you can implement for your own law firm.
- Stay ahead of the curve. By keeping an eye on your competitors, you can stay ahead of the curve and make sure that your law firm is always on the cutting edge of digital marketing.
- Gain a competitive advantage. By understanding your competitors and their strategies, you can gain a competitive advantage and attract more clients to your law firm.
Leveraging Tools to Spy on the Competition
Creating a free account on these tools allows you to observe your competition for two weeks. This can help identify their advertising platforms, SEO strengths and weaknesses, and even the keywords they use in their ads and site optimization. These tools offer valuable insights into what they’re promoting and where their strengths lie online.
Let’s illustrate this with a simple search on Google – “divorce attorney, Miami.” The firms appearing on the first two pages are your competition if you’re not there. Enter their website URLs into a tool like SEMrush or Raven Tools. These tools will deep dive into their sites, providing insights into their promotional tactics and potential online weaknesses.
The Art of Competitive Analysis
Armed with this information, you can better strategize. If your competition is intense in a particular area, learn from them. Where they’re weak, seize the opportunity. The idea is simple: know your competition, then strive to outperform them.
Here’s an anecdote that illustrates this point. My real estate developer father once advised, “If a neighborhood has two pizza shops, they really like pizza. We’re going to put a pizza shop there.” This perspective also applies to digital marketing – find where the competition is intense, then make a strategic entry.
Imagine How Better Knowing Your Competition Can Dramatically Impact Your Firm!
The following are a few (fictional but realistic) examples of uniquely using competitive information can help push your marketing performance to new heights.
Example 1: The Green Energy Sprint – Environmental Law**
The (fictional) Harmon & Green Law Firm, specializing in environmental law, discovered their chief competitors – (fictional) Park & Woods Associates – were making strides in the renewable energy sector. By spying on the enemy, they identified an opportunity to differentiate themselves: ocean energy. An underrepresented area, they realized that being the first to champion this cause would give them a competitive edge.
“Imagine us, pioneering the wave energy revolution, riding the tides to victory!” declared the senior partner, inspiring an office-wide energy. They rebranded their marketing strategy with the slogan, “Catch the Wave to a Green Future” and initiated high-profile partnerships with ocean energy companies. Harmon & Green started appearing in tech and environmental publications, setting them apart from Park & Woods Associates. They became the go-to law firm for ocean energy, and this targeted differentiation boosted their new client intake by 25%!
Example 2: Sherlock & Holmes Cybersecurity Chase – Cyber Law
Two digital rights law firms, (fictional) Binary Justice, and (fictional) Sherlock & Holmes, were always in a heated battle for the top spot in cyber law. Sherlock & Holmes, always looking for an edge, scoured Binary Justice’s success. They found that Binary Justice was making waves in data privacy for individual consumers, but there was a significant gap: small businesses.
The associates couldn’t contain their excitement. “We’ll become the cyber guardians of small businesses, helping the underdogs thrive!” Armed with this insight, Sherlock & Holmes revamped their services, specifically tailoring them to small business needs. They launched a fun, dynamic campaign titled “Guardians of the Cyber Galaxy: Securing Small Businesses’ Future.” The gamble paid off, with small businesses flooding to their firm, increasing their market share by 30%.
Example 3: Dramatic Divorces with Love & War Attorneys – Family Law
In the world of family law, Love & War Attorneys and Heart & Mind Solicitors were rivals. Love & War Attorneys knew that understanding their rival’s strategies was crucial. They discovered that Heart & Mind Solicitors were popular among high-net-worth clients due to their confidential, behind-the-scenes style.
But Love & War saw a different angle. They noticed a demographic neglected by Heart & Mind – the flamboyant, high-profile clients craving drama, spotlight, and winning big. The decision was unanimous: they’d give them the spectacle they desired. “Let’s make their battles our theatre, and us, the directors of their grand performance,” said the charismatic managing partner.
The firm revamped their approach, offering ‘Dramatic Divorces – Where you’re always the star.’ They focused on theatrically navigating public sentiment while ensuring their clients’ legal victory. It was a big hit! The high-profile clients loved their novel approach, which not only delivered legal success but also PR victories. Love & War Attorneys stole the show, increasing their high-profile client base by a whopping 40%.
The Key to Digital Supremacy
The goal is to become digitally stronger than your competitors. If you’re on page seven of search results with 30 firms ahead, focus on outranking the first two or three. Remember, the objective is to move to the next page and progress to page one – where you’ll be among the top 20% reaping 80% of the business.
In the following section, I’ll show you how to create a free account with Raven Tools – one of the best I’ve used. You’ll learn how easy it is to dissect your competition’s strategy, enabling you to come out on top. That’s how you make it into the top 20%!